TIME FOR A COLOUR UPDATE?
Last week I had the pleasure of seeing a client who originally came for her colour analysis four years ago. During those years her hair has gone greyer and she wanted to know if she still suited the same colours. It was great to go through her colour wallet and tweak where necessary. I am a big fan of letting hair go grey, particularly if you are a “cool” and have lots of colour in your complexion. With a good cut, it will not be ageing. Grey will in fact be kinder to your face than maintaining e.g. dark brown.
Grey is a “cool” colour so going grey will automatically give you a “cooler” look even if you start out “warm”. As it happens, this particular client is neither particularly “cool” or “warm”. The changes for her are more to do with her hair lightening and her contrast levels reducing. She wasn’t wearing black anyway, but even a dark grey looked too harsh but she was both pleased and a bit surprised to discover that wearing a mid-grey would suit her; would make her look classy rather than drab. She can bring a pop of colour with a scarf or necklace.
It is a good idea to reassess your colours every few years. They may change subtly or dramatically. Here are five points to think about:
1. You never become “warmer” with age but you may well become “cooler”. It is likely, although by no means universal, that you will suit more muted colours particularly if you lose pigment in your skin, eyes, eyebrows. Muted colours are colours which contain less white but more grey. Quieter hues will mean you are not upstaged by your wardrobe.
Example: The Queen. She began as a dark “Spring”, so warm and bright. Of course Royal Colours (Red, White, Blue) suit a "Winter" but it is all about being seen from a distance; not what suits close up.
She is now light and “cool”. (I know she sometimes wears bright orange or lime green but this is not because these colours suit her - it is again so she can be seen from a distance.)
2. Of course, those of you who are predominantly “bright” e.g. you are a black-haired “Winter” whose hair goes white. You will need to maintain that brightness in what you wear. Think of Ali MacGraw,.whose grey/white hair contrasts vividly with her dark eyes and eyebrows. Lucky lady looks fabulous in black and white
3. I am a “warm”. I maintain my hair colour – sort of. It is definitely lighter than it used to be and so, although I do still wear the same colours which have always suited me, I am moving gradually to lighter versions of them. As I have a pale complexion, allowing the grey completely would, I fear, wash me out. Maintaining some warmth in its colour for now – at least until it goes completely white – is my best choice.
Another "warm" is Brenda Blethyn. With white hair she appears to look both cooler AND brighter! Also, looking at her contrast levels (see 4 below) she can now wear stronger contrasts and, like Ali MacGraw, she can enjoy wearing more white (see 5 below). Lots of new possibilities!
4. Your contrast levels may change. What does this mean? As you can see in the photos of me above, the contrast between my hair and skin used to be stronger so the contrast between the colours in patterns I wore or between, say, a shirt and a jacket could be wider and it wouldn't overpower me. Now it might! If you began life with mid-brown hair and you now have white hair there will be a greater contrast which you can explore in your fabric contrasts.
5. Your hair can be a good guide to your most flattering colours so if, for example, your hair has gone grey or white, you will find that you can wear e.g. a top in a version of cream/white which hitherto would have been too pale for you.
Arit Anderson (Gardener's World) when young would have looked her best in strong deep colours - deeper and more vivid than in this photo. As you can see here, her colours don't really do a lot for her but with her white hair she rocks light grey:
Wearing light colours near your face will reflect light and automatically make you look more radiant.
All this is about harmony: dressing to harmonize with and complement what you are naturally. It may involve some letting go (always hard) but it also invites you to explore colours new!
A Colour Update will cost you £80. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make an appointment.