Friday, July 29, 2011

I found this old photo of myself a few days ago.

I love this photo. It makes me nostalgic.  And it reminds me to pray for this dear dear group of friends in New Jersey, (almost all of whom tried to marry me off to their grown sons, ha!).  And it makes me want to go shopping in an Indian market again!

I still have this sari, by the way.  The bodice doesn't fit any more (twelve years and five kids have changed my figure somewhat).  But I love the color, and I think it looks okay on me.  I'm thinking that I want to cut it up and make a floaty top or two from it.  But I haven't bit that bullet yet.

Some style-blogging type observations, since I'm still in style-blogging mode:
  • The color of the sari is not far at all from the color of my veins in my wrist. 
  • I'm wearing lipstick.  Since when have I ever worn lipstick?  
  • The lipstick doesn't look super awful.  Maybe I should consider wearing it occasionally?  
  • Nah.  
  • Maybe tinted lip balm though.
  • I have henna in my hair in this photo too.  And it looks sorta fake, just like my henna now does.  I guess not much has changed.  I used to think it looked so real.  I still like the color though - maybe looking sorta fake isn't all bad?
  • Rebecca says here and here that we should wear colors close to our face that have a similar value to our hair.  (That is, if you imagine the color in a grey-scale photo, they would look the same color)  So, I (and you) look better in colors that are about the same darkness value as my (your) hair, because they provide the same level of contrast from the skin.  I hope that's not as confusing as it sounds!  I have dark hair and light skin, so to frame my face well, I should wear darker colors - similar in darkness to my hair.  This particular sari meets such criteria, I think.
How's that for blogging three times in one week?  I don't blame you if you don't bother to read because I'm chattering so much.  It's the Anne of Green Gables influence, I think.  (It's so delightful to listen to that audiobook in the car, but my, she's long-winded!).  Yeah, I'll blame it on her :)

Oh, and color-style-skilled friends with good visual abilities:  Do I look like an autumn?  Or a winter?  Oh, never mind.  I may as well give up fitting into that box.  I don't mind being an out-of-the-box girl in yet another way.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to find colors that look good on you (style blogging continued)

If you read Pioneer Woman, you know that occasionally she goes through phases where the blogs on a topic, or in a particular style for a few weeks, just to get it out of her system.

I think that's what style blogging is for me. So bear with me while I indulge and get it out of my system. So here goes.

The Color me Beautiful system, like a personality survey, works because many people do in fact, fit into broad categories. Many, but not all. I have always been one who doesn't quite fit into categories on coloring, Either that, or I don't recognize that I do. I'm not sure which. (Incidentally, on personality surveys with only four categories, I also don't fit. But if you expand to 16 categories, I fit rather nicely as an INTJ).

Several years ago now, I asked my husband to teach me how to draw. He set out first to teach me how to see. If you can see something that you want to draw, not as a 3D object, but as a pattern of colors, you can draw it. I think that learning what I look like, and what looks good on me, must be a similar discipline.

Word Lily has a naturally great visual and artistic sense, and in the comments pointed out that all of her natural coloring (the colors in her eyes, hair, skin and such) were present in her seasonal colors from the "Color Me Beautiful" system. My jealous side wishes that I not only fit into a season nicely, but that I could actually recognize what colors look good on me! But, I'm, slowly learning to see, and perhaps eventually I'll recognize a color that looks good on me without having to ask my poor husband (who has a much better developed visual sense than I do).

Rebecca, in response to my comment asking about how to find my "green", suggested that I take paint chips in my natural coloring colors, and then look through greens to find one that looks good with them. I'm sure that would work splendidly if I had much of a sense of what colors look good together. But Word Lily, pointed out a perhaps easier method.

I'm still thinking about this. :D It's interesting to me that:

a) the colors I get when I use this system are basically all part of what I get when I follow the Color Me Beautiful system/theory. Have you tried that one? I found a quick online quiz earlier this week ...

b) My most favoritest colors to wear all show up when I follow these rules

c) I already wear almost all of these (still not sure how to best determine the "red," though)

For her all of her natural colors were already present in her seasonal category. Someone else had done the work of figuring out what other colors and color groups fit with those natural colors. My guess is that her Zyla colors are the super best on her, and the remainder of the ones in her season also look terrific on her, but are a half-step down from the super best ones. But since they coordinate well with her super best colors (are you tired of super best as an adjective? I am. Sorry), they'll look great in her outfits.

It makes me wonder if I can find a season that incorporates all of my natural colors, and then just use their analysis to do the work of finding my perfect green, and other coordinating colors.

Of course, if we all embraced Rebecca's wear-mainly-one-color theory, we may not have to worry about finding so many coordinating colors. Maybe just accents?

I love the wear-mainly-one-color theory, by the way. I haven't decided what color I would choose if I implement it. No doubt, one of my Zyla 8. Four of which are brown. Could I really always wear brown? Maybe I should go for my "red".

Which, brings me to the question of determining my "red". Zyla covers it reasonably well here. I don't think it's super clear (probably because I can't quite tell what my "red" is either), but I don't have a better or more clear method yet.

I do wonder, could the color of your lips be your red? What do you think. Is your finger the same color as your lips when you pinch it? (I haven't tried this in a mirror yet, but I kind of doubt it -- otherwise, why wouldn't he just say to use the color of your lips?)

Update: I figured out why lips are a bad choice. They're too many colors. In my bathroom mirror, I can see at least four rather distinct shades of red in my lips -- then if I press them, or smile, many more. My finger, when pinched, is pretty much one color. It's in between all the shades of my lips.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In which I pretend to be a style blogger

Since this site has been sorely neglected for over two years now, I figure you won't mind if I update with random things.  It's never really had a theme anyway, it's just more of a journal.  (And I apologize for the blabbery style tonight -- we've been listening to Anne of Green Gables audiobook, and I'm in blabber mode, I guess.)

A little history:  Almost two years ago, in a bout of insanity, I entered a contest.  It was a contest to design and sew a dress with shirring.  Nothing too difficult or too fancy.  I didn't win or anything, but somehow got hooked on the process.  Before long, I remade that gown into a skirt and entered another contest, and more and more.  And my favorite. I even placed in one.  In retrospect, I probably got carried away.

About that time, I decided that designing and sewing clothes was so much fun that I should really start sewing some for myself.  Of course that included designing clothes for myself too.  Which got me started thinking about what in the world looked good on me, and how I could design clothes that flattered me, and such.

I don't remember ever thinking about fashion, what colors and styles suited me, and designing for my body before recently.  But I started up the learning curve.  I learned that my body type is an inverted triangle, even though I always thought I had narrow shoulders (turns out that I have a big bust - never thought that either - and it's mostly bust that makes me the inverted triangle).  I have a full tummy, no surprise there - I've had five kids.  I thought I was probably a "fall" as far as colors, but never could really figure that out.

About a year ago, I picked up came across this book at Barnes and Noble while browsing.  I perused it, and liked it.  Zyla makes the claim that colors which look best on a person are the exact ones found in their coloring.  Essentially, each person has eight best colors:
  • The color of the ring around their eye, 
  • the color of their blush (or their finger when pinched), 
  • the color of their darkest vein in their wrist, 
  • the color of their darkest hair, 
  • the color of their lightest hair, 
  • the darkest color in their eyes (not counting the ring), 
  • the lightest color in their eyes, 
  • and a skin-tone type color that blends their skin tones
Using these colors, and some personality traits, he gives you a season (I think he would probably place me as a "antique winter", if I remember the name of it right), and recommends even styles for you to wear.

Rebecca recently read his book, and reviewed it, then responded to questions here.  I really liked her review, and am giving more consideration to his idea that all your best colors are found in your natural coloring.

But, here's the problem.  Most of my colors are brown.  Now don't get me wrong, I like brown.  And I like the way that I look in brown.  But it doesn't feel very professional, for one, and well, I like more variety than just brown brown brown.

Here's a couple of pictures.  My hair is brown, but has henna in it, making it sort of orange-y, purple-y brownish.  After it fades, it looks almost natural, and I like the color that it would be if it were naturally the color that henna sort of makes it.  (Wow, how's that for a confusing sentance!).  What I'm saying is, I like auburn hair, and henna makes my hair almost auburn.  And it's cheap.  So sometimes I henna my hair.  It's henna'd right now, so it looks like this:

The flower in my hair is about the color of my veins -- somewhere near navy and indigo, but muted and softer than both.  The flower is made out of sheer curtains, and I like it.  Isn't it cute?  (They're so easy to make!).

And here's my eye.  It's surprisingly difficult to get a good picture of an eye.  The colors in my eye range from orangy-brown to rich chocolate brown, and the ring around it is charcoal.

If it weren't bedtime, I'd post a table of my colors. Perhaps tomorrow.

My questions for the blogosphere, who is not nearly as obsessed with my colors as I am, I know, are first: do I look like a winter? I'm having a hard time being a winter - it seems so harsh - yet when I read that section of the book, I was really convinced of it. And my colors are pretty much all dark. Hmm....

And secondly, I really like to wear green. I'm hoping to find a green that will go will with my colors, and if I post my colors (in html), perhaps it'll be easy to see what greens go with them, or perhaps you can make suggestions.

So that's it for tonight.

I have things I've made, by the way, to post. I just gotta get some pictures taken. And I want to tell you about my new working out thing. It's nice, and I'm getting stronger. I can even do push ups now.