Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Colour Consultations x Vintage Girl


Do excuse the very unstylish hangers... and the fringe isn't back - I took these a while ago!

Colour is a very important thing when it comes to clothing. I've written about it here before, because it's probably even more relevant to vintage as it is to modern fashion. Back in the 40s and 50s, designers (and the people wearing the garments) were so much braver about colour, which many don't realise due to the fact photos are so often in black and white. In reality, ladies fashion was a riot of colour - you only need to look at vintage feedsack fabric and pattern packets to see. Every few years a modern magazine or label will extol the virtues of 'colour blocking' (or, wearing two bright contrasting shades together) like it's a brand new phenomenon. But really it's just because it's long been the norm in mainstream style to pair a bright colour with a dark or neutral one to avoid looking 'over the top'. I'm even guilty of it myself sometimes (though not often. More is more, after all).

Being brave with shades and bold with my style choices is not something I've ever struggled with personally; from my grungy teenage years to my vintaged twenties and thirties, I've never shied away from pairing coral and turquoise together, yellow and blue or emerald green and fuchsia. I've also never not bought a vintage dress because I wasn't sure if the colour suited me. Unless it was beige – I'm a bit of a beigist. But dark brown, mustard tones or grey – all these muted shades have a place, albeit dressed up with a brighter tone elsewhere in the outfit. I've never been afraid of colour, or of wearing certain shades.

Therefore, while having my 'colours done' was something I had chatted about with a good friend, who'd herself had an assessment a number of years before, it wasn't something I had ever considered doing myself. Not seriously enough to actually take the plunge, anyway. So, when said friend gave me a surprise birthday voucher for a consultation of my own with a company called Colour Me Beautiful, I was very intrigued and went along with an open mind (despite my vow to still wear colours that apparently 'don't suit me' if they're part of my beloved wardrobe).

The lady who was my most local Colour Me Beautiful consultant is called Anita Feron Clark (she has her own style consultancy as well), and she was herself very well dressed, as well as perfectly coiffed and made up, which of course helps. I arrived makeup free, and after a bit of a chat to work out why I was there (I think most people buy these consultations for themselves as they honestly have no clue) she sat me in a chair and draped me in white for a completely neutral start. 

We quickly establish that my dark hair, dark eyes, and pale skin makes me someone with 'Deep and Cool' colouring. I'm told I should be wearing jewel tones, lots of greens, blues, purples and blue-based reds/pinks. I shouldn't be wearing pastel tones next to my face without something darker to offset it, like a cardigan in navy or charcoal grey. I watched Anita place swatches of different coloured cloth under my face as she showed me my ideal shades, and I nodded knowingly whilst not really being able to tell the difference. Well, that's not strictly true - it's obvious when shades really suited me, but less obvious that the paler ones didn't... if that makes any sense. After we finished the colour profiling, she put a little bit of makeup on me, just so I could see some shades that I perhaps wouldn't wear myself. She didn't do a hard sell, for which I was grateful, though the makeup was lovely and seemed good value. But I'm definitely happy with my current slap supply! 

All in all, it was a great experience and very interesting to anyone who, like me, is a bit of a colour matching (and general style) fanatic. It's not really made me vow to ditch any of my paler coloured garments, but I have made a conscious decision to try and pair them with darker colours. 

However, pictures are worth a thousand words and, as a result of this and after looking through the colour swatch booklet I received, I did decide to conduct a photographic experience to let you, dear readers, be the judges. Actually, it was just an excuse to get out some of the frocks I hadn't yet been able to wear over the summer.


These frocks are apparently all a no-no for my colouring, so it's a shame I own so many of them!



I concede that these shades do make me look a little pale... but hopefully interesting?


It might be that it's the lack of lipstick. This is a pastel yellow dress that shouldn't suit me. I still wear it! 


This lipstick that's also 'wrong' as it's not a shade that's meant to flatter me, and it's also a little pale (it looks more subtle in real life, I have to say).

What do you think? Personally, I think I can just about pull it off, though it's probably fair to say that these pale frocks don't grab the eye as much as some of the stronger coloured and patterned ones I own. So let's look at some of those.


Is darker really better?

These dresses are the ones that should technically suit me best, and perhaps they do. The evidence follows...


A dark forest green (not forgetting the rainbow stripe/plaid/whatever it is trim) western inspired dress from the 1940s ticks all the right boxes for me. Plus it looks much more striking. So there may be something in this after all. But with pale lipstick, it's still not quite right to my eyes!


This is the jackpot according to my colour consultation. The 'right' dress and the 'right' lipstick. It's an all-time absolute favourite of mine, despite being technically a house dress. It's even more of a dressing gown than a dress - wrap front and with a tie. But the pattern! Look at its amazingness!


It probably helps that this favourite dress of mine has all the colours that apparently suit me best! I've been subconsciously doing this right for years. ;)


And finally... this is the colour swatch booklet that came with my consultation. If you're coloured similarly to me, here are your best colours! They are the ones I gravitate towards, naturally.

What say you, readers? Do you think I should stick to the darker shades, or try to make pastels work for me with strong lipstick and accessories? And have you ever had your colours done?

If anyone would be interested, I'll do a post summing up the different 'types' and what is meant to suit each, so do let me know if you'd like to read something along those lines!

And until next time, have a lovely week.

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

33 comments:

  1. I think you look stunning in pale and dark, that's benefit of dark hair I think. I've had my colours done some years ago, put I'd still like to read your post on it.

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  2. You look great in either batch of dresses, but it does seem like the darker colors suit your coloring and maybe even your personality more? All the pale frocks seem very demure with small patterns and subtle detail, but the darker colored dresses seem bolder and more lively, which seems more like you.

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  3. I had a similar thing done years ago when they gave you a season, it was assumed as a blue eyed, fair-skinned blonde I would be a 'Spring' and whilst some spring colours were fine on me,the rest quite frankly made me look like a corpse risen! Instead I was much better suited to 'Autumn' so I too am somewhat sceptical.

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  4. Personally, I think a fab dress is a fab dress and they speak for themselves. We have a similar colouring and I would wear each and every one of those dresses :)I think dark hair and pale skins lends itself well to all colours :D *thats my excuse and I am sticking to it*

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  5. I think there is something in it, but frankly, if you are well groomed and beautiful (as you are) you can carry either off! I definitely wouldn't let it put you off paler colours but it might inspire you when you are looking for something new!

    I know a friend had her colours done a few years back and as someone who was a bit less stylish than you naturally it helped her out! Mind you, she was pretty young at the time and might have been better off just having fun and wearing what she wanted!

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  6. Like you, I'm not scared of colour, but naturally i always seem to opt for blue. I'm not sure why, but I have been told that I suit red because it brings out my brown eyes and hair. I think that you suit either light or dark shades of dress, as I feel that there is a certain time and place to which you feel the softer pastel dresses are more appropriate or the darker bolder ones. You should definitely keep wearing the pastels.
    Love Lil x
    http://littleliloflondon.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. I too had my colours done many years ago and to my horror, was told that Black did not suit me - and I could see what the consultant meant, when she held a piece of black cloth under my chin, I looked all washed out and ill :( So I went home faced with having to potentially chuck out 75% of my wardrobe! I replaced all the black slowly over time, though I lost a few favourite outfits. I now wear lots of Autumn colours - brown, navys, greys, greens, purples (yay), but no little black dresses in my wardrobe - the joys of being a redhead :)
    It is a shame to give up your lovely pastel dresses - perhaps just phase them out over time as I did. Good luck!
    Love Janet
    http://vintagegirluk.com/

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    Replies
    1. So you gave up favourite outfits that made you feel good based on a swatch held up against your face on one day? Wow. I didn't even think they 'banned' black, just suggested wearing a scarf or jacket to blur the line to the face.

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    2. I also tend to avoid wearing just black because I'm pale-skinned, and I personally don't think it suits me as well as warmer, more autumnal tones; but I do still have plenty of black items in my wardrobe (who doesn't?), I just mix them in with other colours.

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    3. Yeah, I won't be phasing anything out! Rather, I've accidentally phased myself out of some of them by putting on weight ;) it shall be defeated!

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  8. So many adorable colors!!! And I've never heard of having one's colors done, what a cool idea!

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  9. They all look really good. I actually like that pastel dress, as you say you look very pale- almost a 'snow white' or slightly gothic (as in plucky heroine in a novel, rather than teenager in black jeans) which is a lovely artistic look on you.

    Since a member of my family had her colours done, I've found colour consultancy (bar just using a colour wheel against hair/skin then applying what I learned in art lessons) a little unnerving and inaccurate. I think it's because it ASSUMES one wants to have certain colour contrast- in the same way as Gok Wan's style books give good advice ASSUMING one wants an hourglass figure. If one happens to be a goth, bronze-WAG, psychedelic or even love a rustic red-cheeked natural look, one might not want to look 'not too pale not too flushed' average and might WANT clothes to clash with hair.

    Please don't 'phase out' anything from your wardrobe unless you dislike it.

    Oh, and a little black dress looks fantastic with red hair if it is well styled and you know how to do your make-up- as opposed to a swatch held against naked unlit skin. Gillian Anderson, Nichole Kidman, Christina Hendricks and Julianne Moore all look amazing in black.

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  10. Omg what a neat thing you did! I have always been afraid of too much color in my everyday clothes bc I have to be more practical. But I promised myself as I buy more vintage to go with bolder colors or colors in general. I have the same coloring as you do-black hair and dk brown eyes with very fair skin so the palette is awesome for me. Thank you so much for sharing your expierence with us readers. This is really helping me a lot since I am not as fashion savvy as other vintage bloggers are hehe I think you should stick to the colors that suit you best-you want to feel great and look great then wear what will make you shine and bring out all of your natural beauty. xox

    http://www.themusingsandadventuresofapinupmama.blogspot.com/

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  11. I think a lot of if comes down to how the clothes make you feel. Yes, sometimes there are colours that just don't suit. (i can't wear solid pale grey's near my face, but broken up with some bright colours, it works.

    I do find it interesting (and I am not sure if this was a conscious thing when taking the photos or more of a fluke!) that you seem more 'alive' in the bright colour dresses.
    As Reilly says you seem more demur in the photos of you wearing the pale dresses, very static. Where as in the darker dresses you have more movement, making more of an effort!!

    Maybe subconsciously the darker dresses make you feel better, thus you project that out more? We all do it. We all have those dresses/pieces of clothing that make us feel fabulous. They shouldn't be kept for best, but worn and celebrated

    I think that is far more an important lesson than being told 'what suits'

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  12. I think the yellow dress looks terrific.As do the other ones.For the color thing,I say wear what makes you happy.Of course I subscribe to the medieval view of color,ie wear as many as you can in one outfit all at once. ;)
    Heidi in L.A.

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  13. I think you can certainly make it work for you, with slightly different makeup and accessories, but the jewel tones really do sing on you.

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  14. I've never liked the idea of this, it's all tosh as far as I'm concerned! Sure, some things will suit you and some won't but it's what makes you feel vibrant and happy in yourself that matters and you seem able to pull off everything you wear. One's mood on any given day will affect things too, what you want to project etc. Just wear what makes you happy and to pot with anything else. I think most of us are aware of what looks best on us anyway.

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  15. I also think the jewel colours suit you. But you look also stunnig in your other frocks. What counts is how you feel in them. Besides that I'm interessted in the other "types", just a bit curious what a type I would be ^.^

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  16. I'd have to say that the pastel shades do make you look paler, a little worn out perhaps, but I think you should definitely wear them anyway, even if its just with darker jackets, cardigans, and brighter accesories. I've never had my colours done, but my dearest MIL has made her opinion quite clear about my wearing certain shades of cough--beige--cough, and although I agree I still wear my mac even if its just paired with a flaming orange scarf. I think you can wear any colour, as long as you combine it with colours that really make you sing!

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  17. Interesting post! I actually think the pastel shades work on you, even if they "shouldn't."

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  18. I had my colours done in the eighties, was branded a "spring" but it never sat right with me. Fifteen years later I befriended a colour consultant and she said, it´s not the colour that´s most important, it´s the amount of contrast. Pale skin, dark hair, and strong features invite boldness in pairing colours. For me, black or navy is the key to wearing almost any other colour I choose. Wearing all one light colour makes me look a bit like a ghost with a helmet. But add a scarf, a belt, shoes and stuff, and suddenly I have a body and the face becomes "attached" again.

    Seems to me this may be your thing, too. For a hot date I would grab the red or the blue number that hangs in the tree, but that´s because I think they suit your personality! In the end, whatever makes you happy.

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  19. its really great article and i feel to be proud after read your article. Actually its a need of human and Cyclandelate Developing is must for us in successful life.

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  20. I love the dresses!

    X Jenny
    Rocknrollerr.com

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  21. I tend to avoid pastels because my skin is pale, but as my hair has grown longer I find that actually my hair itself (which is a browny-red at the moment) acts as a breaker between a pale top and my pale face. In your case, I think your usual hair and make-up are so strong that this effect is minimised, although I must admit that dark green dress is just perfect on you; it warms you right up.

    But I also have several garments which I supect don't flatter me in the least, but they make me feel like a total badass so I wear them anyway :)

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  22. Fascinating topic! I *absopositivelylutely* think that certain colors make it look as though their fairy godmother just waived the magic wand over them.

    Back in the days of independent fabrics stores when many women women sewed, stores had a large, mounted mirror accessible so shoppers could go up to it with the bolt of fabric and drape the fabric next to their face to see which color flattered. I always hold the fabric up to the face in question whenever I make something for myself or someone else (if I am able to see them in person) and there are always one or two unanimous winners.

    But it can't all be intellectual and textbook, because it also depends on the particular fabric, it's light refracting qualites, the other colors in the print, whether the black in question is drab, green-based or red-based, etc.

    From my experience, most women who are fashion conscious tend to be drawn to the colors that are best for them- notice how Fleur chooses a blueish-red lipstick- at least in every pic I have ever seen of her- and not an orangish red?

    On the other hand, if one has marvelous makeup mastery with and will wear the amount of makeup it takes to be "camera-ready', any lovely "painting" can be created on the canvas. I agree that the beautiful (and the young) are so radiant that they can make all number of fashions don'ts work.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :D

    Katherine
    Whirling Turban

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    1. I think I'm definitely drawn to these 'suited' colours more (& no, I never wear orange lipstick)... I just don't turn down a pastel! But goiven the choice, jewels it is.

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  23. I have found over the years that I have NEVER found a yellow,brown or orange I can wear without getting an invite for a dialysis program...My wardrobe at first glance is a peacocks tail.Snow white,bright blue,dark blue ,rich green etc.
    I put on cobalt blue and it is as good as a facelift or beer goggles:)
    I am a brunette with pale blue/yellow based skin and green eyes so I am a deep winter which fits perfectly.My daughter and mum are autumns of differing types and live in brown,rust,mustard etc.
    I think there is something to the colours thing.

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  24. I've always been sceptical of these consultations but this one seems pretty good actually! I think she's right about what suits you the best of all in terms of bold sparkling jewel shades, but I'm glad it's not super rigid (i.e. THROW EVERYTHING OUT IT"S WRONG WRONG WRONG) because you look so pretty in the pastels too. I think it would be quite useful in terms of makeup, and I'd be really curious how they'd fare with a darker skinned gal like me. MAC have huge difficulties matching concealer and foundations for me because my skintone has a mixture of yellow, blue and orange undertones and suits a variety of warm and cool colours (I think I look good in green and teal, but not navy, but cool toned reds suit me whilst orange ones don't!). Which box would I fit in, I wonder?

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  25. Wow! what an amazing collection of dresses you have - I love so many of them I don't think I could choose a favourite!

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  26. You definitely look amazing in all of them so I would just suit them to your moods, the occasion and tiem of the year; that said, I do love how the brighter ones make you stand out. It is good to have a dress for each of the above so keep them all in your wardrobe or wardrobes (you may need more than one). Now, if I lose a bit of weight, can you lend me a few ;)

    The same goes for make-up, sometimes a girl needs understated make-up, sometimes she needs to stand out to tell the world: hey I'm here! Again, it all depends on the mood (yours and that of the occasion).

    Now, if I ever get the time to actually wear make-up... or win the lottery to have a make-up artist with me every morning like I did on my wedding day, then I will wear make-up, for now the washed face look will do ;)

    I found your website as I am investigating for my 40th birthday next year. I love it!

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  27. I love the forest green/stripe dress. It suits you. It's interesting that we have become more dulled down (well, some of us) in colour - I tend to wear alot of black/leopard print but then make very colourful clothing and cover my house in kitsch brightness...

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  28. It's Look like simply superb.Amazing, really excellent info. Your blog is really cool. I bookmarked this and may come back again.

    NCSF

    ReplyDelete

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