Killing the blues...(or, I need a fashion intervention)

Yes, I'm Queen Blue. I wear blue the way many women wear black. Blue is my best neutral and my best colour. Blue lends authority and calm. Blue can be reserved and private or electric and vivid. Blue is as deep as the oceans, as soft as mountain mists, as crisp as the north wind, as bright as a summer sky, as mysterious as the heavens when twilight nears full darkness. 

My blue and predominantly blue items across all seasons, below in Finds. There are a lot of them. This doesn't count a few unphotographed items, e.g. a RL sleeveless cotton knit shift dress -- older and rarely worn but comes into play a couple of times a year. Or things that wore out last summer and got donated, e.g. some blue shorts. Or gear. Or stuff like house shoes or slippers. Or black coats that look almost blue. 

You get the idea. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I like blue. It's my signature and my speciality and I don't intend to purge it from my closet. Au contraire! It will always be the foundation of my wardrobe. 

But LaPed's recent thread on colour complements, along with TorontoGirl's, set me to making "capsules" of my other colours and made me realize that, um,  maybe I have too much of a muchness. And if I added a bit more colour variety, my well functioning wardrobe might work even better and make me feel as if I had more options. 

At the moment, across all seasons, I have 12 red items. 3 plum/purple/ lilac. Only a few berries/ fuchsias/ magentas (another of my best colour variants). A few burgundies. And a bunch of grey and white. A decent silver/pewter accessory/ accent complement. You can view them here: https://youlookfab.com/finds/c.....usanolding

It is time to broaden my range!! 

Of course, I decide to do this just when earth tones (which typically don't flatter me) begin to trend. Sigh....

Nevertheless, here is my commitment. For the next year, I am not going to purchase any more blue!!!  Instead I will look for items in my reds (fire engine to cranberry with a bit of true red sprinkled in) berries, cool fuchsia and magenta, and purples/plums/lilacs. 

Exceptions allowed: 

  • Blue jeans (I can purchase these in trendy styles or classic as needed). 
  • Basics (bras, undies, gear, tights, etc.If I see these in blue and want them in blue, okay.) 
  • A fantastic waterproof blue raincoat, and/or a perfect navy or ink trench coat OR (in autumn) a perfect pea coat and/or long military coat with silver hardware or blue/black or pewter—if such appears. (HEWI) 
  • Blue is allowed in a print item but only if it is not the predominant colour. 
  • Possibly a blue sandal or sneaker or bag, but only if I can't find a red one I like. 

What think you? Does this make sense? Can you help me find items in my other key colours as the year goes along? Can you suggest a way to approach this, i.e. a small capsule (what items??) or complement? Or a combo capsule/complement, e.g. footwear & scarf or bag plus a top and or bottom? 

Meanwhile, I am desperately tempted to make one last blue purchase of a suit from BR, just because I adore wearing my black watch one from there so very much....

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

67 Comments

  • Runcarla replied 1 week ago

    A one year moratorium on blue sounds reasonable! You've mentioned exploring purple variations (lilac, plum, etc.) in a few recent posts, and gone there with your fitness kit. Why not explore the spectrum of colours between blue and red?

  • Joy replied 1 week ago

    Suz, I think you are being too hard on yourself. It is a color that does a lot for you.. There are so many shades of blue. It looks like you could use more light blues. An icy blue would look great with your hair and the silver compliment. How about blue- greens from pale aqua to deep teal. I do see that you could add more berries and blue-pinks. Go crazy with lavenders. I can see you pairing blue/lavender or purple/ fuchsia or red or blue/ turquoise/ red. My sister has a good friend who has built a whole 4 season wardrobe on blue/ purple/ fuschia or pink. Don't not buy a piece you love just because it is blue. Get that BR suit.

  • taylor replied 1 week ago

    “Too much of a muchness”
    I LOVE that !!
    Ok, so plenty of blue a bunch of grey and white, and sounds like a fair amount of red. Your metallic accessories and accents are in order, a sprinkling from the berry family.
    Do you have any neutrals (as I see them) such as olive , deep / light taupe , moss greens , khaki or even a dark chocolate. You wouldn’t need a lot of any of these , or just find one that works with your blue wardrobe.
    Of course , these my be the very colors that don’t work for you since you didn’t mention them :)

  • Gigi replied 1 week ago

    Fun challenge!

    For me, I have found that when I build complements, the recipe that works best is to have one bag, one pair of shoes, one main clothing item (top or bottom), and one or two other accessories (scarves, belts, etc.).

    I like to wear two items from a complement in an outfit, and I find that having the aforementioned items gives me enough variety so that I don't feel like I'm wearing the same stuff all the time.  

  • Cee replied 1 week ago

    I suddenly feel the need to put on some BB King and Muddy Waters.

  • rachylou replied 1 week ago

    One year isn’t so bad... your existing blue should last! Lol. Sounds fun. I do love your reds!

    Hey... I feel like you had some amazing fuschia pieces...

  • Opaline replied 1 week ago

    I think it’ll be exciting and fun!
    You definitely have a wonderfully expansive blue collection to fall back on, but pursuing other your color loves will make interesting new combos with the blues.

  • Jessikams replied 1 week ago

    Thank you for reminding me of an excellent Plant/Krauss song.... and re your wardrobe, I think it’s important to note a lot of your blue items are printed or patterned. This makes for “cohesive” rather than boring!

  • Jenni NZ replied 1 week ago

    I an with Joy. Why change? If it's your favourite and works for you... It may happen that if you make yourself stop buying blues now they may go out of fashion and you may not be able to get them, and then you will be sad...

  • jussie replied 1 week ago

    I am exactly like that with blue too. I always gravitate towards it when I’m shopping! I have so MUCH blue now.
    Do you like to wear charcoal? I find that a handy and interesting break from blue. Not sure how you feel about lighter pinks? Like light pink speckled with white in a knit for example. I think you could rock that.
    Also maybe you could try dark teal too....
    I think it will be fun for you to explore other options for a while.... but like Joy said if you really love something and know it would be a workhorse I’d still go for it even if it’s more blue.....

  • FashIntern replied 1 week ago

    After I realized how very many blue dresses I had, I started noticing myself making that choice. and have been consciously stepping away from it, in exactly the direction you're planning to go now--berries. It is such an automatic thing to have my eyes light up when I see the blue version of whatever it is that seeing it can give me a giggle.

    Blue is everything you say in that melodic opening to your post--you're a writer, aren't you?--and I want to keep it that way. My silly rote reach for it could wind up with me having too much of it, so it's just boring. Your mention of wearing it the way others do black really got my attention, because when people say "default to black", I can't imagine it, but my response to blue is so automatic that it can be called a default for me. If there are several options, I always have to check myself when I go for the blue version. My inclination towards blue can make me overlook flaws in something much the way "sales goggles" do for others

    I'm happy with the berry base I'm building. I want mix & match pieces so I can dress from head to toe in berry tones, or to have berry colors as the backdrop to statement pieces, the way others wear neutrals. Yesterday, I posted that I'm almost there, and at the end of that post, I gave myself permission to buy some more blue. 

    These are some things from my finds that I think might work for you. I don't know if you can order from these sources, but at least you can take courage that berry is out there. I might order the COS top myself, and COS has several other pieces in similar colors. I tried the vertically striped top, didn't like the polymid fabric (but don't know your fabric preferences). I'd love to see you in the horizontal stripes, but that depends on the hot setting in your dryer being able to shrink it down to size. The paisley top is on its way to me now. The Ivko dress looks dark for you, but I love it so much, I want to see someone wear it. Pants are so hard to find in these shades! I had slim-fitting (nearly skinnies) jeans in blackberry in the 90s, but lent them to a sister who lost them. I've included crops, because I think you wear them, which could make it a bit easier. 

    ETA: Check out the pic--Someone at Halogen clearly gets what we are up to! https://shop.nordstrom.com/c/w.....hing%2FPan

  • The Cat replied 1 week ago

    You wear blue so well, and I see no need to stop buying blue items that you love and know you will wear a lot. But I do understand the need for some variety. And of course, it's interesting wearing some "new" colours. However, as your colouring looks very cool, I wouldn't advise you to purchase items in earth colours--they would likely look a little boring on you. Instead, wear your great neutrals--navy, white, grey and silver--with berries, magenta, purple, pink-lilac and light blue. These combos would look strIking on you.

    How a about a hat and gloves in purple? (They need not be the same material or shade. Different ones can be more interesting.) Or how about a pink-lilac top, a light blue bag and a printed scarf in blues, pinks and purples?

    Personally, if I wear a non-neutral below my waist (i.e. in my pants, skirt, shoes or bag), I like to repeat that colour somewhere near my face (i.e. in my top, topper, scarf or necklace) for a cohesive look, and for drawing attention to my face. So when I purchase non-neutral items like a pair of shoes or pants, I'll make sure that I have at least two or three items for my upper body (i.e. top, scarf and necklace) where that colour is repeated, perhaps just in a print. This approach has resulted in a lot of options for me. Perhaps a similar approach will work for you.

    I particularly look forward to seeing you wear more purples. I remember your gorgeous purple coat. Remember, purples are beautiful with silver anything, including silver hair! :-)

  • kkards replied 1 week ago

    ok, i admit to extreme prejudice on this as i probably rival you for navy/midnight ownership......
    i totally get where you are coming from....BUT....
    i would not not buying something becauce its blue...instead i'd ask myself if there is another color i'd like instead....
    for me....adding color has to be done slowly and with either great deliberation or an overwhelming emotional response to a particular item....but YMMV

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 week ago

    I'm a big fan of the occasional moratorium. As someone with a budget and a craving for variety, I like a little bit of discipline to keep myself from buying the same things over and over (things like plaid shirts and breton tops). Since you have a solid base of blue essentials, your challenge should be pretty bearable!

    If I were going about this myself, my first inclination would be to examine my existing complements and figure out if there are any holes. Would I wear my lilac bag more if I had more accessories or prints that feature lilac? Do I need burgundy shoes for summer if I want to use my burgundy bag year-round? Etc. 

    I predict this spring will be a good season to build up taupe/walnut shades (thinking back to last fall's wildcard blazer), as every shade of light brown seems to be trending. And I bet there will be a lot of lilac around again (but maybe tending more towards warmer orchid shades), and spring is probably a good time to build up that capsule. Also, I love the hot pink colour on the Boden Berwick sweater, and wonder if hot pink might deserve its own complement someday... ;)

  • Janet replied 1 week ago

    Suz, I can relate. I have a very definite color palette, and blue is HEAVILY represented. Even my cobbler commented on it when I stopped by the other day to pick up a handbag that was being repaired: I drove up in my blue car, with my blue-streaked hair, a blue leather jacket, and a blue ring (and blue denim). We laughed but he said, “it suits you — you look good in blue.”

    I say, if it’s not broken, no need to fix it. I sometimes step out of my color comfort zone, but it’s rare and for good reason. It just so happens that the trending colors lately do absolutely nothing for me, so I’m feeling a bit stubborn and rebellious by sticking with my favorite jewel-tone cool colors like teal and cobalt.

    If it makes for a bit of craved variety in your wardrobe, I am all for exploring other parts of the color spectrum. But I always end up coming back to the same palette that has served me well my whole life. I don’t want to oversaturate on a particular item (a few years back it was grey sweaters), but I wouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water either. ;-)

  • replied 1 week ago

    I think this is kind of a fun challenge!
    You might think about what colours you like to pair with your berries, other than blue and denim.

    As an example, I prefer black footwear with berries in the winter, and tan in the summer.

    I prefer burgundy, pink, pearl grey and charcoal knitwear with my berries.

  • nemosmom replied 1 week ago

    I think it's a great idea, although I hope you don't limit your purchase of blues TOO much. You look amazing in lilac and berry - plus they go beautifully with your silver, white, AND blues!

    I can't offer any suggestions on the HOW part, as I am following the compliment posts closely (I have WAY too much green; 89% of my closet, according to stylebook), but I will certainly keep my eye open for new finds in those colors for you!

  • lisa p replied 1 week ago

    Although I'm not nearly as skilled and focused on wardrobe building as you are, and wouldn't presume to have the answers........two thoughts come to mind :

    1. I agree with Janet in not throwing out the baby with the bathwater in terms of not buying any more blue.  When one has such a perfect signature colour, rather than add in berry, purple or grey (all of which can go down the path of looking "missy" pretty easily unless the clothes are really dramatic ) , maybe it's really diving into some new silhouettes or styles within that signature colour?  What do I know though?

    2.  If one were committed to looking at other colours, I'd love to see you in something really dramatic and more interesting than berry/purple/grey. I'm not sure what that is exactly, but think of how Lyn Slater dresses - in really "out there" colours, with her gorgeous silver hair and slim physique. That's you.  

    I realize I sound cranky about berry/purple etc and I realize that they are very appealing colours to a lot of people.  AND I realize that there are a lot of terrific pieces in those colours .  Maybe I'm channelling your eagerness for something new into wanting to see more interesting and dramatic colour along with your blues.  Yellows, acids, bits of neon , again - think Lyn Slater. 

  • Janet replied 1 week ago

    Oh, I like the idea of *complementing* the blues as Lisa suggests. I do that by adding touches of orange and rust and to some degree brown.

    And what is it about those berry colors? I like them very much in theory, but somehow when I try to wear them, they feel off somehow, like the pieces are not fashion-forward enough. I always thought it was some personal association I have with those colors (a colleague many years ago used to dress head-to-toe in overly-matched berry outfits, perhaps?), but maybe it’s not just me. And I have thought about adding some purple shades back into my wardrobe, but have found zero pieces that actually appeal to me. Turns out I’m very picky about purple.

  • Aquamarine replied 1 week ago

    For what it’s worth, I never think, “Oh, there’s another blue outfit from Suz,” whenever you post a WIW. I just see a stylish outfit from someone who has figured out what works for her. Not that there’s anything wrong with a challenge, but why fix it if it’s not broken?

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 week ago

    Oh yes, along Lisa's line of thinking -- I meant to mention citron/acid yellow in the same breath as hot pink. Especially for summer, a bright lemony or even neon yellow could be such a great accent for blue and white. I'm thinking of Angie's lemon jeans and mules from last summer...

  • replied 1 week ago

    I didn’t realize that berry colours were missy and not fashion forward! Is this the opinion of the forum in general?
    Or are these just personal opinions? I think berry, especially mixed with burgundy, was quite a fashionable combo.

  • JAileen replied 1 week ago

    To be honest, I think this is a bad idea. Why shun something that works so well for you?

  • Janet replied 1 week ago

    Anonymous (?) my personal feeling is that I like berry colors and don’t think the colors themselves are unfashionable, but most of the pieces I see made in those colors tend to be cuts and fabrications that don’t appeal to me. Lots of those slick poly blends and such.

    Not speaking on behalf of the forum, ever — only my personal opinion. I would venture no one here speaks on behalf of the forum!

  • FashIntern replied 1 week ago

    Anon, I'm also interested in hearing more about the way people see these colors. To me, they offer the restfulness of blues, a "something different" element of interest, and warmth/richness. I'm obviously in the minority and would like to know more about peoples' associations with them. "Slick poly blends" doesn't describe them factually, as any fabric can be produced in any color--the 2 dozen pieces I posted aren't poly (except for some of the pants, which are hard to find in these shades), and most are not slick. But that perception must come from something--maybe they "feel" like that (emotionally) even though they aren't (physically). I'm curious about this. Do these shades play the role among colors that "grandma's sofa" florals play in patterns, or is it something else? I've been adding items in these colors; it seems I might be sending out a message I don't intend. What is it?

  • Angie replied 1 week ago

    Suz, YES to you being Queen Blue. It's a signature colour, and always will be. It makes you look even MORE radiant. It's special to have a signature colour as perfect as blue is to you. Keep it special!

    My two cents FWIW, and nodding along with many of the comments:

    • Don't fix it if it isn't broken. I've never thought you wear too much blue. I think, "YAY, Suz is wearing fabulous blue again!". That said, I understand a need for change so explore that too. Follow your feelings. 
    • Lots of your blue is patterned which breaks things up and adds interest.
    • I think it's a fun challenge! Don't take it too seriously through. Relax into the whole thing, and take it as it comes. Instead of being strict about it - simply be aware NOT to choose the blue options all the time. Choose another option :)
    • Personally, I don't find berry tones less trendy/fashionable/stylish/fashion forward. It's all in how something is worn, and an outfit is always the sum of its parts. 
    • I've suggested this since you went silver - try black & white, with silver and a bright. Like the Fire Engine. 
    • As for complements, I'm thinking a saturated lilac/lavender. A cool green, teal, some blush, citron accents, and OF COURSE - Fire Engine.
    We can have fun finding these items all year! 
  • Cardiff girl replied 1 week ago

    It strikes me as ironic that 2 of the ladies on the forum with a very well developed sense of their own personal style and killer wardrobes to match(Suz and Katerina) are expressing dissatisfaction.lt just goes to show ,it’s a funny time of year,the Sap is obviously being to rise and cause restlessness .l m watching to see where all this lands.

  • Janet replied 1 week ago

    Cardiff Girl, YES. This time of year brings out the restlessness, I believe.

  • FashIntern replied 1 week ago

    Cardiff & Janet, I'd add Anchie to that short list.

  • lisa p replied 1 week ago

    Well, to try to answer the concern over my "missy" comments...
    1. missy is/was a term used frequently in the fashion industry years ago identifying a subcategory for fit and style.  Yes, it had some negative connotations, but so does avant garde/punk rock/etc - really anything that veers from the norm. Norm being what is identified as current in the fashion industry.  
    2.  this is only my opinion and those are just my words. Not speaking for anyone else here.  I don't expect others to like my silver studded combat boots and weird skull earrings and scarves , the same way I don't like purple pullover sweaters or plaid shirts.. It's all in the eye of the beholder.  I can appreciate quality and good design in any colour. I also think Suz knows me well enough to take my comments for what they are - just ideas.  That's how creativity works: ideas flow, some are dumb and others are fantastic. Some may be questionable and not appropriate - take them for what they are.  
    3.  I see Suz's style and overall look as quite sophisticated and somewhat dramatic , with her contemporary silver hair, and awesome attention to detail and awareness of current trends.  My suggestions were with her in mind.  No one else.
    4. I think it's important to not get offended or perturbed by feedback provided to one person .  If the question was: are these colours and styles "missy" or too mainstream for everyone interested in fashion?  Then obviously the answer will be different.   

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    Well, this is extremely interesting! Thank you all for your responses! 

    First off, apologies if I didn't express myself clearly. And, because it seems as if I need to calm a few worries: 

    1. I am not getting rid of blue or shunning blue; blue will always be my core neutral and colour. My wardrobe will always feature blue. 



    2. I'm not looking to add earth tones or any other colours that don't suit me. Chief among those tones are oranges and all yellows, including citron. I can wear it in a pattern and possibly in a bag or shoes or belt -- but not otherwise. Nowhere near my face. So I'm unlikely to add it except as an accessory complement, however great it looks with blue. And it likely won't be my first choice to add, since it is not particularly versatile for me, unlike, say, red. 

    3. I'm not really looking for suggestions of which colours to add -- I know that my complementary and accent colours are reds, berries and deep cool pinks including fuchsia, and purples/lilacs/plums. There are other colours that look good on me (some greens, teal) but I'm not interested in adding those just now. 

    4. I don't share some forum members' negative associations to berries/ plums/ purples/ lilac. I like those colours! Yes, they can look prim or overly prissy or dated (at times) but they can also look dramatic and rich. The way I see it, any colour can look current or dated; staid or stylish -- It's all down to the details of the items and how you wear them, as well as to personal flattery. 

    5. Lyn Slater has amazing style but is so not me. Having said that, she's currently on a pink kick -- so maybe I can learn something from her. :)

    Phew! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. 

    Now, onto particulars. 

    JAileen -- rest easy. See above. :) 

    Anon -- I don't know if the opinion is general or typical of the forum or more widely shared. I don't share it. 

    LaPed, I think my lower contrast colouring means it's harder for me to wear HOT pink and citron. I do like vibrant pinks but they should be cool. Even my little pink bag is too "warm" (and it's fairly true). 

    Thank you for this -- exactly what I needed to hear and very good advice: 

    If I were going about this myself, my first inclination would be to examine my existing complements and figure out if there are any holes. Would I wear my lilac bag more if I had more accessories or prints that feature lilac? Do I need burgundy shoes for summer if I want to use my burgundy bag year-round? Etc.

    Aquamarine, thanks. :) 

    Janet, yes, I know I could add some more cognac accessories -- I do like that as a complement in summer. 

    Lisa, thanks. I may add more cognac over the summer. I do like it. I actually have a lot of variation in silhouette -- that's where I've focused my attention over the past years. 

    Nemosmom, thanks! And green looks wonderful on you. 

    kkards, wise advice, move slowly, don't push it....

    The Cat -- good strategy. Non-neutral bottom plus accessory (scarf). Or another way might be top and shoes. Got it. I'll bet you look beautiful in your combinations -- very cohesive. 

    Fashintern -- that is a big berry collection! Lots of options. It's good to know there will be something at retail. I will definitely check COS.

    Jussie, you, too, look amazing in blue! And yes, I love charcoal and wear it. I am not in need of more neutrals. Pinks can work but pale tints are difficult for me -- wash me out a bit. 

    Jenni -- I think blue will always be around, at least in denim. It's true it might get harder to find other items, though. 

    Jessikams, I was hoping someone would get the reference to the song! :) 

    Opaline, thanks. 

    Rachy, you're right -- it's not long. 

    Cee-- cue up the stereo! 

    Gigi -- this is super helpful: For me, I have found that when I build complements, the recipe that works best is to have one bag, one pair of shoes, one main clothing item (top or bottom), and one or two other accessories (scarves, belts, etc.).  I think this is one reason my burgundy complement gets a lot of wear. I have jeans, a top, a sweater, a scarf, a bag. And used to have shoes. 

    Taylor, thank you! Those other neutrals don't work for me, no -- I wear blue, grey, and white with a sprinkling of black as my neutrals. 

    Joy, thanks for enabling. :) 

    Carla -- thank you! 

  • FashIntern replied 1 week ago

    Lisa P, so you are thinking of the Misses department?
    I'm just trying to figure out connotations these colors have, not "for" anyone. What associations do they set off in people's heads? Connecting them to individuals is a later step.

  • lisa p replied 1 week ago

    FI _ Sorry - this is more debate than I'm interested in and have time for.  Don't worry about what I think :)  

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    Cross-posted! A lively thread! Yay!! 

    Fashintern...I can't speak for Lisa or Janet or anybody else, but here's one association that I used to have to some of the pinks and berries (especially softer pinks, in my case, or to these colours in combination) -- overly feminine and either "little girl" or "old lady."

    My mother was colour typed as a "summer" in the 80s when that was popular and oh my, all of a sudden she was wearing these hideous pink and purple polyester pant suits and looking saccharine. That is one negative association some of us may have to these colours.

    Then again, I saw her in her old age wearing purple like A BOSS -- seriously -- it lit her up like you would not believe and caused people's heads to turn when she was nearly 90!!! 

    Coming back to comment again. 

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    I see Suz's style and overall look as quite sophisticated and somewhat dramatic , with her contemporary silver hair, and awesome attention to detail and awareness of current trends. My suggestions were with her in mind. No one else.

    Thank you, LisaP. Comments taken in the spirit delivered, with appreciation. 

  • lisa p replied 1 week ago

    Suz - I know what you mean about Lyn S as "not being you" - and I suppose I look at your fashion forward wide legged culottes, paperboy waist skirt,  silver boots, and pieces like that as pretty advanced styling. At least to me they are - relatively speaking. And I totally know that you are experimental in silhouette, and my comment there was a little vague. I just see a lot of you when I look at her!

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    Cardiff Girl -- wise words!!! Winter has its claws in us all! 

    Angie: yes, I will relax into it -- no rush. Just a note to self -- be mindful and try not to add more blue; instead, focus on building a few fun complements. 

    • I've suggested this since you went silver - try black & white, with silver and a bright. Like the Fire Engine.
    Yes!. I have some black and white (ink and white also works). And love outfits built on this combo. 
    • As for complements, I'm thinking a saturated lilac/lavender. A cool green, teal, some blush, citron accents, and OF COURSE - Fire Engine.
    You are right. It has to be saturated enough. The pales don't work. I'm going to aim to complete the complements/ capsules I have (red) and maybe? lilac. And then move on to (maybe) adding more. 

    Lisa, I get it. She's even more dramatic and of course living in a big urban centre. I would like to incorporate a bit more of that drama and could stand to do so. But might not carry it off so well. And I'm less eclectic in my style or perhaps just less confident. A work in progress. 

  • Christina F. replied 1 week ago

    I understand your feelings. And I applaud your desire to explained your horizons a bit while keeping your solid baseline. As long as you don’t take your self-imposes rules so seriously that they make you miserable, why not? They are self-imposed, which means you can change your mind and buy a blue piece at any time! I myself have expanded my horizons in a similar way (more around silhouette) with pleasing results. If I see any berry items that I like, I’ll keep you in mind. ;)

    (I for one wish I had more fuschia, though I hope my new coat will help with that....)

  • Angie replied 1 week ago

    Suz, sounds like you have it all sorted in your usual cerebral, calm, collected, disciplined, organized and open minded way. WOOOHOOO. I look forward to seeing it all come together, and champing at the bit to help out! It's exciting to have a project, and delve into the somewhat unknown :)

    I forgot how well you wear cognac accents - which is a form of orange. Orange is the complement of blue - makes sense. 

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    That's it, Angie. A project. I'm going back over my current "complements" or "would be" complements and examining them in light of your old blog posts and people's comments about how they build a complement. I've been intuitive and piecemeal about it, which is totally fine, but what happened was I didn't really build up a full complement of anything other than burgundy and red. And even those were not complete. 

  • Angie replied 1 week ago

    There you go, Suz. A great and solid place to start. Exciting! 

  • SarahD8 replied 1 week ago

    Coming late to this, but Suz this sounds like a great project. I look forward to following along and I think I'll learn a lot (like you I have a lot of partial complements, built not so much intuitively as catch-as-catch-can).

    In addition to La Ped's wise advice about looking at what's missing from your various complements, you might also assess your complements as a whole. It strikes me that the accent colors you've defined -- reds, fuchsia/berries, plum/lilac/lavender, and burgundies -- all sort of grade into each other, and you could potentially create tonal looks by pulling from different complements (burgundy and red, lavender and berry, burgundy and fuchsia, etc.). Thinking here about the "Venn diagrams" of complements that La Ped's approach suggested to me. So, what possibilities and shopping priorities might you discover if you looked at all of those accent items as a whole?

    ETA: Another priority, though it has strong HEWI potential because so specific, is to look out for items that feature some combination of red/berry/lavender/burgundy on a blue background.

    And, *whispers*, I think you should buy the blue suit.

  • FashIntern replied 1 week ago

    Suz, thanks. Not sure why Lisa thinks I'm trying to debate her by asking her opinion, but I appreciate your intervention.

    I was trying to figure out if she (& maybe Janet) meant ineffectual, weak "old lady" (not that they would actually stigmatize age) or soft, overly naive young girl, but you are right that it doesn't really matter--the negatives of those two overlap.
    For most of my life I've avoided pink, and there are shades of it I still don't want to touch. I didn't necessarily associate pink with weakness per se so much as with being prim and overly tucked-in and girly--which leads to unwillingness to explore. So a different negative. 
    I wonder if either of those are likely to come up in people's heads when they meet someone wearing berry/fuchsia/magenta/orchid. I hope to be meeting quite a few new people in the next few months, so understanding associations people make is more important to me than it would otherwise be, but of course no one here owes me any help in figuring that out, or in anything else. I appreciate you offering explanations.

    I did "do my colors" back in the 80s, and was/am a summer. Are you? The main thing I drew from it was that while there were definite palettes that worked for fall (earth tones, I think) & spring (might've been pastels & saccharine), winters are good in strong colors and could wear anything, and summer basically was like winter without the black. I probably oversimplified and it was a long time ago, but I know I didn't take it to mean I should wear pink or purple. The pants suits don't ring a bell. Maybe I'll try to do a search later. It doesn't sound like a look I'm likely to inadvertently reproduce wholesale, but I'd like to avoid any signs that might point that direction. (Do the French Connection suit pants suggest that look? I do like them). Anyone who spends 10 min with me knows I'm not a priss, but I might not have 10 min, and first impressions matter.

    Identifying "berry" was such a breakthrough for me because I see these shades as more complicated, and therefore interesting. I know that I can come across as sharp, so the softness sounds like a good thing for me to project. But I'm also getting older, and want to avoid negative associations, including weakness, that people make with that. It's a balancing act. Perhaps I should start a new thread to continue exploring this. Not as a debate--there are obviously no correct answers, as we each have our own connotations, but to find out more about how people respond to these colors and what pops up in their minds when they see them. Being fashion-forward is certainly not a thing I aspire to--I'd much rather be seen as someone who knows who she is and has her own style, which might jibe with some current trends, and can also go its own way.  For me, it's about getting a handle on how people are likely to interpret things, fashion-forward or not.

    I still like your original plan to branch out by adding some things in this direction, and look forward to your picks. Besides the COS pieces, I'd love to see you try the S. Oliver blouse in my finds. I keep thinking it'd go well with jeans, but I hardly wear them. You are the queen of jeans.

  • crst replied 1 week ago

    Interesting side discussion on color associations. I am a big fan of most berry colors and am told I look sophisticated when I am wearing them. I didn’t add anything to the earlier forum discussion on turquoise because (although I adore turquoise jewelry), I feel unsophisticated wearing clothing in that color. But then I see on the forum some of those whom I most admire their style, wearing it in a very sophisticated way... very complicated. So many elements to style. That’s what makes it so much work (but so much fun)!

  • jussie replied 1 week ago

    Yep the colour associations topic is fascinating. See I love pink, even though I know it’s definitely very Missy, it’s a good Missy for me.
    However berries and purples look a little odd on me and make me feel frumpy. But I love the berry colours in themselves. In fact I like every single one of the berry finds Fashintern posted above..... hmm it’s food for thought.
    Suz I also love your cognac accessories. I wonder if simply wearing more cognac leather items would give you the slight change your looking for, whilst sticking to your current clothing palette. It would lend an earthier, more grounded look to the blue, silver and berry outfits.
    Great thread!

  • Opaline replied 1 week ago

    Interesting, for good or bad (?) I never had overtly girly or granny connotations for pink, mauve, berry etc ... (^ν^)
    For me, they’re just another color.

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 week ago

    To continue down the berry tangent, my own association with berry/fuchsia colours (and jewel tones in general, such as royal purple, turquoise/teal, etc.) is that they are "gear colours" because they are so widely used in women's lines by outdoor gear manufacturers. Because of that, I have a little bit of ongoing berry-fatigue and have a hard time including it in my non-gear rotation. I'm trying not to add any more to my gear collection either, but it can be hard to avoid. I have a berry-coloured Gore-Tex jacket, a deep pink windbreaker, and a blue/berry patterned top. My old running shoes were grey with deep pink trim and my down vest is black with a fuchsia lining. I have a striped berry dress that is great for casual or festive wear, and of course it's from Icebreaker! 

    All that said, I have a suspicion jewel tones are making a comeback in the fashion world. I like this emerald/marigold/berry look from the Uniqlo U collection. I think the appeal lies in the somewhat maximal and unexpected combination of colours. Maybe I need some goldenrod-coloured tights to go with my berry dress.

  • Sterling replied 1 week ago

    Suz -- I personally think you are killing it in the style department.  I wouldn't change a thing.  

  • Julie replied 1 week ago

    Well this is all very interesting!

    Suz, like you my wardrobe is extremely blue, with charcoal and light/pearl grey also strongly represented.

    But this weekend just before reading this, I sort of made the opposite goal for myself-to embrace the blue, just go with it and not worry about all other colors that sometimes grab my attention.
    In the last year or two I tried a purply fushia color that seemed like it would be a good change of pace, but I just didn't love it as much as blue!

    So, my goal is to be wary of the draw of non-blues, because they just don't have the staying power for me. I like colors like orange, very light purply pink, etc, but not large swaths of them on myself. They are relegated to "complements".

    Anyway, this is not meant to come across as advice or anything-I was just amused by our opposite resolutions. I'm looking forward to following your experiment! Good luck!

  • Katerina replied 1 week ago

    Suz, sorry for being late to this thread. I have just skimmed through all the responses quickly. I think what you suggest makes a lot of sense. I understand it just as expanding your wardrobe to include more items in berry (in a broad sense of the colours). Personally, I do not like strict rules for my wardrobe building, because there will always be good reasons to break them. Who knows, maybe you will see the most perfect blue item (a dress or a blazer, shoes perhaps?) during the year and why not adding it if blue is the foundation. So no rules, just guidelines. I admire your wardrobe, it is so cohesive and every item has its place and is perfect for you. If you add more berries, I am sure it will be fabulous. What about a statement bag in one of the colours you mention, then easily complemented with a scarf? A magenta bag is actually on my personal radar. I am a winter in my colours and some of the colours you mention work very well for me too (perhaps brighter and "stronger" nuances of them). So I personally really like magenta, true red, cyclamen, fuchsia and some shades of burgundy, although I like to combine them with black and very dark navy. I will let you know if I see some items I like in these colours.  

  • Katerina replied 1 week ago

    Suz, just wanted to add some scarves in these colors, maybe something like those?

  • UmmLila replied 1 week ago

    Now I have to go back and read. But here are a couple of color pops I thought today you might like. The hyacinth is definitely you. The green, I don’t think I’ve seen you wear. But it could work with your darks.

  • karen13 replied 1 week ago

    I look forward to seeing this new direction - I may or may not share a few issues. But it certainly ain't broke!

  • shevia replied 1 week ago

    Well that was an interesting read. Suz you know exactly what you are doing, and I have no doubt you will accept a perfect blue item that comes your way while putting your particular attention on the beautiful berries et al that are out there. Looking forward to more great style from you!

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    Shevia, thanks. I absolutely will accept the perfect blue items that fall into my lap, and no doubt a bunch will! :) 

    Karen, thanks! 

    Ummlila -- love the purple, though it's quite cropped for my current tummy....but they might carry more of that colour -- they often do coordinating stuff there. Plus, fast delivery!!! Aritzia arrives in one day to my current address. 

    Katerina, exactly!! I need scarves just like yours! Will do a hunt. Also, I agree that there is no need to be strict. A guideline is better than an absolute rule. 

    Awww, Sterling -- thank you. You're sweet. 

    LaPed, totally -- gear! I just bought a pile of gear in purples and berries. And I actually love it. But...I ought to be careful of overkill. 

    Opaline -- I think your position is sensible! 

    Jussie, I think we often gravitate to what suits us. Pinks look amazing on you -- and you have a beautiful ingenue type presence that makes them seem romantic and sweet yet also strong. Whereas some berries might be too "muddy" for you or too saturated. You look great in clear brights. 

    Excellent point about cognac for me, by the way. I think I'll add some in a print as well as in a bag. (I already have belt and sandals). 

    Fashintern, maybe starting a separate thread on colour associations would get you more replies. I tend to think that some colours (like blue) attract associations that are widely shared, though of course influenced by culture -- whereas our feelings about other colours (like berries) could be more idiosyncratic. Purples can be creative -- or wacky. Pinks can be sweet and romantic or wild (depending on saturation and "heat") and mixing the two in berry tones could make one seem approachable or overly feminine in a work environment. It also depends on how it looks on you. 

    I am a "summer" yes -- so-called true summer, so the more saturated tones of summer's palette look best on me. I can also wear certain "spring" brights (turquoise) and can even "get away with" black. 

    Sarah, good point about tonal variation. I do in fact play with this -- burgundies and reds, reds and berries/ pinks, various blues (sometimes with black). and really like the effect. But I generally need something light or bright to mix in. I'm not high contrast personally but a tonal outfit without any bits of white or bright is too subdued for my personality. 

  • texstyle replied 1 week ago

    I also love your blue - and I wear it quite a lot too. I am also turning silver but have a lot of warm tones still in my skin, lips etc. so I'm not comfortable going with a completey "cool" wardrobe. I recently found a deep rust color that I never thought I'd love that I sort of love. It really brings out blue/green eyes and goes so well with denim or charcoal.

    Don't kill me for posting a mock up pic (and tell me if you want me to take it down) - I just wanted to put it out there in *case* you might consider it as a big maybe. :-).

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    Texstyle -- that is really cool! Thank you! 

    I used to wear rust tones when I dyed my hair red. Loved them. Now, though, IRL, it doesn't work. Even a brownish burgundy can be too "brown" for me. I'm sad because you are right -- they bring out the eyes and are really rich with blues! 

  • Alicewonderland replied 1 week ago

    Wow Suz you already got so many replies, but just wanted to say I never thought of you as wearing too much blue. In fact, your red lipstick, smile, and also the red cardigan are seared into my mind. They really stood out on your blue canvas. Totally amazing.
    After walking around stores yesterday I think there is going to be a lot of cool pastels to choose from. I think you can add those colors as major pieces that would still work with your existing blues and use brights like berry, fuscia, citron, etc in accent pieces.

  • Sara L. replied 1 week ago

    I like your idea and think it sounds like a fun, easy way to add some variety into your wardrobe and outfits without making any wholesale changes.  I can understand how even though you love something (like the color blue) you can also get bored with it occasionally.

  • suntiger replied 1 week ago

    FI and all, I wouldnt worry about other peoples associations with color, as long as it is in harmony with your coloring! Honestly, I'm tired of the "you must wear only dark neutrals to be taken seriously/dress for success" attitude. Our new congress reps proved otherwise :)

    Suz, I never noticed blue in overabundance, as it works so well on you :) What about finding a painting or scarf to use as inspiration, like Rambling Ann did, for ideas?

  • Cee replied 1 week ago

    Stereo cranked, Suz !

  • FashIntern replied 1 week ago

    Suntiger, not sure I would change what I was wearing--just was blindsided by such strong associations with any color group, especially in another person's clothing, and wanted to know more about what people might be thinking.

  • unfrumped replied 1 week ago

    Suz,, this is s fun thread with good ideas.
    - moderation( don’t make too many rules)
    - expand colors
    - I like lisap’s reminder to think of the pieces themselves and not just colors
    - like the ideas to consider some very different colors, maybe as accents. I need to remember this!

    I have been adding more lilac/lavender — combing with burgundies- and also trying some more unusual pieces.
    Have added some finds of things I tried, some of which worked and I kept!

    The VB plaid is an example of color combo but the shirt was WAY too big and so it was not successful. The Rag and Bone blouse ( another pesky faux- faux animal print but to me it doesn’t really read as “ leopard “) is a great shorter length to wear untucked for higher- rise pants and skirts and can be tucked into high-waist items.

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    Oooh -- I love that Rag & Bone top, Unfrumped! 

  • unfrumped replied 1 week ago

    Sorry my phone autocorrected to Suzy!
    I was not looking fo leopard nor for “ flicked” but the cut and neckline ( sort of a delicate mock- mock neck) are fun, and I have multiple pants ( including burgundy for tonal effects) and cardigans and toppers that already go with it.

  • Elizabeth P replied 1 week ago

    As one who has tried to have navy as a neutral in my wardrobe for my whole life, and knowing how tricky it can be at times, I wonder at the wisdom of saying an absolute "no" to blue at a time when navy is actually available.  What about using this year as a time to add only 10's, if/as needed, in navy.  I love the idea of completing and pursuing your compliment capsules.



  • Bijou replied 1 week ago

    Suz, I think this is a brilliant goal. Last year I set a goal of "no more black". Well of course I broke it and bought some black, but not as much as before and I enjoyed branching out to other colours. Now I have come back to black again and enjoying it again. Black is no longer my default colour and I have definitely upped by other than black footwear collection. 

    Ummlila has recommended some beautiful items and colours. I also love tourquoise, teal and tiffany blue - so those colours may be fun to add, still blue, but just a different shade.

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