Getting your colours done is trending.
Social media (primarily ‘the ticky tocky’, as I’m inclined to call it when in earshot of my Gen Z offspring) is awash with seasonal colour analysis filters that aim, in principle, to answer conclusively the question of what colours you should and shouldn’t be wearing.
PSA everyone can wear teal; it’s a universally flattering colour. You’re welcome.
The enthusiasm with which this, up until now, outdated 80s practice of ‘finding your colours’ has been embraced by the younger generations is next level! Feeds are filled with pensive faces surrounded by a fan-like array of the seasonal colours of the rainbow (the teletubby baby comes to mind) all desperately trying to determine whether they are a cool Summer, a warm Spring or in fact, decidedly unhinged.
With over 16.7 million colours in the world (I have absolutely no idea where that statistic comes from so let’s just go with it), and an ever-changing fashion landscape that dictates almost daily that orange is the new black, followed by the new barbie pink, and then any minute now lavender haze (and so on and so forth), it comes as no surprise that so many people struggle to work out which colours will actually work best for them in their wardrobes.
In the heyday of seasonal colour analysis ‘getting your colours done’ was big business. Trained consultants visited clients in the comfort of their homes, draping them in different colours of fabric in order to identify the colours that made their eyes pop and their skin glow. They were then given small swatches of their personal colours to aid them in their search for the perfect outfits and accessories. Although somewhat useful (I’ve personally had my colours done three times now, with a different outcome each go), it was all a bit Bridget Jones’ mum and fell by the wayside towards the early 90s.
Putting Pamela Jones to one side however, there’s another key reason why seasonal colour analysis has been a bit on the nose for the past 30 years. Attitudes surrounding style have thankfully evolved past the idea that we need to follow stringent rules. In my experience of styling women over the past 12 years, I have always been reluctant to limit style choices based solely on colour. When it comes to curating an outfit that you look and feel frocktabulous in, there are many other factors to consider. Rejecting an otherwise swoon-worthy piece that you feel positively alive in and meets all the needs of your day, on the basis that’ it’s just not your colour daaarling’ seems counterproductive to the goal of creating an inspirational wardrobe that works.
That’s why I adopt an holistic approach that takes into account:
- the story behind your style (Style Intention – the why of your style)
- the defining features of your style (Style Identity – the who and the what of your style); and
- the action needed to achieve it (Style Implementation – the how of your style).
Your Style Identity is the unique combination of your:
- body shape, proportion, features, frame, size and fit
- colour-complexion fit (yup, the seasonal colour analysis is only part of the equation)
- style preference and filter
- lifestyle-wardrobe fit
- style skill set (which anyone can learn; it’s not necessarily innate).
It includes colour, but it doesn’t end with it.
Getting better acquainted with your Style Identity (specifically the who and the what of your style) sets you up to filter the fashion noise and sheer volume of choice (including colour) that we are confronted with every time we shop for clothes; and even sometimes in our own wardrobes.
It anchors you to the message you send to the world, and importantly yourself, every day.
It combines specific know-how, inspiration and the confidence to fully engage with your visual expression of self. It also makes your decisions about what to buy and what to wear, significantly easier and hopefully even incredibly enjoyable.
Now of course, none of this should stop you getting your colours done by a professional colour consultant, or partaking in the less precise but likely more hilarious DIY option that the ticky tocky offers. But done in the scheme of a more well-rounded plan of attack offers a truly sustainable approach to fashion, and helps you to avoid expensive fashion mistakes, over-consumption and becoming bogged down in the quagmire of fast fashion and trends.
Word to your mother. And Bridget’s.
If you’d like to take the first steps to creating an inspirational wardrobe that works for you, not against you, I recommend reading more here. Or you can let me do the heavy lifting for you by simply emailing me at email@example.com.
Hi, I’m Nicole, and I’m a personal stylist obsessed with helping women in business and corporate roles to experience effortless, stylish dressing, allowing them to stand out for all the right reasons. I bring strategy, solutions and expertise to my clients. I fully understand the challenges women face when trying to achieve a wardrobe that actually works and I take the pain out of shopping for clothes and deciding what to wear. I transform something that feels fraught and complex into a streamlined solution expertly tailored to you.
Cover Image credit: Fi Mims Photography