Establishing the perfect look and style can be tricky at any time of year, even if the weather is warm and you have your whole wardrobe of clothes and shoes to choose from – but what about when the weather turns cold and there is up to 4ft of snow on the ground?! I’m a personal stylist, originally from the UK but moved to Bulgaria about a decade ago. The first winter in Bulgaria was really tough mainly because I was not used to much snow at all during the winter months. As well as taking the practical factors and the danger issues into consideration, the snow made me feel miserable within myself because I would spend the best part of four months out of the year. I constantly felt freezing cold in their -20°c winters, wrapped up in as many layers as I could possible wear at any one time. This is a common problem for many people who have just established a style that they feel comfortable with – a change in weather or circumstances means that our style and appearance goes out of the window and we are left feeling unstylish and miserable with the way we look. After my first winter there I found a solution that meant I could dress well, look and feel great, whilst still feeling warm and dressing practically!
I discovered my perfect colour palette. If you have ever had a professional colour analysis consultation, you will be aware of what your personal colour palette is. For those of you who don’t know, it is the palette of colours and shades that best suit your natural skin tone and collective features, i.e. your natural eyebrow, eye and hair colour. There are many different types of skin tones and each has its own unique palette of compatible colours and shades. I studied colour and learnt which colours and tones best suit my skin tone and features and this is when things changed. Although my style still consisted of mainly bulky jumpers, heavy coats and flat, chunky winter boots, I started to experiment with colours and wore shades that suited me perfectly rather than just a plain black coat. If you have ever found colours that truly suit you then you will know just how much it flatters your appearance. You won’t love every colour that is recommended for you, but just seeing how well a particular shade suits you will instantly make you feel good about yourself. From that moment on I made sure that any item of clothing or footwear that was going to be on display not only kept me warm and comfortable, but was also in a colour that I loved and that suited my colouring perfectly – with or without the help of make-up.
Wearing nice colours will not only brighten your mood during these colder, duller months, but it will also make you feel more stylish, confident and happy within yourself. Although a professional colour analysis is obviously going to be more accurate, here are some tips on performing your own DIY colour analysis test for next time you pick a coloured item of clothing from the rack in a store or when deciding what to wear in your wardrobe:
• Hold the garment up against your face and observe your skin tone – are you noticing red/yellow undertones that you have never noticed before? If so then that colour you are holding is not for you.
• Does the coloured garment disguise your red/yellow undertones in your skin, creating a cool and clearer complexion? If so then you have possibly found the right (type of) colour to wear.
• Does the colour brighten up your skin tone in a flattering way? Good!
• Does the colour give your skin a newfound healthy glow? That’s how it should be!
• If you want to elongate your figure and appear slimmer then opt for vertical stripes.
• If you would like to add fullness to your figure and possibly shorten your figure or certain parts of it then opt for horizontal stripes.
• If you love black but at the same time would like to try other shades without steering too far away from black then try out other darker shades that have a little warmth or depth to them, such as navy, cocoa/chocolate brown, charcoal, damson, pewter or amethyst.
Try it out! Add a little colour to your wardrobe this winter – why not opt for a coat in a beautiful colour? More importantly – have fun and remember that it is still possible to stay stylish, upbeat and warm this winter no matter how bad the weather!