Redhead? Blonde? What goes best?

Summer is coming to a close and many of us are scrambling to get our fall wardrobe together and come up with other approaches to autumnal dressing aside from layering. There are other ways to jazz up your clothes for the cooler weather, however, and the simplest way is to play with color, both traditional and more trendy shades. Since the runways for Fall 2010 were filled with classic, feminine silhouettes and styles in mostly solid tones, use a versatile palette of colors to play up these looks. Using your hair and skin coloring is a good way to gauge what shades were made for a person with your unique complexion. Below, I've suggested some general guidelines for different coloring types.

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore

Generally, redheads, though blessed with gorgeous hair color, face the most difficult challenges in determining what colors to wear. Common wisdom says redheads can't wear pink or green or purple, but that is simply not true. Witness Molly Ringwald in, ahem, "Pretty in Pink" or any red carpet shot of class act and style renegade Julianne Moore, who wears both green and purple frequently, for example. Since having red hair is such a vibrant trait, it goes perfectly with fall's neutrals, especially grays and blacks, in that it offsets them and adds some vibrancy. I would stay away from chocolate browns and camel colors, unless you have a deep auburn shade of color, because it won't play up your color as much. Blues and greens of every stripe as well as deep purple also work great for you because they have cool undertones usually which counteracts the pinkish coloring most redheads have. A great vintage-inspired swing coat in any of these shades is trendy for fall and will play up the retro appeal of red hair.

Brunettes, on the other hand, are such a varied group in terms of coloring that it's best to classify them as having cool undertones or warm before following any hard and fast style rules. Don't know how to figure out your undertones? Simply place something gold and then silver next to your face. Whatever color seems to go with your coloring more determines your undertones. If it's silver, you're cool and if it's gold, you guessed it, you're warm! Cooler toned brunettes, like redheads, are best in blacks, grays, blues, greens and some purples. Warm brunettes sparkle in tawnier colors like camel, beige, mustard, chocolate brown, cream and reds/oranges. I like brunettes in mod, belted sheath dresses in whatever color flatters them the most. This is a nod to the '60s style shapes that are everywhere and play up the classic vibe of brown hair.

Lastly, blondes do have more fun, but only when they know what they're doing in terms of coloring. Like brunette beauties, blondes are a diverse group with many different complexions. Use the same technique to figure out if you have cool or warm undertones. Cool blondes are great in grays, black, true white, and pale blues and greens. Since there is low contrast between blondes' coloring and hair generally, you need to create contrast with clothing for a more attractive look. Warm blondes do best in deep, honeyed shades from the brown and beige family but can also flirt with deep blues, greens and purples. I love a Hitchcock ice queen look for blondes in fall. Demure separates like knee length skirts and tights with a blouse are perfect for ringing in the fall.

Ron King