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"Appropriate" clothing has mostly gone the way of the buffalo, except for funerals and job interviews, when you've got to stick to what's customary. These days, you can wear any color your little heart desires in winter -- even white. The main consideration in choosing winter clothes is how they are going to keep you warm while they keep you looking as good as you can in a sexy summer dress.
Black is still the color of choice for many women who will never lose that love-hate relationship. Black is a good choice for winter, even if it's not the only color in your closet. Any sun that is shining in the sky will get soaked up by black fabrics and hold in the heat. Tightly woven materials such as wool and many cotton blends add to the built-in heater you'll wear by keeping that warmth close to your skin. Black boots and black leather purses are abundant, so it's easy to pair up outfits with your accessories and footwear. You can always dress up black, too -- use gold over the holidays, or a bright pink wool vest to take edge off anytime.
Your skin tone should be more of a barometer of what color to wear than any seasonal fad. Get your colors done by a color professional or make an honest assessment in the mirror yourself or with a friend before you buy a piece. Hold the fabric close to your face just under your chin, and watch what happens to your skin tone and your eyes. If you look alive, get it; if something looks off or you appear washed out, trust your instincts and put it back.
Keep up with the fashion mags to find out what colors are hot as you approach a new winter season. You won't have to look far, because stores will be filled with the color. For example, in 2009, bronze was a hot winter color, and went along with the shimmering highlights you find in most cosmetics too. Brown in any shade is always a good choice for winter. It easily dresses up with gold and bronze accents, and softens with winter white. Navy is another constant that may change hues slightly over the years, but can always be counted on as a solid winter neutral in most clothing lines.
It's prudent for those of us on a budget (and who isn't?) to stick with the basic winter colors for our stand-by winter wardrobe. Keep a black coat and boots, or a brown overcoat and brown wool pants. Get your yearly fashion boost in your accessories. Consider a neon pink pair of mittens that will go great with your black ski coat for those years when brights are in. Glitter all night long with gold and silver scarves. Add a red and green vest or sweater to your basic-black holiday outfit. Go with the many shades of white and pink to pair with all your dark, warm winter clothes when you feel a feminine streak coming on.