Eccentric HQ received many interesting comments making new and useful points regarding newts in the wardrobe from our scintillatingly intelligent readership. On to a round-up!
ilegirl made some valuable points on neutrals in the comments to my last post:
"You do neutrals so well, and by wearing ivories close to your face you bring out that healthful natural glow in your complexion.
Sounds like a compliment, right? And it is, of course, as you always look so lovely. But it's also an observation that you've discovered what works for your skin tone - the best neutral for you. I think this is key, because (for example) a charcoal gray top would have me looking as pale as a cadaver while on Ravina it would likely be smashing.
I still struggle with this too. It's easy to be seduced by the cute piece in a store and forget that it needs to be incorporated into an outfit. And while a loud plaid and a bright floral print can theoretically pair nicely, the reality is that some good neutrals create a foundation from which our creativity builds."
another largely newtral outfit with a lot of color interest
ilegirl's coloring is beautiful and rare - on the pale side with true golden and beige tones, her eyes are a bewitching greenish hazel. Her emphasis on warm greens in her wardrobe really brings out the ethereal aspect of her coloring. But where to look when adding newts? Trial and error always helps. Go to a store with lots of colors (fabric, decorating, paint, clothing, party supplies), hold a bunch of colors up to your face and see how you look (you may want to take a mirror and a friend who's visual taste you trust). Try to notice details or patterns that will help you narrow down your color search : do you like warm or cool colors? do you like really saturated colors or lighter, more washed out ones? do you like clear colors or muddier, more complex ones? what 'colors' do you like?
Let's say you're loving the way yellows look on you. You want to choose newts that have a lot of yellow. This will tend towards camels, tans, creams......what you are looking for is a newt that contains a lot of the 'color' that flatters you. Navy has a lot of blue. Many greys have a lot of violet or blue undertones. Other greys have a lot of brown in there. If you find you look better in colors that aren't too dark (concentrated) or light (washed out) than choose newts that aren't too dark or light. And so on. This can help direct your search, hopefully, and then you can try out your ideas in the clothing store.
Another strategy to try is expanding your concept of a newt. In the past several years, the offerings of colors in the sage-olive drab-army green-dun green-khaki olive range have been plentiful indeed. Many of these colors are quite 'muddied' or drabbed down to the point that they read as more newtral than green - but the green is still there to do it's complexion flattering magic. Denim is also widely available, from light to dark and in stretch, tissue weight, various washes and finishes. The great majority of denims tend to be newtral as well on the warm-cool scale, making them an excellent chose for a wardrobe newtral.
I received another great tip via e-mail from ma: "You could mention that if your skin tone won't allow beige without making you look like a total bath towel (or other awful thing, thinking of me in beige - urk), a scarf in a color may allow it. It only took about 60 years for me to realize that." This tip works with any newt and any item that will be worn away from your face - skirts, trousers, shoes, socks and tights, etc. It's especially good to keep in mind when facing limited offerings in a critical wardrobe item. Ravina works this one quite well in her outfit at the top of this post - it matters not how her grey boots look next to her complexion. The cobalt blues really make her coloring come alive, and the greys play a wonderful supporting role. This gets back to ilegirl's second point - that newts can play an important role in creating outfits. I hope these collaborative posts have given you some insight and tools on how to get newts to work for you!
Blouse, Skirt, Vest: own design
Shoes: Bass Lacey Oxfords