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Color: A Pillar to Creating Signature Personal Style

Using color effectively in your wardrobe can create increased adaptability in the garments you own, days of feeling and looking your best, and increased confidence and achievement in your career. Who knew that color had the power and influence that it does?! Use these tips to identify how best to implement color choices in your wardrobe.

Effects of Color
Studies have shown that people have both physical and psychological reactions to different colors. Color can energize or calm you and those around you. Color can make you appear formal and powerful or friendly and approachable. It can also influence how you and others feel. Ultimately, your goal is to have colors work well together for the environment you’re in, the people you’re with and for your own advantage.

COOL TONES: conservative, classic, businesslike, more expensive
WARM TONES: friendly, approachable, down to earth
DARK TONES: credible, authoritative, assertive, more masculine
LIGHT TO SOFT TONES: approachable, gentle, more feminine
BRIGHT TONES : energy, excitement, animation, extroverted quality
MUTED TONES : controlled, conservative, introverted quality

Color and Wardrobe Development
‘Capsule Dress’ or ‘Cluster Dressing’ is a strategy used by image professionals when working with clients in wardrobe development. Utilizing these deeper levels of strategy can create big benefits in your wardrobe.

  1. Work with 3 ‘Core’ colors. Neutrals such as navy, grey, brown, taupe and black work well for building a foundation ensemble (pant, top/tank, & jacket/cardigan) in three core colors.
  2. Use subdued weaves in fabric selections
  3. No prints (initially…you can add patterned garments later, once core solids are established)
  4. To create many looks, select accessories, and additional tops, sweaters, jackets in varying colors and patterns to express your own style. Be sure to make sure these types of garments will coordinate well with at minimum two of your selected core colors.

Personal Color
What is your natural coloring? The foundation of any personal palette is composed of the natural colors found in the skin, hair, and eyes. Like all hues, the colors in your body have the properties of hue, color temperature, & value.

HUE: the name of the color
COLOR TEMPERATURE: Warm, Cool or Neutral
VALUE: Light, Medium or Dark

Experiment with different hues, temperatures and values to find out what looks best with your skin, hair and eyes. This process will help you find the foundation to best express yourself authentically.

Completing the process described here will aid you in making quick, sound decisions to amplify your impact and influence, both professionally and personally. If you find the process intimidating and are still not sure what colors are best for you, consider a professional color assessment. It’s an investment in your success that you won’t soon regret.

Kelly Duggan is an Image Consultant specializing in executive & personal image development, etiquette & communication skills. She is a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International. Contact Kelly at: www.kellyduggan.com.

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