When I started my business well over 30 years ago, color analysis was at the heart of it and that really hasn’t changed. But HOW I do color analysis HAS changed.
Here are 6 reasons why I do custom color analysis (with a fun backstory and lots of pictures!):
- Your palette is a one-of-a-kind work of art created ESPECIALLY for you.
- The ONLY colors in your palette are the ones that look GREAT on you.
- The palette customization not only includes a full range of accent colors that look gorgeous on you, but it also includes color strips matching YOUR hair, eyes and skin color as well as your personal best whites and metallics for jewelry.
- Your palette will harmonize with your natural coloring whether your personal colors run cool, warm or a combination.
- The fabrics used in your palette will reveal your degree of brightness vs. muted tones, light to dark and a range of texture you can’t get with paint chips.
- Your personality can subtly influence your color palette bringing out more intensity, lightheartedness, vibrancy, softness, (whatever is true for who you are), which is why we meet either in person or virtually before (or when) your color palette is created.
How did I get here?
I was trained as a color consultant back in the 1980’s and was taught using the seasonal color analysis system. Everyone was made to fit into one of four color palettes that related to the seasons. Summers were cool, light and slightly muted. Springs were warm and vibrant. Autumns were warm, rich earth tones and Winters were cool, vibrant jewel tones.
It was an exciting time since the concept of color analysis for your wardrobe was fresh and new. I could see the benefits and was immediately sold on the value of knowing what colors look amazing on you.
Even before I was professionally introduced to color analysis, I was aware of its growing popularity and was intrigued. I didn’t know how to color analyze someone or myself, but that didn’t stop me!!
Some friends and I decided to determine our best colors using…wait for it…CARPET SAMPLES!
One of my friends sold carpeting and she had access to any color carpet samples we wanted. She brought a bunch of them over to my house and we took turns holding them up in front of our faces…oohhing and aahhing. I desperately wanted to be winter and even now it makes me roll my eyes, but I managed to convince us all that I looked best in winter colors. (My coloring is about as far from a winter as you can get, but I was tired of being told I looked good in earth tones so I rebelled!)
While we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, we had fun and I continued to delude myself about the colors that really look good on me. But, hey, I was in my 20’s…
When I was finally professionally color analyzed by the inimitable Nevena, I remember the first words out of my mouth were, “Ugh, my mom was right…I look terrible in red!” (Remember this was the 80’s so big hair!!)
While I sulked for a few minutes upon learning I really am not a winter, I quickly realized the power of understanding and wearing one’s most harmonizing colors. I couldn’t get enough and was lucky enough to have Nevena as a mentor as I followed by dream of becoming an image consultant.
I continued my training and practiced doing color analysis on friends until I was ready to branch out and share my newfound knowledge. For a while, I was happy doing the seasonal color analysis, although, at the time, we were trained to cover someone’s hair and just focus on their skin and eyes which, even then, didn’t make any sense to me. But I followed the rules.
Then, I started noticing that the seasons felt limiting. Yes, sometimes the seasons were divided into subsections and that felt slightly more inclusive, but I still couldn’t shake the feeling that there had to be a better way to fully access someone’s best colors.
I started looking for a system that would allow me to handpick a palette for someone and I explored several different systems…easily settling on the one I use now. I spent time watching Cynthia Skari, the creator of the color system I use, as she created palettes for clients. As she worked through the over 2,000 colors swatches, it was obvious what worked and what didn’t. I was beyond thrilled to continue providing my clients with their color palettes but now in a way that felt complete. And I’ve been using this system for early 30 years!
Whether it is done in-person or virtually (with very specific photos), I have special lighting and a finely tuned system. Here are 3 clients with their color palettes – two were done in-person and one was done virtually.
A fun spinoff of all of this is that many of my clients bring their husbands, sons and boyfriends to have their colors done as well. Men are a riot. They are either there because they are intrigued and curious themselves or because their wives insisted because they tend to do most of the clothes shopping for their husbands. Either way we have a blast.
Here’s what Hilary said about her husband and his color palette: “It brings me such joy to see my husband blossom in his new clothes and colors. I believe he’s really “feeling himself” because he knows how great he looks in the colors he’s wearing. He rejected a sweatshirt this last weekend because “it did nothing for him”! I really believe that he is so committed because he feels so beautiful in his colors. We’ve been married 25 years, and I’ve never seen him like this. What a gift you have given him. Thank you so much.”
Here’s a photo of his beautiful color palette:
I have to say that it brings me so much joy to see my clients with their palettes and wearing and enjoying their beautiful colors. 30+ years ago, when I felt frustrated by the basic color analysis I had learned, I almost stopped doing colors. But my heartfelt belief that wearing your most flattering colors is at the heart of every successful outfit and wardrobe kept me pressing on to find what I needed to make it feel right. I am so thankful I did and still, to this day, love sharing the joy of color with each of my clients.
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Want to learn more about how to get your own personalized color palette? Check out all the details (both in-person and virtual) here: Personalized Color Analysis