• Joan Kosmachuk

A Lesson in Contrast



I spotted this photo of J. on her blog, J's Everyday Fashion. Although it's from a few years back, it was such a wonderful example of how to choose the right value contrast (light to dark) in an outfit that I had to share it with you all.

If you look at J's natural coloring you'll see that there is some contrast between her hair and skin. J's hair and skin are both "medium" value (not really dark, not really light) and this means that she will look best in an outfit that has some range between dark and light, but not too much.

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So this polka dot blouse is a great choice for J. because it is not the usual high contrast (white on dark) polka dot print. This means our eye is drawn to J. first, and then we appreciate the polka dot blouse second.

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The blouse is paired with a darker pant but again, the contrast between the pant and the blouse is fairly low and matches the level of contrast between her face and her hair.

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And can we talk about how the shoe repeats the color pattern in the blouse? And how the purse matches the lighter color in the shoe (and the polka dot) and also relates to the highlights in J's hair.

The outfit not only goes together, it relates to J's natural contrast and coloring. When we see it, we see her!

And now that we know what does work for J., I'm going to share another photo she bravely shared on her blog of an outfit she wasn't keeping.


When you look at this outfit on J., well, you see this outfit. The high contrast between the black and the white is much stronger than J's natural,medium contrast so your eye sees only black and white.

Eliminate J's head from the photo (go ahead, cover her face and look at the outfit again) and you see a cute outfit, right?

The black shorts are a great pairing for the top, as are the black and white shoes. I love the pop of bright pink in the clutch -- but none of it (color or contrast) relates to J.

So, when you are putting your outfits together, remember that it's not just a matter of choosing the right colors and style but also the right contrast between those colors. To make you shine, you want the contrast in your clothing to match, (not compete with), the beautiful contrast in you!

#contrast #valuecontrast #outfit #style

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Joan Kosmachuk

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