Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Thoughts on Seasonal Colour Analysis - Why I No Longer Agree With It!!!

I have to admit up-front that I am very hesitant to write this post because I respect so many people who are part of the Seasonal Colour Analysis Community.  However, I feel that I need to express my ideas on this topic as I have struggled with Colour Analysis now for 'years' and I keep coming back to the same conclusion: Colour Analysis is subjective!  I have been told that I'm a Cool Winter,  Soft Summer, Soft Autumn, True Autumn, Warm Autumn and Soft Winter Deep (all by different analysts).  Here are some the main issues with Colour Analysis:

1) There are different 'systems' of colour analysis: Sci/Art, Pretty Your World, Unique to You, Personalized palettes by various analysts and systems etc etc.  The fact that there are so many and people see and understand colour so differently, shows that Colour Analysis is 'very' subjective.  I've seen and heard of people being draped as a Cool Summer in one system and Warm Autumn in another system.  How this even possible?  I don't think either one system was 'wrong' in their personalized analysis - I think Colour Analysis itself is flawed.

2) Time and Energy - I can't explain in words how bothered I am by this.  When I look back on this blog, all the experiments, all the time that I devoted to colour analysis, seems wasted.  Actually, I take that back - I have learned a lot about myself in the process, but I feel frustrated just the same.  One of the key slogans of colour analysis is that it will save you time and especially money once you have discovered your best season.  I have to admit that the truth is quite the opposite.  I have ended up spending a lot of money, time and energy every time I thought I belonged to a particular 'seasonal category'.

3) Seasonal Analysis is a business first and foremost.  Just like any business, colour analysis exists to sell you a 'product' - in this case, "your best colours".  We all have our own perception about colour and we already know what looks good on us (which is 100% true - we all have an intuitive connection to what looks good on us.  In fact, this is how seasonal colour analysis was born).  So why are we putting that intuitive knowing into the hands of someone else who is determined to sell you a palette?  We are not meant to be boxed into colour categories, which leads me to the next point..................

4) Colour is energy.  Imagine is someone told you, "here is a musical scale and you should listen only to this particular music scale all your life".  How would you feel?  Constricted, bound to one way of being.  This is so wrong and unnatural.  Energy is movement.  It changes, it flows, is expands.  The same is true for how we use and wear colour.  We are constantly changing and growing.  We have the right to listen to whatever music makes us feel great, alive, confident.  The same should be true for colour palettes.  If you're analysed as a 'soft autumn', but you're having a 'bright red' kind of day, wear the bright red.  Something in you that knows better is asking for the bright red, so go with it, move with the energy of it.

5) Finally - let's look at the obvious: If a colour really doesn't suit us or is horrible and causes shadows, lines, discolouration etc etc, why would we even want to wear it?  It's almost like those in the 'colour business' use this to put you in a state of fear.  You start to think to yourself "yes, I need to know my best colours, I don't want to look ill and tired".  Don't you think you 'already' know???  I think there needs to be a sense of inner trust, inner strength, inner value and inner confidence to know what looks good and what doesn't.  If I put on a colour that looks horrible, I'm going to think 'yuck' - I'm going to know it's horrible.  I don't need a colour analyst to tell me.  It's like if you eat food that tastes horrible, you don't need someone else to confirm that it tastes horrible, you'll know as soon as you eat it.  Would you pay someone to send you a list of foods that taste horrible? Or will you use common sense and past experience to know that you may not like olives or spicy food or something too sweat???  You know yourself better than anyone, so give yourself the credit and authority to choose what is best for you!

I know that this post may seen harsh to those who have devoted time and energy to colour analysis.  I don't intend for it to come across that way.  It's just my current realization of what I've come to understand about myself and where my personal journey needs to go in the future!


Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree. I, too, went through so many analysis drapings it was ridiculous to the point I, too, had been told a mirage of seasons were mine. This was until recently when I decided to give it one LAST shot and also used my own input in the process largely based on past photos ( such as high school) where I believe my intuitive color sense was at its height and when all was said and done, viola! I found My season. In fact when I realized that my entire HOME decor was based on that exact pallet, yet I had disconnected somehow,with my own personal color that it went unnoticed until the final reveal ( so to speak). Both myself and my analyst and the supervisor were all in concensus and it was quite a long and involved process (which may bring us to one of your points again regarding subjective influence).

I am very very happy and content now with being a mix of warm and cool seasons in a predominantly cool season.

So, just wanted to give you kudos and a 'virtual' hug since I feel your angst and believe I definitely have been 'there' myself in the past! Interestingly, I, too, have a very mixed and rather exotic-esq heritage which blends warm and cool in such a way that the draping process success is dependent strongly upon skin and then eyes with hair coming lastly. In the past, since I, too, have dark hair mixed with warmth, yet I was told I was a Winter or when the PCA focused on my eyes, it would turn the results to WARM! AT one point my DD said to me, "Mum, why don't you just be Spring in the Spring, Summer in Summer, etc!?", lol! Oh, out of the mouths of babes!

So, even though I, too, looked nice in much of what I wore because I coordinated same with makeup, and due to my mixed media (so to speak, lol) when makeup was disregarded and drapes are compared to bare skin drapings, a lot could be seen.... I just
wasn't seeing it due to too much 'stuff' getting in the way, including too many opinions

Well even tho you are ticked off and frustrated at the PCA industry (as I was and as you justifiably should be) after all, we've spent much time, money and energy on this thing at is supposed to save us all of the above, yet I can tell you that we all have a strong relationship with one color category which may not be apparent until we 'see' it ourselves.

I think if you give yourself time and space and allow your own intuition to blossom again you, too, will find your perfect comfort zone... Or not.... I guess my point is to be kind to YOURSELF and meet this where YOU feel comfortably your best and WHEN you feel right and not necessarily disregard color,theory in its entirety forever.

In conclusion (sorry this is so long) I sure hope you don't mind my writing all this and if so, just don't post it, ok? I also hope you continue your blog (even if not focused on color!?). I surely would miss browsing through your wonderful posts, that's for sure. You have such a candid openness as well as creative and practical talent that I hope you continue to share in some capacity even if you DO dump the color aspect from your repertoire❣ 😊💞❣

Renata said...

Thank you so much Anonymous for your post. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I can definitely learn a lot through your words and perhaps one day I will re-evaluate my current position or perhaps not. I will definitely continue posting looks and writing this blog. It's become a huge part of me. Thank you again so much for your post. It was very comforting to read!

Anonymous said...

Can totally empathise ... and really admire your integrity in saying it!!! But got a giggle to look around my home only to discover that intuitively I've used a Soft Autumn colour scheme surprisingly similar to the season that most sings to my heart. Please do continue to post with the optimism, honesty and wonder that makes this such a special and unique blog.

Anonymous said...

I've followed this blog regularly for the last two plus years and I've noticed how many 'seasons' look well on you over the course of that time. I'm delighted that you've posted your conclusions regarding seasonal color analysis. It's very generous of you to take the time to share your insights and I find the information quite illuminating and useful.

The cosmetic and fashion industries spend billions of advertising dollars trying to attract our business. In order to accomplish their goals effectively men and women must first be convinced that there is something wrong with them and only through the purchase of products and merchandise can they hope to realize their full potential. This erodes individual self confidence and makes us reliant, not only on their products, but on their opinions.

Your post is a return to self confidence and self determination.

Sneza said...

This is a great post and I have come to feel exactly the same as you about colour-typing. I think it's good to know you look terrible in black or look fantastic in teal, but beyond that, it's a little too "can't see the forest for the trees." The micro-fine-tuning is what makes me skeptical.

If someone looks good in red, they probably look relatively good in all the reds... not just these 15 shades of red and no others. I'm not saying there isn't a bad shade of red out there for them somewhere -- but to take a little book of colours around and make sure everything red you buy matches those "approved" reds... it's unnecessarily fussy.

I do think many people need guidance about what are good colours for them, in general, but to agonize over the subsets is CRAZEEEEE

Renata said...

Thank you so much for your comments and support!!! I really appreciate it!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, your phenomenal skill with make up and your beautiful collages. I've learned what a sensitive, kind and intelligent woman you are. And while I may be totally out of order here, given your frustration with PCA, I think know you are your most beautiful in the dark winter palette. I say that just in case you feel a resonance with those colors. Since I love the dark winter palette the very most of them all, my opinion is probably biased. Given your love of colour & make up I encourage you to relax, do what inspires you and have fun without all the rules. You have an fine eye for beauty; trust it.

Renata said...

Thank you for such a beautiful comment!!! I really, really appreciate your words and feedback. I love many palettes and the DW definitely has a stunning elegance to it that I will continue to wear and admire :) Thank you again!!!

19cezz said...

I actually came across your site when I was looking into in to colour analysis, as I find it all really interesting! I wanted to share with you my experience of it all. I had my colours done as well and was told that I was cool and clear. I was given a folder of swatches and went home and proceeded to chuck out all my clothes that didn't match the colours I was given. As a cool and clear, I gathered that this made me a clear winter, so I brought lots of clothes in bright hot pinks and purples etc. I also brought bright, pink lipsticks and kept my hair in a very dark brown shade(I have been dyeing it for years). Anyhow, something didn't feel right... It seemed like I was having to wear more and more makeup, I was competing against the bright colours I guess. I wasn't really getting any compliments in my new clothes either. I looked back at old childhood pictures and I saw that actually my hair was quite fair as a child, something wasn't adding up. I found someone else to check my colours, when I told her my skin was naturally quite pink, she said 'that doesn't sound like a winter'. After checking my eyes she said that they are soft not clear, I can see this now as I don't have piercing bright eyes. I am actually a soft summer deep. So here I am now, sorting through my wardrobe once again, getting rid of all these bright pink tops that were washing me out. The funny thing is, as someone above said, my house is also full of the shaded summer colours. Another thing, the clothes I had originally, I now wished I had kept as instinctively I had been choosing the right shades. So I do believe in colour analysis as I feel so much better now! I totally understand your feelings on it all as though, especially when I think of all the money I wasted on the wrong clothes!

Renata said...

Thank you so much 19cezz for posting your story colour analysis and sharing your thoughts. I really hope that people who are struggling with their 'colours' will come across your comment and this post and find our story liberating in terms of trusting your inner knowing. Thanks again :)