Karen is a Qualified Personal Stylist, Colour Analyst and Content Creator. Karen offers a bespoke range of services including Colour & Body Shape Analysis, Wardrobe Edits and Personal Shopping Experiences across Hertfordshire and London. She is passionate about helping women regain their personal style and feel amazing through style and colour.
If you have a wardrobe full of neutrals, then introducing colour can be quite daunting, but I can assure you it’s not that scary at all once you know how. Read my step-by-step guide, which will have you wearing colour confidently in no time.
Wearing colour has so many benefits; it’s not just about how it will make you look but also how it will make you feel and how others perceive you. When our eyes see colour, it triggers a neurological response, releasing feel-good hormones. This is where the term “Dopamine Dressing” comes from, which means dressing yourself happy. It’s the concept that wearing colour will encourage the release of dopamine, our happy hormone. But dopamine isn’t the only hormone that is released through wearing colour. The different colours generate different emotions and also impact how others perceive us. Here’s a very brief introduction to colour psychology.
• Wear red to boost energy and show others you are confident.
• Wear orange to feel confident in social situations and show others your optimism
• Wear yellow to feel happy and spread happiness to others.
• Wear blue to feel calm and show others that you are loyal and trustworthy
• Wear green for new beginnings and to show peace and trust to others.
• Wear purple if you or a loved one is in need of healing.
• Wear pink for self-love and to show others you care.
Notice that I didn’t include black in there? First of all, black is not a colour. It’s neutral. Yes, black can look chic, and it can also be slimming, but the downside of
black is that it can be draining on your energy levels and also your emotions. Not many people can wear black close to their face either; only those with a cool winter skin tone will shine in black. If you have a warm skin tone, black can throw some forgiving shadows onto your face.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH COLOURS SUIT YOU?
This is a very brief explanation. In order to fully understand which colours work best for your skin tone, you would need to meet in person with a qualified Colour Analyst and have a full Colour Analysis session. That said, understanding if you have a cool or warm skin tone is a good place to start. If you have a warm skin tone, your skin will have golden/yellow/peach undertones to it. Even if you have fair skin and don’t tan, you can still have a warm skin tone. It’s all about the undertones. If you have a cool skin tone, your skin will have pink/blue undertones, and you can still have darker skin and tan well despite the word ‘cool’. If you’re not sure from this description, then there are three simple tests you can do on yourself. Firstly look at your veins. If your veins appear more green than blue, you have a warm skin tone. If your veins look more blue/purple, you have a cool skin tone. Secondly, hold a piece of white paper or clothing next to your skin in natural light. If your skin looks more rosy/pink you have a cool skin tone and if it appears more yellow, you have a warm skin tone. Lastly, which shade of jewellery looks better on your skin? Gold looks better on warm skin tones and silver will always look better on cool skin tones. If you have determined you have a warm skin tone then wear colours that have a warm golden/yellow undertone or a rich brown undertone.
Creams and ivory look better than pure white. Black is not your friend though; it will throw shadows onto your face. If you must wear it keep it away from your face. If from these tests you have determined that you have a cool undertone then wear colours that are either very pale, predominantly white, or deeper shades with a cool navy undertone. Play around with both; you will be able to tell which one works for you. Pure white is better for you as opposed to cream and ivory. Both cool and dark skin tones can wear any colour, it’s just about finding the right shade or tone of colour for you.
If you currently don’t wear much colour, I understand it can be daunting at first. Start small and work your way up. Start by adding a pop of colour with accessories such as colourful bags, belts, shoes, jewellery or scarves. Once you feel comfortable, you can try a piece of clothing with a neutral background but a colourful print, such as a cream jumper with a colourful pattern or stripe.
The next step is colourful clothes; jumpers, dresses, tops etc., go for it. If you want to wear multiple colours together, the best way to pair them is to wear the colour opposite or next to each other on the colour wheel, called colour blocking. Colour blocking will enhance the colours, whereas wearing colour with a neutral will tone it down. Before you know it, you will have a wardrobe full of colour, and I can assure you wearing colour attracts so many compliments. You will never get tired of hearing that colour looks great on you.