Thursday, 24 October 2013

Colour analysis - has it changed?

Purely in the interests of research for my readers (just kidding!) I decided to experience an up-to-date seasonal colour analysis on my recent trip to London. When I've posted photos of myself wearing warm and cool colours, there hasn't always been agreement on which suited me best.  Of course part of this may be to do with different monitors not displaying colours in the same way, part is to do with how accurately my camera shows various colours and I guess part is to do with individual preferences.  Another factor of course is that the strong Spanish sun tends to turn my naturally dark brown hair a warm golden shade - just to confuse matters!

I had my hair tinted dark brown before I went on holiday - a shade very similar to my natural colour. I also had a couple of “before" photos on my camera to show my consultant in case there were any doubts about me being warm or cool, but these weren't necessary.

My  House of Colour consultant was Fiona Ingham, who is based in Primrose Hill in North London. As soon as I arrived at her studio Fiona made me feel at ease by offering me a drink and explaining exactly what we would be doing during my consultation. Having just experienced the stress of travelling on the London Underground again after 5 years of living in Spain, it was good to be able to relax and I felt as if I was visiting a friend.

First of all Fiona demonstrated the difference between wearing the right and wrong colours by draping herself. I could easily see which colours flattered her the most, but it wasn't as easy once Fiona draped me in the different colours! I had been instructed not to wear any make-up: however I couldn't bring myself to turn up totally bare-faced, so I quickly removed the last traces of my lipstick before we began.  Fiona also covered my hair before my consultation, which was very interesting as I had assumed that my hair would play a role in the colour analysis.

Drapes for the four seasons
I was fully expecting to find out that I was a warm season, even though when I first experienced colour analysis over 25 years ago I had been told I was a Winter. After all, my skin has obviously aged in the intervening years! However, much to my surprise, Fiona showed me, through draping me in the myriad of different colours, how the cool colours were in fact more flattering - and to my amazement we both agreed that I was still a Winter.

One of the reasons I hadn't been totally convinced by my first experience of seasonal colour analysis was the fact that the icy colours did absolutely nothing for me. Fiona agreed that they weren't my best colours and advised me to wear them for accents only. She gave me a helpful booklet, which showed me my best colours (which I can wear as a single block of colour top to toe), my 75% colours (good for coats, suits and dresses so long as I also wear a scarf or top in my best colours) my 50% colours (which I can wear on my top or bottom half - but not both) and the remaining colours in my palette that are best kept for accessories.

Nowadays the four seasons have been divided into further categories, giving a total of 12 different combinations. Within the Winter season there are four possibilities, which explained why some colours didn't really suit me in my original colour analysis. I can wear the bright colours well but clearly don't look as good in the icy ones and Fiona helped me to understand how I could mix and match the colours in my swatch to create flattering outfits. There are 36 colours in my swatch, however she explained that I'm not limited to exact matches and that there are lots of variations to give me more choices -  so long as I don't go too pale (the infamous icy shades) or too dark.

After we had decided that I was a Jewel Winter, Fiona showed me the best colours to use for my make-up as well and once I was wearing the right make-up colours I was able to see the difference it made. As I was travelling back to Spain with hand luggage only, I couldn't buy much make-up and had to settle for one lipstick and eye-shadow in my best colours, which I happen to be wearing as I type this! I have placed an order on-line as House of Colour ship to Spain, so hopefully I will soon have a couple more colours to choose from. 

I have also bought a top from Kettlewell Colours, who specialise in clothing in seasonal colours. The necklace I am wearing isn't ideal as it is more golden than silver and silver looks better with cool shades. What I found interesting in the colour analysis was the fact that my skin looked a bit yellow when I was wearing warm colours and fresher when I was wearing cool colours, as shown below.
Wearing my new top
I have mentioned Dressing Your Truth (DYT) in earlier posts. I don't feel that this colour analysis negates DYT: what it does is make it obvious that the brighter but cooler colours from DYT are the ones that suit me best. I was wearing a blue top from the DYT store when I met Fiona and she commented that it was a good colour for me. This means that I don't have to throw out half of my wardrobe as a result of my consultation (that’s a relief!), but I will try and wear the Jewel Winter colours near my face and restrict the other colours to my bottom half.  Where possible I have chosen my most flattering colours for my Project 333 Autumn Wardrobe of 33 items of clothing, shown in my previous post, and I will follow the guidelines in the booklet that Fiona gave me when combining different colours.

What proved interesting was the fact that, once I was back in Spain and wearing what Fiona had identified as my most flattering colours with the appropriate make-up, I received lots of compliments along the lines of "Wow! You look great!" "That colour is good on you. Your eyes are really sparkling!" and (one I especially appreciated!) "You look so much younger!" What's not to like about that?

Thank you, Fiona, for the helpful and interesting colour analysis session. Watch this space for future posts where you will see me enjoying more of my new colour combinations!




14 comments:

  1. I think you have convinced me to do this! I'm going to research options for a color consultation where I live. You do look great in the new top.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Juhli. You are doing the right thing in researching your options first. Look for recommendations too, plus ask a few questions before booking your consultation.

      Delete
  2. The litmus test, to me, is the compliments you have been receiving! People aren't saying they love the colors but they are seeing YOU. And that blue is lovely.

    How interesting that the brown outfit with the orange scarf looked so amazing on you but so does the blue in this photo. I think part of the confusion too is not just the camera/monitor/etc variation but lighting.

    You are right that the 4 seasons have become 12 (and some color analysts are leaning toward 16), but also that each system has its own variations. It's enough to drive you to drink (but fortunately, that's how your consult started!) I think 4 is way too simplistic and 12 is about right, but as you've seen, you can be in one of the 12 and still need to hug one end of the chart. I'm a (self-diagnosed) soft summer but I really need to stay on the deep and not light end, which seems counter-intuitive as I have pasty pale skin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin. I should have also mentioned that the compliments were unsolicited - I didn't say "Do I look good in this?"! I think you're right about the lighting, plus it may be the depth of the colours I'm wearing in these photos. Also, though I don't wear much make-up, I was wearing warmer shades with the brown outfit and cooler shades with the blue one.

      To me the telling factor was trying warm and cool shades with a bare face, and my hair covered. No escaping the truth that way!

      Delete
  3. You look terrific Sue. I noticed that you did even before I started reading your post, when I was scrolling to the top. Very interesting! I like how your analyst pointed out the colours that were best alone, with an accessory or on the bottom etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Heather. I felt that I really learnt a lot from Fiona, whereas many years ago I was presented with a swatch and, as I said, found out that many of the colours in it looked awful on me! This time I understood the process and feel I have the tools to create outfits that will look flattering when I wear them. I will also be using tools from DYT when buying outfits such as design lines, fabrication and texture.

      Delete
  4. I've been searching for over 60s fashion blogs, glad I found you. Love that blue colour on you. The compliments you got after you went home are what to aim for aren't they, eccentric at our age is definitely not for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ann. I think living in Spain helps, as I don't worry about wearing brighter colours even though I'm over 60. I suspect though that being English in a predominantly Spanish town automatically labels me as eccentric!

      Delete
  5. I have enjoyed your blog for a while, but this is my first comment. In your photos, I always think you look great, but that blue top makes you look especially fresh and sparkling. Funny, but I would not have guessed you as a winter -- it is amazing what a professional draping can reveal. I had a color analysis a few months ago and it has made such a difference in helping me to see how much color can make a difference in how I look and feel. What has been hard for me is that I have had to let go of DYT, since my DYT type and my seasonal color type have exactly zero overlap in the color choices. (This has actually been harder than it sounds.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess what is important is how you feel - though I've mentioned before that if you look good it tends to make you feel good as well. A definite win, win situation! It's a shame that you have had to drop DYT - were you absolutely certain about your DYT type? What I would say is to keep all the good aspects about DYT, like honouring yourself, even if you can't use the colours.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Sue, that is a very perceptive comment. Actually, as I think about it "honouring yourself" is one of the best parts of DYT, even beyond the color and clothing guidelines. Food for thought -- thanks again!

      Delete
    3. I agree with you both. I really believe that the "inner" aspects of knowing oneself are much more important in DYT than the dressing aspects. I guess that would mean that I think Energy Profiling is more important and helpful than Dressing Your Truth. To me anyway.

      Delete
  6. I enjoyed your post. I too had my colors done over 25 years ago. I didn't know it was still being done. I was a summer and was supposed to only wear pastels, which it turned out, did really look better on me but now that I am a woman of a certain age, I love black and red and colors that are supposed to be wrong for me. But who cares? If we can't do what we like at this age, what's the point? I write a blog that includes fashion too so if you are interested you might want to check it out.

    Rosy
    http://rosythereviewer.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosy, I am a great believer that rules are made to be broken especially, as you say, for women of a certain age! If you love wearing certain colours, then you will feel and look happy in them. Looking happy makes you look a lot younger than a miserable woman would. My best anti-ageing beauty secret is to smile! I will check out your blog too.

      Delete