Using colour in styling
On Saturday one of my groups of students took on colour theory for the first time! Having tackled, enjoyed and immersed themselves in body shapes for the previous few classes, seeing for the first time the detail involved in colour theory for a personal shopper/ stylist/ image consultant can be quite over whelming! Fun but over whelming!
But what woman doesn’t want to play with and build more colour into her wardrobe? Colour is a core element to personal styling whether you are styling or being styled! Most women have a core of colours they gravitate towards. The question of course is if these colours consist of mainly black, brown and grey and if you need some inspiration to help you on your colour journey! Is that you? Well listen up!
Just why is colour so important to a personal shopper?
1. It is our most powerful tool!
Colour is the thing that allows a personal shopper to play, get creative and push their clients boundaries. Colour training is about training the eye to try out unusual colour combinations just as much as it is about picking colours that work for a person. I always encourage students and women to try to introduce three colours into a look. It is always that third colour that makes you go ‘wow’!
2. It is about good and not so good colours.
Understanding colour is not just about understanding what suits a person but also how to style a look using colours that may not be perfect. I remember once having a student who was told charcoal grey was one of her best colours but because her school uniform was grey, she absolutely hated it! Colour training shows you you have to be practical too! If someone loves black and it’s not in their colour palette, I help them find ways to wear it but perhaps wear less of it. For example going for a V neck and teaming with a contrasting accessory.
3. It forms the backbone to every wardrobe
Colour theory is not just about bright colours but first and foremost about your best neutral colours. Is brown better than black? Or cream better than white for you? When building a great wardrobe we think of our capsule pieces first like a great jacket, coat, denims and shirts. Understanding your skin tone (which forms the core of colour training) will show you which are your best neutrals.
4. It allows you to project yourself first not just your clothes.
When you wear good colours, people see you and your clothes as one complete style! The day you wear a not so good colour is the day someone will say ‘gosh you looks tired today’ and it also means you can see a persons clothes as a sort of a separate thing to them. Sounds strange perhaps but take notice the next time you see what you perceive to be a good and a bad colour on someone on the street? The good colour looks like it is made for that person, the bad colour, not so much!
5. It cuts out the crap!
If you know what colours suit you, your less likely to impulse buy. You know that a €10 top in a bad colour is a bad buy. Full stop. As a personal shopper, having a deeper understanding of colour helps you to read a shop floor for your clients much more quickly. You can understand colour tones, basic and enhancement colours and how to choose colours that go together. A great personal shopper will also know each season which colour trends are covered by which shops saving you time!
6. It leads to better hair and make-up decisions
Understanding your colour tones leads to better decisions on the correct colour for your hair (assuming you colour your hair). It also leads you in the right direction when buying foundation, blushers, eye shadows etc. Personally, I alway shout about Estee Lauder in my colour training as they use a great system called the imatch system with customers to ensure you do get the right foundation for your skin tone.
7. It brings the fun!
With the emergence of street style and women taking inspiration from other women, it is so great to see how powerful colour can be in this process. It is the thing that should allow you to push the boundaries and have some fun. It can be played with through accessories, make-up and shoes just as much as it can in clothes and that is why it is so powerful! It forms the thread that links up your complete style!
My Spring 7 month part time Diploma in Personal Styling starts on Saturday February 13th – until July 30th (one Saturday per month for 7 months). Why not come along to our information evening on Monday January 18th 7pm in Dublin? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or to put your name down.