Sunday, February 11

The Question of Brown vs. Black. (Part Four)...

Just in case this comment written by Elizabeth was missed, I am posting it here as part four of the series on Brown vs. Black. Elizabeth has outlined several outstanding ways to marry these two colors together in one's wardrobe. If you've never visited her blog, A Merry Rose: Blooming as Keeper of My Home, you simply MUST go there immediately! She has a wealth of knowledge that she shares in her posts... each entry she has written has helped me enormously!

Regarding the black/brown dilemma, have you tried using cocoa or camel as your brown? These are versatile browns, especially if you are trying to include both warm and cool colors in your wardrobe.

(In theory, I don't believe in mixing cool and warm in your wardrobe. But, in practice, we all do it, don't we?)

Cocoa is a cool brown, and it pairs well with many cool colors. Being brown, it's not too bad with some warm colors, either. It's listed as a potential netural in the summer (low-contrast, cool-based) palattes.

To me, camel is even more versatile. You could build an entire wardrobe around a pair of black shoes, a pair of camel shoes and a camel purse. I've also seen lots of purses and shoes with both black and camel on them. That's the great thing about camel. While it's warm, it also coordinates beautifully with black.

I have dark blonde hair and ultra fair, pinkish, cool-toned skin. I look best in the light summer palatte. For simplicity's sake, I have narrowed down my best neutrals to winter(soft)white and light gray, with some blue here and there. But, I also confess to having some netural pieces in black in my wardrobe. It's not my best, but, being cool-toned, I can get away with it. And, sometimes, black is easier to find than other neutrals.

Being light, I can reach across to light spring and "borrow" light camel. So, I use camel with my soft (winter) white, with certain of my beloved pinks, with certain blues, with greens, and with black. For me, it's a great wardrobe bridge.


Mimi said...

Hi Emma,

When I was cooking supper last night, this idea for a small capsule wardrobe for the cool-toned woman came to me. So, I thought I'd pass it on, in case anyone was interested. It's based on having two skirts -- one in gray or black and one in camel.


1) Black skirt (if you are medium to dark-haired with either dark or light eyes) OR
Light gray skirt (if you are medium to light-haired with light eyes. Make sure it's a true, cool gray that looks well with black shoes)
2) Camel skirt (for everyone)

3) Black shoes – heel
4) Black shoes – cute flats
5) Camel shoes – flats or heel as you desire

6) Combination camel/black handbag if you can find one; if not, black handbag

7) True Red top (if you are medium to dark-haired) OR
Pink top (if you are medium to light-haired, light-eyed)
8) Jewel (emerald) green top (if you are medium to dark-haired, dark or light eyes) OR
Light blue-green top (if you are medium to light-haired, light eyes)
9)Soft white blouse (for everyone)
(The dark-haired woman can add a black blouse if she desires).

10) Soft white sweater or jacket for everyone (Soft white is best “off-white” for cool toned women. It is also known as winter white.)
(Women who are medium to dark-haired with dark or light eyes can also add a black sweater or jacket)

There you have it: a mix-and-match wardrobe of only 10 basic pieces.

Wear your black shoes and black handbag with your black or gray skirt, depending on which one is best for you. Pair with any of the tops and jackets mentioned above or with any cool-toned item in your closet.

Wear your camel shoes and black handbag with the camel skirt. Pair with any of the tops and jackets mentioned above. Also, pair with any warm toned item in your closet.

If you have a camel sweater or top, you can wear it with a black or soft white bottom. Don't wear it with gray.

If you are cool-toned, try to confine your wardrobe choices to cool. These will complement you best. But, having camel in your closet will allow you to wear a warm toned item if, for some reason, you want to.

Let's say dear hubby loves warm colors and he gives you a birthday present of a golden brown sweater. You know that the golden brown doesn't do anything for your complexion. But, you enjoy wearing something that dh lovingly picked out for you.

Or, you, yourself, are enticed by this year's warm green, and you impulsively buy a dress in that color. While it's not your best, you are haviang fun wearing it. Or, maybe you regret purchasing it, because you realize it doesn't look as good on you as you thought. But, you have to make do with it until you can afford a new dress.

Or, you're expecting -- yeah!. But you can't afford to buy a whole maternity wardrobe, so you borrow your copper-haired sister's earth-toned maternity clothes.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to the one above, don't fret. Be thankful that you have nice, clean clothing to wear, even if it's not your best color choice. Just pair the warm item with your camel bottom and/or shoes, and you'll be fine.

To round out the camel/black capsule, you could add any of the following: soft white skirt, black pants (if you wear pants), camel pants, a second pair of camel shoes, and a camel purse.

Mimi said...

I always think in cool-toned terms, since I'm cool-toned myself. But, there are many warm-toned women who are trying to solve the black/brown dilemma as well. If you are warm toned, the black/camel idea will work for you, too.

Buy one gray bottom and black or gray shoes if you are medium to light haired, with light eyes.
Buy one black bottom and black shoes if you are dark-haired, with dark eyes.
Buy bottom in camel and two pairs of camel shoes: one dressy and one casual.
camel purse
black or gray purse

(Note: The cool-toned woman buys two black shoes and one camel shoe; the warm-toned woman buys two camel shoes and one black shoes. The cool toned woman can get away with one purse -- black. The warm-toned woman will probably need both a black and a camel purse, or, at the very least, one that has both black and camel on it)

Your tops could be:

1) Ivory if you are light-haired and light-eyed; oyster if you are darker-haired
2) Coral
3) Teal
Ivory jacket or sweater
Most likely, you will not want to buy black jacket or top.

Wear the camel skirt and shoes with the above colors and any warm-toned item in your closet.

Wear the black or gray skirt with the above colors and any cool-toned item in your closet.

Well, that's probably more color information than anyone wanted to know!

You can supplement the capsule with the following: ivory or oyster bottom.

TheNormalMiddle said...

Chocolate seems to be all the rage right now in fashion. My sister in law to be is using it in her wedding! :)

I'm more of a Navy gal myself. I like wearing navy in the spring and summer months like I do black/brown in the winter.

MamaBirdEmma said...

Great capsule advice, Elizabeth! I love lists like these:) Thank you for taking the time to write them out!

Navy is a great color too, Lindsey! I especiall loce how it looks with white, brown, and pink! Very beachy!

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