Monday, August 24, 2009

The Colors of My World

This weekend my mother, aunt, grandmother and I had our "colors done".

We met with a woman who has been trained to help you determine which clothing colors are best for you, along with makeup, hair, and clothing styles. She's not a "color nazi" insisting that you can only wear certain colors and should never wear others, but someone who helps guide you to colors that bring out your best looks, and makes suggestions on how you can wear other colors without having to totally trash your wardrobe and start over.

Have you ever worn an outfit that was guaranteed to bring complements on how you look, not the outfit? Then most likely that outfit was in a color that brought out the best in your skin - leading the eye away from the clothing and to your beauty. What about an outfit where you got complements on the clothing? Sure the clothes looked great, but that's all other people saw, not your beauty. Or what about when you wore a color because it was expected (as part of a uniform or dress code, or even because it was the "hot" color of the moment perhaps) but felt horrible every time you put it on? That color was most likely not one for you.

Anyway, it was finally determined that I am a Summer (along with everyone else who was there, including my aunt who married into the family). I say finally because I probably made things more difficult. I HATE looking at my face in a mirror. All I see are the imperfections and none of the beauty, so when the consultant was holding up different colors, all I saw was the ugly plus color, and none of the subtle changes that everyone else could see.

I'm not sure when this loathing started. I know it's been going on for a while, and that there are times when I catch a flash of my reflection in an unexpected place, wonder who that pretty woman is, and then am surprised to realize that it's me. When I have to look at my head in a mirror for things like make-up application, hair styling or the like, I don't really see my face, I glaze over it like some internal computer pixilates the image. So anyway, I found it very difficult to determine which colors were good on me thanks to my reaction to the color vs. the effect and had to rely on the others to react on my behalf.

Since the consultant was only anticipating a max of two Summers, my mother and aunt who both live out of town took the last two color books the consultant had, and my grandmother and I will get more books once they arrive with her next order. I'm a little disappointed at having to wait, as it means I don't get to spend the time DH is away this week going through my closet with the swatches and without interruption (except from the dog), but it also gives me some time to think about what my realization about not liking to see my face really means, and what provoked it.

In the end, I'm not sure I'm a true convert to the system, as I still plan to wear colors like army green and orange as they make me happy but are supposedly not colors summers should wear, but I can also see the benefits of wearing colors that help you look your best. Perhaps if I was in a corporate track having to wear suits and other dressy clothing on a regular basis I would be more of a believer; but for the casual t-shirts and sweaters which are both my work and play wardrobe, eh. Big deal.

For now I think I'll just try to see myself as the beautiful person others say they see but I haven't believed.


  1. I'm not sure you can be an American woman unless all you see is imperfections when you look at your own face. Oh, and also 10 extra pounds.

  2. I've never done this before. Hmm, wonder what I'd be? Doubt a summer given my dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin. Sounds like a lot of fun. And I agree, wear whatever you like but it is nice to find a color that really makes you feel great. I love orange, too!

    And thanks for the advice on Vegas. I definitely want to see the Bellagio's fountains - especially since it's F-R-E-E!

  3. We all always see the worst in ourselves, we are our harshest critics. I have also had the colour thing done but don't believe it all, many colours that they told me not to wear I think I look good in and many people compliment me when I wear them.