Tag Archives: colour

A fifties colour scheme

Among its myriad of styling tips, the Madeleine Hunt Sew and Save volume also includes some suggestions on colour. Now, those of you who’ve been following me for a while may have noticed that my colour palette is a bit, ah, limited, and I generally eschew prints as well (excepting the odd plaid). I prefer my fabric interest in the form of texture… anyway. I could obviously use some help in this area, so I thought I’d reproduce it for you.

It begins with a segment on colour combinations. Some of the combinations are pretty obvious (navy, red, white, anyone?) but others are a bit more unusual, such as pairing pink with “wine”.

Basic Colours Contrasting Colours or trimmings
Pink White, blue, wine
Blue White, pink, navy
Yellow White, mauve, violet, black
Beige Tomato-red, black, green
Green White, rust, copper, black, mauve
Red White, navy
Brown Green, yellow
Rust Brown
Wine White, pink
Mauve White, light grey, light yellow
Purple White, orchid, grey, green
Navy White, red, pink
Grey Purple, darker grey
Black White, pink, rose, yellow

They also have a section on colour for your complexion—years before Color Me Beautiful! :

White—very good for young and old. If complexion is brick colour or blotchy, no! no!

Green—excellent for red-heads or blondes (lightens the complexion)

Red and yellow—for brunettes

Blue, light red, geranium, red with rose cast—best for blondes

Mauve, violet—very becoming for platinum blondes and the grey-heads.

Is it just me or are “light red”, “geranium” and “red with rose cast” not all variations on “pink”? Also, apparently blondes can wear anything. I guess blondes really do have more fun. (I have no idea what you’re supposed to wear if you have black hair. Sorry.)

The page finishes with these words of wisdom:

Colour suggests personality.

pink, blue, shell-pink, rose—denote daintiness. These colours suitable for baby garments, slips, blouses, dainty summer dresses, lingerie.

Jade green, orange, red, bright blue—denote vivacity, energy, force, joy. Good for sportswear, housecoats, also dresses.

Beige, brown, grey, purple, navy, black—denote dignity, serenity, seriousness.  Excellent for your best dress or suit. Select darker shades when clothes are to be worn a long time.  Brigh colours may be used for trimmings which may occasionally be replaced.

I must admit, the subtler points of many of these colours are lost on me (and I probably could’ve spent more time tweaking the shades for my examples 😉 ). What is shell-pink? or geranium? (My mom has a zillion geraniums but I could’ve sworn they flower in all different colours). “Wine” I can just about wrap my head around (though I would’ve said “burgundy”. And what’s the precise difference between mauve, violet, and purple?

What do you think of their colour combos? What’s your favorite colour combination?


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