Despite having been born and raised in the fashion capital of Europe (that’s Milan in case you wonder) I must admit that I sometimes feel like I wasn’t bestowed with the same innate sense of elegance that a lot of my friends have and that fashion is indeed a mystery.
My main criteria for choosing what to wear on any given day tends to be something like this: is it at the top of the pile of clean stuff? Yes = that will do, No = in the washing basket. I love dark colours and black in particular.
Turns out these colours make me look anemic and that was awesome back in my goth/metal chick days (which carried on at least until my late 30’s when I was adopted by my first mostly-white cat). They are not very flattering and neither are most of the items in my wardrobe which I have kept for many years because they have sentimental value: either my mum knitted them or they were bought from one boutique or another. I do suffer from the classic case of “I have a wardrobe full of stuff but nothing to wear” syndrome. It was time to sort this out.
Making smarter choices when it comes to how we present ourselves is a big part of what I do when I work with my clients. My areas of expertise are body sculpting, posture and movement so when it comes to colours and fashion I tend to ask the experts.
I recently reconnected with a fabulous lady, Cass Edwards of Cascade Colour & Style who I have always admired for how smart and elegance her appearance is in a way that looks effortless and had always wanted to work with her to unleash my inner fashionista. Circumstances prevented me from doing so for a long time but when I learned that she was going to retire early in 2016 (hence no link to her website) I booked up my consultation on the spot.
I honestly think it was the best investment I have made on myself in a very long time. It has always been obvious that some colours suited me better than others regardless of how much I liked them, however I was never able to quite pinpoint why and how. Cass sorted that out for me in no time.
This is what happened…
The first thing we worked on was defining my “colour personality”. This is based on the colour of my hair, eyes and complexion. Turns out that I am a “Midnight Spring” person meaning that colours that are bright, warm (with gold undertones) and perhaps a bit lighter than a pure shade are the most flattering. The Midnight bit comes from the fact that I have dark hair.
The second thing we explored was which “neutral” colours from the Spring family were the best for me. You can see them in the picture on the left. Admittedly I would probably think twice about buying outfits in some of those shades of beige and brown, however when I checked my wardrobe afterwards I discovered that I had forgotten that I had a pair of trousers and matching bomber jacket by Jean Paul Gaultier in a funky pattern with a few of those creams and browns. Result!
The blue on the left was elected the best colour for me for a business power suit to be paired with a shirt or top in either cream, light warm grey of even beige. It’s not bad news for my black designer suits though as I learned that they can be rescued by simply choosing tops and perhaps chiffon scarves in friendlier colours so that those are the ones closer to my skin. Result no. 2!
After playing with many colour swatches we identified the shades of most colours that worked for me. Every time we hit the spot I was gobsmacked at how much difference the right colour makes to how we look. It’s almost as if the facial features seem softer, nicer, sexier.
On the right is part of the final selections of fab colours for a Midnight Spring like me. As you can see they are all lovely and make me look less sick than I was on the day (recovering from a brutal bout of flu). The digital image doesn’t make the swatches justice: the colours in real life are vibrant and beautiful.
At the end of the consultation I was given a collection of swatches to take away with me that I can now use to choose my future garments AND, most importantly, do an audit of everything that currently lives in the wardrobe with the aim of throwing away anything that doesn’t harmonize with the swatches except for the most expensive designer items which will be either rescued with accessories or, if hopeless, sold on Ebay or donated to a charity shop of my choosing.
Last weekend I made many Ebay sellers happy by buying a shitload of items in either cream, cornflower blue, coral and even a “fake leather” jacket in camel. Other colours I may have to look for in person or from the Kettlewell website. It’s quite difficult to find the correct shades for my skin type online as items are not always listed as “light true green” or “clear salmon” or “orange red” or “buttercup yellow” but I did manage to find “periwinkle blue“!
At the end of the consultation we looked at make-up and jewelry too. Turns out that “gangsta rapper gold” is better for me so there will be a few items of silver costume jewelry for sale. As for the make up I still have to make a shopping trip to the store for which I have a discount voucher for to buy a new lipstick or two and a lip gloss in one of my colours.
I had plenty of fun on the day and learned lots. I would strongly recommend any ladies (and even gentlemen, why not?) who have never done so to book an appointment with their nearest image consultant to experience the same process, especially if you just spent months working on transforming your body with nutrition tweaks and exercise. Think of it as both the finishing touch and a reward for all your hard work and sticking it out to the end of your program. You won’t believe the difference that carefully chosen colours will make to enhance your newly sculpted body. Which is why, whenever possible, I treat my VIP customers to a full on colour & style consultation with an expert of my choosing. Want to find out more? Click here for details of my VIP Program.
I would love to hear from anyone who has worked with an image consultant. Please let me know about your experience in the comments below. Thank you!