If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I really believe with a passion that colour can change your life and it’s a super important part of your clothing and style decisions.
It’s not only because I can see in my own life and experiences of the colours changing other’s reactions to me. For instance I had a mustard yellow jumper which whenever I wore, people would ask me if I was OK or feeling ill? Now I realise that the colour of that jumper was not flattering (it was warm and I’m cool). It made me look like I had a nasty case of jaundice.
For many years I would go out wearing black all the time and wonder why (with my natural introvert personality and high colour contrast cool colouring which sends out a ‘keep away’ message) why others didn’t come and talk to me in social situations.
But it’s my work with my clients and their experiences that excites me the most. Whether it’s through my 7 Steps to Style System which includes a personal colour analysis with me, or with clients who come and see me in my Melbourne studio. Their feedback confirms what I know. It confirms that colour has an incredibly powerful impact on how others react to us. Let me tell you Karina’s story.
Karina came to see me for an image consultation. She was a lovely woman, a very strong woman in her personality (brainy and assertive) and worked in middle management. In her mid-40s she’d never spent a lot of time thinking about her style or colours, and she had poor vision which made it hard for her to see without her very strong prescription glasses. She had also been brought up to believe that it’s what’s on the inside that counts and that what you wear shouldn’t matter as long as it’s appropriate.
Fortunately she had started to realise that she needed some help with her style as people have to get past that first impression to find out what kind of person you really are.
Now Karina had a very Yang personality and appearance. She also had a strong voice and her no-nonsense manner meant that at times others might feel that she was rather intense and intimidating.
Not only this, she had a bad case of rosacea, which meant her face was always a shade of bright pinkish red. Because of her poor eyesight she had tended to choose bright warm colours like bright red, pink and warm red-violet to wear as they stood out to her. These advancing colours were adding to her power, but to a point that she became unapproachable.
During our consultation I showed her how to tone down the redness of her skin with a light dusting on mineral powder (she was never going to be able to master makeup application because of her poor eyesight). And then we decided no more advancing warm colours. Instead she was to wear her cooler blues, greens and neutral colours to help calm down her appearance and add a little yin to her natural yang.
Three weeks after her consultation she rang me in tears. Happy tears fortunately. Karina explained to me how just changing those two details about her appearance and completely changed how her workmates approached her and communicated with her.
She was so excited. “People are telling me jokes at work!” she exclaimed. “You don’t understand, nobody has ever told me jokes before. You see, I found out that everyone thought I was angry all the time because of my red face and so avoided me if they didn’t have to speak with me”.
Her story brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t imagine having spent so many years in a workplace where people are intimidated and threatened by you so much they avoid speaking to you.
Karina really confirmed what I knew inside. It confirmed just how powerful colour is and the subconscious effect it has on those around us. We often have no understanding of the impact our appearance has on others and how they treat us.
Learning to balance your appearance with the right colour (whether you are more naturally yin and need to wear colours to give you more strength and make you more obvious or are more like Karina and need to tone down your yang with some yin).
Discover more about your yin and yang