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Get Creative With Colour

Select your most flattering shade with Colour Me Beautiful’s new book. crack

Black aficionados avert your eyes, this season colour is about to win the battle against bland.

From the sea of pretty pastel shades at Burberry through to dazzling bold prints at Giorgio Armani, colour set the catwalks alight.

The key to pulling off colour is all about finding the right shades.
Pat Henshaw, co-author of new book Colour Me Beautiful, maintains being selective with the tones in your closet can complement your colouring, flatter your silhouette, and show off your personality to the max. “Of the many ways in which we choose to express ourselves, the colour and style of our clothes probably make the most immediate and powerful impact,” she says.

So what are you waiting for? Brighten up your outlook with this summer’s hottest shades.

Test your metal
Just because you’ve fallen in love with a dress you’ve spotted in a fashion mag, doesn’t mean the frock is going to love you back. Even if it fits like a second skin, the colour might leave you looking washed out.

No need to waste valuable hours wriggling in and out of a pile of clothes in poky changing rooms - the easiest way to test whether a colour will work for you is to hold the garment under your chin and observe its effects.

“When you wear colour near your face, the light reflects it upwards,” Pat explains. “This can either cast flattering tones or dark shadows, depending on the mix of the colour and your skin tone.” Pick out an unflattering shade and you might suddenly be drawn to ageing features on your face like dark shadows around your chin and neck, or an uneven complexion. If the colour is right, your skin will appear smoother, fresher and younger; your eye colour is enhanced, but most of all, according to Pat, “you notice yourself more than the colour you’re wearing”.

Colour statement
Whether you’re going on a first date or prepping for a job interview, the colour you flaunt can create a storm before you’ve so much as uttered a word.

“The colour you wear communicates non-verbal messages,” Pat explains.
“Soft and light tones, for example, will make you appear approachable and friendly, while a red top in the right shade will help to give you the confidence you need when facing a stressful situation.”
But if you want to make a statement with colour, know when to press the stop button. So work a hot pink dress and matching lips combo with confidence. Lose the fuchsia handbag and shoes to avoid committing colour overdose. Just one statement piece will do the eye-catching work.

If you’re a complete novice to brights, experiment with inexpensive additions like scarves, belts or tees before you shell out on bold look-at-me shades you’ll never wear.

Seasonal shades

Forget platform heels, colour is this season’s power accessory of choice.
Check out this season’s must-have shades, how to wear them, and what they say about you.

True blue

The colour of logic, blue activates the mind.
Top tip: “Lighter shades such as powder blue, bluebell and sky blue are ideal for special occasions when a feminine look may be required,” Pat advises.
Try: Next blue print tunic, £30 (0844 844 8333 / www.next.co.uk).

In the pink

Suggests gentleness and empathy, and brings out femininity.
Top tip: “Pink is a great colour to wear when you’re feeling a little off colour, as it gives a flattering lift to any complexion,” says Pat.
Try: White Stuff The North Coat pink mac, £59.95 (020 77358133 / www.whitestuff.com).

Red alert

The colour of energy, wear red to feel confident and in control.
Top tip: “Red will bring excitement into your day. It’s a great colour to wear at the end of the week when your energy levels may be flagging,” Pat advises.
Try: F&F at Tesco red studded sandals, £20 (0800 505555 / www.tesco.com/clothing).

Green scene

Conveys a sense of calm and reassurance.
Top tip: “With green it’s particularly important to understand the undertone,” Pat warns. “Decide whether you look better in warm (yellow-based) green, such as moss or apple, or cool (blue-based) tones of spruce or sea green.”
Try: Kaliko green origami shift dress, £80 (01582 399848 / www.kaliko.co.uk).