Catherine, a client of mine, is the capable mother of three young boys. She’s tall, slim and beautiful with pale skin, pale hair and pale light blue eyes and, when I first met her, she wore mostly navy blue and other dark colours. These colours reflected up onto her face, making her look tired and drained so people were always asking her if she was stressed or overwhelmed by her children!
After we worked together, she started wearing clear bright pastels such as aqua green, sky blue, strawberry pink, mango orange and lilac which brought so much colour and life to her face to life that others assumed she’d just had a holiday or was newly in love!
It can take confidence to wear colour, but wearing colour gives you confidence and this influences how you feel about yourself. Bolder, brighter colours can make you feel ‘bolder’ and ‘brighter’ while softer, gentler colours can make you feel more ‘soft’ and ‘gentle’. Other people respond to colour on a subtle, instinctive level, so when you’re wearing colours that express who you are and how you’re feeling, others are attracted to your true essence.
The concept of a ‘colour chart’ is quite a limited one in that the incredible range of human skin, hair and eye colours in their unique combinations make any separation into ‘colour categories’ an incomplete exercise. Traditional colour charts are based on skin tone but don’t take into consideration your hair or eye colour – or even the sort of person you are. For example, a pale skin combined with dark eyes and dark hair can wear brighter, deeper colours than someone like Catherine who has pale skin, pale hair and light eyes.
Colour charts can be helpful, though, as an inspiration, a suggestion and as a starting-point from which you develop your own individual palette of colours. There is no set formula which can be applied to the wide range of human beings, so you’ll always have to play around and experiment a little bit to find your own colours. Try not to be too controlled in following any prescriptive colour chart, but rather use it as a helpful guideline. I provide Colour Palettes in my book (Reclaiming Beauty – Look Like Your True Self – pages 129 – 132) because they act as inspiration and encouragement to try some new colours and to help get you started as you move beyond the safety of black, black and more black!
The ‘right’ colours for you
The ‘right’ colours for you are those that reflect your inner self, and which make you look and feel great. The easiest way to find the colours which suit you best is to hold the garment under your chin in a good, natural light and then to evaluate objectively what its colour does to your skin tone, eyes and hair. Look and see which colours make you look happier and healthier and take note which colours bring spontaneous compliments from others. It’s good for you to develop your own instincts and become an expert on yourself.
Colour is a product of light in all its reflections and manifestations. Every colour has its own vibration and ‘feeling’ and can therefore influence your moods. You can tune into this and use colours to lift your spirits, give you courage or calm you down. On a day where you may be feeling a little fragile or quiet and wanting to ‘stay under the radar’, neutral or pastel colours will help you remain in the background. But if you have an important meeting and want to assert your authority, bolder colours will give you the head start that you need (hence the predominance of black in the corporate world!).
Take a moment before you get dressed in the morning to assess how you’re feeling, your requirements of the day and your True Self Style Words (Women’s Choice, March) then choose colours that will resonate to these. Let the colours you wear support you rather than overshadow you.
Experiment and have fun while you learn, for yourself, which colours make you look and feel most alive and authentic and which will allow your unique beauty to shine.
Reflect on the following questions:
- Do I avoid wearing certain colours? And if so, why?
- What would I need to change in order to wear more colours?