Monday, 16 June 2014

Personal Style: Part Two


 Subtitled:  Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah!
Here is a kitty picture to suck you in....



In yesterday's post I made a brainstormed list of words that I associated with my personal style as it is or as I am aiming for.  Some colours were included in that list so I looked more closely at the colours I had named and thought about what they meant to me, what sort of feeling or emotion they evoked.
silver--cool, quick, strong

black--sleek, effortless, simple, basic, creative

brown--stable, secure, grounded

teal--calm, serene, strong, thoughtful

purple--vibrant, rich, deep, alive, powerful

pinks/mauves--soft, simple, light, cool, feminine

oxblood--strong, real, mysterious

prussian blue--deep, cool, mysterious, wisdom

deep green--cool, strong, graceful


You might read these and find my associations odd, and not the same ones you would have made at all.  That doesn't matter though as this exercise gives me the key to why I like those colours, feel good in them and what my values are when applying them to the kind of person I hope I am.  The particular contradictions which interest me are my liking for black and the sleek effortlessness it symbolises to me and yet it doesn't seem to  fit with the colours and embellishments I also love.   Are sleek and embellished not essentially opposites?  But I also said that to me black is creative and in using that word I understand that for me black is the canvas.  Black is the background or starting place, and it makes sense that I love to put a colourful jersey dress with black tights or on top of black leggings and a black tee shirt. It also makes sense to me that I love all black for its sense of possibility.

Another odd thing that struck me was that the colours I love and know suit me best are cool colours and yet on my initial list I included the word warm.    I favour the deeper or muted versions of cool colours more than the vibrant, but often surprise myself be ending up with vibrant colours in my wardrobe too.  I'm a bit cautious with them feeling a bit conspicuous in them, but they do show up and I am figuring out how I can comfortably incorporate them.  I believe my inclusion of the word warm has more to do with a feeling than with the blue or yellow undertones of a colour.  To me jewel tones are warm; they invoke a feeling of warmth for me because they make me feel good.  I've also noticed that some colours which make their way into my wardrobe and with which I am perfectly happy, did not make it onto this list.  I'm okay with that.  I like to push my boundaries a little bit so I branch out into brighter reds and a touch of rusty orange.   I let colours I wouldn't wear in a solid top show up in prints, which means yellow makes a brief appearance.

Years ago, EONS in fact, I was given a colour draping session as a gift.  It was in the eighties when Colour Me Beautiful was published and everyone wanted to know what season they were.   Winter never seemed completely right to me, because I was told to wear colours I didn't feel comfortable in, colours that were too bright and clear for my comfort.   Later the seasons were subdivided into more categories with adjectives like soft, deep, bright or clear added to them. I suspect my best palette is this one, below.  I definitely do wear most of these colours. 

                                          Source



                                              Source

Eventually a colour analysis system that was limited to four seasonal categories  expanded to 16 options.  This was the most complete chart I could find but it is annoyingly difficult to read. 


There are  colours I avoid especially near my face: beige, light gray, most shades of yellow, peach and most pastels-pink seems to be the exception, anything neon and chartreuse.   

I am 95% certain I'm a winter but there is at least one blog which says winters only ever have black hair.  I think that's complete rubbish so I haven't included that blog in my recommended list at the bottom.  So there, Hah!

For some people this is all so much time wasted but for me, a woman with a colour obsession who thinks colour is one of the most fascinating topics in the world, it's a whole lot of fun.  I could be entertained for hours if I had a draping set for all 16 of these palettes.  Perhaps it's time I embarked on a new career as a colour consultant. Or maybe I should just waste lots of time reading about it online while eating ice cream.  Yes, that last idea sounds quite good.



If you want to read more about this subject, here is a list of sites I'd recommend.

http://blog.prettyyourworld.com/blog/

http://www.insideoutstyleblog.com/

http://www.thechicfashionista.com/index.html

http://www.truth-is-beauty.com/blog

20 comments:

  1. yes - i remember that swapping into eastern germany after the wall came down...
    it helped some gals a lot to find their style. or to refine the style. and it was a helpful tool for me when working with clients.
    i was told i´m winter and should never wear earthy hues. and it was right. but the older i get the warmer my colors. older skin goes yellow, even the snowwhite skin i was born with. add gray hair instead of almost black and you have a new type which is able to wear gold jewelry.
    but still - orange only in small doses ;-)
    xxxx

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    1. You are quite right that our colouring usually softens as we age and that grey hair sometimes makes a difference but it could be that you need the grayed/toned version of the cool colours. From the pictures I've seen of you I'd place you as a winter too, with your beautiful pale skin and cool gray hair. I have noticed that if I play with warmer colours I am better to stick to deep ones rather than pale ones. So I think a deep rust orange or an ochre yellow is better on me than lighter ones. I definitely look better in sliver jewelry than gold but I sometimes mix them. :-)
      xoxoxo

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  2. I'm sure there's a lot of truth to the colour divisions as certain colours certainly sing against my skin and others fade it. However when it all gets so detailed, I'm afraid they lose me! My sister loves all this, and is strict about following it, although she is on her third diagnosis! First Summer, then Winter, and now Cool Autumn! We can't keep up. I just wear what I like with a scarf if it washes me out:-) I think I baulk at restrictions and rules! But if it floats your boat and helps you, more power to you! You'll probably end up with a much better edited wardrobe, and personal style than I will!
    BTW I hope your Dad was impressed with your sartorial elegance after all the thought you put into your Father's Day outfit :-)

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    1. I wrote you a very detailed reply and Blogger ate it. It even told me that it ate it, which I thought quite considerate.
      I will try to summarize: I don't like rules much either unless I like the rules. Haha! I just find all the information about colour interesting as it is a blend of science and art. There are definitely people offering colour consultations who aren't very good at it, which sounds like what has happened to your sister. You are quite right that there are tricks to accomodate colours which are perhaps not our best ones, since the significant thing is what colour you put next to your face. And then having said that, we can all wear whatever the hell we want to if we like it. ;-)

      I am his only daughter, so my Dad is always impressed with me. He does love skirts though so I always wear one when going out with him.
      xoxoxoxo

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  3. Very interesting post dear Shawna! :)

    I've never concerned myself with the colors in that intense range. When I try on something I often see very quickly what I like or not. Sometimes I think it does not fit me and thinking of the cut or the fit. But often it is certainly the color that affects me. So I let myself unconsciously inspire or discourage from the colors.

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    1. You seem to have a very good instinct for which colours suit you. Some people are good at that natural, in the way some people can play music by ear or have perfect pitch.
      When I am shopping it is always colour I am looking at first as I scan the shelves and racks. Then it is the pattern and then the feel of the fabric. Only after all those have impressed me will I look at the style of the garment to see if it interests me or suits me.
      xoxo

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  4. Hahaha, as a color freak I can so relate to this! I always thought color makes everything better and happier. It's just one of those small pleasantries in life! I style my clothes according to how bright and shiny the colors are and it makes me happy :D
    Gonna check out the links as well.So interesting I'm tingling! :D

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    1. Yes, you are a bright colours girl for certain! I cannot imagine you dressed in gray. I live vicariously through your dressing, which is so bold and artistic and you seem to have a body that can wear anything. I wish I'd had that much fun when I was younger!
      xoxoxo

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  5. My mom swore by that book. She wouldn't wear anything else but fall colors...we just convinced her a few years ago that she looks great in black! I always considered myself a winter, but more of a bright winter! I need to get a copy of that book for the memories!

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    1. There are four different types of winters and you are probably one of them. Most colour experts insist that only winters can wear black, so that is likely where your mum got that idea. If she is a deep autumn though she can borrow from the winter palette just as winters can borrow from the darkest of the autumn colours.
      I'll bet you can find the original book in all sorts of second hand shops by now! Have fun!
      xoxo

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  6. I like your associations. And I agree that color is hugely important. It elevates my mood and forms my social presentation (in both male and female modes). Great post.

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    1. I think most people respond to colour but I have noticed I seem to respond more than some do. My mum thinks I am sweetly weird-lol. I am obsessed with not liking the colour of the walls in my home-I did not chose them- and she doesn't understand why I can't live with them because they are okay.
      I found a blog that seems to be really great info for male dressing tips though some are applicable to everyone. I will be featuring some info from it in my next post and I thought of you since it's a site that will support both your male and female dressing!
      xoxo

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  7. I like these charts! I could never find myself easily when they originally had only 4 seasons of color charts. this is much better. Now, I need to go find myself!

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    1. You have many more choices now! I know what you mean because I was told I was a winter and while that made sense the options were always a bit too bright for me. Have fun finding yourself! And do share what you find. :-)
      xoxo

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  8. I've always found the subject of color to be very interesting. My office is painted deep lavender because I find it suits my personality. Like you, I don't look terrific in certain shades of beige and pink. I think it's important to try to wear hues outside your comfort zone. I now have a mint dress - a color I never thought would look good on me - and I'm wearing more black and white than ever. It's all about expanding your horizons and your options.

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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    1. I try to test out things that are out of my comfort zone but still in my flattering palette. Sometimes it is a total failure as I stand there looking at myself in a dress of a certain colour thinking, nope I still hate that. LOL But I am definitely wearing more black and white together, which I used to avoid, and having quite a bit of fun with it. I think black and white would look amazing with your hair!
      xoxo

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  9. What a interesting analysis. I've never thought about my colour choices in this way. I'm sure there are certain ones I prefer over others and I would fit into a chart, I've just never done it. I tend to decide by how a colour feels on me. And then sometimes I'll wear a colour just because it's gross! - for a change - and see if how I respond to it is how others respond to it as well.

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  10. I recall being told I was a classic autumn ... but I've never paid too much attention to the "rules". I just wear what I like and what I feel suits me and I don't analyse it. As an artist I am sure you would have a very good eye for colours that compliment you and that system would work every bit as well as a colour chart :0)
    xx

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  11. Honestly, I never really looked at the season thing for styling, but I am curious as to what category I would fall into. Also--- found your color associations interesting!

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  12. I think what's proven by the expansion to 16 color charts is that you can't define people so easily, if at all. Besides the colors that might flatter your hair or skin tone, your point about how colors make you feel is really the bottom line for most people. So what color of ice cream do you like?

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