Color Your New Year
While shape, style, and cut are key ingredients of any fashion trend, experts say, don't overlook the power of color to bring your look up to date.
"We may not notice that new little French cuff on your blouse, or the width of your pant leg, but we sure notice the color you are wearing because it's the first thing the eye sees when you walk in a room," says fashion stylist Roberta Hughes, president of Avidere, a professional image management and style company.
Tuck away those all-black outfits, Winston says, and mix up your separates with earthy naturals, using shades of brown, khaki, and ivory for basic pieces. Accent the look with muted watercolor prints, or geometric patterns with an ethnic look and feel.
To find which of these new colors looks best on you, Hughes says, look for tones that either mimic your natural coloring or complement it.
"These are called your 'personal colors,' and they are the tones and shades seen in your hair, skin and eyes," says Hughes.
To find your personal colors: Have your picture taken in natural sunlight and blow it up to an 8x10 size. Then trot off to your local hardware store and head for the paint counter.
"What you want to do here is hold paint chips up next to your photo, and find the colors that make the picture pop," says Hughes. More than likely, she says, these will be your personal colors.
And if none of your personal colors happen to be in style this season? Wear them anyway, Hughes says. Keep them closest to your face, and use the trendier colors as accents in shoes, bags, jewelry, and belts.
Hang On to Personal Style
There's no question that 2006 will usher in a variety of new fashions. And incorporating a few of those trends can help keep your look fresh.
That said, the experts caution that we shouldn't get so caught up in trends that we lose sight of our personal style.
"Never wear anything just for the sake of the trend," Hughes says. "Always dress in whatever look is right for your body shape and your personal style. Good taste always transcends trends and always looks right."