160. The nerves of the eye, exhilarated by any pronounced color, unconsciously observe the complement of that color when turned from it. The eye accustomed to the red of a woman’s dress, unconsciously sees a greenish cast in the face that is naturally pale, and in the same way the pallor of a woman’s face takes on a tint of red as the complement or contrast of a green dress. As one’s appetite for the thing that is sweet becomes exhausted by a superabundance of sweets,
161. It is dangerous, however, in matters of dress to strictly apply this rule, because color has a temperamental influence apart from the purely visual. Some women are positively depressed by certain colors; such colors are to be avoided, no matter what the deductions of theory.
162. The black dress will make a woman look pale, for the reason that the black absorbs whatever color there may be in her face. A dark color has also absorbent characteristics. The lighter the color, the less absorbent. Hence light greens are preferable to bring out the color in the face than dark greens, assuming that we are to consider only this point, which is all that is necessary to consider in house decoration. Therefore light greens as a background to theater boxes or as a wall background are always desirable.