Too many clothes but nothing to wear? A colour consultation is a modern approach to this age-old problem and many people are delighted and relieved by the difference it makes.
Do you have a bulging clothes closet but nothing to wear? Something I often recommend to clients who take my Declutter Your Clothes online course or book a hands-on clutter clearing consultation with me is to have a colour consultation first. It’s not a prerequisite but it really helps. Here’s why…
What happens in a colour consultation
What happens in a colour consultation (or an image consultation, as it is sometimes called) is that the consultant gets you to sit in front of a mirror in a specially well-lit room, and they hold colour swatches up to your face so you can see how they look. ‘See, when you wear this colour you look like shit,’ they say (not really, but that’s what they mean).
And then they surprise you by holding up a colour you would never think of wearing that makes your energy light up so brightly you could almost eat yourself with joy.
You leave with a swatch of colours to take home and then all you need to do is go through your wardrobe, yank out all the colours that are not on your swatch, and go shopping with confidence to find colours that are.
A wonderful investment
The first time I had a colour consultation done was when I was in my thirties and it was one of the best investments I ever made. Most of my wardrobe bit the dust that time. I had another one in my fifties and only 25% got donated to charity that time. So that’s progress. In fact, it’s pretty good because my hair and skin colours had changed quite a bit in those 20 years and intuitively I’d adapted 75% of my wardrobe to that. The other 25% was stuff I had bought based on my old colour swatches when oranges, rusts and reds suited me so well. Now wearing orange makes me look jaundiced and tired, whereas reds, pinks, blues, purples, teals and creams look amazing.
Shopping is a cinch when you know your colours. You just go to a mall, stand in the doorway of each shop, and scan for the colours you’re looking for. If they don’t have them, there’s no need to even go in. You can do most of the mall door-to-door in this way in a fraction of the time it takes other shoppers. When you do find the colour you’re looking for, then it’s all down to the material, the style and the cut.
When it comes to fabrics, I’m certainly harder to please than most because I almost never wear synthetics. Materials like cotton, silk, linen, cashmere and other plant fibres work for me. Polyester, nylon, acetate, triacetate, rayon, spandex and other synthetics don’t because they don’t allow the skin to breathe so they deaden the etheric.
I also avoid any fabrics labelled permanent press, wrinkle-free, moth-proof, static resistant or stain-proof because this usually means they’ve been treated with formaldehyde, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) such as Teflon, or other nasties. I find these irritate my skin, and studies have shown that the chemicals easily pass into the bloodstream. They are often found in fabrics in the US but banned in many other countries. I find it astonishing they are allowed anywhere.
It’s increasingly difficult these days to find clothing made of natural materials that haven’t been adulterated with some percentage of synthetic mix or formaldehyde treatment, but they’re out there if you look long and hard enough.
How to know which colours work for you
So there you have it. Having a colour consultation is a sure-fire recipe for painlessly clearing out a good percentage of your wardrobe overnight because you will know with certainty which colours work for you and which don’t. And it’s not just about appearance. It’s also about feeling more radiant and better about yourself when you wear the colours and fabrics that compliment your hair, skin tones and personal energy.
If you’re interested to have a consultation yourself, just search online for “colour consultation”, “colour analysis” or “personal image consultant” in your part of the world. It’s generally not expensive, doesn’t take long, and can help you to clutter clear your wardrobe in the most radical and painless way I know. Most consultants will also advise you on the best styles to suit your figure, which may add another level of revelation, and also make-up.
However, I suggest you only work with a consultant who uses with the well-established spring, summer, autumn and winter method of colour analysis. Avoid the consultants who have developed their own colour psychology theories or other weird and wonderful colour analysis methods. They may sound very convincing but I’ve yet to come across one that I could recommend.
Are colour consultations just for women?
Heck, no. My husband, Richard, has had his colours done too. As a lovely bonus, we discovered that the same colours suit us both. I’ve no idea if this is a little-known way to measure couple compatibility but it certainly ensures we always look good together!
Recommended online course
Declutter Your Clothes online course
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Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2011, updated 2015 & 2019