Can you,… really? (Edition II)

The Row and Wes Gordon interpretations in Mustard

Now here’s a trend that’s not for the faint of heart — or the fair of color.  Continuing the review of’s fall 2011 “most wearable” trends (, we visit the Mustard Infusion.

Yellows come in many forms from the faint hint of hue inside a banana, to the bright, sunny yellow of a lemon.  But few hold the intensity of mustard yellow, a hue both warm and rich – and with vibrance to spare.  I was relieved to read reference “the small percentage of people who look good in the hue,” since this value of gold requires a particular skin-and-hair-combination to support its strength.  Is it for you?

Some colors are easy for a large number of people to wear while maintaining a healthy presence.  Some are not.  This happens to be one of those hues that demands you know what you’re doing, and have a fair bit of confidence, to boot.  There’s no hiding in bold, mustard yellow.

If you have both warm undertones and high personal contrast (dark hair against light skin), or deep overall coloring, you’ll probably carry the hue quite well.  (Note the model on the right in photo.)  Play with this color in satins, tartan plaids, and wool tweeds to celebrate autumn’s richness.

If your skin undertones are cool or you’re fair in skin, hair, and eye color, you may wonder, when surrounded with this color, how the last ten hours turned into ten years.  A hue, when in disharmony to our personal coloring, has the ability to create ill effect – to age us, visually.

In the absence of a professional color analysis, how can you tell whether the mustard trend will suit you?  Give it the mirror test by surrounding your face with fabric in the color and check the following. (You can do this with any color in question, and it’s often easiest when comparing two, opposing colors for contrasting affect):

  1. Does your facial skin take on a healthy glow when surrounded by the hue, or do discolorations and/or blotchy spots appear more pronounced?
  2. Do your eyes “pop” with brilliance, or must they compete with the fabric’s color for attention?
  3. When you smile, do your natural pearls shine, or do they suddenly take on a dingy or yellowed cast?

If the first half of each “test” is true for you, then you have a winning, flattering color choice.  Sometimes, though, the visual test doesn’t net the answer we want.  If the color really does you no favors, but you’ve determined to participate in the color trend, there are always handbags.  And shoes.  And jewelry,… Who says the color has to be in a jacket?

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