I've reviewed a number of books and websites and used my color analysis experience to see if I can offer a reliable self color assessment. This is what I've found...
Trinny and Susannah (TV stylists on the first UK What Not to Wear program) don't subscribe to flow seasonal or seasonal color analysis. However they do suggest a novel approach which I've adapted here for seasonal color analysis.You will need...
The idea is that in your current wardrobe you have clothes in a range of colors. For each color category there will likely be a range of hues, temperatures, values and intensities (see Understanding Color).
Sort your clothes into piles by color category. For
example all reds together, all blues together and so on .
Ignore the ones that are a mix of colors. Don't worry about
whether you actually wear the garment or even like it. We're
just looking at colors here.
For each color category pile take a garment and drape it under your chin, from shoulder to shoulder. Look in the mirror and see what the color does to your skin, hair, eyes and overall facial appearance.
If you've enlisted a friend who has different colors in their wardrobe you could try draping some of their clothes too.
If it does any of the above put it into a "reject" pile.
Or does it...
If it does any of the above put it into an "accept" pile.
At the end you should have a pile of clothes whose colors suit you. Take a look at the seasonal color ranges and pick which season this range predominantly falls into. If in doubt analyse the color's temperature, value and intensity.
No need to throw out clothes that aren't in your best colors. Make them work better for you instead, by minimizing the amount of the wrong color reflecting onto your face.
It's only colors above the waist that reflect onto your face. So it may be possible to make a top or dress work by wearing a jacket or cardigan in one of your colors. Or by adding a scarf or necklace in the right color.
This method sounds good in theory. However, before I had my colors done (many, many years ago) I don't think I had even 1 item of clothing in my wardrobe in 1 of my colors! However, many of my customers do seem to have an innate leaning towards their best colors. So, I guess I was an extreme example.
Even if you do have an innate ability to pick the best colors for you most of the time it helps to know why these colors are right for you. This way you can always pick your best colors and save wasting time, energy and money on the maybe 20% of wrong choices. Or, if you want to try a different color to the usual colors you head for it is good to do so knowing you are picking a good color for you.
An Image Consultant will also teach you other factors involved, as well as color, in choosing clothes that work for you. Such as contrast levels and fabric characteristics that will work best for your coloring.
Understanding your best range of colors is an essential part of a style makeover for men or women. Find out about my in-person color analysis service by clicking here. Find out about my remote or online color analysis service by contacting me.
The other main technique I've found is to answer a number of questions about your coloring and color preferences. There are a few websites around offering various "flavors" of quizzes. Some are based on hair color only, others on skin and hair. I haven't yet found one that looks at skin, hair, and eyes.
The way you answer the questions determines the choices on the questions you are asked next. For example, if you answer light golden blonde for hair color your choices of skin color are different from if you picked cool dark brown for your hair color.
Each quiz results in either a general classification (for example, warm colors suit you best), or in a specific seasonal classification (either Winter, Summer, Autumn or Spring).
Out of the 6 quizzes I took only 1 correctly determined that I am an Autumn. Not a particularly encouraging success rate! And certainly not reliable enough to risk replacing all your clothes!
So far I haven't found an approach that is particularly reliable. If you already have a good feeling for the colors that suit you best then the "In Your Wardrobe" approach described above might work for you. However, the self assessment quiz approach seems too hit-and-miss.
Perhaps this quiz approach could work if the quiz was crafted carefully enough. And if it supplied enough pictures of skin, hair and eye colors to help you understand how to answer accurately.
Maybe the quiz approach would work better if combined with the "In Your Wardrobe Approach".
However, I think you'll be better off investing in an actual color analysis by a professional Image Consultant.
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