Back in the dark ages of the 80’s, when I was in graduate school, I worked for a department store. (very un-glamorous, I assure you). This was back when department store inventories were NOT driven by individual “designer” boutiques; we had separate departments for suits, for sportswear, for formal wear etc.
For a while, I worked in the area which sold tee shirts, blouses, shirts and sweaters. We carried at least a dozen styles at any point in time, depending on the season, and each style was available in a couple of dozen “cosmetic” colors. In other words, we always had tops available in every possible shade of coral, peach, plum, pink, berry, cherry, crimson, scarlet or whatever other lipstick-like color you could imagine.
And so, when someone had their colors “done”, or if they just plain knew what their best lipstick and/or blush color was, they’d come to our department and match garments to be worn near their face to colors that they already KNEW were flattering to them – those of their preferred cosmetics. It seems so obvious now…
For decades, I’ve not seen a store carry a wide range of colors in any item. But right now, Nordstrom is carrying wool/cashmere wraps in 76 different colors. Some of the colors have extraordinary names, and many of them are quite hard to distinguish one from the other.
I think it’s safe to say that if you buy a scarf that matches your favorite lipstick, you’ll find that it looks good on you. And these kinds of colors go with any neutral…
Oh, I've never heard about matching a lip color! I think I've chosen a color that will work. Thank you :-)
I remember well having my colors done back in the day, and I was classified as autumn with winter tendency. That's where I learned that you do not match your lipstick hue to the color you are wearing. But I had forgotten about the layout in department stores back then.
I second the DO NOT MATCH lipstick with an other item of clothing theory (especially a scarf which is as close to the face as an item can get). As a stylist, this is the 'kiss of death' for any look. It sallows the face (which otherwise looks great in that shade of lipstick) and the outfit itself looks horrendously over contrived in a tasteless, unsophisticated way. Sure, wear the scarf and lipstick but never at the same time. PLEEEEEASE !
Elizabeth Dennis says
I think it depends on the shade of lipstick. Matching a red lipstick and scarf, for example, doesn't necessarily have the same effect that a matching peach or a pink would have. I, for one (a Spring), can't wear a light peach or light pink lipstick, ever! I envy women who can, but it doesn't work on me at all – I have to go with a medium-shade or more color-saturated lipstick. However, light peach and light pink are great for me in a sweater or scarf.
How interesting! I've also found that as I age, lipstick colors that previously looked good now make my skin look sallow or grayish (depending on the shade). Wonder if the same would be true for tops? Hmmm… this would certainly make color selection a bit easier. As always, thanks for the enlightenment!
I too had my colors "done" and it was an interesting, liberating experience. I am a winter who just missed being a summer, so charcoal grey and navy — not black — are my darkest colors. I still stick to the palette (there are colors in it I never wear anyway) given to me 30 years ago. Not too long ago I got a long scarf in "icy pink" which looks great near my face even 30 years later and looks great with navy and charcoal too.
I remember when department stores switched from clothing departments to designer departments. I hated the change (and think I still do).
I've never had my color done, but have an idea about which colors look best on me. I don't always follow what I know, but instead go with what is practical. I guess the only real no no for me in the color arena is beige as it is too close to the color of my hair.
I remember stores being set up this way. I still think it makes wonderful sense to offer multiple styles in multiple colors, so that more people can find something flattering. About seven years ago, I had a flash from the past as my favorite department store had a circle rack full of one blouse style in almost every color imaginable. I wish stores would go back to this concept.
As far as matching to lipstick, I am not sure where to start. I love the concept but think I must be in the minority, as lipstick is the cosmetic I struggle with the most. I just never seem able to pick a shade I think is flattering. I feel more naked without my eyeshadow and mascara than lipstick.
You can still find retailers who offer multiple colors in the same shirt. You just have to go down market, that is, a retailer that doesn't carry top designer names. Talbots, Dress Barn, Christopher Banks, Macy's, Dillard's and the favorite here, L.L.Bean!
I never wear lipstick or blush! But some of these colors really appeal to me, and I bet would look good as lipsticks or blushes if I did wear that makeup. On the other hand, I look good in greens and blues, which would not be good lip/cheek color choices… but I do love that Nordstrom has made such a great basic scarf in so many colors. There must be something for everyone.
Blush and Barbells says
I am guilty having the same exact style of sweater/tee/pants in different colors! It just makes dressing easier for me, especially since I am trying to work with a capsule wardrobe. I'll leave the excitement for my eyeshadow!
This post came at just the perfect time. Yesterday I went through my wardrobe and got rid of all beige tops and scarves after a full day of wearing a top of this color I glanced at myself in a mirror at a shop and was taken aback at how drained of color my face looked wearing it. I don't know what possessed me to buy this dreary color in the first place! I do know I've been adhering to a more neutral palette in my wardrobe so maybe I thought this neutral color was appropriate for me. No more. An off white, creme/ivory color is so much more flattering. I think when one wears a color too close to their skin and hair color it becomes less flattering.
A rich warm corally pink is my absolute best colour and I buy it whenever I can find it in tops. scarves etc, and should double check my blush and lipsticks now too :-)
Love the scarves, but allergic to all wool–even cashmere–red blotches and itchy. BTW–as I am in fall wardrobe update mode, can you find/suggest sweaters for us non-wool/cashmere-tolerant types that are still beautiful and chic?
Ditto from another non-wearer of any kind of wool.
Me too! I can't wear wool at all. Makes coat shopping very difficult as I can't stand puffers on me.
Ro Ando says
Do you think getting your colours done (lol) is worthwhile?
I've also had my colours done and I'm glad I did. I now wear clothes that flatter my skin tone and hair colour, rather than sticking with boring black (which washes me out) just because everyone else does. I find shopping is easier and things in my wardrobe match – no having to have one pair of shoes that only goes with one outfit, which also makes packing for a trip a breeze!
I have half a dozen pashmina (pashmina-silk as I'm allergic to wool) scarves, and a couple of shawls, in my colours and everything in my wardrobe will go with at least two of them.
I bet you only sold to whites, too. There was no such thing as having "your colors done" for non-white women.
Elizabeth Dennis says
There are infinite shades of skin color; no one is flat-brown or flat-white, but a combination of hues that make your beauty completely individual. Although many women of color are Winters (best in blues, reds, and primary colors) because of a blue cast to their skin or hair or Autumns (best in deep brown and golden tones) because of a golden cast to their skin or hair, there are also many who are either Springs (best in lighter browns and bright, light, warm colors, like light orange, peach, and yellow) or Summers (best in pinks and navy). You may not even look best in the same colors your sister wears. Here is a site that discusses how many variations in coloring there really are among people of color. http://www.truth-is-beauty.com/for-all-ethnicities.html
Elizabeth Dennis says
Here is another site that shows in great detail how a woman of color can be a Spring, not an Autumn or Winter, along with some color and clothing options. I love it! http://www.warmautumn.net/2012/04/your-sister-season-warm-spring.html