Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Break This Rule: Pastels on Pale Girls

I love to read bitchy celebrity fashion blogs (what up, T Lo) and one of the common criticisms that I see is very pale women with light colored hair wearing nudes, pale pinks, or whites. Too monochromatic, too washed out, too like an old dishrag. And, ok, if you're not careful you can look really washed out, but it is definitely possible to rock a monochrome, pale look without looking like a corpse.
1. Break it up a little bit.
When I say you can rock a monochromatic look, I mean that it's relatively easy to pull off similar colors. A nude colored dress with nude colored shoes, though, can look a little... nude. Create a little bit of visual contrast either by mixing up your tones on the top and bottom, adding a subtle print or some texture, or adding in some accessories, like shoes or a belt, that offer a little contrast.
2. Go bolder with your makeup.
In my case, I went with a bold, red lip, but you could do brighter blush, a smoky or tight-lined eye, or anything else that gives your face a little brightness, color, and contrast.
2a. And make sure your skin looks perfect.
Seriously, don't skimp on the concealer. That zit is way more noticeable when it's the only spot of color for several feet.
Um, maybe not the best example picture because my mole kind of looks like a zit here.
3. If you're taking photos, do it against a darker background.
In real life, contrast is something that looks good because it's eye-catching. In photos, contrast is a requirement because if the light's not just right (and unless you're a professional photographer, it's not going to be), you'll basically be invisible. Don't be invisible.
I mean seriously, I'm a floating pair of lips and glasses in this one.
4. Don't listen to any of these rules because rules are for losers.
Not actually true, but particularly if you're not trying to take pictures, you can disregard most of this and just go for an ethereal, sparkle fairy princess thing. Although you should still probably follow 2a.

What are your fashion rules, and what rules do you like to break?

Blouse: 80s does 40s sheer pink blouse, LexisMonkey via Etsy
Skirt: High waist interlock skirt, American Apparel
Hat: 40s (?) beaded velvet headpiece, Vintage Underground


  1. 100% on 2a - spots are the enemy!! I hate this thing of pale not looking good on pale girls too, I totally disagree. Why should we be denied pastels!

  2. Ah I love your whole look, the top is magnificent and your hair piece ah! Also I honestly haven't thought of that as a fashion rule ever, I mean I know the whole not wanting to look washed out theory but I didnt know it applied to pale women not wearing pale clothes strictly. I totally break the no black and brown together I do that all the time, It may be as subtle as black top, brown shoes, or what not but I do it!

    1. I don't know if it's really a rule, exactly, but any time a fair skinned, blonde actress/model/famous person shows up somewhere in a light colored outfit, there's always someone saying that those colors don't suit that coloring and should be avoided. I actually get what they're saying, but I think there's a way to get it right.
      I love black and brown together, actually. I have wonky rules for myself with that though - if I'm wearing brown shoes, I have to have a brown belt too just to make it seem less random.

  3. Rule 4 is the best rule for all fashion situations :P Seriously though, I like your approach. Restrictive rules are probably there for a reason (pale everything does seem likely to lead to a washed out look) but like most things, they generalise, and there are ways to work around the problem, as you do here. I think this is too nice an outfit to have given up on, so finding out how to make it work for you was worth it.

    1. Thank you! I hate rules when it comes to fashion, and I think it it always comes down to finding a work around.

  4. This is a great post. It really gets you thinking about how to correct what may be wrong with one's particular outfit in general. I know you are referencing the battles of pastels and light backgrounds but it got me thinking about my struggles with certain colors…one of them is bright yellow lol. Love your idea of bringing out pastels with a splash of lipstick. Very right you are:) You know one of the fashion rules I have battles with is black, we are supposed to nowadays break it up or stay away from it but some of the best vintage dresses can be black. I love black…there I said it:)

    1. Oh man, I love wearing bright, lemony yellow, but that's another one where I really have to think about makeup to pull it off. Pink or red lipstick and bright blush, or I look like I've got jaundice.
      You do some amazing black outfits, never let someone tell you you can't pull it off! Personally, I think black looks really chic, and there's no reason you should have to break it up.

  5. The craziest "rule" I once heard was that dark skinned women shouldn't wear red lipstick. o.O I can only laugh when I hear crap like that. As a dark skinned woman that only wears red lipstick, I think I look pretty okay in it lol. Now there are certain shades of red that look better on me than others, but that's true for everyone regardless of skin tone. :)

    1. That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I've seen your photos with red lipstick, and it looks stunning on you. You're right that it's all about finding the right shade, and that's definitely a universal struggle.

  6. Cue Twilight Zone music...oh-mah-gosh, how cool is that we both had not only pastels but "rules" pertaining to pastels on the brain this week! I didn't really touch on the topic of your post in mine, but it's one I've long had to keep in mind, as I fall on the fair (with pink undertones) side of the skin tone spectrum for sure. I love the you're a fan of pastels and that you don't let those naysayers dissuade you from rocking soft, sweet colours like these (which, I should add, look awesome on you - blondes and pastels are a match made in colour heaven!).

    ♥ Jessica