What does color do?

In your best colors, you’ll look beautiful, with glowing skin, rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, and hair filled with highlights. Put on the opposite colors and you’ll look drained and tired, with blotchy skin, dull eyes and hair, even illusions of under eye circles and double chins.

It’s just a matter of determining the specific hue, value and intensity of blue or green or red that is most effective for you.

Knowing your best colors saves you money

  • The average American woman has at least $3,000 invested in her wardrobe. Just one or two outfits that hang unworn can be as costly as a color consultation.
  • Defining your best colors eliminates impulse buying and makes you less likely to jump on a fad color that doesn’t flatter you or go with anything in your closet. It helps you resist the “it was such a great markdown” method of color selection too.
  • Consistently shopping with your best colors in mind, creates a natural harmony within your wardrobe and leads to all sorts of happy accidents – wardrobe items that just seem to go together without conscious planning.

Points of Connection

So how do you know which colors are your best? You look for “Points of Connection.”

Temperature Connection

The color wheel is a systemic representation of all colors we see, organized according to the proportion of warm yellow pigment or cool blue pigment each color contains. Just as colors can be classified as or cool based on the presence or absence or yellow pigment, humans can be described as warm or cool based on their unique body coloring.

The first step to pinpointing flattering colors is to echo the warmth or coolness of your personal coloring.

A simple test for warm or cool

On the most basic level, some women can determine their own temperature category- warm or cool- with this simple test. Hold sheets of gold and silver metallic paper or fabric alternately near your face. If the gold is obviously more harmonious, your undertones are WARM. If the silver is noticeably more flattering, your undertones are cool.

Value Connection

The next step in choosing optimal wardrobe colors is the element of value – how light (a tint) or how dark (a shade) the color is. Every color family exists in a range of values, arranged here from very dark to very light. You will look your best in colors whose value is close to the overall value of your personal color pattern.

Your personal value is determined by the combination of your skin, hair, and eyes. Blonde hair, porcelain skin, and pale blue eyes add up to a light/soft value. A woman of color, with rich brown skin, black hair, and brown eyes, would be a dark/strong value. A high-contrast woman with pale to medium skin, dark eyes, and dark hair would also be classified as a dark/strong value.

Wearing colors that balance your personal value pattern gives you a unified appearance from head to toe. (that allows you to look taller and trimmer in the bargain) Wearing colors in a significantly mismatched value creates the effect that your head is somehow separate from the clothes and your body.

Intensity Connection

Intensity refers to the clarity of a color – pure and saturated or more muted. A pure color becomes muted when it is blended with its complement (its color wheel opposite). It can also be muted by blending clear with brown or tan – a warm effect called toasting. Or it can be muted by blending black and gray – a cool effect called silvering.

Characteristics like bright eyes or hair color, smooth skin and sleek hair texture can give a woman clearer, more intense coloring. Softer personal colors, more textured or multicolored hair, eyes with varied highlights all contribute to a gentle, muted color pattern. The objective is to choose colors about as bright or as muted as your own color pattern.

Ironically, women with gentle, muted coloring often describe themselves as “drab” and try to brighten up their look by wearing overly bright colors. This approach makes their lovely, subtle coloring look dull by comparison. Surrounded by more muted wardrobe colors instead, their appearance takes on a natural glow.