Are you a Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter? If these questions don’t sound familiar, then you probably don’t remember or weren’t old enough to remember the book “Color Me Beautiful” by Carole Jackson from the early 1980’s that completely changed the way women shopped and dressed. Granted that at that time I was more into Leggos and struggling with the Rubrick’s Cube, caring about what color palette suited my skin tone wasn’t my main preoccupation. But, like any young girl, I had a thing for rummaging through my mother’s, grandmother’s, and great-aunt’s clothes with a desire to be just like them, and so I remembered a thing or two about that iconic book.

Before that time, there wasn’t really a system for shopping for clothes and getting dressed to look your best. What I found interesting about this book was the idea to harmonize nature’s colors with our own skin tone and hair color to select clothes in colors that will always look best on us despite the time of year or fashion trend. How does this concept help us maintain our style on a budget? Instead of buying clothes in colors that look good on the model, rack, or pages of a magazine, you buy what makes “you” look and feel good. Period. Every season, designers come up with color palettes that are the “in” colors for the season. The tactic that you have to employ is to resist buying your clothes in colors that don’t suit you. Kelly Green is a gorgeous bold green, but why would you have a Kelly green shirt in your closet if it makes you look like you’ve got food poisoning? I think it’s safe to say that a lot of us have those “Kelly Green” shirts, trousers, and other items beautifying our wardrobes, but doing nothing for us except eating a hole in our wallets and taking up valuable space in our closets.

For some, picking out colors to wear might send them into a state of panic knowing that in the past they always looked dull, washed out, or older than what they are. What’s good to know is that every collection at SHUKR not only gives you a great base of neutral colors but also gives you a larger color range to choose from and the possibility to find “your” colors in the styles that you love. I make an exhaustive search every season to create new color palettes that draw a lot of inspiration from nature, landscapes, interior design, my world travels, and books that aim to complement your look. Here are some tips to help you find your colors and incorporate them into your wardrobes that will save time and money and leave you looking great every time:

1) First go through the clothes that you have to make sure they are in colors that suit you. It is more than likely that most of your clothes are in your colors except for a few. Everyone probably has that favorite item that they always reach for when they get dressed and it most probably has a lot to do with its color and how good you feel in it. Hold each item near your face and look at yourself with natural daylight which will help you ascertain which colors are suitable for you. If you have trouble distinguishing colors, ask someone to help you with this process. Donate any clothes that don’t make you look or feel good.

2) Now that you know which colors are yours, purchase only those colors when shopping.

3) Be sure to build your color palette upon a good foundation of neutral colors such as whites, nudes, beiges, browns, grays, and, don’t forget, black. Blending neutral colors with your bolder colors will help to harmonize your overall look. Wearing all one neutral color such as a charcoal gray, if that’s your color, can be sophisticated and adding small bold accents can make it chic. Your skin tone and hair color will determine how much of each of these neutral colors you can have in your wardrobe and in which types of clothing. For those who have a fair complexion and light colored hair, wearing a lot of black near the face may be to jarring for you, but wearing black in trousers or skirts or as an accent color may be more suitable. The same is true for other colors such as reds, blues, greens, oranges, and yellows. Since there are hundreds of variations of the same color, it is important to choose the right variation for you.

4) Creating color groups in your wardrobe also helps you to stay organized and makes getting dressed a lot easier. In my closet, I started creating color groups, something that happened organically without planning, to divide my wardrobe in a way that easily shows what colors I have. I have Blacks, Whites, Grays, Royal Blue/Chinese Red, Eggplant Purple/Mauve/Taupe, and Salmon Pink just to name a few. Since the colors in my closet are “my” colors, I don’t have problems matching and putting looks together in the morning because the color groups work together, giving me limitless options. The end result is more money in my wallet and an overall appearance that is polished which helps me feel more confident and positive. The last thing I want to be doing all day is fiddling with my clothes or thinking about how bad I look every time I catch my reflection in a window. Many people just avoid color altogether because they don’t know how to work with it or don’t know how many wonderful benefits wearing color has on the mind and spirit, apart from the aesthetic aspect. For me, fuschia is my signature color and it is a color known to raise energy levels. Even having small doses of it in a room immediately lifts your spirits. So with summer already creeping in our minds, visions of leisurely sunny days by the beach or in the mountains, and nature coming into full bloom, now is the perfect time to embrace COLOR.

~ Tabassum, Head Designer