Hi all,

Just musing about my color analysis journey lately and thought I'd share my thoughts for those who might be interested!

As some of you know, I've done lots of color analysis and introspection over the years - in fact, it was sort of my 'gateway drug' into the whole world of personal style. I have read everything I can find about color, and done all sorts of analyses - most online, a few in person. I learned a lot about color, and I think my eye for color's effects is more refined than it used to be (and I've had lots of fun exploring the subject)..

That said, color analysis, imo, is a rabbit hole of epic proportions. I've been analysed as soooo many different things - true summer, dark winter, soft summer, soft summer deep, muted, clear/bright - basically anything that is not warm or super-light, I've been pegged as. Last summer, I splurged on a session with Christine Scaman, who is sort of a guru in the field, thinking I would FINALLY get to the bottom of it. Alas, her proclamation of soft summer was ultimately no more satisfying than any of the others. And thus, although I love the topic and could look at colors all day, I have abandoned my quest to determine my grouping definitively. For functional purposes, I consider myself a winter (the old school basic kind, nothing fancy), but basically, other than avoiding warm colors (which looknoticeably hideous on me), I wear whatever color I like.

Here are my takeaways from this journey, in case you are about to embark on it yourself!

  • If you are keen on having a season, I personally think you're as well to stick with the original four basic ones rather than getting into the muck of all the other sub-seasons. No matter how granular they get, it seems to me that there are always exceptions, so may as well keep it simple and then tweak at will.
  • Another approach that I think is useful is just knowing your dominant characteristic - i.e. I think mine is "cool" and therefore I can really work with any color really, as long as it leans cool.
  • More analyses do not yield better results! If you are the type to question a system, you'll question just as much after analysis five as analysis one (perhaps more, if your results are different).
  • Color is not a magic bullet - yes, a flattering color looks nice but it's not going to make or break you - I think this was where I really went wrong - I was looking for the magical palette that would make me twenty years old with a fantastic wardrobe lol ... doesn't quite work that way!
  • There are some analysts who are very dogmatic about their approaches - at the end of the day though, they are one person giving an opinion (yes, an educated one, but still). They may claim they are neutralizing all the variables, but those variables exist in the normal realm of clothes-wearing, so really, what's the value? I go through my day with my hair down, combining colors, with no control over lighting, and make-up on, so who cares what color looks best when I have a gray smock on and neutral light and no hair in my face or makeup on?
  • To borrow Mainelady's wisdom - happiness factor is more important. Who cares if gray is my best neutral if I feel dull and blah in gray?
Basically, my advice is, if you are going to jump down this rabbit hole, do it for FUN and ONLY for fun ... yes, you will probably learn some valuable things along the way, but it will be through experimentation, giving it some thought, and learning to trust and refine your own eye.

Thanks for reading, if you survived this tome!