Low contrast colours
Hello, Hello. It’s been a while between wardrobe planning posts, but it definitely hasn’t been a while between me thinking a lot about my wardrobe! In this post I’m going to talk about contrast, specifically from my face, and how that plays out in my wardrobe.
Maybe you’re on TikTok? Even if you’re not I think you can still watch this short video that I made.
How to tell your contrast?
The easiest way to work out your contrast level is to take a makeup-less photo of yourself in natural lighting which reflects your actual colouring and then use your phone/photo editing software to desaturate the photo. Using black & white filters will usually amp up the contrast setting when they apply the B&W filter, so just be careful that you’re just removing the colour.
Here are 2 photos of me looking a bit creepy and dazed. Even though I have bright red cheeks from my rosacea, you can swipe to see that in b&w I have medium-low contrast, my eyebrows practically blend into my face, the whites of my eyes aren’t much lighter than my face. I can see also in the bottom image that as my grey hairs grow in, I’m definitely going to fall into the low-contrast category as the light grey hair is very similar to my skin.
Some garment fails
I suppose the next thing to do is to show you 4 garments that don’t get much wear/are ongoing regrets from my sewing (I’m looking at you Shacket). The Torrens Box Top on the left is a relatively recent make, which I thought was going to be a real wardrobe winner- so it just goes to show how being armed with all my previous musings hasn’t entirely stopped flops!
What do all these tops and outerwear makes that I’ve deemed flops have in common? They all contrast my low-contrast face A LOT.
Here might be a good time to include some links to other folks who have more to say about this topic before I crack on with quoting some of them and showing you more comparison pictures!
You might like to read these
- Simplified Wardrobe blog on contrast
- Contrast and depth from Crafting a Rainbow
- StyleMakeover on personal colours and contrast
Here are some outfits that I do like, and it was interesting to me that even though I’ve written about low-contrasting colour combos, I generally thought of that as being monochromatic or analogous colour combos (so pairing similar colours together), rather than pairing tonally similar colours together. You can see above that some of the combos which have quite different colours paired together, are quite low-contrast in black & white.
But, you’re a warm autumn!
The image to the left is a picture from Chromology UK (who offer colour analysis for individuals).
She’s also a warm autumn, but she’s a warm autumn with a lot more contrast between her features, thanks to her dark hair and dark eyes.
It makes sense to me in hindsight that we wouldn’t necessarily gravitate to the same warm autumn colours.
If you want to read more from me about colour-schemes and wardrobe-planning, check out all of those posts here.
Do I need to embrace my contrast?
It’s absolutely not necessary for me to embrace my low-contrast face and sew by it. Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow mentions in her post about contrast that although she’s low-contrast she enjoys using makeup to create contrast for herself. So, you can absolutely play with makeup/dyeing your hair to play with your contrast levels.
I would rather lean in to dressing my natural face than wearing makeup because:
- I actively don’t want to create a high-femme look
- I feel that sometimes covering my rosacea might lead me to feel worse about my skin in the long run
- My skin is so sensitive that I can’t wear mascara, eyeliner, oil-based products, astringent products, etc.
Prove it, I guess?
Above are 2 selfies taken 1 day apart at a very similar time of day in the same location in my apartment. On the left I’m wearing a golden coloured top that I think sits exactly in my warm autumn but low-contrast palette, and on the right I’m wearing colour that’s really not in my warm autumn scheme.
I see a really big difference between the two. Do you?
Ode to Whitlam Skirt
The Muna and Broad Whitlam Skirt is a deceptively simple knit skirt which is fitted through the back but flows over the front. When we released the Whitlam we got lots of ‘yes, but how does it look on someone with a belly overhang?!’ questions- it looks just like this!
The skirt has turned out to be very easy wearing, very comfortable, and feels very stylish too! Worn with the Dulcie Boxer Briefs to ward off chub rub, you can wear the Whitlam almost anywhere and with almost anything… but, here are some of my favourite combos.
Knits paired with knits is always a nice, and extra-comfie combo. I like how the curved, fitted centre-back seam of the Tarlee T-Shirt echoes the fitted back of the Whitlam Skirt! I had knotted the tee at the front for a casual summer combo!
The new Muna and Broad Lobethal Shirt also got lots of time being photographed with the Whitlam Skirt. I even experimented with it as an over-shirt over the Atrax and Whitlam combo! The Lobethal brings pockets where the Whitlam doesn’t have room for any!
I particularly like how the tube skirt pokes out of the bottom of the big shirt. It has 80s vibes that I really enjoy.
Can you guess which Whitlam Skirt from my wardrobe is my favourite? This grey and black squiggled version has been a surprising winner in my wardrobe- I really feels like it pairs with so many of my makes! The matching Atrax Top pairs well with many of my me-made pants, so also gets lots of wear!
The fabric is quite a hefty ecovero knit- it drapes nicely but it’s not super clingy and you can’t necessarily spot my underwear lines through the fabric, which I appreciate a lot. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect ribbed fabric for another Whitlam too!
Finally, below there’s a little Whitlam Skirt trio with the Waikerie Shirt and Tarlee T-Shirt. On the left is View A of the Waikerie made from A+R Fabrics silk noil. I really like the cropped length of the View A with the Whitlam- no half-tuck needed here!
The coral shirt is View B of the Waikerie with long sleeves. This lightweight linen was my go-to in the hot and summery weather we had for a few days this year. Maybe it’s just because it was sweltering while I was taking these 3 photos- but I do think the Whitlam and long-sleeve Waikerie looks quite summery- like the linen is smart sun protection from the summer sun, and maybe I’m heading to the beach for a cooling dip.
The third-and-final-picture is the Tarlee T-Shirt again, but this time with the accessible envelope back. I particularly like the low-contrast colour pairing here!
And finally, hear me chat about the Whitlam Skirt on TikTok.
Here’s my 3rd Lobethal Shirt, which is the latest Muna and Broad pattern.
Muna and Broad email subscribers get 15% off during launch week, and M&B Patreon Insiders and Makers get 15% off all patterns at all times.
The Lobethal Shirt is the latest Muna and Broad pattern. This big ass shirt is a vibe, and a statement, and I was really worried that with this fabric I’d accidentally made scrubs!
There’s a new Muna and Broad pattern out in the world and it’s the Lobethal Shirt.
If the Tarlee T-Shirt and the Whitlam Skirt from Muna and Broad had a baby, this would be it. This bodycon-ish maxi-length dress has just arrived as an Insider & Maker Patreon Pattern Bonus expansion for our popular Tarlee T-Shirt pattern.
Joining as an Insider or Maker on the Muna and Broad Patreon supports our work, and also gets you access to our previous monthly pattern bonuses. The M&B Patreon is what makes it all possible for us, and especially for me.
Ice dyed Waikerie
I recently experimented with some ice dyeing, and dyed this many-years-old UFO Waikerie Shirt. I’m not sure why I never got around to finishing this shirt, which was white linen from A+R Fabrics! But, I liked the results of the ice dyeing so much that it encouraged me to quickly add buttonholes and make this shirt ready for wearing!
Muna and Broad’s 3rd Birthday celebration saw a lot of our makes popping up in my feed and gave me a lot of inspiration! I saw a lovely pair of pink Birchgroves (see them here) and it was the inspiration I needed to finally make myself a new pair of Sculthorpe Pants! It’s been a long time between Sculthorpe Pants for me!
Making multiple Tarlee Tees
This is a great example of a project making its way onto the blog, not necessarily for you, but because I keep coming back to the blog to double check the details of my makes. What size did I make, did I make adjustments? I’ve got no idea, but the blog can remind me about exactly what past Jess was up to.
Cargo Glebe & Waikerie
@Ithacamaven‘s Top, Down, Centre, Out seems to be the topic of conversation that’s attached to every self-sewn pair of pants on the internet!
Recently we got a question about TDCO on the M&B Patreon forum, so I did some additional research and dove in with my Glebe Pants pattern to make some new pants for my travel capsule to take with me to Wellington. The pink pants I shared recently were made from the pattern pieces after doing this TDCO fitting.