so interesting....i've never been a "get your colors done" person, i got why people do it, but for me color is an internal as well as external choice....i always felt the systems were too limiting as they are about the external

I went down the rabbit hole too in the past. I had one consultation which told me I was a Soft Summer. I agreed with some of it, but the make up she used on me afterwards was horrible and made me feel really fake. I got some swatches out of that which I never used. But I think that the idea isn't completely wrong - too cool, too warm, too saturated and too bright colors simply overwhelm me. So I keep the "Soft Summer" in the back of my mind when I shop, but it's not the main thing I build my style decisions on.

To me, theories (fashion-related or not) are just that—theories, or attempts to explain something in a systematic way. Systematic thinking can aid us in organizing our random thoughts and observations which, in turn, MAY lead to some insights.

I think the points you’ve outlined are applicable to any fashion advice/theory and ought to be posted right beside a good full-length mirror. Rabbit holes are for rabbits.

Hi again TG!

I know Angie and YLF members' opinions on personal color analysis and flattering print/patterns varies greatly. Some very lively discussions over the years here and I'm always up for another!

Great question re systems that create truly custom palettes.

They're out there -- many derive from Suzanne Caygill techniques, including Carla Mathis' [The Triumph of Individual Style author mentioned above]. Some just start with System XYZ and encourage the color analysts to pick a "homebase season" and then whatever colors from other seasons work with an individual's coloring.

Sounds a lot like what some YLFers like Style Fan have experienced.

I'll link to Beauty Valued, a custom color consultant whose work I peek at now and again. She shows a palette she developed for a client who then brought in palettes that spanned the decades -- you'll immediately see the color harmony. And if you don't she walks you through it.

I'm one who believes 100% that we each have colors, color combinations, and print/patterns that make us look anywhere from stunning to godawful.

And I always encourage people to stay in end of the "stunning to good" end of the spectrum unless an item in question is a fairly small accent. Some have a much smaller range than others, it's true.

Perhaps ironically, my color palette is DIY.

But it works well enough that I now have a little word-of-mouth sideline helping others do the above in a very real-time way. I used to feel apologetic about not having invested in the drapes, swatches, training etc but people know what they get with me. They get someone in their closet, at the shops, and/or at the fabric stores sharing what I see in a very hands-on process.

I think it's kind of neat but I gave up when I couldn't figure out my season. Heck, I can't even figure out out if I'm warm or cool. o_O

If I had to determine my season, I would say "autumn" definitely. I even bought the book back in the 80s and wished that I was one of the other seasons because I loved the model's eye color and skin tone.

That said, I gravitate towards certain colors that make me feel good. Luckily, they also look good on me. Though I have been told I look good in florals, I do not own or wear florals. If you don't like something do you still feel good wearing it? In my case no.

So when I go shopping, I look for color first, then style. Even if the style was great for me, I would not buy if I did not like the color. About the only exception is black. I am not a fan, but will wear black in a slack or skirt and never as a top.

The last colour analyst I went to who I liked (because she was flexible and not rigid) also said that Sophie was a winter. I totally agree with her. Sophie looks amazing in winter colours. I have chosen her boots, leash and collar to be clear cool colours.

Just to make this whole “best colors” concept even more complicated, most researchers working in the color perception area now think people don’t “see” the same color when they look at an object. Physiological differences in the way in which our eyes handle light waves and our resulting interpretation of that stimulus make it perfectly possible that what reads as a flattering color to one person could seem “off” to another. Same thing with color harmony—what is aesthetically pleasing to one person might not appeal to another. Harmony is culture-bound, and varies across different contexts and circumstances, as opposed to being a fixed state. Same goes for flattery.

Like everything else in fashion, it’s probably wiser to view advice offered by outside observers as information, not fact.

Great thread. I tend to the over-analytical as well TG, in all aspects of life, I think to help me make sense of my world at the time.
I came across Colour Me Beautiful ( Carole Jackson) in late 1984. It was good timing for me. I had not long finished uni and come back from my first ever trip to Australia. In those days you couldn't easily get Australian clothes in NZ like you can now so I had spent some of the new money I had earned on some very bright yellows, greens, corals- very early 80s, really appealed to me. And so many compliments! Then I found the book. And the colours I'd already picked were straight out of the Spring page, it was uncanny. So I think it was lucky that the colours I liked and felt good in fit a season so exactly. I never got "done". Other books and systems I've read since or checked online still lean me towards warm, though it may be changing a little with my greying hair and I am able to wear silver better of late. My skin is fairly neutral so many colours can look good. With black it's definitely better with a scoop neck so my skin softens it. My heart is still given to Spring colours. I have been learning through YLF to pay attention to more than colour alone though- to fit, to flattery, to practicality, to number of wears I am likely to get.
Your post was interesting Style Fan- another who very clearly fit an original season in your own view and know the colours you liked/like. I'm amused by dear Sophie having her own season!

I was first 'colour analysed' in the late 80s. I'm a very fair skinned person, with a pinkish flush, ashy-gold hair that has red highlights in the sun and grey-green-blue eyes. I was 'assessed' as Winter, by an analyst with "Snow White" colouring. She commented at the time that she found me 'difficult', and I wonder if, in the end she chose the colours that she just liked anyway. I'm pretty sure they were "her" colours. But I was too young to question her, and anyway, wasn't wearing a lot of dark colours what you did, if you wanted to look sophisticated in the city? It was good news if she was telling me those were 'my' colours!
Fast forward 20+ years, and I'm wondering why I feel so terrible in my clothes- I look tired, cold and drained, my hair colour is flat, I feel frumpy all the time. I have no idea where to start, so do a bit of research, and discover that colour analysis is more complicated now. I find a sci-art analyst, and treat myself for my birthday. She assesses me as a Light Spring- the opposite of what I've been wearing (or trying to wear) for the last 20 years!
I'm not convinced at the analysis- I love the colours, but cannot see how I can make a gelato-fairy-coloured wardrobe work. And no black! Then I start wearing 'my' colours, and I'm not looking tired or hypothermic anymore, my hair and eyes have their colour back. People around me comment on the difference. Someone asks if I've dyed my hair, it's a great colour, can they know who my hairdresser is? But something is still not right for me. I discover Kibbe- I realise I'm a dramatic type in his system. The clothing revolution continues...
My point is that, as someone who is a bit unusual in terms of colouring and physical build, and who has 'demanding' colouring and figure, these systems were a very helpful start point, when well-applied.

A good analysis should help you see yourself more clearly, after some initial confusion (depending on how far the analysis points from your original expectations about yourself). But they are tools- if they're not useful to you, don't be bound by them.

And Cardiff girl, what an awful experience! To be told you look old in black when only in your 20s! And I'm glad you haven't spent your life in an apple green smock x

I had a colour analysis done many years ago and really liked the woman. She did not fit me into a certain one exactly but told me why not. This is really my palette but it has way too many neutral colours so would not work for me, I look better in a multi coloured top than any one colour even if it was my best colour.
What I found most interesting is that she labelled the colours in my palette as to where to wear them on my body. This would be great in shoes and a purse while this would make a great skirt but look at this one for a blouse.
I found this very interesting as all the females in my family were autumn and I was a summer who wore their hand me downs.
Her advise on transitioning my wardrobe was interesting too. Wear the wrong clothes but bring them more into your romantic style and you'll look good. In your own palette and exact colour amazing but you can't have everything as you're not going to go home and ditch your entire wardrobe.
For example the lilac blouse i just bought. A little too clear and a little too light for me but a thousand times better than the white in my palette. Good make up, an amazing skirt in my tones and still look lovely.
I really liked her reasoning behind her analysis and the advise of how to make the now wardrobe work.

Interesting thread and good to read others experiences. I had my colours done years ago but I am a magpie, and so it didn't really stick. I really like to understand which colours are 'on trend' in some kind of vague way. I just like colour and the way colours can be seen, and I think that I can wear most colours, but it depends on shape style make up etc.

Just popping in to thank everyone for your thoughts and wisdom on this topic! I think the bottom line is, what works for one might not work for the next. Some people's palette is a perfect for and is the colors they love - fantastic! For some perhaps it's a complete mismatch, in which case, forget it! For many it seems, it's a useful exploration tool, but not a perfect system. I don't regret all my exploration ... It's fun, and I learned a lot. I do think something in the line of cool, somewhat deeper, and somewhat softer, will often work for me. If an outfit is not working, this is one troubleshooting tool I can use. But then bright cobalt looks quite good, as does pastel pink and blue. So it's not hard and fast, for sure.
The Caygill system is interesting; it reminds me of David Zyla. The funny thing for me though, is many of the colors in my gray-green-hazel eyes, for example, look horrific on me as clothes, as do the warmer orangey-brown tones in my hair. Even pulling the colors directly from one's face is not a no-fail for everyone! Hence my conclusion that it ultimately comes down to the individual and the eye of the beholder, in the end. Thanks all for sharing your stories and experiences ... A terrific thread

Yes --
To me there's more similarity than difference in the Caygill-esque and Zyla palettes.

The truly custom palettes (vs the "you're Season X") have a much broader range of tones and values -- more complexity. And yet they all work together.

I'm glad you're at a point where you feel good with your colors but since you don't feel *quite* settled, I selfishly wish you'd had an in-person or online session with someone like Kathy at Beauty Valued. I bet that would tie it all together for you!

[She has a lot of clients who agreed to let her post photos with palettes on her FB page...and there's a fair bit of diversity in skin tone...might be worth scanning them to see if you see anyone that reminds you of you.]

Vix, thank you and I will check it out! It's still a source of endless fascination and there is plenty for me to learn - always open to new information and I'll watch your posts too - I am sure I can learn alot from you too!

I’ve always wanted to do a colour analysis with someone. Various things stop me. One, I apparently don’t see a lot of shades of blue - they look the same to me. So even with colour swatches selected just for me, I may not really be able to use them. The second is, I don’t fancy my chances finding any actual clothes in ‘my colours’...