For years my go-to colors were black, brown, and gray.
Not because I was trying to be "artsy" but because I had gotten lazy and all dark was easy to mix and match.
What I didn't realize about being dark all the time was that it had unknowingly brought me down mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
I had never thought about the colors I chose in an intentional way and there was no rhyme or reason to my choices. I shopped on the fly and grabbed things that caught my attention. Only to end up with a lot of "bargains" that never saw the light of day. The worst part is that I wasted so much money.
Aging can be brutal if you let yourself slide like I had. Weight gain, wrinkles outta nowhere, and bigger pores all left me feeling blah. But the one thing that bothered me most was the lack of vibrancy in my skin and eyes. I looked DULL all over.
My hair was too dark and my bangs were too blunt and short (my husband lovingly called them monk bangs)! Something needed to change and it was more than just my clothes and hair.
So I embarked on a transformational journey ...
1. The first transformative step was my hair. My gal cut off over six inches and stripped all the dark out. It made a HUGE difference! I immediately looked 10 years younger and my spirits started to lift. I felt sassy!
2. The second step was to get serious about my health so I hired a trainer to help get my health back on track. I learned a lot working with her and most importantly that real transformation is a journey that never ends.
3. Next I hired a Color Analysis Expert named Joanie, owner of Winning Impressions. The same expert my mom had worked with over 20 years ago!
Joanie showed me the colors, patterns, and shapes that are in my seasons. She hand picked all of the colors you see in my color wheel based on my own coloring.
I learned that we all have dominant and secondary seasons.
"The dominant season (or harmony) is a higher percent of your life. Your secondary is part of you and present in your color spectrum. You are drawn to your secondary and it's look, but do not borrow lines, designs or textures from it or you will create a contradictory look of discord, not harmony.
The dominant harmony dictates the best look. The secondary is represented in some of the colors, sometimes bone structure, and personality traits."
Dominant: The Fall Harmony (80%)
The colors remind us of the earth and nature's palette. They are radiant, warm, and vital. Fall people have well-defined features, a look of self-confidence and maturity, (though they may feel insecure inside). They are organizers and leaders, down to earth, gregarious. The basic Fall style lines are a square or any part of it, any angular geometric lines, points, and straight lines.
Secondary: The Winter Harmony (20%)
The colors are brilliant, contrasting, black and white, and remind us of a winter landscape. Winter people have a peacock quality, aloof look, have skin like moonlight, and a "sky is the limit," expensive look. They exhibit surface stillness, but are never dull or mundane. The basic Winter style lines are oval and "S" curves, stylized geometrics, or straight lines relieved by curves.
I also learned that my seasons touch all areas of my life - far beyond my clothes and hair style.
It's how I decorate my house, to the lines that are most flattering, to the scents and jewelry I wear. No wonder Fall has always been my favorite season and I love boho style, BIG chunky jewelry, jewel tones, and all things "witchy" and earthy!
So, in an effort to refresh my senses I’ve been incorporating color everywhere! From my furniture to my clothes to my brand where I brightened up from pastels to punchy color.
What's amazing about all of this is that I’ve noticed a huge difference in how I feel. Working out, eating better, and injecting color into my life has been transformative. I feel brighter within, more energetic, and happier.
If you're curious about color analysis I've asked Joanie to answer some questions for you.
MW: What do you do and where did you learn how to do it?
Joanie: First, I had to have a B.A. degree in Art and Education. I completed an intensive color theory course that includes the theory of color in light, color interaction, and the active-passive relationships of color (taught by Veronica Bialik, textile designer and color consultant in San Francisco. I received my technical color analysis training from Dilly Lehnhoff, director and instructor of Color & Style, Moraga, CA. I am also certified in color psychology and color response.
MW: What exactly is color analysis? How do you determine what season(s) a person is? What factors is it based on?
Joanie: Everyone can wear red, blue, green, or brown, but which ones are yours?
Through a systematic and scientific method of observing your natural coloring (skin, eyes, and hair) a careful selection is chosen from over 4.000 color swatches.
If a color creates a change in your coloring, the artist does not give you that color. Some colors make you look yellow, green, or grey and consequently sabotage your appearance.
Your range includes only the colors that enhance your own coloring, establishing how light, dark, bright, or dull you should go in each color. You will also know your harmony and any percentages of the other harmonies.
Basic Harmony Groups
Colors fall into four basic groups depending on their hues, value, and intensities.
- Spring Harmony (Lively) Colors are light, bright, and cheerful
- Summer Harmony (Dynamic) Colors are blended, greyed, and soft
- Fall Harmony (Dynamic) Colors are warm, mixed and earthy tones
- Winter Harmony (Striking) Colors are clear, brilliant, and contrasting
Each harmony has it’s own relating design lines, textures, and fabrics. Sometimes an item of clothing can be your color but not look right if it is in the wrong design and line or texture.
MW: What is the difference between “elegants” “dramatics” “romantics” and “neutrals”?
Joanie: The difference between Elegants, Dramatics, and Romantics is the mood and the energy they represent.
Neutrals are background colors to which we should add color. They are for pants, skirts, jackets, vests and accessories. They have no energy. If you wear all neutrals, your message is “I have nothing interesting to say or I don’t want to be noticed and I’m ordinary at what I do.” What if that’s not how you want to be perceived? Then, add color to your neutrals.
True colors on the color fan sticks represent the “on the mark” version of the that color family. The next stick is moving onto the next color family, having some of it in the color.
MW: What are the advantages of color analysis?
- Save time, effort, and money while shopping by knowing your correct colors, lines, and designs.
- Find your wardrobe expanding as each piece becomes color coordinated and interchangeable.
- Discover new colors you never thought you could wear.
- Learn what mood to project by the colors you wear, i.e., boldness, assurance, restfulness.
- Use your color analysis to find out more about yourself. Research has shown a direct correlation between your coloring and physical characteristics and your inner essence (or personality).
- Learn to apply your makeup in harmony.
Thank you, Joanie for sharing your expert knowledge! To contact Joanie and find out more about what she does please visit her website here.