Sunday, 11 March 2012

What goes with brown?

Blue! In honour of my new old handbag, here is what Good Housekeeping had to say on the matter of choosing clothing colours in the 1940s. It advised starting with the leather accessories and working your outfit back from there, which I must admit is very different from my usual method which begins with a dress or jumper.

Leather accessories Chestnut brown (or London tan) or ice calf
Costume and coat shades Chestnut or camel
Etceteras (also frock and sweater) Any bright or pastel shade except the cyclamen or cerise family or navy
Hat Matching costume and leather accessories, or matching etcetera, plain or trimmed etcetera or costume colour

Leather accessories Chestnut brown
Costume and coat shades Navy or grey
Etceteras (also frock and sweater) Navy or chestnut or grey
Hat Navy or chestnut, plain or trimmed reverse shade

Leather accessories Ice calf
Costume and coat shades Navy
Etceteras (also frock and sweater) Green, mid blues, camel or navy
Hat Navy or etcetera colour, plain or trimmed reverse

Leather accessories Rust and brown
Costume and coat shades Matching browns or rust
Etceteras (also frock and sweater) Green, pastel or mid blues, yellows, coral pink, camel
Hat Brown or rust, plain or trimmed etcetera shades

Leather accessories Rust and brown
Costume and coat shades Green, pastel or mid blues, yellows, coral pink or camel
Etceteras (also frock and sweater) Matching brown or rust
Hat Brown or rust, plain or trimmed etcetera shades

Image: a design from Stitchcraft, February 1948

5 comments :

  1. Yes, I choose the dress or top first, then think about the accessories. But Good Housekeeping doesn't say whether its acceptable to wear black shoes with a brown handbag or vice versa. Is that the way to sartorial disgrace?!
    ;-)

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  2. There's another whole section on black, although I seem to recall that they do not recommend black with brown. (They only make recommendations, they do not tell readers not to wear certain combinations.)

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  3. I find that a pair of boots combining brown and black are incredibly useful as they tie into any look. I have some suede ones with black/grey faux fur trim, for example- and some patent pumps with a black/brown design.

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  4. Blue is definitely the best colour for brown, I agree wholeheartedly with your Good Housekeeping book. In fact, when I read your title I thought to myself "Blue!", enthusiastically with an exclamation mark... so I was assumed to read on and find you'd written exactly that!

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  5. It's so funny how colour combinations have changed over the years! I never used to put blue and red together but now I think they look great combined, and very vintage. X

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