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Creating an impression with colours and clothes

Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:47 am

Ever wanted to make an impression with the clothes you wear or wondered which colours suit you the best? Here are some helpful tips.

The first impression is often the lasting one. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the image you project is a favourable one. To do this, one needs to understand the right kind of colours that complement you and the kind of dress that would suit you best.

The first step to making an impression is in understanding how colours in fashion are classified. Colours are classified according to seasons. If you wear warm colours then you follow a spring colour system. If cool colours are your thing then you are a winter person. In between these two are warm and muted autumn and cool and muted summer.

What colours say about you

We all have our favourite colours whether we accept it or not. Take one look at your wardrobe and you will realise that most of your clothes fall within a specific colour range. The question is which colour really complements you. What kind of patterns should you look for when buying a new dress to ensure that you really make an impression?

The colours that you choose to wear reflect your personality. People who wear predominantly blue shades appear not only cool but peaceful and calm as well. Soft greens and browns will also have the effect of making you appear peaceful. On the other hand, a colour like red will project an image of striking confidence. Red is a colour associated with authority and power. It is important to take into consideration the kind of image that you want to portray and select the colour appropriately. Wearing a colour that contradicts what you want to portray may cause misinterpretations. For example if you are a peaceful yet talkative and determined kind of person and wear red at an interview, you may come across as overbearing.

Colour of your skin tone

These colour seasons not only apply to the colours that suit you, but are also indicative of the colour of your skin tone. You may have a warm skin tone, i.e. you have a yellowish tinge in your skin colour. A cool skin tone would mean a more red-tinted skin. To determine your skin tone, alternatively hold pieces of gold and silver paper next to your face and observe what colour complements your skin. You will realise that one colour complements you better. If gold suits you better then you have a warm skin tone, while if silver looks better you have a cooler skin tone.

The nature of your skin also plays a role in the kind of shades that you can wear. A person with blemished skin should avoid solid colours, especially extreme colours that are very dark or very light. A person with reddish blemishes or pinkish tones on the cheeks or across the nose should ideally avoid deep red colours such as wine red or burgundy.

Clothes to wear

Once you have identified the colours that suit your skin, you need to identify what cut of clothes will best suit you. Different dress styles suits different kinds of people. The kind of dress you can wear is determined by your overall body structure. The most common rule that applies to all people is that vertical stripes make a person look taller while horizontal stripes will give a broad effect. Larger prints are more attention grabbing as compared to subtler smaller prints. Tops that have printed designs around the neck or shoulders will make the shoulders appear broader.


A person with a curvaceous figure should opt to go for tailored dresses as they are more likely to fit better. A person with such a figure should avoid wearing baggy clothes, especially baggy pants. Instead boot-cut pants will be better. A well-tailored pair will ensure that the person looks taller by virtue of visually elongating the legs.

Thinner fabrics give a slimmer look and will appear to be more complementary. Monochromatic ensembles will add to the slimmer appearance. Broad contrasting coloured belts will help to highlight a slim waist.

Tall and Slim

Tall and slim people often find it easy to wear any kind of clothes. Figure-hugging clothes such as skinny trousers work well. Horizontal-striped shirts and t-shirts are ideal to minimise an overly long torso. Jersey tops are ideal for slim women to wear with jeans. Shirts, coats, or pullovers with high collars will help to visually shorten long necks.


A person with a petite build will often have to alter a readymade garment for that perfect fit. Bootleg trousers tailored to fit will give an appearance of longer legs. Strappy heeled shoes will help give an added boost. Fitting dresses such as sweaters in colder seasons, accentuated by a knee length coat, will give an overall slim line silhouette. Clothes that are styled for a petite body frame will have slimmer lapels and shorter sleeves. T-shirts and shirts will have shorter bodies and the armholes will be slightly higher. Flowing dresses will accentuate the form. Scarves or narrow belts that hang and taper towards the legs will make a person appear taller.

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