Elements of Style A colorful and organized new you

A colorful and organized new you

Elements of Style

Carrie Costello, at her Portland boutique, Visibility, says colorful scarves and jewelry accentuate the black, gray and brown colors frequently worn in winter.

January is the time of year to start fresh. Becoming aware of colors is the fastest way to look the best. Knowing your colors allows you to stay organized throughout the whole year.

When you wear colors that create harmony with your skin, hair, and eyes, you just look good. Repeating the colors that are naturally on your body looks as if you were meant to wear them. For instance, if you have brown hair, hazel eyes and warm skin, you are going to look your best in camels, warm browns and olives. If you have blonde hair, blue eyes, and warm skin, you will look wonderful in blues, khaki and melon pink. If you have black hair, cool skin and brown eyes, you will look great in blacks, grays, whites and fuchsia. If you have light platinum hair and light blue eyes, you will look terrific in pastel blues, light grays and light pinks.

Once you become aware of color, put your closet to work for you. Getting dressed can be a dream. Arrange your wardrobe in your closet by color. This is the fastest way to find out what you own. Hang all of your tops together. Put the blues in order, all reds hanging side by side, and greens in a row, etc. Pants can work the same way. Line up your blacks, grays, browns and camels, and figure out what types of neutrals you are missing. This will make you aware of what clothes you own and what clothes you may need. Everything in your closet can work for you.

Throughout the winter months, we tend to wear lots of black, gray and brown. If you accentuate with color, you can build some wonderful outfits. Make this happen using colorful scarves and jewelry. A hint about organizing scarves – make sure you hang them in your closet where you can see them easily. That way you can grab and go in the morning. The same thing goes for your winter scarves. Hang them in your coat closet so you can choose different warm scarves to go with your winter coats and jackets. If scarves are blindly tucked in a box, you will forget that you own them.

Remember the rule of three. If you introduce a color to an outfit, repeat that color three times. With green earrings you need a green bracelet, a green necklace or a green scarf. If you decide to wear a red scarf, choose a necklace with red in it and add red nail polish.

One color for every season is teal. Brighten up gray, black or brown with a teal top, scarf, jacket, or jewelry. Teal can be found in stores almost all year round.

Visibility tips

Storing off-season sweaters, tops, hosiery, scarves in clear plastic bins lets you keep an eye on what you own and keeps it clean throughout the season.

Purchasing scarf holders or see-through containers keeps scarves always in your view.

Hanging necklaces on short table-top towel racks on the bureau allows choosing a perfect match for every outfit-if you see it, you will wear it.

Mary Greely, jewelry maker for Visibility, also contributed to this article.