Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fashion Phrases and Terms: Ombre

Ombre is a type of dye or coloring technique in which two or more colors gradually fade or graduate into each other. The effect can be very elegant, as in this Guess by Marciano gown:
Other times, the colors can actually appear almost as stripes, like in this metallic-finish dress from Promgirl:

I adore ombre, especially when it is done well, as it is in these pieces:
Ombre Jersey Tie-Tunic, Neiman Marcus, $60
Ombre Dress, Casual Living, $39.99

Ombre Pencil Skirt, Bloomingdale's $373.50

While ombre is often beautiful, depending on how it is used, it can be difficult to wear. For example, if the transition from one color to the next is very crisp as opposed to gradual, it can be a little harsh especially if the "print" is horizontal. Remember what everyone says about horizontal stripes making you look wider? This can definitely be the case with the wrong ombre dress. It can even happen if the transition is gradual, but falls at an unflattering spot, like with this dress:

Notice how the darker part of the dress begins right at the widest part of the hips? This draws the eye to the hips, which is not always a good thing. If you are the kind of girl who doesn't have hips, this dress would be great for you. But if you're like me, the last thing you want is to have people looking down there. If the darker part of the dress extended up to the waistline, this would not be nearly as noticeable. Also, if there was a bit of the darker color at the shoulders fading into the neckline, that would help create a more balanced ombre effect (kind of like the Casual Living dress above). These jeans are another good example of how NOT to wear ombre:

Ombre Wash Flared Jeans, Hot Topic, $29.99
Once again, the ombre effect draws attention to the widest part of the body, or even worse in this case, to the wearer's crotch. Never a good thing, my friends, never a good thing.

Basically, you should think of ombre as a type of print, because it kind of is a print of sorts. In all situations concerning printed garments, the key is to make sure you are wearing the right proportion of that particular print. If you are petite, then an ombre that fades very gradually to another similar color will probably be the best choice. For example, this dress:

And if you are trying to find an ombre dress that will produce a slimming effect, go for one that is diagonal or even vertical like this gorgeous evening gown from Faviana:

Faviana Green Ombre Dress, French Novelty, $317.99

I hope this explanation of ombre has been informative and useful! If you have any questions about ombre that I haven't answered in this post, leave a comment and I'll be sure to get back to you. Have a great weekend, everyone!

1 comment:

Breanne at Bella Vita said...

What a fun post!! I love ombre. My favorite pieces here are the pencil skirt and the green dress!

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