Monday, 9 February 2009

It's not easy being green. which I don't mean eco-friendly (although there is a blog in the pipeline about combining sustainability with shopping). Green the colour. Bright, vivid green. Not for the faint hearted.

Various 'New Season' emails have been trying to persuade me that vibrant Absinthes and Apples are the go-to colour for spring and summer, and I was sceptical. I love dark greens: forests, bottles, British racing cars... and bluey-greens can be festive - emerald and jade... but the spearmint raincoat at the top of this blog? (Dotty P's, £60). It's everso in your face.

Maybe I'm prejudiced. I love vivid pinks and reds, oranges and purples. But it strikes me that green is a very unforgiving shade. This hoodie (£14, New Look) would make a lot of skintones look drained and pale. The exceptions are people with ruddy complexions (as the red and green 'cancel each other out', somewhat) and many Afro-Caribbean complexions.

Of course, it may just be easier to avoid the colour altogether, or stick to easier shades. But if you would like to wear bright spring green without looking peaky, there are some strategies to try. Firstly, it's much less draining if you keep it away from your face. The skirt above left is £100 by LK Bennett, and worn with either a stone-coloured or cherry red top would make a striking and lovely outfit. A more budget option is the green and cream version from Boden (£39 - above right).

You can use the colour in flashes on an otherwise neutral outfit, too - and leaf-green will accent all neutral colours. I love Kurt Geiger's T-bar court, above (£95), while a cute hair accessory, like this one by Tarina Tarantino (£30.40 - but check your local chemist for cheap options) will sit beautifully in brunette and redhead coiffures. Gloves, belts, handbags, scarves...

The reason I bring the subject up today is that I bought myself a really cute top at the weekend - it's the same as this Marks and Sparks floral top (£25), but mine is in a bright green and pink colour scheme (much brighter green than the photo would suggest). That's my last tip: you can wear most colours if they are diluted enough by shades which do suit you. It reminds me of my childhood bedroom wallpaper, actually, but it's also fresh and flattering. Spring will be sprung and I shall be verdant.

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