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How To Update Your Colour Palette

If you have had colour analysis in the past there is a good chance that you may only wear a percentage of the colours in your palette. We all get stuck in a rut and stick to what is safe and what we know works. Depending on when you were colour analysed, you may also be sticking to some rigid rules that are limiting your choices. If you were analysed as one of the 4 Seasons and have never deviated, you are definitely missing out. Since then colour analysis has moved on considerably, I have even developed my own method that I use with my clients. 

If you have started to see some "natural highlights" creeping in or perhaps as you have got older your skin tone has changed, you may want to rethink the colours you wear as well. Or maybe you fancy a change or feel that your colour palette doesn't reflect who you are. I definitely go through phases where I want to wear a luxurious palette of neutrals and other days when I really want some gorgeous pops of colour. 

You may decide that you don't really care about what colours suit your colouring and will wear whatever you like and I definitely won't argue with that. I believe that as long as you feel confident, then why not wear colours you love. However, to create a cohesive wardrobe with pieces that all work together, it is important to work with a colour palette. Without having a palette of colours you will have odd pieces that don't go with anything else and rarely get worn. The easiest starting point for a colour story for your wardrobe is by using colours in a palette that suits your colouring.

For that I use the Tonal or Dominant system. To explain it simply it looks at your colouring - the combination of your hair, skin and eyes - and decides which characteristic of your colouring is dominant (or which stands out the most)

Are you a Light Dominant - You will have light blond hair, a fair almost delicate complexion, light brows and eyes which could be blue, green or grey. 



Are you a Deep Dominant - You will have dark brown to black hair, dark brown eyes and a rich, strong look.



Are you a Warm Dominant - You will have red or golden blonde hair, with warm brown, green or sometimes blue eyes and may have freckles.



Are you a Cool Dominant - You will have grey or silver hair, a pink toned skin and blue or grey eyes.



Are you a Bright Dominant - You will have dark hair but fair skin with bright blue, green or grey eyes. 



Are you a Soft Dominant - You will have little contrast between your hair, skin and eyes. You could be blonde or brunette but mid scale rather than very light or dark. Your eyes could be blue, brown or green.



Once you have established your Dominant colouring the next step is to have some key pieces is your neutral colours. Neutrals are colours like navy, grey black, camel and taupe, to name a few, that work well with other colours. Neutrals help you to pull together accent colours that you might think don't go with each other. The spice is added to your wardrobe when you start to incorporate accent colours, like reds, pinks, greens etc.

At this point you can think about bringing your personality into your colours. Do you love bright colour or are you more of a muted or minimalist neutrals fan? Perhaps you have struggled because you know that your Dominant colouring is Muted but you love bright colours. Or maybe you have Cool colouring but love yellow - not typically a cool colour.

Don't despair though, because you can adapt your palette to work for you. This is where I have developed how I do colour analysis to bring in the extra element of personality. If you are bubbly and outgoing but have muted colouring you might feel a little flat in your palette of soft colours. If this is the case you could wear your muted neutrals and then perhaps make some of your reds, blues and pinks a little brighter than those in your Dominant's palette. Or perhaps wear a muted blazer with a brighter blouse underneath. It might even be something as simple as wearing a pop of brighter colour as a bag or shoe.

** Affiliate links** Jacket // Trousers // Blush top // Blush shoes // Print top // Pink boots //

Wear muted for Soft Colouring, left or add some bright pops, right

For those of you whose colouring has changed, it doesn't mean that you have to throw everything out and start again. If you have gone grey you can tweak the palette you already have. If you have gone from Deep to Cool a lot of the same principles will apply, for example using contrast. If you have gone from Soft to Cool the main difference will again be using contrast. A Soft looks best with a blend of colours similar depth colours or tone on tone of the same colour, whereas Cool colouring pops with contrast.

**Affiliate links** Cardigan // Blue blouse // Light trousers // Blue shoes // Pink print top // Navy trousers // Pink shoes //

Left, tone on tone blues for Soft colouring, Right, contrast for Cool colouring

If I have given you food for thought and you want to find out more here are some resources...

My Colour page which includes:

Your Personalised Colour Guide - an online service where I create a palette of colours tailored for you, to suit your colouring and personality. With a detailed booklet on how to wear and mix your colours as well as ideas for makeup, jewellery and glasses.

The Colour Manual - Do It Yourself, Discover your Dominant and Secondary Colouring with a done for you palette of 36 colours, your best neutrals and accents, 4 methods to create a wardrobe colour scheme and 30 sample wardrobe colour schemes.

For more help and advice from me, join [email protected] and take part in a Free Colour Makeover and get your questions about wearing colour answered.




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