Have you ever had your “colors done”?  Back in the ’80’s, there was a trend where your skin, hair, and whatever else, were analyzed and you were told that you were either a Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. This trend got past me, and honestly, it never occurred to me that there was a science behind what colors make you look your best. When I go to New York, I stay with, Vickie, a very good friend of mine from childhood. One day, she took out this little green book full of colors and explained to me that she had  her “colors done”, and that she was a Spring!! Based on her color analysis, she was a “Spring.” This little booklet contained all of the colors that Springs can wear, and that’s it. I thought “ great, it’s good to have some guidance as to what colors you should look for while shopping.” However,  I thought Vickie was carrying it to the extreme when she told me she could no longer carry a black purse or wear black shoes. “Ridiculous”, I thought. My curiosity aroused, I met with Vicki’s color analyst, Candy Gould.  Candy works with a company out of England called House of Colour. Our analysis began on the 12th floor of a high rise on the upper east side of Manhattan, in a corner room that was flooded with natural sunlight. Upon entering the room, you immediately see THE color wheel. Fascinating with all of the colors, arranged in some sort of order that I could not begin to understand.

Candy then demonstrates that there are Four Seasons, two based on warm colors and two based on cool colors. Already I am confused.

In order to check whether you are warm or cold, you can look at your wrist and determine if your veins look blue or green.  Again, I am still confused. Apparently, if you have a yellow undertone to your skin, you are warm based. Much to my dismay, I have a yellow undertone to my skin.

Looking back I can see that certain reds have more blue and others have more yellow.  When something has more yellow it is a warmer red.  This makes no sense to me because yellow feels like a really cold color and blue feels like a warm. But, ignore this. Candy also demonstrates how a yellow undertone in your skin dictates so many other choices, like jewelry, and just about anything else you wear.

So, I am not sure I even have this correct, but if you have a yellow undertone, then you want to stay away from anything with blues in it because yellow and blue make green.  No one wants to look green. Instead, you want to wear colors that accent the yellow undertone which you will see in a minute.

I thought that I looked best in blues and blacks and grays, but not so. The colors on the left, including the off white pearls, are what work best for me.  Okay, now I am mad. There is no way in hell I am going to be like Vicki and stop wearing black!!  My whole wardrobe is black. Everything I own is black. No friggin’ way am I giving up black!! Well, then Candy wraps you up like an Amish woman from Pennsylvania.

A white cloth covering your hair, and a white cloth covering everything below your chin.  Basically, all you can see is your face!! After this, she begins to hold different colors up to my face with a mirror directly in front of me.   With the bright natural light, there was no denying what colors looked good and what colors looked bad.!!!

After a long process of elimination we determine that these colors are terrible on me.  Okay, I can live without gray and yellow and red, but PINKS, oh no.  I love pink.  What girl/woman doesn’t love pink?  Now I am really getting mad.  No black, no pink, and no blues, this sucks.  I want to leave right then.

Thankfully, she begins to show me the colors that are good for me.  Whew, at least there is something I liked.  But, was I going to like the colors?  Here you can see an array of the colors that actually flatter my yellow-based skin.

Okay, purple, teal and khaki. Those are colors I have always liked.  In fact, I  once had a purple and teal striped blazer!! However, the other colors quite boring indeed, beiges, browns, camel, and off white pearls.  This was extremely disappointing.  But, there was no getting around what the mirror was showing me in that sunlight room high above Manhattan.  Okay, I thought, good information, but I am not changing my whole life and wardrobe just because of this stupid color chart. To cheer me up a little, she hands me THE book of all of MY colors.  There were a few more in there that I liked, like off-white, but NO white.  What, no white?  Other than black, my entire wardrobe is white shirts and T-shirts and long sleeved shirts that I almost wear as a uniform. I can’t believe what I am seeing and hearing.

What boring colors. I never wear red. Brown, who can ever find brown? The only pastel is a mint green, and I have never worn that in my life. This whole palette, except for the red and brown at the end, is so drab.  I am about to cry.  Then, we turn it over and there are other colors.

Not too much better if you ask me.  Again, the purple, teal, and greens at the end are good colors.  Those I would wear.  But, mustard yellow?  Lime green?  I don’t think so. Now, I am really depressed. Candace then holds each of the Autumn colors up to my face, and not even all of the Autumn colors look that great.  So she marks down what my best to worst colors are, and how much of each one I can wear. I pay her and thank her so kindly.  What a lovely woman, but I hate what she just told me. No pastels, no black or white.  What about navy blue?  I grew up wearing a uniform winter and summer of navy and white.  Are you telling me I was wearing the wrong colors my entire life until college? So much to process. Slowly I began to carry that damn little green book around with me.  At first, I would experiment between black and brown.  Damnit, brown WAS better.  Reluctantly, I went out and bought some off-white turtle necks. (Walmart had some great ones for $6.00 so I didn’t feel too badly about those.) At some point, I took on the challenge of even trying to find MY colors in stores. At Neiman’s Last Call I found a brown skirt and brown leggings for a very reasonable price, so I gave in and thought what could it hurt. I even bought some brown over the knee boots on sale, and I must admit, the brown leggings with the boots look really good! Four months later, I was carrying that green book around like it was my Bible.  In fact, I called it the Bible.  I don’t know when it was, but at some point, I decided that if I am going to buy anything new, it would have to be one of my new colors. Well, this winter, I have embraced camels, browns, off-whites, rusts, and even forest green. But, those are winter colors.  Summer has yet to come, and I am really dreading it because I LOVE pastels. No powder blue, or baby pink.  This is really going to be hard, but so far, I think that Candy and her method have a lot of validity. I have changed as much as I could without spending a fortune, and I really think I look better!! It has somehow made my style more sophisticated, which is a good thing since I basically wore jeans and a white shirt almost every day.  Which brings me to my last point.  My new colors really are great, I have learned to work with them and embrace them, BUT I am never giving up blue jeans!!! And, I am very jealous of SUMMERS who can wear all of my favorite colors, especially black and white. If any Summers need some black and white clothing, I am having a sale!