Sometimes when I’m looking through catalogs or magazines and I see a lovely (or studly) model, I wonder: What stylist put that outfit on her/him? Because oftentimes what a model is wearing doesn’t seem to go with her/his personal coloring.
So what exactly is personal coloring? It’s handy that my co-author, Janna Beatty, is an expert in color. I asked her for a definition:
“Personal coloring is defined as that individual’s own color spectrum when they consider their hair color, eye color, and skin tone. Each person is the center of their own personal color wheel.”
We all have our own personal coloring. What’s yours? Do you have light, medium, or dark hair? Olive, beige, or golden skin? Blue, green, or brown eyes? (Quintessential Style, page 22).
A picture is worth more than the hundreds of words I could type here.
Consider Color. Notice this handsome guy. He has dark hair and fair skin. The dark/light create contrast between hair and skin. Since he has a lot of contrast, he can wear stronger, bolder colors and prints. (Contrast Color Type, page 25. )
But notice the same guy (standing in the same spot), when he wears pastels. See the difference? His face looks pale. The pastel blue washes him out. He doesn’t looks as strong and confident, either. Or did I just make that up?
Can you SEE the difference?
Let’s move on.
Consider Scale of Print: Look at the model in this Talbot’s catalog. I see this gorgeous gal in almost every issue. She has light hair and light skin. She does not have a lot of contrast between her hair and her skin. Therefore, bold colors and big prints can easily overpower her personal coloring (page 26). Take a look:
What is the first thing you see when you look at this cover? Do you see the dress, or do you see the girl? Definitely the dress. She is wearing a pattern that completely overwhelms. She has become the dreaded ‘headless horseman.’
But look at this cover. See the difference?
With this smaller, less-prominent print, you notice her skin, hair, and eyes. Her head is back! Whew.
I’m a teacher and a visual learner, so I have to show you again.
Consider Clothing Proportion: This is more about personal body shape than color, but I wanted to include it here. On page 43 of QUINTESSENTIAL STYLE, Janna specifically says:
“Baggy clothes DO NOT…I repeat…DO NOT help us look slimmer.”
Take a look at this cute, young thing. Presumably she is modeling plus-size clothing or curvy girl clothing, or whatever you want to call it. (Refer to my blog titled: “Size is in the Eyes of the Beholder“) The stylists have put her in flowy culottes, a loose top, and an oversized sweater.
Now look at the same girl wearing clothing that actually fits her body.
She appears pounds lighter. She still wears flowy tops, but balances them out with pants that are closer to the body. She looks “in proportion” and fabulous.
So what’s the point of this long, drawn-out blog? The point is:
YOU DON’T NEED A STYLIST. YOU CAN BE YOUR OWN STYLIST… All you have to do is study–study yourself.
What is your color type? What is your contrast level? What is your body shape? What are your best features? They all combine to make you….well, quintessential you!
When you finally figure it out it is going to make your life so much easier. Janna and I promise.
Models don’t have a choice when it comes to how a stylist dresses them. But we do!
And thank goodness for that.
Okay, one more example. In the first photo Janna says, “This floral print is trying to ‘hog’ Lori out of the picture.”
And even though the second photo shows Lori wearing horizontal stripes, they are so small they blend together, almost creating the look of a solid. A much better choice.
Can you see the difference?
Thank you Lori, for being our model.
“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.” –Henry David Thoreau
For more information on Color Type, refer to our ‘Color Type Information.‘