Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Step 3: Your Colours

For me this was the most enlightening step and the most exciting, which won't surprise my regular readers who know how much I love colour.

There are 18 colour palettes in Imogen's 7 Steps to Style system, using three criteria for choosing your best palette: how warm or cool you are; whether you're lighter or darker; how bright or soft you are. If you'd like to take a peek at all the palettes, click on this link to go to my Pinterest board. This is a long way from my original experience of colour analysis with only four seasonal palettes, where many colours in your palette didn't suit you because, for example, they were too bright or too light.

The easiest choice was between light and dark, as my hair and eyes are both dark. I tend to wear a lot of bright colours, so when Imogen said my colouring was softer rather than brighter it was obvious that many of my tops aren't really flattering me. The main shock though was to be told that my colouring was on the warm side instead of cool. Looks like another change to my wardrobe is coming up!

This was the colour swatch that I received: I'm an Enigmatic, meaning my colouring is deep, soft and warm.

I was pleased to see that there were plenty of blues, greens, reds and purples in my swatch though yellow and orange don't feature much in my existing wardrobe and I'm not sure that I'll be rushing out to buy those colours. Unfortunately many of the blues, greens and purples in my wardrobe aren't warm enough for me, so I'll need to gradually replace them.

The picture below shows the group of outfits that Imogen created for Enigmatics.

This is where things get interesting. When only looking at colour I liked most of these outfits, however I know now that many of the styles wouldn't flatter me or don't work for my style personality. I'm starting to look at the whole picture and not just choosing clothes based on the colours or styles that appeal to me. Shapes, styles and colours are equally important, plus of course value and colour contrasts as described in my post last year.

Imogen also tells us how to identify our signature colours, which are based on our individual colouring.  It's obvious that dark brown will flatter me as that's my hair colour, but I now understand that blues are also good if you have brown hair or eyes, however in my case it has to be a warm blue rather than a cool one. If you have definite blue or green in your eyes you can either match them or wear complementary colours. Other good colours to choose for your signature colours are your skin and lip colours.

As ever there are a myriad of very helpful posts on Imogen's blog, covering topics such as: how to work with your contrast; what is a neutral; the undertones of colours; what are clashing colours? and understanding basic colour terminology. Read them all and you'll become a colour expert too!

I've found the comments of other members in the 7 Steps to Style facebook group very helpful when trying to work out my signature colours and appreciated their advice when I've tried out different outfits.  I'll talk a bit more about what colours I'm favouring when I describe my latest capsule wardrobe for Project 333, but my original plan to limit myself to two neutrals and two accent colours has been abandoned. The other 7 Steppers are encouraging me to include all the colours I love, which is the advantage of having a colour palette.  All my Enigmatic colours go together - look again at my colour swatch above - isn't that wonderful?!


  1. So glad you're seeing how flattering your Enigmatic colours are Sue!

  2. I think this whole experience is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Sue, I know you've been struggling with getting your colors just right and I certainly am doing the same. It's good to see how much progress you're making. I'm also glad to see that you can incorporate colors: I think you would feel under-dressed without them!

  4. Thank you for your comments. It's thanks to Imogen, of course, that I've discovered these wonderful colours.

    Robin, you know me too well! It's interesting to note that the brown party dress you liked on me is in one of my best colours!