Sunday, 10 January 2016

Brace Yourselves

This is a warning because I like you.  I am obsessed with colour. I play with it, read about it, study it, and have written about a bazillion unpublished blog posts on personal colour analysis and my exploration of it.  Yes, I said unpublished.  I have written and published a few in addition to the masses of words and pictures I've accumulated and not inflicted on the online world.  That's about to change.  I've got two lengthy posts coming and so I decided to warn you in advance.  Fortunately nobody is going to make you read them.  I am posting them for anyone who is like me and obsessed with the topic, or perhaps those who are mildly interested but patient.  I am not even sure my own mother loves me enough to read all of these posts, but then I write this blog for myself and if it pleases me to write endlessly about colour then that's just how it is.  And it does please me.

For some people choosing colours to wear is not a big event.  They may not believe in personal colours or they may not care.  I would argue that it is a fact, not something to believe in, that everyone looks better in some colours than others and that there is a scientific basis for sorting colours into groups that belong together based on like properties.  That we can determine which groups of colours suit us best and that thankfully someone else has done all the work of organising the colours into groups.  There is a version of almost every colour for everyone, so the colour palettes are not limiting as some might think, though they are limiting because their very purpose is to eliminate colours that do not flatter and home in on the best of the good ones.

For some people it is enough to decided if they suit warm or cool colours and have done with it.  I read somewhere (can't remember where) that colour discrepancies humans are best at distinguishing is warmth and coolness and it is the wrongness of this warmth or coolness that may be the first thing that jars us.  Warm and cool are temperature terms and colour only has perceived temperature, of course.  The more blue in a colour the cooler we perceive it to be and the more yellow, the warmer we perceive it to be.  People who perceive their own colouring to be cool may avoid yellow and those who perceive themselves to be warm may avoid blue, as indicated in the chart below.


However, green is a bit of an exception since green is a combination of blue and yellow and the more yellow that is added to the mix the warmer the green appears to us.   The above chart is woefully inadequate, since browns can be made cooler and purples can be made warmer, but it does give the general idea. 

Just look at some of the options for wearing the colour turquoise.  Don't you want to know which one is your best?  I've always thought of turquoise as a cool colour but that's somewhat relative.  The more yellow you add the warmer it gets.  The warm versions get closer to green and the cool versions closer to blue but with many of them they are best distinguished from each other when seen in comparison.  Oh no!  Such opportunity to get it wrong.



Myers Briggs personality test results consistently place me as INFJ

INFJ people like to learn everything, every detail, all the nuances, in order to fully comprehend the core idea, the nugget of truth.  Or at least they do for topics that interest them. I find I do not have this compulsion with algebra.

But colours-those interest me!  So two lengthy blog posts are coming.  They are already written and my finger hovers over the publish button like Ronald Reagan's hovered over the red button of doom. 

 In the meantime here is an update that has nothing at all to do with colour or the Cold War.

Update on the handbag experiment:

The short handled bag I bought (thrifted) recently has been a short lived experiment in carrying a new-to-me type.  The experiment lasted about as long as did my attempt to take my coffee black.  I am a die hard shoulder-strap/cross body bag carrier and having to hold the bag in my hand just drove me nuts.  I also had accidents.

Most of us who drive a car have a sense of our vehicle's boundaries and edges.  In time we know exactly what small spaces our vehicle will fit into or through.  Well, I had difficulty driving this new handbag and I didn't know where the edges and boundaries were at all.  I kept knocking things off shelves in the shops when I was carting around a bag hung over the crook of my arm, which is what one has to do if one needs one's hands.  Strike two against the bag was that it did not meet my requirement to go smaller.   It's a lovely bag, but seems not right for me.  I will sell it and hope someone else can enjoy it while I enjoy the cash.


  1. Hello Shawna, I really like seeing all the Colors and
    Tones on your site! Your blog seems to have literally taken on a whole new "Tone" since we met at the meet up in Vancouver last summer. I am wondering how the Looking Glass necklace you received in the trade goes with the colors you like to wear? What is your experience of wearing it. I'd really appreciate the feedback. Thank you ~ and Happy New Year !!! Wendra

  2. Hi Wendra! I often think of you because when I am not using it, the looking glass necklace hangs on a nail on a wall in my bedroom where I see it daily and admire it. It is very useful to wear when shopping as there are always labels to read. The colours are earthy in feel-brown, gold and turquoise, so a little warmer than my naturally cool palette but I am highly attracted to warm earthy tones. It suits my style personality which has a hippie-earth mother-librarian lean and I do wear a lot of brown and blue so I think that is what makes it work. I also like just slight hint of dissonance, making an outfit not look too planned and matching so that makes it work too. Happy New Year, to you too!

  3. Those turquoises do my head in if I'm trying to decide which suits me best. But I adore all the tones if I'm just admiring them...and painting.
    I am a cool, a Winter and that's as far as I've taken it. All this bright and soft etc is too much for me, and I adore chatting about colour.
    My sister is more keen and has been through at least three seasons!
    I loved your bag, but totally get what you mean. i have as I think I told you, put a long strap onto my short handled bag so I can use it. But it's not quite right.
    The grey scarf is finished...thanks for asking!
    Must take photos :-)
    Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. It is my humble opinion that you are either a dark winter or a true winter, and I doubt you would really go wrong dressed as either. Teal is going to look good on you quite readily and it will be a colour where 'errors' of season matter less. I suspect you might instinctively not put the really muted ones near your face anyhow. xoxoxo

  4. I love all of those turquoise shades! I look decent in a light, washed out turquoise I think but it's never been my best color, which makes me sad, because I love it! I realize I am reading these posts in backwards order, sorry! The four seasons swatches caused so much confusion for me, from the 80's "Color Me Beautiful" book (my Mom had it, we could never decide what either one of us was! I think she is actually very close in coloring to you). More muted/less clear but blue green eyes with dark hair and cool skin tone. We always thought she was some sort of winter but it seemed too harsh a lot of the colors (hence all of the modern variations/subtleties within season). I wonder how many people are just clear true representations of a season. Julianne Moore an obvious Autumn comes to mind I guess. Elizabeth Taylor a Winter? Summer....Farrah Fawcett? (See I can see them in other people, just not myself!)I agree with what you say about the golden/tan thing throwing things off as well. Especially in the U.K. where so many people are flat out orange year round from fake tan!

  5. I'm exactly the same way. When something interested me, I get obssesed with it, I read every scientific article available and I spend months pondering it.

    As you may noticed, I love colours. They fascinate me on so many levels.


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