Thirty years ago, back when when I knew everything, my mother-in-law was thrilled at having had her “colors done”. It was all the rage, you know. When she pulled out her swatches of the colors she personally should wear, I thought this was completely stupid, just another passing Northern California fad like hot tubs and astrology. I probably even rolled my eyes. Yes, I am ashamed to admit…I was buzz kill.
Fast forward to last weekend. While enjoying a community potluck in my beloved neighborhood of Manette, WA, I engaged in lively conversation with my neighbors. As it often does, the topic turned to color and my job as a color consultant. My neighbor brought up the subject of color in fashion and how wearing the appropriate colors makes a more favorable professional presentation. For a split second, I was catapulted back in time to my snooty disdain. But this time, I listened. I even took it to heart. Maybe there was something to this after all?
So I went to the library and got my hands on the book Color Me Beautiful, by JoAnne Richmond. Purportedly, according to skin tones and hair color, there are colors that work and some that don’t. Grouped according to the seasons, spring, summer, winter and fall, there are a myriad of colors from which to choose. After perusing the site, it became obvious that I fall in the autumn range. And it became evidently clear why the black clothes that I wear just never “feel” right. But this is Seattle after all! Aren’t we all supposed to wear black like urban chameleons under charcoal skies?
Guess you could say, I was a little late to the party. With my newfound knowledge, my curiosity led me to observe other “autumns” in movies and TV shows. I noticed they were wearing those colors and nothing else - Joan in Madmen or Emma Stone in The Help for instance. Obviously, costume designers know this, why didn't I?
My exploration wasn't over. Per the colors in the book, I found a matching paint swatch from my vast array of samples.
I cannot tell you how utterly excited I was about each and every hue that is my palette and am now making my own set of swatches for future clothes shopping expeditions. With my tail between the legs, of course.
I have no intention of becoming a fashion consultant. Why I barely have a fashionable bone in my body. But I do know color and I know it well. I will stick with what I do best - my job as an architectural color consultant, but perhaps now, have a little more fun playing dress up along the way.