Are You Wearing Your Colours?

Wake up Your Look by Dressing For Your Season

Many of my friends have been amused when shopping with me when I suddenly dive into my purse and produce a little booklet with a huge array of swatches in different colours... "What on EARTH is that?" they exclaim. And here I preach the gospel of colours...

Getting your colours done was huge in the 80s, now not so much, but I was treated to a colour analysis at the tender age of 16 and have never looked back.

So what is getting your colours done all about?

Have you ever worn something and everyone compliments you on the colour? Or alternatively you throw on a shirt and it makes you feel drab and lifeless? A lot of it has to do with it being your colour or not.

If you wear the wrong colours you can look older, heavier, tired, whereas the right colours will help you appear healthier, younger, slimmer and brighter. A colour analysis divides people in to four categories: Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall/Autumn.

There are four attributes to colour:

Hue - the name of the colour

Temperature - whether it is warm, cool or even neutral. Warm colours are YELLOW based and cool colours are BLUE based. Neutral colours are pure colours - neither cool nor warm.

Value - is the colour light, medium light, dark, medium-dark

Intensity - how clear or muted the colour appears.

Your main seasonal colour has these attributes and so do clothing colours. Once you know your season, to determine if an item of clothing will suit you, look for colours with attributes that most closely match your seasonal colours attributes.

The four seasons of colours are:

Winter - These colours are cool (blue-based), clear and dark to light intensity. Think of a winter landscape. Here you’ll see colours such as white, black, navy and fushia. I am always jealous of winter people as they get to look great in white and black!

Summer - Summer colours are also cool (blue-based) but they are muted and medium-light to medium-dark in value. The light colours are creamy pastel rather than icy. Think pastel blues and purples.

Spring - Spring colours are warm (yellow-based), clear and bright with medium to light intensity, similar to the bright clear colours of spring flowers. This is my season, I absolutely love the coral, apricoty colours but find it hard to put on the kelly green!

Fall /Autumn - These colours are warm, muted and medium light to medium-dark intensity. Think of rich burnt oranges, reds, golden yellows and sludgy greens. I am yet to find many autumn people but think their colour palette is fantastic!

You can pay an image consultants to figure out your season or you can easily work it out yourself with the help of a great friend. Using your wardrobe of clothes, a full length mirror and a naturally lit room, you can simply go through your closet and sort your clothes in to colour categories.

For each colour category pile, choose an item and place it under your chin from shoulder to shoulder then ask yourself these questions:

Look in the mirror and see what the colour does for your skin, hair, eyes and facial appearance. Does it throw shadows up onto your face? Make you look grey, yellow, orange or blue  Emphasize facial contours and lines? Emphasize dark circles under your eyes? Make your eyes and teeth look yellow, grey or dull? Make your skin or hair look flat, dull and lifeless? Dominate your face, so your eyes are dragged down towards the garment?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the item is put into the reject pile

If the clothing item lights up your face (skin, hair and eyes), makes your eyes sparkle, emphasizes the color of your eyes, makes you look healthy and vivacious or draws your eyes up towards your face, it goes into the keep pile.

Once you've gone through all your clothes you'll be able to determine which season you fall into.

I encourage you to give this a go. It makes shopping so much more fun (if it isn’t fun enough already!) and it certainly helps you allow yourself to look better in what you’re wearing. Tired Mommas like us can use any help we can get to look more alive don’t we?!


Anna is an Australian living in Vancouver, BC with her husband and two Canadian sons. She is a part-time SAHM and a part-time events assistant. She alsos write a blog called for Mommies who dont want to change their stylish ways post having kids!