Did you like to color as a child? Did a big box of Crayola’s set your heart aflutter? The answer for me is a resounding YES! And, whether I should admit this or not – it still does! I know they make “grown-up” coloring books now, but they do nothing for me! I want a 64 box of Crayola and a giant Barbie coloring book!
The truth of the matter is, color has a huge impact on us, even when we are unaware of it. Science has proven that color affects us emotionally, psychologically and physically, even to the point of influencing our behavior. Some scientists suggest that we not only see colors, but that we actually have the ability to “feel” them. What an amazing concept!
In my last post I mentioned what a game changer it was for me once I knew what “my colors” were – referring to knowing whether I was a Spring/Summer/Winter or Fall and the colors that are associated with these seasons. (I’m a Winter) Wearing the right colors, colors in harmony with her body’s natural coloring, can make a woman look healthier, better rested, younger, more energetic, with clearer, smoother skin. The “wrong” colors can make one appear sickly, ashen, more tired, and just, well….”off”.
Most of you probably know that colors are initially divided into “cool” and “warm” tones. Summer and Winter are “cool” seasons, meaning they have essentially “blue” or sometimes “pink” undertones. Spring and Autumn are “warm” seasons, meaning they have essentially “yellow” undertones. That’s very simplified, but in nutshell form, that’s it.
If you want to find out your definite season, I suggest consulting a color consultant, a stylist, website or book that takes you through the full steps. But for a super quickie step that they gave us in my makeup artistry classes to simply determine if you’re “warm” or “cool” try this – Stand next to a mirror in as natural light as possible with no makeup on. First hold up a “true” blue piece of fabric to your face and then a “true” orange piece of fabric next to your face. One should look natural or even make your skin glow. One should look unnatural or even make your skin look sickly (maybe a yellow or green cast). If the blue looks good – you’re “cool”. If the orange looks good – you’re “warm”.
Once you know your best colors, shopping and putting outfits together becomes dramatically easier! You’ll stop, or you should, buying anything outside of your color chart, so, automatically, your wardrobe is going to begin to coordinate. You’ll see each item begin to work seamlessly with the next. Additionally, they’ll be so much less tearing through the closet and throwing things past you complaining you have nothing to wear because everything is going to look good on you. The colors are going to bring out the best in your skin, hair and eyes giving you more confidence with what you wear.
But, color does more than just bring out the best in us as we use it correctly on ourselves. It also sends out messages to those around us. Certain colors say certain things. Did you know there are colors you should pretty much never wear to a job interview?! That’s why one of the services I, and many other stylists, offer people is Interview Styling. The way you present yourself – even down to the colors you wear – can speak volumes to people! (Free Tip of the Day: Best color to wear to an interview – Blue)
Here’s a quick list of what some main colors mentally represent to people:
Red – Confidence, Courage, Power, Energy, Vigor, Passion – don’t wear this to an interview Interesting Tidbit: Red is considered the ultimate “sexy” color. In a quote from a 2013 article in Psychology Today “...In an earlier series of experiments Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta (2008) found that men reported higher sexual attraction toward a woman dressed in red compared to women dressed in other colors. Men also expressed the intent to spend more money on a date with a woman in red…found that male patrons gave higher tips to waitresses wearing red over waitresses wearing white.”
Yellow – Cheerfulness, Joy, Freshness, Optimism, Playfulness
Blue – Patience, Tact, Health, Devotion, Healing, Trust, Integrity, Knowledge, Seriousness
Green – Freedom, Self-reliance, Healing, Balance, Ambition, Drive, Peace, Dependability
Purple – Romantic, Imaginative, Intuitive, Perceptive, Tolerant, Visionary
Pink – Feminine, Gentleness, Romance, Love, Friendship
Black – Formality, Sophistication, Strength, Power
This is just a small taste of how people see and respond to colors around them, including what we put on. Not only can we use color in our clothing to help elicit reactions from others, but, just the same, we can use the power of color to motivate our own emotions. Singer Cyndi Lauper once said, “On my darkest days I wear my brightest colors.” This is actually incredibly wise advice. Struggling with the blues? Depression? Pull out that yellow top to lift your spirits! Need some courage to go into that meeting? Slip into your favorite red heels! Motivate yourself with the power of color!
So, you may be saying, this is all too much, Ronnie! Learning all these colors…And I don’t even know my own colors! Give me something simple to start with!
I can do that! When in doubt there are 3 colors that are universal, where you cannot go wrong. Turquoise and Coral are the power horses of the color family! They each incorporate every color in their tone group. Coral represents all of the warm tones, and turquoise represents all of the cool tones. Thus, there is basically nothing that won’t coordinate with either of these colors and they look wonderful on pretty much everyone!
The third color is purple – sort of. You just have to find your shade. Everyone, no matter who you are, can wear some shade of purple. Don’t know why this is, it just is. Find your shade of purple and there you go. Fill your closet with turquoise, coral and purple and you’ve already got a great start on a stunning, colorful wardrobe!
Let’s face it, color is an almost never-ending topic! It’s fun to play with and fascinating to learn about if you take the time to delve into the many aspects. I encourage to play with color within your wardrobe! Go out and get some coral and turquoise and purple – if you don’t already have some – preferably thrifted! – and see how it looks on you. Then play with some other colors. Go through your closet and really examine the colors you have. Hold them up to your un-made face in natural light. What makes your skin glow? What makes it look tired or washed out? Without even “officially” knowing your season, you’ll begin to see what colors work for you and what colors don’t.
On a final note, I want to recommend a book to you, and this is purely just for fun! It’s Your Color Personality by Pamela Young. It’s available on Amazon. If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free (which is what I did), if not, it’s still only $3.99. Ms. Young has you take a quiz that analyzes your personality and separates people into colors. It’s a basic personality type idea – and I LOVE that kind of thing – but, under the guise that we are all represented by different colors. We have a primary color and then, possibly, a secondary color. You really don’t have to read the whole book – just do the quiz for yourself. It’s both incredibly fun and interesting to do. Just in case you’re curious, my color was PINK. Now are we really even remotely surprised?! But, the cool thing was, as she described me – and she describes you both as a child and an adult – she was dead on! It was like she knew me my whole life! She, also, gives suggestions on strengths and weaknesses in your career field, as well. Again, really fun, easy, interesting read. Highly recommend it, if you have the chance!
Until We Meet Again,