Recognize what hues bring you happiness - and stock your closet
“Purple, Grandma, purple.” At the tender age of three, my granddaughter Zoe had definite opinions of what colours she wanted to wear. Purple makes her happy. She told me so.
What colour makes you happy? Maybe you’ve never thought about it, but all of us react to certain colours emotionally. Some we love; others, not so much.
As for Zoe’s purple, its emotion can be simple, complicated, multifaceted, diverse, whimsical, playful, sweet, delightful, delicate with strength and happy. That sounds like her.
Over many years I have worked closely with women to help them identify their perfect palette through colour analysis. This experience provided the background for my theory about colours being associated with personalities and is foundational in the work I’ve done through one-on-one consultations.
Colour is a foundation to building a personal style. Why is it that you might feel comfortable with some colours and not with others? It’s natural to gravitate to colours that reflect our innermost thoughts and feelings. Our preferences may change over the years, but the colours we favour are always an accurate indicator of our psyche. Simply put, if the colours you wear and the colours of your environment are not in harmony with your personality, you will feel uncomfortable. While there is no universally accepted theory, colour psychologists agree that colours affect our mood and influence our emotions.
Me, I love blue. Any shade of blue, but especially that mysterious, rich, deep tone of a dusky midnight blue. I don’t know exactly why I like the colour blue so much, but I do know that when I wear it I feel safe and confident. Blue makes me happy. Maybe it’s because when I was a girl, my mother dressed me mostly in blue. She would give me a hug and tell me she like me in blue because it made my eyes look even bluer than they are. She still tells me that today.
Each colour evokes an emotional response and it’s not the same for everyone. Cultural differences sometimes play a role in how people perceive colour. In general, blue represents traditional and lasting values. Every colour has positive and negative attributes. For example, blue can represent calm, trust, honesty, and security. It can also be perceived as icy, stuffy, boring, aloof and old.
Years ago, I came across a pale blue suit. It was instant love. I knew I had to buy it. The colour, fit and fabric was perfect for me. When I got home I was excited to model it for my husband Scottie. He complimented the fit but was less than enthusiastic overall. Why? You can imagine my dismay when he shared with me that shade of blue reminded him of the colour his grandmother often wore. Not something I wanted to hear from a man who is six years my junior.
I decided to return the suit and keep the man. Blue is still my comfort go-to colour today. I just don’t wear that particular shade of old-lady blue anymore.
As for my little purple princess Zoe, I know she will love purple until that day in the distant future when someone calls it menopause mauve.
How to discover your colour possibilities.
Creating your perfect colour palette is a combination of understanding the most pleasing colours for you and making them the stars of your wardrobe. You can try your hand at finding your best colour combination on your own or work with a qualified colour consultant to help discover which hues are best for you.
It’s important to understand anyone can wear any colour and your selection of flattering colours is almost limitless. The undertone (warm or cool) makes the difference between you wearing the colour or the colour wearing you. The right colours enhance your face. Facial lines are less obvious, the skin looks glowing and your eyes sparkle. Even the whites of your eyes look whiter. The wrong colours can make you look more tired and drain the natural colour from your face. Dark circles, lines and blemishes stand out more.
The Colours of your Soul
Collect photographs from art, nature, interiors, anything that you are visually attracted to. Then identify why you love those images and most specifically the colours in them. As yourself how they make you feel? Extract those colours and incorporate them into your personal colour palette.
Your Inherent Colours
What colour are your eyes, hair and skin? These three colours compose your neutral tones. You will always wear them well because they harmonize visually.
Copyright 2021: Helene Oseen
This article first appeared in the Calgary Herald.