Next time you’re shopping and see a ‘bargain’. Stop and ask yourself:
If you honestly don’t think you’ll wear it, put it back and walk away.
If it doesn’t go with most of your wardrobe, you’ll have buy other things to go with it. A bargain shouldn’t mean you have to spend more so you can use it.
If you can’t imagine wearing it and have no idea what you’d wear it with – it’s not a bargain, it’s a dead loss. The cost per wear, wouldn’t stack up and it’d be money down the drain.
This is me four or more years ago, on the left, wearing a royal blue cotton cardigan and a similar patterned, pintuck, long sleeved top from Evans. The cardigan was a gift and the top was a ‘bargain‘ in the sales. The top has pintucks on the bodice and a hanky hem, which is very flattering if you’re carrying weight around the middle, so the style is good, but…..
The intense, bright blue of both items is making my face look red and blotchy, I have dark grey shadows under my chin. I look like I’m having a hot flush/flash. It’s just far too strong a colour for me. I’ve never worn it since, not such a bargain, was it?
It’s not a bad colour, it would look fabulous on a bright/clear Winter friend of mine, the cardigan is a men’s design and looks amazing on my bright/clear Spring son, but it completely overwhelms my soft/muted and warm colouring.
I'll take you through how to use colour analysis swatches, mini wallets or colour cards for shopping, make-up, hair colours and more.
Firstly, the colour swatch, mini wallet or colour cards are NOT colour matching tools.
You do not wander round the shops looking for the specific colours in the set.
If you did, you'd end up tired, grumpy and frustrated as fashion colours change each year depending on the season.
So, how do I use my wallet, swatch or cards? It's very simple, you lay the swatch, wallet or card over the top of the item you're considering, see below for a few examples.
The image above shows Autumn fabric of a Per Una long sleeve top, together with the Soft Autumn mini-swatch (top) and Bright/Clear Winter mini-swatch (bottom) laid over the fabric. You'll see the Autumn fabrics are in harmony with the shirt (Per Una) and the Bright Winter colours stand out as if 'sat on top'. This particular top, from Per Una, would suit a Warm, Deep or Soft Autumn.
This shirt is a mix of spring pinks, yellows and peach tints with a white undertone, it is bright, warm and light.
I have laid my seasonal wands over the top of the shirt and can easily see that the left most wand (Spring) is most in harmony with the fabric. The other wands don't work well with it at all.
The Summer colour analysis wand is disappearing (although some of the pinks work with the fabric, the lighter pinks) The Autumn colour analysis wand is too deep and rich. The Winter colour analysis wand sticks out like a sore thumb. This top would be wonderful on a warm, light or bright Spring lady. However, a light Summer lady might be able to wear this one as some of the pinks would suit both.
This image shows the Autumn and Spring fabric mini wallets fanned out and laid over the fabric. While the Autumn colour swatch (warm/deep) are okay with it, the Spring colour swatch (warm/light) are truly in harmony and look made to match it.
Whether you have a fabric swatch, colour cards, a small card, colour analysis wands or fans, the item is easily held up to a garment or laid on top of it. Stand back and look at how harmonious the colours are, does it appear to sit on top or stick out like a sore thumb?
If the colours work well, then the garment is a good match, try it on - get an idea of how the cut, fabric and shape of the item work with your body shape. If it fits well and flatters your figure, buy it!
If the colours of the swatch stick out and argue with the garment, then it's not a match to your colouring. If you love it and really want it, then treat it as a hard to wear colour and make sure you wear a scarf, necklace or other item between it and your face. If you don't love it, it's the wrong colour for you OR the fit isn't going to flatter your body shap, then walk away! It's not for you and will end up in the 'Why did I buy that' pile at the back of the wardrobe.
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Colour matters when you’re working or in business, but why? The impact and first impression you make are based on several factors.
a) the colour, does it make you look healthy, vibrant and capable? What psychological impact does the colour have on the person you are meeting?
b) your clothing, does your outfit reflect your industry, your personal style and your personality so they all ‘mesh’ and give the right impression?
c) your body language, do you stand tall, walk with confidence and have a firm handshake?
So, before you’ve uttered even a single word, something like 90% of the impression you make has already occurred. Now, do you see why colour matters?
Your chosen colour should reflect your mood, whether that’s a power colour to give you confidence, a healing colour to keep you calm, lighter colours or your best neutrals to make you look both confident and more approachable.
We can advise on your best capsule wardrobe for business, to include your best neutrals and help you build a wardrobe to help you seal the deal, win that promotion or be seen in the work place.
How you dress at work will also make an impact on your earning potential. Many studies over the years have shown that dressing ‘above your paygrade’ will help get you promoted or be noticed for greater things. It can also result in a higher salary than your peers.