Monochrome fashion is wearing an outfit that consists of one color. A breakdown of the term’s Greek roots shows that monochromatic translates to “single color:” mono meaning single and chromatic meaning color
Have you ever noticed that some people look amazing in monochromatic looks and others don’t quite sparkle the same way? Or, how some people look stunning in bold prints and patterns, and it looks overwhelming on others? This is because of something called “Personal Contrast Levels” (PSL). Simply, contrast level is the amount of value difference between hair color and skin color.
There are three components of a color:
- Hue: The actual color…red, yellow, blue, etc
- Value: The lightness or darkness of a color.
- Saturation: This is the purity or intensity.
This can help you to determine what looks good on you based on your features. It’s fairly easy to do at home and can be a guiding light for many redheads who aren’t sure and can start to guide you in the right direction with less limitation.
How to find your PSL
Take a photo of yourself in good lighting (not too harsh, not too dark, natural lighting is best) with no makeup on. Then, turn the photo black and white and use a color dropper tool to find your color values. Compare them to the contrast scale to find your contrast level. Here are a few helpful TikTok tips. Take some time to watch the quick videos before moving on:
#greenscreen Reply to @weenuyen what is your contrast level and what can you do with it? 🖤🤍🤎
Know the contrast scale
A contrast scale, like this one, gives you something to compare your values to. You want to find values for your hair color (or eyebrow color, whichever is your natural) skin color, and eye color.
Which one are you?
High Contrast, Medium Contrast, and Low Contrast
There are three main contrast categories, and while you may fall in between two of them, it’s easiest to focus on the three to start. Hair, eyes, and skin are all on a sliding scale in terms of lightness or darkness. Contrast refers to the difference between two things. Each feature has a value on the scale, the difference between those values determines your contrast level.
Those who are high contrast will have large gaps between their values. If your hair is quite dark (lower numbers on the scale) and your skin is quite fair (higher numbers on the scale) you have a higher contrast. Your eye color may help to balance you as more medium contrast, which means you could mix the two.
Those who are medium contrast fall more evenly on the scale, with their values being spread out but not favoring either end of the scale too much.
Those who are low contrast have all their values close together. They may even fall on the same sections of the scale. There is little difference between the light and darkness that make up the colors of your hair, skin, and eyes.
How to use tour PSL when choosing clothes
High contrast looks amazing with black and white (high contrast colors) and other highly saturated colors like red. Play with the light and dark aspects of your outfit and don’t be afraid to go bold, especially with interesting prints and patterns.
Medium contrast is an in-between contrast level, giving you the most options. More medium saturation colors look best on you, and you can still wear black but it looks better paired with other darker neutrals instead of white. The same goes for white, pair it with creams and browns instead of black.
Low-contrast people are the ones who look best in monochromatic looks. Try pairing things that are all the same shade or close. These can be dark or light but try to avoid pairing high-contrast colors together and avoid highly saturated colors like red as they will wash you out. Pastels are great for low-contrast people.
Anyone can wear anything they want, and the rules are meant to be broken, but if you’re a redhead trying to find your personal style maybe this can help you when it comes to choosing the colors in your wardrobe and pairing items you already own.
Rock it like a Redhead!