How to Choose Colours – What’s Your Colour Personality?

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 I was reading a post over at Privilege and Lisa mentions how she prefers to wear neutral colours rather than most of the colours of the rainbow, some light blues excluded.  It led me to think about how different personality types prefer different colours.

So I thought I’d do a series of posts on choosing colours based on your personality  (rather than just your colouring).  No matter what your colouring, these personality traits can be expressed in a harmonious way with your colouring.  Even if you do prefer neutrals, you will still want to choose the most flattering neutrals to enhance your skin, hair and eyes, rather than the neutrals that wash you out.

So thinking about personality, you may find that you tend to fall into one of the following groups when choosing colours.

What's your colour personality? Which colours do you prefer to wear and why? Discover how your personality influences your colour choices - take the colour personality quiz

 Quick Colour Personality Quiz

Choose one or two answers from the statements below (you may have a different answer from work to home, or depending on your mood).

  1. Neutrals are the basis of your wardrobe, you may bring in some light blues, or the occasional piece of burgundy, but really you are most comfortable when colour is not too apparent.
  2. You identify with the colours of nature, soft greens, blues, sand, oatmeal, rust, sage, earthy browns, forest green.  These colours are low key, but still coloured, you may consider some to be a little smoky and softened.
  3. You love colour to add drama to your outfit.  Black and red, and black and white are favourites.  Hot pink, orange, cobalt blue are all colours that you are drawn to.
  4. Mixing it up is something that appeals to you.  You will wear out all sorts of unusual colour combinations that others would fear to try.  No colour is off limits, but you are less likely to look for the high contrast and go for a lower contrast, it’s an interesting and different combination that appeals, not one that necessarily smacks you in the face.  You may also prefer your colour in a pattern rather than solid blocks.
  5. Soft light colours appeal.  Pastels are a favourite.  Baby pink and blue, champagne and cream, lavender and periwinkle all put a twinkle in your eye.Lighter neutrals with a pop of colour
  6. Lighter neutrals with a pop of colour — you like a sophisticated palette of camel or beige with accent colours in one piece or accessory

So when you read the above statements which appeal to you the most?

You may choose one or more of the above.  You may stick to a more limited range of colours or you may prefer to dip in and out of many different palettes (in fact Jill Chivers and I discuss the aspect of getting dressed based on colour first and why we choose the colours we do).

Personality Dressing Style Colour Choices

Your personality influences everything you choose in your wardrobe (it’s why you love some things and hate others or just feel super uncomfortable when wearing some clothes where you feel that they are just not ‘you’.

  • From prints to patterns – even whether you wear them – and if you do are you a floral or stripe or abstract print kind of woman.
  • The details – how large or small, delicate or bold.
  • The kinds of fabrics you choose, smooth or nubby, stretchy or stiff.

I could go on and on here (in fact I did write this post about how personality is more important than body shape here that you may find interesting as it expands on these points).

Understanding the influence of your personality really helps you define your personal style and inform your style recipe.  Not only will understanding your personality dressing style help you in store, as you can immediately identify when a garment just isn’t you (and you know why) so you don’t buy it because you want “different” in your wardrobe as you’re kind of bored with what you have.  It informs all your choices and helps you feel like the very best version of you.  This is why Personality is Step 1 in my 7 Steps to Style system, as I believe it is THE most important step in defining your style.  You can find out all the body shape stuff, which hemlines and necklines flatter, which shapes are best for your body, but you’ll still make purchasing mistakes as what colour should you choose?  What about a pattern or solid?  What kind of details do you like?  These are not body shape related, but personality influenced.

Then you need to find out your ideal colour palette – from all the millions of colours in the world – which ones harmonise with your colouring and make you look lighter, leaner, vibrant, healthy and glowing?  Your colouring changes over the years as do the colours that suit you best (started to go grey – yes that means that your skin is changing too, you can find out more about colouring and ageing here).  Step 3 of my 7 Steps to Style program is dedicated to colour and finding your ideal palette, contrast and value – so that you look amazing and beautiful in your clothes.  No matter where you are in the world, I’ve developed a system to discover your colours.

Within any colour palette that are colours that flatter, you will be more drawn to some than others and this is the impact of your personality.  When you click through to the six personality dressing styles colour choices, you will see how from any palette, you can choose a range of colours to suit the inner you.

Discover the Personality Dressing Style Colour Choices

Colour Personality – 1. Neutral – Classic

Colour Personality – 2. Natural – Relaxed/Casual

Colour Personality – 3. Bold – Dramatic

Colour Personality – 4. Eclectic – Creative

Colour Personality – 5. Soft – Feminine

Colour Personality – 6. Playful – Sportive

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28 Comments

  • I am definitely #3! This sounds like a really interesting concept and I can't wait to hear your thoughts on each type.

  • I'm really looking forward to this, and thanks for the mention. I have spent the Easter weekend with my sister, mother, and step-sister, laughing around the dinner table about our colors:). Mu mother and my sister have the exact same coloring, but, as you say, different color personalities.

  • I'm not sure I exactlyfit any of these. I love colour, believe neutrals only exist to show of colours properly, but I'm less than a 3, I like to tone down the drama a bit. But not pastels either. I live in purples, deep pinks, rich blues, blue greens .. not only do they suit my colouring but I feel happy when i wear some strong colour with a balancing neutral or somethingthat blends beautifully (like deep pink and deep violet) What does that make me?

  • I'm definately #2, however haven't got much of the blue in my wardrobe as yet, however recent fabric purchases have interestingly included 3 different blues.

  • Gorgeous photo of your color system! I'll be interested to see your next post(s) around this topic.

    Lynne basically wrote my response for me…though we differ as I'm still in the midst of Project Wean Self Off Black.

    Amusingly/irritatingly, my closet balance hasn't caught up with my new direction–it's still heavy on the "classic" safety zone shades–but currently I'm happily wearing color-color and embracing the ability to zigzag from a monochromatic grey look to a sorbet shadeapalooza.

  • I can't really do pastels, although I do like white jeans in summer. I'm actually drawn to some colours that really don't suit me, which I find a bit depressing …

  • Like Lynne, I can´t recognize myself in any of the six mentioned. Grey is the one I like most, not all greys, then the color of amethyst, powdered baby pink, a very pale yellow, a coffee bean brown and black, but not right next to my face. So, where do I fit in?

  • I'm afraid I mix and match… I'm 1, 2 and 5. so basically I don't go for popping colours. unless, as I have realised, it's a very classic outfit. then I try to break it down a little by adding unexpected, bright pops of colour.
    so what does that make me?

    and btw., I'm reading you for a long time already, just so far always have shied away from commenting.

  • I'm a #6. Wearing neutrals makes me feel really 'blah'. I was draped and am a Clear Spring. I love those colours so much!

  • Hmm, I'm definitely a 4 in your grouping, at least most of the time. I like combining colors, I like wearing of a range of colors, and no color is off limits. I do occasionally go for high contrast, but usually not. Every time I say I don't wear something I find myself drawn to it.

  • I am 1 and 2. I love all the neutrals and sea/sand colours. I also like pale pink, lavender and mint green. I have MCPD – multiple colour personality disorder. I really do not do well in burgundies, bright pinks, blues or oranges. Can't wait to check back…

  • I don't really recognise myself amongst any of them. I like high-contrast, unusual colour combinations and tend to shy away from neutrals. Hmmm…

  • Lynne, you may be a more modified version of a 3, or even a combination of 3 and 4 or 3 and 6.

    Tiffany, you can always decorate your house in those colours!

    Metscan – combination of 1 and 5 I think.

    Shelley, of course you can be a 2 and 5!

    ADressandBike – you sound like a combination of 3 and 4

  • Another #4 here! To think that 10 years ago I mostly wore black because I didn't know how to mix colours and what looks good on me… I'm looking forward to your posts.

  • I am much more given to liking the colors in my "personality" palette rather than those in my physical color range. I tried the muted, dusty things and I just don't feel like "me" at all. I feel drab, miserable and uninspired!

    Style trumps all, and I'm keeping to the more eclectic color palette for now.

  • I am trying soooo hard to wait for mine LOL!! I am pretty sure I am a deep winter and I love bright, deep colors! 🙂

  • Hello! I just stumbled upon this post via Google, and I wonder what category you would place me in. None of the six presented seem to match up with my wardrobe choices that much. My wardrobe includes lots of blacks, but I always like to include a pop of colour – burgundy, ruby red, deep teal, fuschia, etc.

    The closest category is probably #3, Bold & Dramatic – the personality traits suit me to a T. I can't say no to a pair of pointy needle-thin stiletto pumps – form always wins out over function in my wardrobe!

    However, I hate bright colours and any kind of pattern with a passion – I much prefer clothing in solid jewel-toned colours. I refuse to purchase anything that has an animal print on it, and colours described as "bold," like orange or cobalt blue, typically send me running in the other direction.

    I'd love to get your opinion on my colour personality!

  • Luxe Junkie,

    I'd say that the Bold/Dramatic is your group. Not all dramatic's like pattern, but jewel tones with black are a look commonly loved by this group!

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • So interesting! Thanks for pulling all the personalities together like this because I definitely am attracted to multiple. I am natural (often “feel” clothes before trying on, love my comfort, and as an I body shape, like texture/thicker fabrics!), feminine (love light blues, creams, the right shade of pink, a defined waist – again, being an I makes me focus on looking feminine – and associate with many of the words on that list, especially warm/nurturing), creative (quirky and experimental are huge parts of my personality! But I am *not* dramatic :)), and lastly, “fresh” (love a preppy pop of color next to a neutral, the clean, simple, conservative jewelry, etc., and for years primarily gravitated towards this personality).

  • I was just looking through the color sections of 7 Steps and Inside Out Style. I am really looking forward to this post, tomorrow. Although, I fall into the first 3 categories, I think I prefer the colors of the earth and nature best, but I consider sandy colors as a part of nature more than a neutral. Neutrals are the canvas and a color pop of orange, reds and bright blue are fun after a run of neutrals and nature colors. Therefore, it will be a fun read and as always there will be directions for new avenues to explore.

  • I am mostly a 4. I love color. I never wear all neutrals. I hate when my outfit does not include at least 2 colors. However, I also think I have a touch of 3 and 5 in my personality. I am drawn to soft pastel colors a lot paired with deeper versions of the same color. I also like pastel prints a lot. I also admire people who wear all feminine pastel colors and occasionally go that route in my wardrobe, even though technically deeper colors work better with my color and value contrast, which is medium and low/medium respectively. I tend to ignore the value contrast a lot in my outfits, even though I know it looks better, but I don’t mind if an out wears me a little, because I think my personality can handle it. As you can see, I also like some drama in my outfits. I love darker bold colors and bold prints and mix prints a lot. Sometimes, my print mixing can be a bit alarming to other color personalities as they do not understand it. So I feel I am definitely a mix of 3, 4, and 5. Although I believe I am mostly a 4 in my everyday style.

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