Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's Your Best Colors to Wear? Winter

Sometimes I have gone shopping with friends to find a special outfit for an event. They want to look their best. They ask for my input on something that is important to them. I take that role seriously if someone asks me. Some of my best memories are shopping with my mother for school clothes and it brings a bit of warmth to me to remember that, so if I'm asked to help someone pick out clothes, I like to do that. I am not so good at shopping for myself. Maybe I keep expecting my mom to swoop in and find just the right cut and color for my clothes?

I have a past in art and know that certain colors convey certain "messages" to those who see them. For example, most of you have heard of the red "power" tie. Red is a bold color, but it can be blue red or orange red. It can be dark red, clear red or light red. Can you successfully wear red? Specialists in color theory say yes--if it's the right red. I like a cherry red, but usually only in accessories. It's not usually a color I choose for a sweater or sweatshirt--even though it's my alma mater's color--Cardinal Red! (Ball State University.)

That's just one color example. Tell me the color you most likely will pick to wear in say, a blouse, sweater, sweatshirt? I do think that is a bit telling about you. Many times we're drawn to colors that do suit us. For example, as I type this, I'm wearing a periwinkle blue sweatshirt. I also have a purple sweatshirt that I never fail to get compliments on even though I bought it probably 20 years ago in Seattle! I adore another sweatshirt that is a yellow green moss color that I go to when I need comfort. (It's from Mackinac.) There are times that I will throw one outfit after another into a pile and it just seems so wasteful! If I can't decide what to wear, I pick black to appear neutral and fade into the wall. I wish to pick colors that just make me look slimmer and healthier. :)

Let's Look at Winter

N.J. Lindquist, an author and writing teacher, is someone I've known online for years. She always looks so put-together at events and on her web page, but I've never met her in person. When I look at her photos, to me, it seems obvious that she is a winter. Her writing even seems to go with her coloring and how she presents herself. (She writes novels--mystery.) I interviewed her on When I Was Just a Kid and you can see that here. Even her web site reflects her best colors and she just looks so polished. If you are a professional speaker, teacher, writer like she is, you can see how her audience will trust her in giving information or telling stories because she knows who she is.
Author N.J. Lindquist looks stunning in black--a color for winters
Another author friend (right here in Indiana) who is a winter is Colleen Coble. Colleen is CEO of the American Christian Fiction Writers and also writes award-winning romantic suspense and historical romantic suspense for Thomas Nelson. She has a mentoring and warm personality, never meeting a stranger. Recently she lost some weight and while I never have seen her look frumpy but always polished, she really shines now with the health and vibrancy of feeling good. Her smile glows and she has a lot of confidence. Can you see how well winter colors would work on her?

Colleen Coble looks beautiful and brilliant in her winter's red

Finally, another author friend who also teaches at conferences, writes articles as well as books, and does editing is Candy Neely Arrington. Candy has leadership roles, as well as speaking and appearing on TV for her articles and books on dealing in the aftermath of suicide and also caring for your parents, and music performances. She always looks beautiful in her winter palette for her clothing.

Candy is bold and beautiful in her blue that sparkles on winters

You can see how wearing the right colors can enhance the message you are bringing. Even though each of these women are writers, they need to make public appearances often. They need to be perceived as approachable, but also authoritative in their field. Your accessories and earrings, even your shoes and purse can pull your look together--but what colors should you be wearing?

Are you a winter? Go to my poll and check what you think your season might be or check the links below first to determine your best colors. And be sure to stop by Lora Alexander's web site to take her quiz if you're not sure. If you still are not sure, you can always purchase Lora's book or ask her to do an evaluation that she offers for purchase on the site. Lora breaks the four seasons into more refined palettes, which helps to narrow down your best colors, even within your season. She has Cool Winter, Clear Winter and Deep Winter.  I appreciate her art work (all the drawings are her own) to give you a better idea of the coloring of each season.

What's your favorite color to wear? What color that you wear gives you the most compliments or even gives you comments of "you look great!" What color do you wear that you always get an "are you feeling ok?"

One more comment for writers--if you are describing your heroine or hero in the story, be sure you look over the eye color/hair color and the signature color that person wears. Even if you put that character in a hideous color for her, it can be important to your story. Can you imagine any of these authors in mustard yellow? (I don't think so. And they'd probably tell you they wouldn't be caught in that color, too.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Help? Color Analysis Part 1

Crystal wearing her uniform of jeans and black

About 6 months ago I had a color analysis, trying to get my best colors to wear so I would quit wearing black and making mistakes in buying clothes. It seems I would buy something and wear it once, and never wear it again (which was nice for the clothing charities I give to, but terrible for my budget, my morale and my wardrobe.) I just don't want to waste any more time and money, plus, I'd like not to look dumpy.

I won't tell you what I was analyzed as, because I'd like to get some input from those of you who might be able to be objective, who like color and looking your best and are my friends. I've worn these colors all summer and some are nice. I don't think I gave enough input in my analysis, and am thinking some of my palette I've been using is too light and powdery. Some of the colors do not fit into this palette are colors I'm going back to, but I get frustrated and most of my wardrobe is still black.  I have felt "washed out" and like I have my hair color too light now, too. I need to head back to my hair color of my youth, I think, so I had to dig up some photos from the past just to see my coloring.

Here's the book I used which I really like. I'm leaning toward a couple palettes and probably need to be draped. On Lora Alexander's web site she gives a lot of examples and she has a really nice Facebook page, too. I can't seem to get a good hair-off-the-face photo, so I haven't been able to try the Try It On site that she sometimes uses to analyze you.

By Lora Alexander


Let's start with photos from my youth. I was born blonde, but always seemed to have a tinge of red gold in my hair. My cousin Mary Beth could wear pink really well and I wanted to wear it, as well, but I looked pretty hideous in pink. My mother would steer me away from pinks, reds and try to get me to wear rust, navy blue and dark green. She was an obvious tall, cool, beautiful blonde--summer, but somehow she was always putting me (her best colors were light powdery blue and powdery pink) in warm colors. I distinctly remember her choosing two dresses that I adored in 6th grade--one was a lime green and the other was an orange plaid. I remember looking good in those dresses! I love wearing lipstick and I'm wearing a lot of browns right now. I don't think red to wear or red for lipstick is good on me. Pink is hideous, I think. (Unless it's a coral pink.)

Here are some photos from my youth:
Crystal as a paper doll (photo about 4th grade and my hair was trimmed off to make a doll)
Crystal, age 13, in my favorite dark green outfit with light green blouse
On the horse in my fav Tennessee Vols tee, age 18 (my best friend Linda is the other gal and we were in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Someone said Linda is a spring.)
I was in 7th grade and this is Thanksgiving in Fairmount (Mom and brother and yummy turkey)
So, you can see somewhat my coloring as a younger person. Now let's move on to my early 20s and 30s. See if you can discern whether I'm warm or cool, light or deep, soft or clear. Keying in on words that describe my coloring will help. 

Age 21 while I was in college. This was my senior photo at Ball State University. The cowl neck is rust and the suit is dark brown.
Early 30s. This is with no makeup and that baby is my youngest son of 4 sons, Max!
Do you have descriptive words for me? 

1. Cool or warm?
2. Deep or light?
3. Soft or clear?

Pick a word from each point and let me know if you think one word is more applicable than the others. 

Tomorrow I'll have photos more current and will put an example from the categories that you've picked here for comparison. 

Thanks for helping out!