My Colour Story
Part One - Soft Autumn
As a new analyst, many people ask me how my own colour journey turned out. Well, my colour journey was long. Very long. Long to the point of ridiculousness. Although I’ve had clients with even more mind-boggling stories – you know who you are! For ease of reading, I’ve broken up the story in seven short chapters. So for the sake of entertainment, here’s the first part about how I discovered personal colour analysis, on a warm summer’s evening five years ago, and how I first guessed I was a Soft Autumn.
Do you know the ‘Suddenly I See’ written by KT Tunstall? I know nothing that better encapsulates that particular feeling you get sometimes, when you feel the sudden conviction that life could be just marvellous, smoother, more spotless. If only…
I get it when confronted with a particularly beautiful editorial spread in a fashion magazine, with a beautiful photograph. It’s the feeling of being seduced by the possibility of glamour, realistic or not.
Five years ago, while I was sub-renting the student room I had for the summer, I got just that feeling. I was working on my thesis, and it was hard going. At the time, my chronic fatigue was wreaking havoc on my study progress. I could barely work a couple of hours. But the evenings were my (worry-)free time. I would cook dinner at quarter past four and made sure the dishes were done at five. After that, I would have no less than six hours to spend with nothing but my own mind and a laptop. Bliss.
On a particularly warm evening, the feeling stole through me and I felt the need to do something. Anything. To discover, to find something that would make my life just that big easier. More effortless.
Call it divine inspiration, if you will.
And being a girl of my age, you know I turned to the Internet. And being a girl in the first place, I started looking for ways that would make me look more beautiful. And having an inquisitive, scientific mind, I started looking for ways that would make me look more beautiful in a consistent, reproducible way.
Because despite being a pretty girl, I still struggled with what I looked like. Part of it is the ‘I am not good enough’ message we’re all being fed – something I would rage over nowadays. But I had acne, and puffiness in my face, and it made me insecure.
And so I found this ‘fashion 101’ website, I can’t actually remember what it was called. Nestled in the list of steps that would help me get started was, you guessed it, finding your colour palette. Suddenly I saw… I felt elated. Here, finally, was something practical and feasible that would help me. All I needed to know was which palette I belonged to. I felt elated.
At first I tried to DIY it. I searched the Internet high and low. I looked at a lot of celebrity collages, did all the questionnaires I could find and spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at coloured squares on my screen. 12 Seasons was a lot to get my head around, but it was interesting stuff.
I gathered 12 stereotypes worth of information, and the results were as follows:
I have medium blonde hair, meaning natural golden highlight on an ash base; blue-grey-green eyes (they appear to change colour depending on what I wear). That means:
- I don’t have warm brown hair, so I couldn’t be True Autumn;
- Or dark hair, so I couldn’t be a Dark Season or a Winter;
- I did not have true golden/coppery hair, so True Spring was out either;
- And did I have clear eyes? I thought not. So no ‘Clear’ Season as well;
- The yellow in my hair precluded True Summer;
- And my eyes were too dark to make me a Light Season.
That left the Soft Seasons, which was right because my blonde hair with my skin – which is ever-so-slightly olive toned – makes for a very low-contrast look. And since the veins on the inside of my wrists were on the greener side, I must be a Soft Autumn.
You can laugh. You already know what I didn’t, that trying to guess your Season from these stereotypes is seriously pointless.
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