WIW - warm/cool colour lab

I made this jumpsuit out of Vlisco fabric, the classic Dutch wax print popular in West Africa. It's lovely to wear in hot weather, the need for an occasional swift exit notwithstanding. Did you know they're called jumpsuits for all those times you need to jump out of them quickly? Let's just say I'm glad I used snap fasteners and not buttons. 

Much as I love this garment, I tend to think these colours are a little "off" on me. The bold print in navy blue is very much in my wheelhouse, but the khaki and olive background is perhaps a little warm for my cool colouring. 

As I discovered from the lovely jackiec, once you dye your hair in opposition to your natural colouring, all bets are off. I've been experimenting with the Winter colour palette and reached the conclusion I'm probably a Deep masquerading as a Bright due to the red hair dye which I'm not willing to abandon.

With this in mind, I'm hoping the effect of the red in my hair is enough to offset the cool and play nicely with the saturated olive in the print. And if I wear these sunnies with the brown lenses, maybe that intensifies the effect? Do the white sliders add enough of a cooling accent, or are they completely mismatched?

Did I get away with it? Is this JFE?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Jaime replied 7 years ago

    I loved the first picture when I thought it was a dress and then was thrilled to see it is a jumpsuit (looked first read later). Anyway it all works for me except maybe the sunglasses. Maybe bring something white to your face to bookend the shoes? The green and olive suit your hair beautifully.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 7 years ago

    I am not sure about the color theory but think the jumpsuit print and cut look much more than JFE.  I think it looks fab on you.  Did you belt it for pic #3?  You are very talented to have made this piece.

  • Word Lily replied 7 years ago

    I think the red hair definitely helps you pull off the olive! The fabric isn't as full-on olive as I expected, based on how you described it, either; the dark navy tones it some.

    You more than get away with this! You look fab.

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    I love that jumpsuit!  It looks great on you.  I don't notice a problem with the color but I have to admit that I frequently don't notice color issues unless it's really obvious.

  • approprio replied 7 years ago

    Thanks ladies! I do love this piece and it's nice to know it loves me back!

    shevia: I like the idea of a white layer. Can't imagine why I hadn't thought of that. Definitely worth a try when it's a little cooler.

    cheryle: no belt today. The back panel has a deep pleat creating a blouson effect at the waist. I do belt it sometimes but I'm enjoying its onesie character this year.

    Word Lily, Sara L: the colour theory stuff is a bit of a mind bender isn't it? I'm trying to go beyond the proscriptive palettes and make things work in combination.

    thanks again all!

  • replied 7 years ago

    This is more than JFE! Looks fabulous! The print is awesome... and impeccably matched..us fellow sewers pick up on such things ;)

  • Maneera replied 7 years ago

    Way more than JFE. You look absolutely fabulous....and I like the glasses. I like pic 1 and 2 the best...it's the red hair that's doing the trick here. And the lip colour! I love this! The print is truly eye-catching, and so are you! Love the white slides to bring about a sense of balance

  • approprio replied 7 years ago

    Thanks Maneera!

    Diane: hehe you noticed?! Yes, it was a feat of matching, particularly since I had only just enough fabric for the project. An awful lot of arranging and rearranging before the first cut, I can tell you!

  • replied 7 years ago

    I love this on you. It goes really well with your red hair.
    I think you're right that it wouldn't work as well with black or dark hair. Just less oomph.
    It's funny. I'm a summer but love khaki/olive. It doesn't look great on me, but maybe I'll add it in anyway, maybe with more makeup...

    It's not like wearing the "wrong" colour makes THAT much of a difference.

  • replied 7 years ago

    That's funny about the jumpsuits needing snaps!
    Now I feel like I could never buy one with buttons.

  • approprio replied 7 years ago

    smittie, you're really a summer? Thought you were darker than that! Yeah. olive/khaki is a challenge, although there's always a way to make the "wrong" colours work. Or so I keep telling myself.

    (and buttons on jumpsuits? let's just chalk that up to experience)

  • Maneera replied 7 years ago

    Isn't it fascinating to know where jumpsuits got their name? 'Jump' out of the suit, as you say, a creation from YSL.

    I wonder where playsuits got their name though? So you can get out and 'play' in them? What's your take, Rio?

  • approprio replied 7 years ago

    hehe Maneera I was joking. sorry. :P I have no idea why they're called jumpsuits...

    <googles quickly>

    Ok. They're called jumpsuits because you jump out of planes in them, if you're so inclined. You won't catch me doing any of that. Not my cup of tea at all. I prefer my theory.

  • Diana replied 7 years ago

    I think the colors look great and the jumpsuit is super awesome.  :)

  • frannieb replied 7 years ago

    Another who says this is way more then JFE - straight up fabness and I like the color on you.

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    The colours are fab on you. Full stop :)

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    This is fantastic and I agree the red hair makes it extra sassy. It was hard for me to admit I can't wear olive as I love military style.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Well, I think I'm a summer because I don't have bright eyes. They're grey-blue, (like the torrid north Atlantic sea-jk).
    I might be a winter.
    Alaska gril- you have a camo t-shirt that I love because it's greyed out and looks like it would go nicely on cool colouring!

  • Sal replied 7 years ago

    Haha I was going to add how they really got their name!! Our firm has done some work for skydivers

    Love the jump suit, I think you carry it off very well. I do like Shevia's idea of white sunglasses too.

  • Carole replied 7 years ago

    Wow! What great colors for you, I love the print and the jumpsuit style is super fun!

  • kerlyn replied 7 years ago

    Way more than JFE!  It's super flattering on you! 

  • Aida replied 7 years ago

    I think the colors look super with you as a whole, skin+hair+eyes. Which is how most people will view you ;) Love the white slides with the look, and I don't feel like you need any white echoed anywhere else. To me the white is bright and bold, and your hair is bright and bold, so they "bookend" in that sense. Love the outfit, and what a fabulous job you did making this piece!

  • Jenava replied 7 years ago

    I'm not gonna over analyze. You look fab. Love the whole thing, head to toe, back to front!

  • tulle replied 7 years ago

    What a fascinating print, and beautifully sewn.  I don't think that the colors are so much of a problem (on my screen the olive reads almost as citron, lifting and brightening) as the intricacy of the pattern itself, which sort of scatters the viewer's attention, if that makes sense.  but who cares?  It's way beyond JFE, and it looks cool and comfortable, too.  The white shoes seem a bit accidental to me (I'd probably choose  black) but not bad. I love the bronze-y snaps--pretty, and good planning!

  • approprio replied 7 years ago

    wow, thanks ladies! you're all so very kind :)

    Looking at the pictures, I see that this works better in broad daylight than it does indoors in front of the mirror, which seems to highlight the warm/cool contrast. I hadn't seen that before but I can live with it because this is a piece for getting out and about in the sunshine.

    AG: I can see you really rocking a camouflage print in blue or grey. Maybe I have already? I like a bit of military/utilitarian detail too but I stick to dress uniform references in the main. I find that pattern a bit tricky and I'd not exactly battle ready.

    smittie: I reckon you could rethink that. I thought I was a summer until I started taking photos and realised I looked pasty in soft colours and quite good in black. Anyway, it's hardly an exact science. We mix and match.

    kiwigal: yeah, I thought I'd better call myself out before someone else did. :P (Thanks for the shout out on the other thread btw. It was very kind of you.)

    Aida: yeah, that was kind of my thinking. Something like this is easy and hard at the same time. You don't need to do too much with it but anything you do has to be absolutely right. Thanks!

    tulle: that's a very interesting point. The print is busy and bold at the same time, there's a lot going on. I'd normally wear it with black or blue but the Birks are so comfortable and I thought the white made a nice change. 

    Thanks again for all the thoughtful feedback. So helpful to think these things through with others.

  • Brooklyn replied 7 years ago

    I opened your photos before reading your commentary and my first thought was wow that colour looks sensational on her. So I really don't think there is a problem at all. I like the sunnies too. Could be a bit matchy matchy with the print but I like that because it amps up the fun factor of the outfit.

  • Summer replied 7 years ago

    Yes, you definitely got away with it.  The olive is quite subtle mixed with the navy and white in the pattern, and the overall effect is complementary to both your skin and hair colour.

  • approprio replied 7 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Summer, Brooklyn and everyone else! Key is that I can get away with warmer colours in the right combination. This is good to know.

    And Brooklyn, I can never bring myself to hate on matchy matchy. I know I'm not supposed to like it, but I do. 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 7 years ago

    I love this jumpsuit on you! The colors, the divine print, the way the print and the garment design work together, the beautiful fit and cool style. Wow. I like it with the white Birks, too, and your sunglasses.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    LOVE the pattern with your red hair. Cools it down nicely. 

    Killer. That will keep you cool, Rio. Elegant Mechanic Chic. 

    (I can bat for Team Jumpsuit too now. Just bought this one at the NAS).  

  • replied 7 years ago

    Love the olive, as another redhead might say.  Also like how the color calms your hair color and complements it. I am always aware of that possibility but there is something to be said about choosing the wild card.  For me, that is purple magenta.  And it actually looks good!  Interesting comment you make--masquerading as a Deep but you are really a Bright!  I need to explore that concept.  

  • Melinda SF replied 7 years ago

    love this on you.  it actually helps balance the warm/cool due to the citron and gray in it.  the fit and shape are totally flattering and the red in your hair color keeps the attention on your face.

    Ok, I love the birks, I have a pair myself.  I'd want to see you play with a lower contrast shoe as the white is so bright (and it may be the photo) against your skin that it almost draws TOO much attention.  A more neutral color shoe could be another opportunity.  or a strappier sandal that doesn't have such wide swaths. 

    Again, that's a nit pick.  I love this outfit and would wear it myself!  

  • dakotacheryl replied 7 years ago

    What a fun jumpsuit...and so perfect for your coloring!! Fabulous

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