Personal Color – Are You Color Savvy?

Your Best Personal Colors

What’s the big deal about color?  “Not much,” some might say, but from the perspective of a color geek, it’s THE deal breaker in personal appearance.  And though I haven’t used the term before today (confession alert), “color geek” is exactly what I am…. and precisely what most of my clients are not. And that is where it begins….

When you want to look your personal best, color* forms the foundation for all that follows.  Clothing colors that relate to your natural features (in skin, hair, and eyes), allow you to appear more vibrant and healthy.  Discordant hues often amplify the appearance of fine lines and can accentuate blemishes or unevenness in skin tone.

* For the sake of accuracy, what many people call “color,” is properly named “hue.”  (Blue in it’s pure form is a hue; red is a hue,…).   Hues are altered with the addition of white and/or black to change value and intensity, creating the affected “color.”  Most people simply use the term “color” for all of these, and so I’ve generally done so in this blog post.

Where harmonious colors allow the eyes to sparkle and teeth to look brighter, colors that don’t relate to your own coloring can cast a harsh appearance.   (That’s okay when we’re 25; not so much when we’re 35 and beyond.)  And naturally, choices in makeup, accessories, and eyewear are guided by clothing colors.

So how do you know where to start?

It’s all about you.

There are “hot” colors for every fashion season.  There are “wow” colors for every person.  Sometimes the two intersect and, well,  sometimes ya just gotta be an individual and go with what suits you.

Personal Color Qualities

Three key characteristics determine color harmony: undertone (or, temperature), value,and intensity. These variables combine in different ways for each of us, resulting in our own color palette.  If you’ve had a personal color analysis, you’ve seen just how it all comes together.  If your color sensitivities are acute, you may notice the base color in the veins beneath your skin, or you might notice how you brighten or “glow” when you wear a sweater or blouse of a particular hue.  (See more about personal color.)  The first step, though, is boosting your understanding of color.

Test Your IQ 

Find your Color IQ with the Munsell Color Test

Are you color astute?  As individuals, we perceive color at different levels.  Before attempting to assess your personal colors, do some color play.  Can you tell warm from cool?  Do you quickly recognize the clarity of a color?  Want to know just how color perceptive you are?  Take this Color IQ Test to find out how much you “see” color.

Let me know your score, or ask me a question, in the comment box below.  (I read them all.)

Read my next blog post where we explore the Personal Color Qualities!

Want to learn more?  Work with me.

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit or contact Patty.

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