Four Seasons Color Analysis- A Step-By-Step Guide
"Color is a power which influences the soul." Wassily Kadinsky
Hello and welcome! I have a small, overall white, black, grey and dark blue wardrobe but my scarves are the category where I indulge, with vivid colors, rich hues and luxurious materials… You can admire one of my very favourite one, a rich purple scarf in the picture illustrating today's post. I love getting scarves when I travel and come across something truly exceptional: like this beautiful hand-woven lotus flower scarf from Inle Lake in Burma, so perfectly imperfect, an amazing baby alcpaca shawl from Peru, an elegant wild silk scarf from Pakistan, or an incredibly soft cotton chiffon with Aboriginal art that I found in Australia. I also love how my scarves help protect my hair against external aggressions, shield my face against the sun and become very handy when it rains or gets cold. They often add color to my looks and instantly make an outfit as basic as a white tee-shirt and a jean much more put together. I am also happy to have them when I am far away from home and want to pray.
I used to pick the scarves more on how they look and the color I liked, rather than the color that suits me. For example, I really loved orange but it is only when I got my colors analysis done that even though the scarves I owned were beautiful, I understood that the color did not often suit me. When I was in my early twenties and I was still really young, the colors I wore mattered less. My skin was at its prime, naturally plump and supple; and even when I spent the night away partying, it did not show the next day. But as I hit 30, I noticed that some colours were really unforgiving, washing my skin off, showing off blemishes or even making me look older. I tried to figure out on my own which colors suited me best- I knew that grey and jewel tones worked best on my skin tone (no wonder deep purple has always been a favorite color of mine). But for the rest, I was clueless.
I first started to look in books, on the internet how to figure out my best colors. As I wear those scarves so close to my face, I finally decided to get professional help and this is probably one of the best decisions I ever took. After interviewing a whole bunch of personal stylists and image consultants in Paris, I hired stylist extraordinaire Cécile Hasroyan to help me. I have never looked back since. I will share here the process of getting your colors done, the way I wished someone explained to me when I was so cluelessly wearing my orange scarves. Color is more than just how it makes you feel. It also influences the image you project. Some studies suggest that the colors worn by a person can affect how he or she is perceived. For example, red and pink are associated with sexuality, while black and navy convey authority. There is no wonder why police officers wear dark uniforms.
Ideally, if you can afford it, I would recommend getting a professional do it for you. It´s a once in a lifetime investment, but so worth it. Otherwise, DIY yourself also works, with a good mirror, natural light as well as yellow and gold items and colored fabrics. There are several methods for analyzing personal coloring, also called "skin tone matching" or "color seasons". There are many methods out, but the most known is the "seasonal" color analysis. To get you started, here are few tips based on my readings, research, conversations with Cécile and my very own experience with the 4 season’s approach, using the draping method.
First things first, let me explain what the four seasons are. They are based on the types of your skin undertone cool or warm. And then they are dark and light, depending on your hair and eye color. Winter and Summer are cool while Autumn and Fall are warm. There are 2 steps here: determine whether you are cool or warm (1) and then dark or light (2). Once you know your true colors, you will know how you can start building a wardrobe that would beautifully complement your natural colors (skin, hair and eyes). The same goes for your makeup, hair dyes and accessories (jewelries and sunglasses).
1/ Determine whether you are cool or warm
Make sure your face is makeup free, that you are not wearing any jewellery, scarf or hat and that your hair is pulled back. You need to have a good miror and should face it in natural light. Use a gold and silver clothing or jewellery close to your face to see whether you are warm or cool. You have to observe your skin tone, whether it looks patchy or rather radiant, the white of your eyes- whether they are turning yellow and how does it overall make you look. If gold looks better, than you are warm. If silver gives you a better glow, then you are cool.
Another way to figure whether you have cool or warm undertone is to look at your veins. If they look bluer than green, then you are most likely cool. And you guessed it, if it is the tend to be greener than blue, you are most likely warm. Some (rare) people are also neutral.The test showed I was cool.
You could also use foundation yellow and pink in each cheek. If yellow blends better in your skin, than you are warm; if it is rather pink that does the job, then you are cool!
2/ Determine Whether You Are Dark or Light
This will be determined by your hair and eyes color.
If you are cool and your eyes and hair are dark like me, then you are most likely a Winter. If you are cool, and your hair and eyes are light, then you are a Summer.
If you are a warm and your eyes and hair are light like Cécile, you are a spring ; If you are warm and your hair and eye are dark, you are an Autumn.
3/ Best Colors for Each Types
It is difficult to tell you exactly which colors will suits you best as each one of us have our very own combination of skin tone, hair and eye color. But below are some guidelines as you choose colors.
Winter types like me look best in intense, rich colors, jewel tones, bright white and icy pastels. Purple, emerald green, ruby red, fuschia and royal blue are also personal favourites!
Summer types look best in soft, muted colors. Heather grey, rasperry and slate blue look great on you.
Spring types look great in clear, vivid and warm undertones. Camel, bright yellow and stone perfectly complement your tones.
Autumn types shine when wearingwarm colors inspired by autumn foliage. Some good colors are orange (Lucky you!) and brown.
To clarify, figuring out your colors done does not mean that you are limited to a strict color palette. You can still wear all colors but just make sure that you choose the right intensity for your skin tone. For example, I discovered that coral, a beautiful shade between pink and orange suits me really well, it still close to orange, a once favorite, but without all of the yellow that was makes my skin look patchy and tired. One of my very favorite scarf is also a deep pink with grey undertones that gets me without fail, compliments every single time I wear it.
What do you think about color theories? Did you get ever have your colors done? Please share your thoughts in the comment session below. I will tackle in my next wardrobe article, a guide to dress for your body type and facial features. Do not forget to subscribe to stay in the know!