“It’s not about the colours you love, it’s about the colours that love you!”
Ann Whitaker, Brisbane Colour Consultant.
Although I’d never had my colours done, back in the 1980’s I loved the book “Colour Me Beautiful” and self-diagnosed as a summer.
I have been mostly faithful to that season’s palette ever since – plenty of pretty pastels, like an English summer garden – though there have been some notable exceptions, which I’ll get to in a minute.
I thought I knew what looked good on me.
It was only when the good people at Vivid International sent me a lovely jacket featuring one of my colour “no-no’s” – bright splashes of orange – that I began to question what I’d always thought. Because every time I wore it, the compliments poured in.
Guess what? After doing a workshop with Brisbane colour consultant, Ann Whitaker, on the weekend, turns out – orange IS one of my colours.
And to think I’ve spent most of the last 50 years avoiding it!
Mind. Officially. Blown.
So while I might have loved those soft and pretty summer colours – they didn’t love me so much.
A colour consultant’s role is to help you find the hues that make your complexion glow – minimizing any redness or dark circles, and evening out your skin tone – basically, the ones that make you look healthy and happy.
While I received some compliments wearing summer colours, they were usually directed at the item of clothing, or the colour itself, rather than ME!
The only colour I’m really struggling to get my head around is yellow. Apparently old gold, mustard and the like look amazing on me – but I’m not a huge fan. Oh well, never say never …
It’s given me a lot of food for thought … but when I reflected back over the years, I’ve realised that some of the outfits that have garnered ME the most compliments have been from the Autumn palette. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I am remembering various tops and outfits that suited me, and were in various autumn tones!
Even when I was a child, my parents often dressed me in Autumn tones, much to my disgust (I was always jealous of my sister who wore the pretty pinks, lavenders and the like). But maybe my parents were smarter than I gave them credit for!
I wore this top to death in the 1980’s …
And then there’s the dress I wore for our engagement photos.
This outfit was one of my favourites when Mr 24 was a bub.
More recently, you can see I chose gold for an awards night a couple of years ago. I tried the silver version but it just didn’t do me any favours, whereas I felt like a real “golden girl” in this dress.
Maybe the reason I was feeling increasingly “invisible” as I aged (one of my middle aged moanings) is because I was wearing colours that made my skin tone fade and look wishy washy.
For years, I’ve avoided peach l ipsticks even though I loved them and knew they lit up my face. Trouble was,as soon as I smiled my teeth let me down – they looked very yellow. (I’m actually doing something about the teeth situation very soon, so watch this space!)
Before you think I’ve become a “colours evangelist”, and that my life (and my look) will change totally overnight, I’m happy to take a “softly softly” approach and just see how it goes. In fact, Ann recommends it …
Cautions and Tips from a Colour Consultant
- There will be some colours in “your” season that look absolutely fabulous on you – and some that are good, but not as good. Your colour consultant should be able to point you in the direction of your top shades. Mine are: rust, coffee, lizard grey, moss green, chestnut, tan, mustard and peacock.
- The people who know you best may not like your new look at first – but you need to remember that they are used to seeing you in a particular “wrapping”. (My husband was not one of these. He has long nagged me to try a different hair colour with autumnal tones rather than my preferred ash blonde. And he’s always loved me in brown, khaki and olives, though I wasn’t sure.)
- Receiving more compliments can be confronting, so you need to be prepared to accept them graciously! Remember, 99% of the time it is meant genuinely (unless it’s a sales person LOL). People will comment that you are looking great, but they probably won’t be able to put their finger on “why” you are looking better.
- Ann suggests changing your lipstick first – it doesn’t cost much, and is a great visual reminder.
- Don’t throw out all your “non-colour” clothes (or you might have nothing left!). Instead she recommends separating your wardrobe into right and wrong – but don’t get rid of any of the “wrong” stuff unless it doesn’t fit, is out of style, or you just don’t wear it. In the meantime, a scarf in your seasonal palette can help with the transition.
- Be brave! Go shopping and try on anything and everything you think might be your colours, with swatch in hand, to help your eye get familiar with the colours that light up your face.
I know there are some people who don’t like the idea of having their colours done, thinking it’s too restrictive. I find the opposite – I can still wear pretty much any colour I like – it’s more about the shade I choose.
In fact it can be very freeing of both your time and money! The idea is that by staying true to your palette, putting outfits together will become a snap because everything “goes”.
Clothes shopping should also become easier. Once you’ve become more familiar with your palette, you will be able to head straight for the shops/racks with clothes in colours that suit you. Thankfully, my colour consultant gave me an Autumn colour swatch to help me in the meantime. It doesn’t have EVERY one of your colours – that would make it enormous! – but the idea is that by holding it up against a garment, you will be able to see if the colours look good together.
I’m looking forward to experimenting over the coming months and seeing what happens … I was tempted not to say anything to see what people notice and say. But this experience has really challenged my thinking and you know me, what I’m thinking about, I blog about!
Have you ever had your colours done? What do you think of my “new” Autumn palette?!
Enjoyed this post? Then head over to read The Next Steps in My Colour Journey!
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, however Ann kindly gifted me with a colour workshop experience.