How to Wear All One Colour & Look Fabulous
(with the Secret Colour Scheme that Always Works)
‘Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.’ – Jean Cocteau
Men have kept their dressing simple. Women, with their almost endless retail and fashion choices, can feel that dressing is complicated.
Not so! Dressing can be simple and that to me is the essence of Style.
One of the simplest ways to dress is to wear clothes and accessories in variations of the one colour. It is even more stylish when you base it around your best colours in your Personal Colour Palette. It also works for any age.
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Wearing all one colour or variations of one colour is called a ‘Monochromatic Colour Scheme’. This is when you wear variations of one colour above your waist. You can wear it from head to toe or just above your waist. Most women only use Black as their Monochromatic scheme but it is much more versatile than that.
The secret is to remember to practise CPR – Contrast, Proximity and Repetition. This is the way to look fabulous all the time.
Monochromatic with Colour
With a Monochromatic Colour Scheme you do not have to wear exactly the same shade. Mix your above-waist dressing with light and dark variations of the one colour so that you have an interesting repetition of the colour you have chosen to wear. The model on the left is wearing a bright fuchsia top (McCalls 6282) with a flower brooch that contains light and dark variations of fuchsia plus medium fuchsia drop earrings.
I go monochromatic when I wear my watermelon red top with a pale pink necklace because pink is a light variation of red.
Try shades of purple. Dark purples are grape, aubergine and plum. Light purples are jacaranda, violet and lilac. Try shades of green. Dark greens are forest green, dark teal green and emerald. Light greens are mint, pale green and pale lime green You can mix your greens with medium or light turquoise. These light and dark variations can also be applied to the other basic colours of blue, orange and yellow as well as neutral brown.
The key is contrast which makes the repetition interesting. This is most effective when you add both light and dark variations of your preferred or best colours, especially those that intensify your eye, skin or hair colour. Proximity comes when you add your contrasting shades close to your face because this is where we want people to look. Now you have applied CPR to monochromatic with colour.
Monochromatic with Texture
Texture also adds contrast and interest to monochromatic with colour.
The model on the left is wearing a flat surface dark brown jumper under her mid-brown shantung jacket (Butterick 5617). The jacket adds sheen and her jacket buttons, rings and bracelets add different textures. Texture on your hands and wrist is great as many of us have expressive hands and they are also on view when we sit with people.
The model on the right (Simplicity 2148) is wearing flat surface pants and top in plum. Her casual jacket is a darker plum in a stretch velvet. Adding a necklace with texture would create more interest with its proximity to her face.
Both models illustrate CPR principles with monochromatic colour and texture.
Monochromatic with Pattern
Pattern is best when it ties the colour shades together and stays within the monochromatic light and dark variations.
The model on the left (scarf pattern – Simplicity 1871) is wearing variations of neutral brown. Her pants and top are a light, flat surface beige. Her mid-brown jacket in knit adds contrast, texture and repetition. Her scarf combines the two colours in a different texture and highlights her face (proximity).
There you have it – the secret colour scheme that always works ie wearing variations of one colour. Add texture and/or pattern. Follow the CPR principles and you’ll look fabulous and never feel deadly boring again.
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