Do you remember friends 'having their colours done'? A few decades may have passed since its initial popularity but it's back in fashion and we were curious to find out more.
This book is what started it all in the 1980s. It categorised women into four seasons - spring, summer, autumn and winter, dictating the colours that looked best on these types and sparked a global phenomenon in image transformation.
The categories took into account your complexion, eye and hair colour and which colours would look best on you, based on the scientific principles of the Munsell Colour System, which uses chroma (brightness), value (depth) and hue (tone).
As time progressed Colour Me Beautiful changed the categories, evolving from the four seasons to six themes/colour dominances which are: light, deep, warm, soft, clear and cool. These are more closely linked to the Munsell Colour System and applicable to everyone, the old categories being slightly limiting. The new system has 12 possible colour types, each of which has a palette of 42 colours specifically selected to complement the dominant colouring characteristics of that type, so you will have 42 suggested colours that will best suit you. Every woman in the world will suit one of these categories.
We invited Sue Pattinson, an image consultant who trained with Colour Me Beautiful, the world's leading agency on colour consultation, to chat to us about the transformational power of colour. Sue certainly looked amazing in her outfit of cobalt blue and white, complementing her soft characteristics and cool tones.
Before becoming an image consultant, Sue had a rather different career as an air traffic controller! She then trained with Colour Me Beautiful, as she wished to do something more creative and now lives in Cheltenham, where she has clients of all ages and nationalities and enjoys meeting new people and giving them the confidence to wear colour and develop their style.
Here Sue shows off the colours that best work for her soft colouring with her handmade colour collars.
Contrary to our firmly held beliefs, Sue told us that anyone can wear any colour but the tone, depth and clarity of the colours should be correct to create a harmonious and flattering look. She says that once you know which hues suit you, all the clothes in your wardrobe will tone together, making getting dressed a breeze.
When shopping for clothes, she advises choosing the colour first, then the shape of the garment but most importantly to only buy clothes you love and to shop in a store that suits your personality.
Our lovely customer services team member Ann-Marie modelling her warm colours very well.
It was fascinating to see the transformational effect colour had on Ann-Marie's complexion. The wrong colours made her look tired, pale and dulled her hair, whilst the right colours accentuated her gorgeous natural tan, brought out the colour of her eyes and highlighted the lovely accents in her hair.
A gross simplification of this complex system is that very fair complexions suit more delicate hues and intense complexions will suit much darker hues but that there are colours which suit everyone: mink, pewter, mid navy, charcoal, mid purple and turquoise.
When designing each collection, our buyers work with leading colour agencies to keep our collections classic yet up-to-date. They also work together to carefully choose colours that will complement other garments in the collection, as well as your existing wardrobe.
These style icons, Judi Dench and Mary Berry, have completely different colour personalities, Judi opting for subtle, muted colours which let her amazing complexion shine, whilst Mary wears a bright blue that highlights her eyes.
We asked about ageing with colour and according to Sue, your colours don't change with age, as we had thought previously. So if there is a colour you loved when you were younger but have told yourself you can't wear it - bring it back and wear it every day! We also quizzed Sue on suntans, grey hair and hair colour and she informed us that these don't make a difference to the colours that suit you - it's your personality that dictates which of those colours you naturally gravitate towards. For example, on holiday you may be suntanned and feel liberated and relaxed so you may opt for the brighter, bolder colours in your palette, whilst back at home, you may opt for more muted colours as you feel more reserved. Sue suggests that this is entirely psychological and that the same garment in two different colours will have a significantly different impact on you feel.
From Her Majesty The Queen to the queen of the screen Meryl Streep, these style icons certainly know how to wear colour! We also love the classic look of blogger and Instagram influencer @stylebeyondage.
Before meeting Sue we were quite sceptical about the impact colour would have but we swiftly changed our minds as we saw the transformation before our eyes and it's not just us - you'll find news articles galore about people who have had their colours done and attest to boundless compliments on their appearance and wellness and feeling more confident. We think the most important thing is to feel happy in what you are wearing and we love that Sue and other image consultants are helping more people to do that!
Feel like having your colours done? If you live in the Cotswolds please contact the lovely and knowledgeable Sue Pattinson >
Further afield? Visit Colour Me Beautiful's website to find your nearest consultant >
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