Sunday, September 23, 2012

Let's talk about COLOR

All the pictures I used in yesterday's post as examples were famous women: women in government, women in the arts, women in economic and business leadership. They aren't "regular" folks, perhaps, but I maintain they're still great examples for the rest of us.

First, there is not an abundance of BLACK here. Which is good. Middle-aged women have come to rely on black (and its other neutral cousin beige) too much. I'm completely guilty of this.

Good black: the LBD that goes everywhere and makes you feel chic, sophisticated and sexy wherever you wear it. The black suit (skirt or pants) that makes you feel like a successful executive or the well-dressed woman at a formal event, like church or a funeral or a business dinner. The black accent that adds style to accessories like shoes, bags, scarves or gloves.

Bad black: the black outfit or piece you hide in, telling yourself you look thinner or taller but really only makes you look like a shadow. Possibly a bulky shadow.

Example: this summer I bought two linen maxi-dresses from a catalog. I bought one in light fuschia and one in black, but I took the black one to my tailor to cut it off just above the knees. Why? Because when I wore the dress in its original long form, I looked like a little old Sicilian gramma. All I needed was a headscarf and some tomato sauce to stir. Not my preferred look.

So I cut off the dress.

Second of all, each of these women has invested in good hair. Some of their styles are carefree and some are high maintenance, but each woman is paying attention to both cut and color.

You wear your hair everyday, no matter the weather, lack of time and your emotional stress. Therefore, unless you enjoy working your hair everyday (which I don't), a good cut that lasts between salon visits and holds its color is a necessity. It is an investment that pays off, if only because you know you look good everyday without fussing about it.

And yes, color is something to consider. At home if you can handle it, but at a salon if not. Why? Because we all go gray, silver, or white. You can go all the way that way and color your hair the right shade of gray, silver, or white for you, or you can choose a brunette, blonde, or red that brightens your face, suits your coloring and makes you smile.

Nervous? There are now temporary colors that fade without leaving dramatic roots. The color lasts anywhere from five to eight weeks. How do I know? I do it.

Get your stylist or colorist to give you tips about products, too. Hair masks, styling gels and waxes and tools like blowdryers that will, again, save you time and thought by delivering everyday.

Please note that none of these women has long, flowing locks more appropriate for rock stars or the CW's high school shows (think Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars).

As a side note, notice the investment in good subtle jewelry, watches and scarves.

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