Q: Everything I own is black. How can I reprogram myself to wear color?

A: You'll be broke (and freaked out) if you ditch your whole wardrobe and go Crayola overnight. Proceed gradually, preparing yourself for less anonymity and more (positive) attention. My advice:

  • Black, though slimming, can be unflattering. It sucks the life and light from skin and hair. Navy is softer, especially near the face.

  • Don't wear color head to toe. Even a pretty shade looks stupid in that much quantity. Focus on your upper body—say, an aubergine tee under a black suit.

  • Primary colors are strictly for talk show hosts. Try a more subdued palette—rich tones like wine or olive; and subtle, cloudy shades like mauve or taupe.

  • Next time you're handbag shopping, think not-black. Accessories—earrings with colored stones, footwear—are a low-risk way to brighten up.


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