[Podcast: Episode 4] What colour is your style?
Choosing your style colours: a case study
This is an abridged version of a two-hour interview I had with B-- when we chatted about her colour choices, her own hair, skin and eye colour tones, and which colours suit her best.
Hi B-- Thank you for sharing with me your colour preferences and choices.
Today we're going to cover a bit of seasonal colour style theory and select the colours that suit your hair, skin and eye tones the best.
Most of the universal systems of colour analysis place us into 'seasonal categories'. which is the Planepack system of choice.
Each season of spring, summer, autumn and winter has its own unique colour palette. By determining your own particular 'season', you identify a colour palette that helps you to purchase and wear clothes in colours that best suit your individual colouring.
Colour is important: any colour you wear will accentuate the same pigments in your eyes, your hair and your skin tones. We'll analyse these natural features to determine the perfect seasonal colour palette for you.
Let's look at the colours you like - and what a good idea to show me this shawl, which exemplifies your current wardrobe colour selections.
B--'s shawl is in shades of purple, deep blue, oranges and reds.
You liked these colours when we looked further into your choices, using the seasonal colour palettes (homebases) as a guide for your selections.
We looked at the four 'season' homebases and considered the colour palettes from each of these.
You chose three shades from the 'winter homebase': deep purple; teal, and blue
You selected three shades from the 'spring homebase': fuschia, red and orange.
The seasonal colours
Having selected your preferred colours, we looked at the list of colours within each 'season' to try and match your colours to what you think is your seasonal colour.
You thought autumn is the closest to your preferred colours: dark brown, camel, beige, orange and gold - with the exception of moss green, which is not a colour you choose to wear.
Having identified your current preferences and wardrobe colours, we wanted to confirm that these are indeed your colours.
We analysed your preferences by completing a questionnaire: together we selected the colour characteristics that best matched your skin, eyes and hair colour.
What colour is your skin, your eyes and your hair?
The questionnaire is essentially a chart listing skin, eye and hair colours divided into the four quadrants of spring, summer, autumn and winter.
You chose two characteristics from the spring quadrant: ivory skin with pale golden freckles, and golden brown hair.
From the autumn quadrant you chose peachy skin with freckles, and green eyes with brown or gold flecks.
From the summer quadrant, you chose rosy beige skin, soft grey-blue eyes, and ash brown hair colour.
From the winter quadrant, you chose grey-blue eye colour and medium ash brown hair colour.
Based on the most number of selections in the relevant quadrant (three), we identified your colour season as 'summer'. Interestingly, none of your current colour selections came from this season. This colour analysis was fairly surprising for you as it is quite different to your 'preferred' colour selections. But hair, skin and eye tones do not lie: the 'summer' colours are those that are most flattering for your natural tones.
So what does it mean to be 'a summer' colour?
Your summer palette
The summer palette is the most delicate of the four colour seasons. While you may imagine summer as being bright and vibrant, in fact summer tones are gentle and feminine.
Your colouring is light and delicate and your hair and skin tones are similar; there is not much contrast between these, which is reflected in the summer palette.
Summer is a light and fresh time, and the clean, crisp pastels of the summer palette reference these qualities.
B--, you wear soft neutrals especially well. You should think blue, rose, and soft greys for yourself. Even though you may favour bright colours, always aim for softness rather than sharp contrasts.
The summer homebase palette consists of delicate, soft and light colours, including delicate pastels. As a summer, it's better for you to avoid brighter colours such as strong yellows. Instead opt for the pastel yellow version.
What suits a 'summer' best?
The most flattering garments for you will be in the solid colours of the summer palette: rose, lavender, grey and blue. Basics for you should be in navy, burgundy and plum, soft rose brown, rose beige, rose taupe, blue-greys and off white. For prints, choose soft watercolour prints, as well as complex patterns. Avoid these prints around the face.
Look for garments in soft textures like wool, cotton knits and crèpes to enhance your tone and image. Remember that you wear neutrals particularly well. Aim for a soft image, rather than one with contrast. A dramatic look does not enhance your features: it drowns them. The best complementary colours for you are pink, light blue and light grey.
Colour choices for a summer
- You can safely wear the most vivid colours in the summer palette and you may find that pastels work best when mixed with brighter colours.You can wear most blues; simply avoid the royal blue or Chinese blue shade that a winter should wear.
- Greys should be worn from light blue-grey, to soft charcoal blue-grey.
- Blue-greens can range from pastel to deep.
- Any pink can be worn as long as it has a blue undertone. The same goes for red.
- Shades of watermelon work well.
- Colours in the lavender family all work beautifully.
- You will wear plum, burgundy and raspberry well, however, as you on the fair side, keep softer shades around your face.
- A soft white containing no yellow is best.
Colour choices to avoid
- Aqua should stay in the light to medium range.
- The strong navy of a winter season is not best for you. Choose a slightly softer navy with a little more grey for the best result.
- Avoid dark browns, grey beiges and yellow-beiges. Instead opt for neutrals of brown and beige that always have a brown undertone going as deep as cocoa.
- Yellow is probably best avoided, however if it must be worn, only a light lemon will work. Avoid any yellow in particular with a gold undertone.
- Orange should be completely avoided.
I hope you enjoyed this brief colour assessment and that it has given you a little insight into your own natural tones and colour.
I include a summer colour palette chart. Perhaps next time you go shopping for a new outfit, you will choose all the right colours for your own summer profile.
Thanks again for your time and I look forward to working with you again.
Bobby Graham: Colour Stylist