In 1985 the National Geographic printed a haunting picture of a young Afghan refugee. In 2002, the photographer returned to Afghanistan and photographed her again.
The follow-up story read
Time and hardship have erased her youth. Her skin looks like leather. The geometry of her jaw has softened. The eyes still glare; that has not softened.
Sure, she’d lived under stressful conditions as a refugee. Sure she was 17 years older.
But there’s another reason that her adult portraits didn’t flatter her the way the first ones did: she was wearing the wrong colors. As long as she lives, she’ll look lovely in that coppery rust color. And as long as she lives, purple and black will make her skin look blotchy.
In 1980, Carole Jackson published a book called Color Me Beautiful. It told readers how to determine which colors are most becoming, based on complexion and hair color.
The fashions in the book look dreadfully dated now, but the underlying principle is still true. Figure out which colors look best on you, and then wear them. They’ll flatter you for the rest of your life.
This relates to de-cluttering. Once you know your colors, get rid of all the clothes that don’t suit you. For most of us, that slims down our closets right there. As a bonus, the clothes we keep will all coordinate, so we save time figuring out what to wear.
If you keep your colors in mind, you’ll also save time when you shop for clothes, because you’ll skip right over all those unflattering shades.
The color principle applies to both men and women. Women get a bonus: they can zero in on the right makeup shades.
Why not give it a try for a week? Get the book. It’s not on the Color Me Beautiful website, but many libraries have it. Spend less than an hour deciding what your best colors might be, and then wear those colors for a week. Do people consistently compliment you? Do you feel more attractive? Then maybe you want to streamline your wardrobe and make the best of your looks.
I’m interested to hear what happens if you try it.