Over the millions of years humans have evolved, we have developed an instinctual reaction to colour that consequentially affects our emotional condition, so much that most people have either become too afraid of using colour and omit it completely or just simply follow trend colours without much personal consideration of their unique features.
I can’t understand why so many of my clients and friends would answer “yes” to the question “do you enjoy wearing colours?” when inspecting their wardrobes or even interior spaces, I was faced with an array of neutrals and endless tones of black!
In my styling and interior design consultations, interpreting a person’s needs and identifying their personality quirks are vital in achieving complete client satisfaction. A helpful tool for getting that ball rolling has been to simply ascertain what colour group they belong to.
Even our language uses colour to describe our emotions, such as to turn green with envy…
Why so Blue?
We have all experienced the magical affect of colour; how energetic we feel on a bright sunny day when the full colour spectrum is beaming at its best or even how demotivated we become when the sky is overcast with a blanket of grey clouds. The change in the seasons is indicated by the colours of the leaves and the drop or increase in temperature and we have all experienced how these changes have impacted on us emotionally and behaviorally.
Even our language uses colour to describe our emotions, such as to turn ‘green with envy.’ From a fashion perspective, we look forward to the colours showcased by our favourite designers that mark the trends expected from up and coming seasonal collections. It is undeniable how important colour is but how can we become confident about our colour choices?
Colour groups – Which one are you?
Colours are either ‘warm’ or ‘cool.’ This means that they are either yellow-based colours (warm) or blue-based colours (cool). These two groups can be subdivided into an additional two groups that differ only in intensity by either adding white to de-saturate or black to intensify.
This brings the total to four main colour groups. In all of my consultations, I have noticed that most people belong to one particular colour group and the great news is that these colours will always harmonise well together so you need never worry about creating an unflattering ensemble!
If you find that you belong to more than one colour group don’t worry; that is to be celebrated. Although do be careful when mixing colours from the other three groups as some of these combinations may be either too overpowering or very underwhelming and if in doubt consult a professional.
A good rule of thumb is to limit your colour combinations to a maximum of three per outfit and remember that you can also cleverly integrate your accessories into the colour scheme. Pay attention to your skin complexion to identify whether you have a pale or warm undertone as this will inform which of the colours in your colour group are worth focusing on. For instance, if you have a warm complexion it doesn’t mean that you cannot wear cool colours, it just means you will look best in cool shades that have a warm (yellow) undertone so a warm green for instance. The most important exercise here is how the colours work together taking your skin tone, hair and eye colour into consideration to complete the entire look.
Lastly, pay attention to compliments that you may receive as this is a tell-tale sign that you have done well with your colour matching. Go forth with colour confidence!
With over 7 years in the Interior and Architecture Design industry Manelle has integrated personal styling into her creative repertoire. She is a business owner of unique design consultancy Stylability that is based in Melbourne. She believes that it is the People that make the Project and invests not only in understanding a Client’s needs but interpreting them creatively and practically.