Category Archives: Hmmmmm … interesting

About colour analysis with an image consultant

“Whether you want to feel a million dollars, look healthier, impress at work or want help knowing what to earmark for the charity shop, I can’t recommend a colour consultation highly enough.”

Written by Marta, the founder of Once Upon a Belt

How does it work?

Your season should normally have been advised as a result of an in-depth colour consultation, with an Image Consultant to match your personal colouring i.e. your hair, eyes and skin. They hold different colour scarves up to you and judge what complements and what bombs. It’s a real eye opener. I really wished I had had it done years ago. To be precise it would have been ideal after I had morphed from buying cheap fashionable throwaway pieces to investment work clothing wanting to make a good impression as a professional woman through my appearance – that coupled with having a bigger salary to afford to buy better quality.

Why have it done?

Sure I knew some pastel type colours were a definite no but some colours I wore because I liked them or really liked the garment that only came in that colour or it looked good on the model. When I saw photos of myself in these colours I’d stupidly squirm and think that was “a bad hair day” but now I realise those colours make me look drained and ill. Simply awful. The biggest revelation came for me when my fabulous local image consultant Sandra Attrill (the Sandra belt is named after her she’s been such an inspiration) from the House of Colour did the compare and contrast between brown / cream and navy / white. Needless to say I wish I had not bought that expensive brown suit, chosen browns and olives to be my summer colours, nor wasted a whole day hunting down the cream blouse with a tie at the collar because all this stuff ended up in the charity shop.

Our review of colour analysis using the House of Colour system…

I am a true convert and enthusiast now although I didn’t start out that way. I was hesitant for a long while because I can be a bit relaxed about my appearance, especially now I work mainly from home with a husband happier to have me ‘au naturel’ than made up, plus I generally don’t like to lavish money on myself and running, I don’t have much time for fun. I’ve never had a manicure in my life. I also don’t like being told what to do or following rules, but what’s right for you is beautifully demonstrated such that it was as plain as your nose to see it made good sense.

The fact you are in a small group and you see how bad the wrong colours look on the others as well as how the good colours make them look fantastic, is very powerful. I’m never going to look rubbish in public again. Hurray! My friends that have gone for colour analysis have all loved the experience too and all gone on to do the image day too. I was waiting by the phone at the end of the day I was so excited to hear how it went for them and what season they turned out to be. Now I understand why they previously bought me presents more suitable for their colours [smile]. There are other benefits to friends having their colours done too such as one giving me her Prada handbag as she no longer wears black.

After the knowledge – was it worth it?

And the end result? I confess I had so much in my wardrobe I have not needed to buy much new stuff to suit my colours except a couple of scarves, the right lippy shades and a couple of sweaters (I found the right colours in Primark – don’t tell anyone – but I’m on the lookout for more of the same ‘hard to find’ cobalt blue and fuchsia pink in a quality that will last more than a few washes). What has been brilliant is it has helped me clear out half of my closet as I just wasn’t wearing much of it, now I work from home. I can be certain I have kept the best stuff. The nicest bi-product of the process is the compliments I get when I wear the right lippy and colours near my face. When I want to dress to impress I know just what to do.

Clever buying

It is a wonderful way of not wasting money on clothing temptations, you know those cheeky spontaneous purchases you later regret or never get worn – be they bargains or something to hammer the credit card with, as it is actually quite hard to shop once you know what you are looking for. To help you shop, you get a wallet you can carry in your bag which has all the colour swatches for your season but more than this, on the day you get scored as to which of those really work for you. Yes all you have to do now is track those colours down but there are websites like mine that make it super easy for you. I quickly realised I had bought stock for me and neglected other realms but have corrected that now – having a colour analysis done and understanding the different clothing personalities which is done as part of the image day, is a very wise choice for any fashion buyer.
As a consumer I hated those years when all high street stores stocked only the grunge look. That’s not me (must have been one of the few teenagers who didn’t wear trainers and jeans – give me crazy tights and boots any day) but when they only stock classics the natural clothing personality types will not be happy. Yes there are fashion trends but we are individuals with our own style and honestly not all trends work on all people.

Now how about the next step?

Do book yourself in for a colour analysis and I would also say go for the image consultation too where I learnt what skirt lengths work best for me amongst many other very very useful things. As a woman who has never stopped loving short skirts, I can’t tell you how happy I was with the diagnosis that I must wear skirts ankle length or above the knee because I look either frumpy or as if I have pins poking out. Take that Trinny and Susannah with your “thou shall not wear a skirt above your knees after age 30”! I can tell you I am a Winter with a Dramatic Classic clothing personality. I somehow used to feel bad about wanting to dress loud and stand out from the crowd, but shrinking violet which I felt I ought to be to fit in did not sit well with me. Now I am proud and 100% confident to dress as a Dramatic when the mood takes me because that’s who I am. And the beauty is being dramatic means licence to break the rules. I love mixing spots and stripes or wearing odd earrings. I’m happiest being different and melting the cookie cutter with a blowtorch!


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