Choosing the right colours

Written by Garden City Personal Stylist, Peta Preston. Click here to download and save to your phone.

Colour is without a doubt one of the world's phenomena. Colour is more than a word. It’s a meaning, a feeling & a perception. The colours we wear can alter the way we feel & the way other people feel about us.

The 2009 documentary ‘Cracking the Colour Code’ is a great resource for expanding your curiosity about colour and its effect on our psychology, emotions and senses. Search on YouTube if you're keen to learn more. As a Stylist, utilising the power of colour is so important as it has a profound influence on the way my clients engage with people. The impact isn’t just a visual one. It is the feeling they can give to somebody else, and that all starts by them feeling a particular way when they put on a certain colour. With 80% of communication subconscious, colour matters.

Too often we get stuck in the rut of wearing the same colours because they are easy, or because we are conditioned to select it, rather than opting for the colour that looks best on us. My approach to colour is quite different to other Stylists or traditional ‘colour consultants’. I cringe when I see people walking around retail stores with their colour swatch or worse still, referring to themselves as a season (summer, autumn, winter, spring). This concept is so confusing and restricting to you, the client. While I believe there are definitely certain colours that suit some of us more than others and specific colours that shouldn’t be worn near our face, I also believe as a Stylist it is my job to be creative enough to help my client to feel empowered. Dictating to people what they can and can’t wear based on seasons or strict rules can suggest that I’m contradicting myself when colours work and they are not meant to!

During a Style Consultation, I determine if my client is CLEAR or MUTED in colour. Clear (shiny, luminosity to the skin) or muted (matt, skin looks flat or powdered). If the client is clear, they look best in strong, whole colours, vibrant colours that are rich in hue. Black doesn’t tend to age them, and they look best in bright crisp white, rather than a cream or ivory. If the client is muted, they look best in soft colours, diluted versions of a colour and the effect of water colours work best for them. Eg – If you are muted, navy is more complimentary close to your face then black.

How do you know if you are wearing the right version of a colour close to your face?
The colour intensifies the colour in your cheeks and lips, increasing the vibrancy of depth of colour. It softens the appearance of your overall skin tone, emphasising a more youthful appearance.

How do you know if you are wearing the wrong colour close to your face?
The colour adds a lot of yellow to the skin or can give you a grey complexion, adding lines to the skin, particularly around the mouth and eyes. It also emphasises the lines and skin irregularities.

Overall, you should feel energised and confident enough for the colours that you love, even if it means a creative use of that colour through an accessory or maybe a garment that is not right next to your face.
For more information or to crack the colour code, don’t hesitate to book a one on one Style Consultation with me.