Colour is a NO cost item in your wardrobe

Colour is a NO cost item in your wardrobe. Whether you buy a red, blue or white shirt the price will be similar.

So why not choose the right colour for your skin tone, suggests Parnell image consultant, Susan Axford, of Your Style.

Knowing your colours is about wearing the right shade to enhance your total look. When you wear the correct colours, you will look good, feed your energy levels and have more confidence. Wearing the wrong colour can drain you, make you appear older than you are or even prompt people to ask if you are unwell.

By selecting the right colour we give ourselves a head start. Dress in colours that suit you and your positive qualities shine out.

"But what about black, I hear all you Parnell darlings exclaiming!" Susan queries in a rhetorical question. 

"New Zealand women have a love affair with black, but if it is not your best colour, why wear it next to your face? Black on the lower half is always fine, as long as it co-ordinates with what you're wearing on top."

Black can always be teamed with one of your best colours to enhance your look. For those who suit softer shades, wear black with pale blue or baby pink. Those who love earthy shades could introduce bronze or rich cream and those who love the brights can add a dash of turquoise or gold.

The secret is for you to wear the colour not for the colour to overwhelm you. So if you look in the mirror and all you see is the colour and not your face, then the colour is wrong. The aim is to achieve harmony between hair, eyes and clothing.

But, colour is only half of the wardrobe. The other half is style and for any garment to be really perfect, both the colour and the style need to be right for your colouring and body shape.

Be brave; pull on a leotard and have a good look at yourself in the mirror and analyse your good and not so good body features. Yes, we all do have good points, but most of us are more aware of the challenging features! It is good to focus on them, but only so we can hide them by the way we dress.

Dress to conceal the not so wonderful angles and highlight the best parts. The most important rule is never finish a shirt or jacket at the widest part of your hips, this is especially important if you are wearing different colours, for instance white shirt and black trousers. Make your top longer or shorter than the widest part of your hips. 

The most important feature of any garment is the fit - not tight, not loose and fit neatly on the shoulders and arm length. Fit is as important to clothing style as location is to real estate.

Susan Axford

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