«Colour 202 This week we continue and conclude our exploration of colour. Our focus in the Week 20 Resource is to illustrate key concepts from the ...»
This week we continue and conclude our exploration of colour. Our
focus in the Week 20 Resource is to illustrate key concepts from the
• Your best neutrals
• Contrast, and how to work yours out
• Your signature colours
• How to successfully mix colours
• Finding your perfect white (a bit of Bonus, just for you!)
Remember this is a ‘menu’, so take what you need for now and leave the rest – it’ll be here when you need it.
Neutrals There are some universal neutrals that everyone can wear. These include Marine Navy (a very deep teal blue) | Taupe (a brown/grey) | Charcoal | Soft white (just off white)
Other neutral options are:
If you have a warm complexion: Toast, tan, camel, khaki, deep olive green, cream If you have a cool complexion: Bitter Chocolate, rose beige, pure white, blue grey, French navy(dark navy), charcoal blue grey Neutral Options by imogenl featuring Societe Anonyme pants Neutrals (continued) The neutrals that are most flattering for you will mix and match most easily with the colours that suit you best.
We covered your best colours last week, so this week let’s build on that with neutrals.
Here is an example of a cool and a warm camel and colours that both can be mixed with.
My Best Warm or Light or Dark Colours like:
Neutrals are Cool (list below) Contrast – the Concepts The Value scale (according to Albert Munsell who developed much of the visual colour theory we use today), is the dark to light scale.
Munsell numbered the colours 1 - 10, 1 being black and 10 being white. This scale is used in many fields including hairdressing. 1 is black hair dye and 8 is a blonde (you may have heard your colourist/hairdresser talking numbers).
We’ll come back to this chart in a minute. Let’s talk value contrast and give you some famous examples first.
Contrast The image to the right demonstrates high, medium and low value contrast outfits.
How does value contract affect clothing choices?
• If you have naturally high contrast in your personal colouring, you'll look best in high contrast clothing combinations
• If you have naturally low contrast in your own colouring, you'll look best in outfits with lower value contrast Contrast - examples High Contrast High – Medium Contrast Low Contrast
- Anne Hathaway - Amy Adams - Rebecca Rojmin
- Gwen Stefani - Angelina Jolie - Jennifer Aniston How to figure out your Contrast Copy this card and print it out so the colours are fairly ‘true’ on paper as they are on the screen.
Hold it up next to your face. How pale or dark is your skin – which number is it closest too in lightness or deepness?
Then look at your hair colour, how light or deep is it? Write down that number.
Now, which number does your eye colour most closely resemble?
Note this number down.
Finally: look how far apart the highest and lowest numbers are. This is your contrast.
If they are 3 or less apart - you are low value contrast If they are 3-6 apart - you are medium contrast If you are more than 6 apart you are high contrast Introducing Contrast – Imogen’s AHA moment The addition of the scarf adds a pop of colour and introduces some contrast.
This image highlights Imogen’s A-HA contrast moment.
Imogen is high contrast (dark hair and pale skin), so this addition of contrast made her look alive and fresh.
Without the contrasting element (the scarf), the overall look is too muted for Imogen, even though the colours suit her.
Wearing Contrast High Medium Low Putting together high, medium or low contrast outfits is easy!
• High contrast outfits combine deep/dark
colours (such as black) with light (eg:
white) or bright (eg: fire engine red) coloured items
• Medium contrast outfits combine a deeper colour (eg: grey) with mid-shades (eg: plum or blue)
• Low contrast outfits have little variation between the colour depths such as tan with cream or pale blue Signature colours
• Signature colours make you look alive!
• Signature colours reflect your hair, eye, lip and cheek colour
• When you find the best colours that are in perfect harmony with your personal colouring you’ve found your signature colours!
• Notice how the pink of the dress reflects the blush of Kate’s cheeks, and how radiant she looks?
Signature colours – Princess Mary of Denmark
• Her skin enhancers are the pinks, purples and burgundy colours
• Her hair and eye enhancers are the browns and golds These are all signature colours for Princess Mary of Denmark, and they make her glow!
How to work out your signature colours
What you’ll need:
Colour chips or swatches (paint chips or clothing items work well) in
• A variety of whites
• Greens, browns, golds, greys, blues, teals, etc – for eye colour matching (+ see pages in this Resource for more on eyes)
• Browns, blacks, blondes, greys, reds – for hair colour matching
• A range of pinks, corals and reds – for lip and cheek colour matching Your signature colours (continued)
• Sit in front of a mirror in good natural lighting, and hold 3 similar colours up on your forehead
• You will often find that one is more harmonious with your colouring.
• For example, a deep red may bring out your lip colour where as a soft pink may be just too pale and wash you out; or the warm peach make you look really healthy.
• A blue may seem to make your eyes pop but the greens don’t. An olive green may make your eyes stand out. A golden brown may suddenly bring out the glints of gold in your iris, or a turquoise may bring out the coloured ring around your iris.
• A deep brown might really work well with your hair, or maybe it’s the prairie gold and nutmeg that works.
• Keep holding up various colour chips to your face until you find the colours that really make you glow. You may have 3 or 4 signature colours, or you may have 12 or 13! However many you discover, these are your signature colours!
When you find the best colours that are in harmony with your personal colouring -- you’ve found your signature colours.
Signature colours - eyes Signature colours are those that make you look really fabulous.
One of the easiest ways to find at least one or two signature colours for you is the colour of your eyes!
Here you can see for each of these eye colours that the tops below them really bring out and enhance their eye colour, making the eyes look brighter and more youthful and exciting.
Remember that it is the entire iris (coloured part of your eye), including the colour that rims the iris (which can be a darker colour than the rest of your iris) that is a signature colour/for you.
Signature colours – eye enhancers Your Eye Enhancers are similar to your eye colour and reflect into your eyes and make them look stronger.
The following are separated into warm and cool versions.
Warm Colouring: Eye Enhancers Brown eyes look great with tops in rusty reds and burgundies and browns.
Green and hazel eyes look fabulous with olives, mustards, and bronzes.
Blue eyes look stunning with turquoise, teal and warm blues.
Cool Colouring: Eye Enhancers Brown eyes pop with plums, maroons, cherry and dark rose browns.
Green eyes resonate with emerald greens and turquoise.
Blue eyes intensify with teals and blues.
Signature colours – eye intensifiers Eye Intensifiers are the colours that are complementary or triadic to your eye colour. This takes signature colours to another level! Feel free to leave the concept of Eye Intensifiers until you are comfortable with Eye Enhancers (previous page). This is an example of us giving you “more” – to use as you are ready!
Eye Intensifiers are particularly good for makeup colours, but also for tops and other accessories close to your face.
You will notice that there are warm and cool versions. Pick an eye intensifier, depending on whether you have warm or cool
• If you have brown eyes, you may find blue works better than green, depending on if your colouring is cool or warm
• With blue eyes, you can substitute pink for orange, depending on if you have cool or warm colouring How to Mix Colours Mixing colours in your palette is easy. Use the colour wheel as your guide.
1. Neutral Plus – colour plus a neutral, or two neutrals together
2. Monochromatic – colours in the same shade but different lightness or darkness e.g. a variety of blues together.
3. Analogous – 2-3 colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel, such as green with blue, navy with violet, yellow with orange. Mix with a neutral from your palette.
Here are examples of
• A monochromatic colour scheme in blue, and
• An analogous colour scheme in shades of yellow and green, mixed with a neutral (camel).
Mixing Neutrals with Accent Colours An easy way to mix colours is to mix 2 neutrals with 1 colour. This is fail safe, especially if both your neutrals are either warm or cool in their undertone.
• Black with cream or white, and a colour
• Chocolate with greige or tan, and a colour
• Navy with tan or white, and a colour
• Grey with black or white, and a colour There are endless combinations!
If you want to be more daring than just mixing a colour with a neutral, why not try a triad, or part of a triad?
As you can see from the colour wheel, triads are formed by drawing equidistant triangles on the colour wheel.
Here are some examples of triads. Pick two of the three colours -- then mix them with a neutral to create a great look.
It’s better to make one colour the dominant colour and one the secondary/accent colour so as not to look overwhelm your look.
For example, if you chose yellow and blue, then make your neutral brown. Or if you want red and blue, add white or beige as your neutral.
This is another set of examples of colour mixing using the two-thirds triad.
• Purple with teal
• Orange with green
• Red with cobalt
• Soft orange with claret
• Soft yellow with coral All these would look great with a neutral on the bottom half.
What new colour schemes will you try out? Will you be daring and try a triadic or analogous scheme?
Or are you more comfortable wearing monochromatic or more neutral colour schemes?
Your perfect white Whites vary, from a brilliant bright white, to soft white, cream, buttermilk, ivory, antique white, winter white, etc. Which white looks best on you depends on your own colouring.
Your perfect white How to find it?
Start by looking at the whites of your eyes - what is their colour? Are they bright white or a more yellow white, pinky white, ivory... what are you seeing in them?
You could go to a store and find a selection of white tops and shirts, then find a mirror that has decent lighting. Alternatively go to the hardware store and get a set of paint chips in all the different whites.
Stand in front of a mirror (preferably with no makeup on), and hold up 2 of the white colour chips or tops to just below your chin. Whilst looking at your face, and especially at your eyes, notice the whites of the eyes -- you are looking for a white that makes your whites look whiter (not yellower).
Your perfect white (continued) Discard the worst white, pick up another and keep repeating the process til you get down to a 2-3 whites that all work with the whites of your eyes.
Repeat the same process, but look at your skin, look for the white that gives you the most even skin tone, diminishes under eye bags and shadow, and generally makes you glow.
Most people with warmer complexions need warmer whites like winter white, cream and buttermilk.
Those with very soft and muted colouring need a soft white (just off-white) or ivory.
People with cooler and clearer complexions work best with brighter, whiter whites.
Once you know your personal colour direction, it makes choosing clothing EASY! How? You choose colours that match your personal colour direction. Use this table to note down the best colours
for you in each of the key categories:
If in doubt about any aspect of using these colour strategies, try these suggestions: Re-read the Lesson material; Ask a friend and explore together; Let it sit overnight and see what comes up in the morning.
This is our final week on colour. Please remember that these lessons and their Resources should be viewed as a ‘menu’ – there are many exciting and enticing elements to explore over time.
AND you wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, try to ‘eat’ them all at once. Go at your own pace!
View the remainder of your Year Without Clothes Shopping as your playground with colour!
Questions to ponder What changes have I made to my wardrobe based on these last two week’s exploration of colour?
What I’m feeling good about now is….
Our exploration of colour is complete with this week’s lesson. Next week, we move onto style!
About Imogen Lamport, Month 5 guest contributor Imogen Lamport AICI CIP created her image consultancy, Bespoke Image with a clear mission – to help people look amazing every day without stress and confusion. With a lifelong fascination of the how and why Imogen is fascinated by the science and the art of style.
Imogen writes regularly for her own and other people’s blogs and is the Plus Size Women's Guru at www.lifetips.com.
Imogen currently trains people to become image consultants through the Absolute Image Training Institute in Melbourne, which she runs with her New Zealand business partner, Jan Fisher. She also conducts workshops for retail optometrists, and works with cancer patients through the Look Good Feel Better organization.