They don't sit well on you, however you wear them.
And how many times have you heard someone say 'I can't wear yellow, I don't look good in it.' And to be fair, it is one of the trickier colours for many women to wear. For years, yellow was that colour for me.
I tried so many different shades in my effort to wear it, I nearly gave myself a sartorial hernia.
Gold never felt right on me. I rarely wear gold jewellery.
Bright lemon - think lemon curd - made me look ill and jaundiced. Too acidic for my skin.
Mustard made me look like I hadn't slept for 3 years.
I was convinced I couldn't wear it, even though I rather liked the idea of wearing such a bright and sunny colour. However, the problem was I had unfairly tarred all yellows with the same brush, deciding that every yellow, from primrose to canary was verboten, when in reality I hadn't found the RIGHT shade to wear!
Time to apologise to yellow!
With my skin tone and colouring, there are certain colours I can wear all the shades and saturations of.
Take blue. I can wear every kind of blue from baby blue, cobalt, petrol blue to midnight navy.
The more blue the merrier, I say! Tis my favourite colour.
But equally, there are a few colours where I have to tread carefully.
Take green. I can wear apple, emerald and forest green till the cows come home from the very green fields they've been grazing in. But khaki, olive, lime.... will suck me dry and spit me out UNLESS ...
- they are worn in very small doses,
- are worn away from my face,
- or paired with colours I CAN wear to balance them out.
It was only a few years ago when I had my 'colours' done by a friend who was training to be a colour consultant and needed a guinea pig to practice on and I was a willing guinea pig to the extent I resembled an excitable 3 day old puppy, that I discovered the ONE shade of yellow that I COULD wear. Sound the trumpets!
A soft pale lemon.
My default yellow pairing is mostly navy or navy and white. Classic, tried and tested, if not a little obvious. The benefit of blogging though, is that it pushes you away from comfort pairings to try colour combinations that are a little less familiar to you.
These trousers were a recent, end of sale buy a couple of weeks ago; something of an impulse purchase! Summer had finally hit her stride back then, with blue skies, hot days and muggy nights in London. Typical, huh? Just as we were saying au revoir to August!
I knew at first sight I could create an immediate outfit by highlighting the yellow in the trousers with the embroidery anglaise top, already in my wardrobe.
And as we increasingly say salut to September, adding my orange cardigan not only warms up the yellow (even better for my colouring), but I've an ideal outfit to transition from late Summer into early Autumn.
And when the leaves start turning and the days shorten, I'll just add a taupe leather jacket and swap the wedged sandals for ankle boots to stop my toes from turning the colour of my nail varnish.
My pairing here is quite zesty; colourful for Summer but the orange and cognac sandals also give a hint of Autumnal colours to come. A neat foot in each seasonal camp. If like me and you've clear, porcelain skin with dark eyebrows, then here are other pale yellow pairings that work.
- As well as wearing pale lemon with the aforementioned navy for a very classic look why not swap navy for aqua or light teal? As refreshing a look as a chilled glass of H2O.
- I sometimes wear yellow, silver grey and ivory for a soft, neutral look.
- Contrast colours always look good. Pale yellow and charcoal grey are striking as are yellow and evergreen.
- But you can also do top to toe pastels. On holiday in Copenhagen back in June, I teamed pale lemon with baby pink, accessorised with a two tone white and yellow bag.
But if you can carry strongly saturated yellows, take a leaf out of nature and be fiery! Canary yellow with orange and red tones.
I photographed these Kees Nelis Tulips at The Eden Project a few years ago, when all the Spring tulips were in full bloom. Aren't they stunning?
Tips for wearing a tricky colour:
- Experiment to find the right shade that works for you before you toss a colour in the bin!
- If the colour or shade doesn't work near your face but you love wearing it, do so on the bottom half.
- Pair it with a colour/s that you can wear and which either compliments it or softens it.
- Wear it in a print with other colours - as with my printed trousers.
- Wear it as one small block small on your body. I like to wear lemon yellow on my top half with a strong complimenting colour. Here my pale yellow embroidery anglaise top is warmed up by my orange cardigan.
- Wear it as an accent colour in your accessories - bag, shoes or jewellery.
Monsoon Orange cardigan (old) seen previously on the blog in my Citrus & Spice post.
Petite Wallis Mosaic Print Trousers; sold out but the Petite Mosaic Print Jumpsuit is still available in the sale
New Look Wedges sandals (old)
Mellow Yellow Footnote
It's always good to remind ourselves every now and then, that not all colours are equal. Just as with some you'll be able to wear all shades, accept that with others there may be only one or two shades that work with your colouring.
Whilst yellow may not be a colour I naturally gravitate to, it's no longer consigned to the colour scrap heap in my wardrobe.
What colours do you find tricky to wear? And is yellow one of them?