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12 Joys of Colour – Part 4

Collage depicting brown items eg coffee, a wooden door and floor, chocolate, brown hair, rocks.

12 Joys of Colour

This is the fourth and final instalment in the 12 joys of colour series.  In this blog I explore two elegant neutrals: brown and grey, and the universal hue: teal.

Day 10 – Brown

Brown is a natural, neutral colour. It’s one of my favourites. 

Have you been to Italy in winter? The Italians ‘do’ brown so well – dark chocolate married with rich caramel and hints of cinnamon. Italian men and women look very stylish walking the cobblestone streets of Rome, Florence, and Milan wearing these hues.

If you are light in colouring i.e. fair skin, fair hair, brown is a wonderful alternative to black – less harsh against your skin. And, with connotations of elegance, reliability, warmth and honesty, there’s a lot to love.

Previously, brown was viewed as old fashioned and ‘suburbia bland’, but not anymore. Now it is considered sophisticated and ‘euro chic’.

There are warm and cool browns. Choose the ones that harmonise with your complexion, hair and eyes. The personal colour analysis system I use helps take the confusion out of knowing which colours look great on you. It simplifies the overwhelm of colour choices and gives you the confidence to know you are choosing your best colours all of the time. In face to face interactions others see you before one word is spoken. Why not make that first impression count?

Collage featuring grey coloured items e.g pebbles, grey coat and blazers, cement building.

Day 11 – Grey

Grey is a sophisticated neutral and a stylish alternative to black.

In its purest form, grey sits on the cool end of the colour spectrum (black + white = grey). However, there are warm and cool versions depending on the colours it is mixed with. Add yellow to pure grey to create warm grey (It looks slightly green). Add blue to pure grey to make cool grey (It looks slightly purple).

Darker greys feel more formal and professional (business suits), whereas medium to light greys feel calm and harmonious (long line cardigans you wear in winter).

Grey is very versatile, so you can wear it with any colour. But if you’re wanting to inject an element of fun and interest into your outfit, combine grey with red, blue, green, yellow or pink.

A great tool you can have is your own personal colour swatch. It will take the guesswork and confusion out of what colours look good on you. If you have warm undertones the swatch will have examples of your best warm neutrals and colours. And, if you have cool undertones it will have examples of the best cool neutrals and colours to suit you.

Peacock, blue-green water, lady wears teal waterfall jacket.

12 Joys of Colour: Day 12 – Teal

Well here we are, at the end of the 12 Joys of Colour. I’ve chosen a hue that suits everyone – teal.

Mix calming blue with healing, optimistic green, and you create teal. Deep versions are understated and elegant. Light versions stimulate creativity and individuality.

Some of you will know that I used to work for Qantas, so anything aviation interests me. And, my mum was a ‘Kiwi’, so this little bit of trivia sparked my interest…

Air New Zealand’s aircraft livery and crew uniforms were teal until 2012. Air New Zealand’s forerunner airline was Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL). Is it a coincidence that the acronym and the airline’s signature colour were aligned? I wonder…

Teal is a very versatile colour. It looks fresh and summery with white, cream and coral, and is ‘lifted’ by gold and silver.

Have the 12 Joys of Colour sparked your interest in discovering your best colours? Feel confident and proud of your image by wearing colours that harmonise with you. (Plus, save time, energy, and your sanity when shopping for clothes). 

Join me in Leichhardt (Sydney) at one of my fun and empowering Personal Colour Analysis Workshops. You can buy your ticket on Eventbrite or by contacting me.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me. Wishing you colour confidence always!

 

Sticky
February 03, 2020

12 Joys of Colour – Part 3

Collage of red coloured items, such as a red dress, flower and a model wearing a red top and jacket.

 

12 Joys of Colour:

In the lead up to Christmas 2019 I posted my 12 Joys of Colour series which was inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas. In this blog I explore the 3 primary colours: red, yellow and blue.

Day 7 – Red

Passion, energy, optimism.  Anger, intensity, dominant.

Red is a truly versatile colour which is linked to extremes of emotions, feelings and situations. Bright versions are perceived as being more energetic, and dark shades, more powerful and elegant.

Red sits on the warm side of the colour spectrum. Warm hues advance and draw our attention – think stop signs and fire trucks. This is an interesting fact to remember when dressing in red because wherever you wear it people will pay attention. E.g. Trying to hide your thighs? Red pants will emphasise that area. Instead, wear a red top and draw the eye up and away from your bottom half.

Pantone, the world’s leading authority on colour and colour trends has recently released their predictions for Spring/Summer 2020. One of those colours is youthful and empowering ‘Flame Scarlet’ (featured in the top right corner of the collage). The great news is that this hue looks good on almost everyone! If you’ve shied away from this bright version of red in the past, perhaps next Spring will be the perfect opportunity to try it.

How do you feel wearing red? Conspicuous? Confident? Determined? Energised?

Images: Pantone, Unsplash, Pinterest

 

Collage of different tints, shades and tones of blue.For example, blue sky and tropical blue water.

Day 8 – Blue

Writing about blue I’m thinking of summer happiness: blue skies and warmer weather. Also, the relaxed, holiday feeling you get when you see azure, turquoise blue waters at tropical destinations like Cairns and Hawaii. Wearing lighter versions of blue evokes a sense of playfulness and fun.

When I think of deep blues, other associations come to mind like trust, authority and power e.g. police uniforms and business suits.

Classic Blue is Pantone’s 2020 ‘Colour of the Year’. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone said, “When we look at the world around us, we know that we’re living with a lot of unrest… Blue… has always represented a certain amount of calm and dependability… this particular shade really gave us that feeling of confidence and stability.”

Even though blue is a colour, i.e. not a neutral, it works well for the basic garments that are the ‘work horses’ (essentials) in your wardrobe, like pants, jackets, skirts and jeans.

Choose your best versions of blue by taking your unique colouring (hair, skin and eye combination) into account. That way you’ll always present the best version of you and feel good about your clothing choices.

Images: Pinterest, lifewire.com, uniqtravel.com

 

Collage featuring the colour yellow. For example: a cut lemon, a lady standing in a field of wheat and a yellow flower.

Day 9 – Primary Hues: Yellow

Hello to happy, cheerful, optimistic yellow!

If you’re feeling mentally exhausted and there’s still a lot to do, wear a small amount of yellow (it could be in a pattern) to stimulate your mental activity and concentration levels.

Yellow is a warm, bright hue that vibrates on a high frequency, so it grabs our attention. Even though most of us think of its positive connotations, many people shy away from wearing yellow because it can feel intense or overwhelming – especially if you’re experiencing major changes in your life.

There are versions of yellow to suit everyone from soft, icy lemon to vibrant canary. During a colour consultation at Image Confidence we compare 18 different colour groups to identify which colours harmonise best with your complexion, eyes and hair. You receive a swatch (mini fan-deck) of 40+ colours to use as a guide when shopping for your wardrobe.

Red, blue and yellow are just some of the colours in your palette that will have you looking good and feeling great!

Images: Pinterest, Unsplash

 

Contact me if you would like to feel empowered and self-assured about your image in 2020.

A Personal Colour Consultation is fun and is an investment in you.

 

Sticky
January 12, 2020

12 Joys of Colour – Part 2

 

12 Joys of Colour:

My version of the 12 days of Christmas to share vibrancy and happiness in the lead up to the festive break.

Day 4 – Orange

Orange sits on the warm side of the colour wheel.

It’s a mixture of strong, passionate red with the sunny optimism of yellow.

Orange is one of my favourite colours. When I wear it and see it, I feel energised and happy!

People with warm or neutral skin undertones can wear this colour successfully. If you have a cool undertone orange will make you appear jaundice rather than healthy and radiant.

One of my recent clients, Bronwyn, came for a colour consultation. We discovered that her best colours were cool colours. Bronwyn said she’d been yearning to wear orange and was disappointed that it was not in her colour palette. (Sometimes we just need to wear a certain colour because of the way it makes us feel.)

I suggested 3 ways that she could wear orange and still look good:

  • Wear it below your waist
  • Use only very small amounts
  • Wear one of your optimal colours in-between it (the orange) and your face

 

Collage featuring gold earrings, bag, shoes and woman with gold coloured finger nails.

Day 5 – Gold

Sparkle and Glamour…

We associate the colour gold with quality, sophistication, luxury and success.

Wear gold if you have warm undertones. If you have cool undertones wear silver.

Like all precious metals, gold accessories will add interest to a plain outfit. It will be the focal point of the outfit so ensure you place it where you want people to look i.e. around your neck so they are drawn to your face, or around your waist if your waist is an asset.

If you find yellow gold too showy opt for the more subtle versions: brushed gold or rose gold.

Gold pairs beautifully with warm neutral tones like chocolate, olive green, khaki, rust, taupe and caramel.

How bold or how subtle should you go? You decide. Make a statement of ‘full blown glamour’ (think of the long evening dresses you see on the red carpet or Bollywood), you can wear it in the form of subtle sophistication (like simple gold and diamond studs worn with a black dress), or you can choose something in-between.

 

Collage with men and women wearing purple clothes. Also, purple colour swatches and flowers.

 

Day 6 – Purple

Purple is a combination of 2 primary colours: red and blue. When you look at a colour wheel or colour spectrum you will see that purple is called violet.

Centuries ago the ingredients to produce purple dye was so rare and expensive that only the very rich could afford it. Small mollusks, found exclusively in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean Sea (now modern-day Lebanon), were used to make the dye.

That is why we associate mid to deep purples with royalty, luxury and power. Lighter versions, like lavender and lilac, are seen as soothing, romantic and mysterious.

Recently I had a wardrobe audit with Ella and discovered a beautiful purple, navy and white striped skirt with the shop tags still attached. Ella said that even though she loved it, she had no idea of what to put with it. So, I searched through her tops and found a red blouse and a mint green tee – both looked fabulous with her skirt.

Other colours that team well with purple are orange, yellow and other purples.

 

Book in for your personal colour consultation and wardrobe audit to fall in love with your clothes again, create new outfits from the clothes you already own, and gain a boost of confidence.

 

Image Credits: Pinterest, Unsplash, Tommy Bahama, weddingbee.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky
December 16, 2019

12 Joys of Colour – Part 1

,Man and women wear green coloured clothing. Examples of warm and cool green swatches.

 

12 Joys of Colour is my version of the 12 days of Christmas which aims to share vibrancy and happiness in the lead up to the festive break. Here are the first three colours:

Day 1 – Green

“Green, which is Nature’s colour, is restful, soothing, cheerful, and health-giving.” Paul Brunton

Colour surrounds us. Subliminally, it affects how we feel and how we are perceived. Cultural and personal experiences can also influence the way we view colour.

I’m going to focus on the positive messages green evokes.

Below are some shades and hues of green and how they may be perceived by others and how they might make you feel.

  • Deep greens, like seaweed and bottle green = reliable, strong, tenacious
  • Lighter, brighter greens, like lime and mint = cheerful, playful, fun
  • Grey greens, like khaki and sage = wisdom, trust, nurture
  • Emerald and jade greens = lively, sophisticated, regal

So what colours team well with green?

When I take clients out on personal shopping trips I quite often pair green with blue (navy especially), purple, brown and tan, charcoal, yellow and other versions of green.

 

Man and women wear white clothing. Swatch samples of different tones of white.

 

Day 2 – White

Ivory, snow-white, snow, milk, milky-white, chalk, pearl, antique white, chalk, seashell, cream, linen, ghost white, beige, cornsilk, alabaster.

These some of the words we use to describe the many variations of white.

Classed as a ‘neutral’, white is a blank canvas that allows other colours to shine. It is ideal to use in your home and to have in your wardrobe.

Have you ever searched for white paint? You were probably shocked to discover that there are thousands of shades of white paint available. And, you would have worked out pretty quickly how important it was to choose wisely because it influenced how the room looked and felt e.g. bright, warm, cold.

The same applies when you choose your white clothing. There are very few people who can wear pure white successfully. Many of us look tired, pale and sick in pure white. Instead, wearing a soft white (white with a tiny drop of yellow, umber, grey or green added) compliments your complexion and gives you a healthy glow.

If you would like to see how soft white looks on you, dye one of your white tee-shirts in tea. It’s simple to do: Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Steep two teabags in the water for 15 minutes. If you want a light, yellowish colour use green or white tea. If you’re wanting something a little darker, use black tea.

I feel calm, fresh, stylish and relaxed wearing my versions of white. How does white make you feel?

 

Man and women wear pink clothing. Swatches of various tints, tones and shades of pink.

 

Day 3 – Pink

“Pink is the new black.” Diana Vreeland

Known universally as the colour of love, pink was once seen as a ‘girls only’, sissy hue.

But social attitudes have evolved and pink is more widely accepted as a colour for everyone. As an image consultant and personal stylist I’ve found that there can be resistance to wearing pink, but generally, once all of the other elements of the outfit are added there is a change of heart.

Pink is a wonderful mix of red and white – the white subduing the fiery energy of red.

Dark pinks can have similar effects to red. Viewed as strong and bold, dark pinks can heighten emotions. On the other hand, paler pinks are perceived as soothing and approachable.

Salmon, coral, hot pink, fuchsia, blush, flesh, flush, fuchsia, rose. Which is your best version of pink? Is it pale, cool and icy, a yellow-based coral, or more vibrant and striking like fuchsia? Match it to your complexion and your skin will glow.

Book in to have your Personal Colour Consultation

 

 

Sticky
December 15, 2019

7 Key Colours to Wear With Navy

What are your favourite colours to wear with navy?

Navy is a deep blue and a great staple to have in your wardrobe. It works well for all seasons and is a timeless, classic neutral. You can wear navy at work to relay a reliable and dependable vibe (think police uniforms). Or, for casual wear, navy jeans always look smart. And, who doesn’t love a navy blazer over jeans and a tee?

There are so many different colours you can wear with navy. Honestly, the list goes on and on! So I’m just going to give you 7 examples for inspiration.

There are so many ways to wear navy

Navy always looks fabulous with other variations of blue. Creating a monochromatic scheme with shades of blue creates a sophisticated look.

Woman sitting in a chair wears an outfit in various shades of blue

Navy and orange sit opposite on the colour wheel. This colour combination creates a high impact, dramatic effect.

Woman wearing an orange suit and blue top stands near a garden.

Here I’ve created a more subdued look by teaming navy with two neutrals: ivory and grey. The classic ivory blouse is from Zara and the very comfortable navy skirt is from Cadarra. Other neutrals that work well with navy are white (always crisp and fresh), soft khaki, beige and taupe.

Woman wears a ivory coloured Zara blouse with navy Betty Barclay jeans.

Two neutrals such as the navy and grey in this outfit can look very chic and stylish.

Another eye catching colour that works well with navy is red. If this is too bold for you then choose its lighter version – pink. And, yet another option is to wear burgundy, a rich shade of red.

Woman stands on a balcony wearing a red blouse and shoes, and navy pants and jacket.

Blue, in all of its shades, sits next to green on the colour wheel. This mint green knitted top works harmoniously with my navy culottes. Other greens that would work just as well are lime, viridian, and teal.

Blue and green sit next to each other on the colour wheel. The combination of mint and navy create a harmonious looking outfit.

 

If you decide to wear a few colours with navy make sure that only one colour dominates and the others play a supporting role. Remember the 60/30/10 rule of design. In this outfit the navy top and jeans make up 60% of the outfit. The coral jacket makes up 30% and the small pops of colour in the scarf make up the remaining 10%.

Women wears deep blue top and jeans, coral jacket and multi-coloured scarf.

 

And as always, make sure that when you wear any colour close to your face that it’s undertone blends with your unique colour palette so that you always look healthy and vibrant.

 

I’d love to hear about your favourite ways to wear navy.

 

Sticky
June 27, 2019

5 key Corporate Styling Tips for Spring 2018

Corporate styling can be a groan. Thank heavens the ‘rules’ around what to wear at the office has relaxed over the years. As we move towards Spring the mood around dressing fills us with a sense of optimism with the promise of brighter colours and lighter fabrics. As soon as the first Spring buds show on the trees, we think of warmer weather and longer days ahead. Nature spoils us with colourful flowers and sunshine, and this year the fashion industry has wholeheartedly embraced colour, floral motifs and organic patterns.

You might have noticed these trends arriving in the shops already. Spring 2018 offers something for everyone. Here are the 5 key corporate trends to add to your classic wardrobe staples to take your workwear from ‘groan’ to fresh and up-to-date for the warmer months.

Corporate Styling with Colour

Accent colours to include in your Spring 2018 workwear wardrobe should include: Purple in all its variations especially lilac and lavender, medium pinks, red-orange, sky blue, and yellow.

Dominant neutrals will be white, ivory, chocolate, sand and khaki. Find out if warm (yellow-based) or cool (blue-based) colours suit your complexion so you look healthy, fresh and vibrant. If you’re unsure about your best colours invest in a personal colour consultation.

Alternatives to the earthy hues could be navy and dove grey which are more acceptable as corporate colours and less severe than black.

The sliver grey and lilac coloured garments shown in this image are on trend for corporate Spring/Summer styling.

Silver grey and lilac in Witchery

Examples of powder blue and red orange - on trend colours for Spring/Summer 2018

Examples of powder blue and red orange

Florals

After a long absence, florals re-appeared in the Spring of 2017 and now they are back in full swing. Brighten up your plain basics (i.e. jackets, skirts and trousers) with a floral blouse, scarf or handbag. As mentioned before, ensure the colours compliment you, and keep the scale of the pattern in harmony with your body size.

Trent Nathan floral blouse for Spring/Summer 2018

Trent Nathan floral blouse.

Soft pink and florals are on trend for corporate wear for Spring/Summer 2018

Soft pink and florals at Witchery

Dresses

Oh so easy to wear and a ‘no brainer’ when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, dresses are perfect for your Spring corporate wardrobe. Use one of your smart blazers to complete the look. This is corporate styling made easy!

Spring/Summer corporate dressing: Shell pink floral Perri Cutten dress

Shell pink floral Perri Cutten dress

This floral Country Road jumpsuit fits into the corporate styling theme for this Spring

This looks like a dress, but is actually a hibiscus print jumpsuit (Country Road)

Ruffles

For those of you whose style personality is feminine, hearing that there is a ‘ruffle revival’ will be music to your ears.
The corporate suit can often appear quite masculine with straight lines and stiff fabrics. Ruffles offer an element of softness in the form of curved lines and fluid fabrics.

Balance the ‘yin’ of the ruffles with the ‘yang’ of a structured blazer in a darker colour such as navy or charcoal to maintain the corporate look.

Corporate style trend for Spring/Summer 2018 is ruffles. Lilac coloured dressed features in this image.

Add a more structured, light weight navy or charcoal blazer to maintain the corporate look

Subtle ruffles combine with a floral pattern in this Trent Nathan top.

Subtle ruffles combine with a floral pattern in this Trent Nathan top.

Block Heel Shoes

Versatility, increased stability and foot health are some of the attributes of block heel shoes.  They are touted to be more comfortable and better for your posture that flats, and, not surprisingly, stilettos. Block heels team perfectly with skirts, dresses and trousers, and have a level of femininity that works perfectly with ruffles and floral prints.

Patent leather nude block heel, Leona Edmiston

Patent leather nude block heel, Leona Edmiston

These scalloped edge block heeled shoes are on trend for corporate attire this Spring/Summer

Scalloped edges are the focal point of these shoes.

Statement shoes in red- orange suede

Statement shoes in red- orange suede

Stylish and versatile neutral coloured slingback shoes perfect for corporate outfits

Stylish and versatile neutral coloured slingback shoes

These corporate styling tips are 5 ways you can add interest to your workwear wardrobe. Pick and choose the ones that suit your style personality. Have some fun with them! Buy one or two pieces to keep your corporate look modern and current.

If you have any comments or questions about this article or any of my offerings please feel free to contact me or message me using the comment box below.

Sticky
August 14, 2018

Wearing Black

Should I be wearing black?

Recently, Emma, one of my 40+ clients asked me, “Should I be wearing black? I have so many black clothes, but I think they’re making me look old.” It’s a question I hear often.

How would you describe the way your skin looks when you wear black near your face? Is your response something like, “washed out”, “pale”, “drained”or “sick”?  If you have light to medium hair or undyed greying hair, and a fair to medium complexion or a skin tone with a golden glow you may have noticed that wearing black near your face is aging and unflattering.

Our eye and hair pigments fade over time, and skin colour changes too. You may find that after many years of feeling happy in black you now instinctively feel uncomfortable in it.

Despite what the fashion magazines and media say, black does not work with every skin tone and every hair colour.  Shock! Horror!

Test it out for yourself

You need two pieces of fabric – one black, and the other a colour you love wearing; you know, the colour that people always comment on when you wear it. Place the black fabric over the coloured fabric and hold them under your chin. Look closely at your face. Are the circles under your eyes dark and pronounced? Are the wrinkles more pronounced? Does your skin look sallow? Now drop the black fabric and do the same again. Do you see a difference?

Some ideas/solutions

So, if you feel like you’re in the same boat as Emma, here are my top 5 tips I shared with her to help her achieve a healthier look when wearing black:

 

  1. Create contrast and distraction by wearing a lighter neutral or colour near your face. This could be a scarf, a statement necklace, colourful earrings, hat or pashmina.
Adding colour to soften black outfits

Adding colour to soften black outfits

  1. As your black clothes wear out replace them with other neutrals that are dark but less harsh like navy, charcoal and chocolate. Introduce colours that suit your complexion.

 

  1. If you feel you can’t give up your black tops just yet, wear the ones that are made from softer, sheerer fabrics and that have lower necklines so that your skin colour shows more. Lace, mesh and chiffon are good options.

 

  1. If you have lots of black bottoms (pants and skirts) and black shoes and boots, find patterned tops that have some black or grey in them to link them together.
Patterned tops with black skirt and pants

Patterned tops with black skirt and pants

  1.  Accessorise your LBD (little black dress) with gold, silver, rose gold or pearl necklaces to steer eyes away from the heavy, draining black. Knowing if you have a warm or cool skin tone will help you decide which metal or colour of pearl you should wear.
Wearing Black: Little black dress with yellow gold accessories

Little black dress with yellow gold accessories

 

If you would like to discover the colour palette that best suits your complexion, hair and eye tones so that you look fabulous every day and shop for your best colours with confidence – contact ann@imageconfidence.com.au

Colour fandecks

Your colour guide

Sticky
September 26, 2017
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