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How to Wear Color: The ‘Confront Your Closet’ Challenge, Step 2

By Melanie Lippman

Black and white. Black and gray. Maybe navy and cream. Women lawyers often have a hard time stepping beyond traditional conservative colors when choosing what to wear. But if you’re tired of the way those colors make you feel and ready to change things up a bit, you’ll appreciate Melanie Lippman’s latest video on how to wear color appropriately. 

In the first “Confront Your Closet” Challenge we focused on why the idea of getting dressed to go back to the office or meetings is so hard. So many emotions come up — it’s as if we’ve forgotten how to get dressed. For the first homework assignment, I asked you to write down your non-negotiables. What are you no longer willing to put up with when it comes to your closet? If you didn’t complete step one, be sure to watch the first video here.

Now, let’s talk about adding color to your closet.


Wait, What Is the Confront Your Closet Challenge?

The “Confront Your Closet” Challenge is designed to help you get clarity and control over what’s going on in your closet so that you feel empowered by the way you’re getting dressed every day. Every video will give you an action item or provide a tip you can take into your closet. This is not about spending big money; the goal is to help you learn how to use your wardrobe in a completely different way. Finding your style, getting dressed without stress, and wearing clothes that flatter you are skills you can learn easily.

Learning How to Wear Color

Wearing color can be a little challenging for female lawyers because they don’t ever want to look inappropriate. They want to know the right way to wear color and that they are doing it perfectly. So, in this video, I walk you through how to wear color in a really easy, conservative way.

Tonal Colors and Contrasting Colors

There are two basic things to know to be able to go into your closet and immediately feel confident putting together different colors:

  1. Your personal color profile — which colors are most flattering for you, based on your color profile?
  2. How to use tonal colors and contrasting colors when putting together your outfits.

Tonal is when you’re wearing two colors that are more or less in the same color family. These colors may be monochromatic or just very similar. Tonal colors are usually the comfort zone of a lot of the attorneys I work with. Contrasting colors are ones on the opposite side of the color wheel. It may mean wearing clothes that are pretty different from what you’re used to, but this is the way to create the most interest in your outfits,

Use This Color Cheat Sheet to Learn How to Pair Colors

The video contains some great examples of how to incorporate color into your wardrobe — including how to use a cheat sheet on how to pair colors. So, if your main color is khaki, the cheat sheet shows you which contrasting colors or tonal colors pair with that color. The science is already done for you — it’s easy.

If you would like this cheat sheet, email me and I will send it to you.

Closet Challenge No. 2: Create Your Own Unique Color Combination

For this challenge, I want you to apply what you’ve learned. Go into your closet and create an outfit using a unique color combination — but not just black and white, or black and gray. (Those color combinations are great, but the challenge is to go a bit deeper.)

Whatever you choose, make sure it supports you where you are today. If you are working virtually, think of using your unique color combinations from the chest up. For example, maybe you coordinate earrings with a blouse. If you’re meeting with people in person, go all out — use color in your accessories from head to toe.

Shoot an email to with a picture of your color combination, or just tell me a little bit about the color combination you are creating. I’m here to support you.

Remember, once you learn how to wear color, you can begin to refine your signature style — your unique colors can become part of your personal brand story.

Next Time …

Be sure to tune in to the next challenge, where I am going to teach you the No. 1 mistake I see professional women making with their closets!

Photo by Moses Janga on Unsplash

More Image Boosting Tips on Attorney at Work

“5 Ways to Upgrade Your Style” by Melanie Lippman

“How Is Your Image?” by Teddy Snyder

“Gentleman’s Guide to How to Look Good on Zoom” by Raphael Schneider

“Tips for the Well-Dressed (Male) Lawyer” by Ryan Sullivan

Zoom Backgrounds: Looking Good in a Tiny Square” by Bull Garlington

Images © Melanie Lippman

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Categories: Personal Branding, Videos, Women Lawyers, You At Work
Originally published September 30, 2021
Last updated October 2, 2021
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Melanie Lippman is an image consultant and personal branding expert. She works with female attorneys to help them define their personal style to make them instantly recognizable and memorable. Her four-week program “Stand Out Style” helps attorneys develop their style, build confidence and authority, shop their closets, and create killer outfits. Follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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