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Every spring, designers satisfy our yearning for sunshine and warmth and present us with fashions and home furnishing in a seasonal array of effervescent spring and summer colors. Overnight, it is as if the planet is populated with walking garden salads in shades of zingy spring green, vibrant tomato red, zesty lemon yellow, sunshine orange, and myriad shades of sweet and chili peppers. There are also fruit salads galore in frothy shades of yellow, melon orange and green.  

Spring Fashion 2008

The problem is, many of the colors of spring are a bit brassy and flashy. Food colors are classified by color psychologists as less classy than jewel tones or floral hues, for example. Picture a sweet yellow pepper and a juicy ripe tomato. It makes you hungry for food of any kind, and you might even feel a bit restless if you stared at these colors for any length of time. Of course: red symbolizes physical energy, and yellow is mental energy, so the combination puts you on overload. Jewel tones, on the other hand, may conjure up visions of palaces in Versailles and regal music.  

We dress to "match the seasons" for many different reasons. Since the beginning of time, mankind has dressed to blend into his surroundings so that the dinosaurs won't see him. It is pure survival mode. Consider the inhabitants of large cities who wear dark colors that match their skyscrapers. Abraham Lincoln wore a stovepipe hat that enabled him to blend into a skyline that was dotted with stovepipes, in an era of coal and wood-burning stoves. Today, folks from agricultural areas are clad in the earthy colors of autumn nearly year round, while natives of Florida, Hawaii and Tahiti wear floral prints that blend with their surroundings. Colorless "grunge" colors originated in Seattle, a city with much rain and little sunshine. Grunge colors are also de rigueur in Belgium, a land that has less sunshine than Seattle; while in adjacent Holland, bright colors are favored, because they have more plentiful sunshine.  

This autumn, check out the boutiques and department stores. Chances are, most of the colors will resemble an autumn landscape. The problem is, early autumn brings a breathtaking array of red and yellow tones, but they soon turn into dull brown shades as the leaves rot and die. Designers will, no doubt, offer the full array of autumn colors, many of which are pure grunge. Others are food colors, such as mustard yellow, olive green, barley beige and pumpkin orange. But, should we wear the designers' tempting seasonal colors? Maybe not.  

With thirty years experience in the arena of color and color psychology, I have concluded that the majority of humans look less attractive in yellow-toned colors, particularly grunge or "acid" shades. In other words, colors such as camel, spring green, lime green, orange, warm blues, and most browns and yellows. Most people simply look better in cool colors such as navy or royal blue, black, emerald or racing green, fuchsia and cherry red. Alas, most of us choose colors from the "heart and soul" and not from the results in the mirror.  

This summer, resist the urge to look like a garden salad! Instead, take your inspiration from the blue skies, the lush summer foliage, the purple sunsets or a tantalizing swimming pool in shades of peacock or Chinese blue. Wear pure white, a color as sparkling as a diamond - or black and white together, and defy the dinosaurs!  

And when autumn comes, resist grunge colors with a passion. Start a revolution! Wear true red long before Christmas arrives. Something amazing will happen. People will look at you and smile. You won't be the invisible person who blends into the background and gets overlooked. You will stand out in the crowd, and it will be okay, because there are no more dinosaurs.  

Sandy Dumont is an image consultant residing in Norfolk. She is the author of four e-books on the subject of image. Contact her at 757/627-6669 for information about a free demonstration. For a gratis copy of her latest e-book, "TATTLE TALE LOOKS, What Your Image Reveals About You," go to her [Link Removed] 


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