Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Closet Therapy for Florence – Florence Learns About Her Color Palette

Once Florence began to understand and appreciate her own body and what the right clothes could do for her (See "Closet Therapy for Florence - Florence Learns about her Body") she then needed to learn what the right colors could do for her.

For Florence the world of color was a confusing land where everyone spoke a foreign language – “toasted, tinted and tertiary……lions and tigers and hues, oh my!!!”

In order to make sense of this strange world, Florence had “had her colors done” by an “expert,” who had taken one look at this blue-eyed blonde and declared her to be a “Summer.” While summer is the hottest season of the year, the colors associated with its seasonal color palette are cool – steel grey, icy pink, sky blue. The typical Summer woman often has blue eyes, will have a pink or rosy tint to her complexion and probably had flaxen hair as a child.

Florence’s closet was full of the cool pastel colors of summer and, like most blue-eyed blondes, she loved her pink lipstick. But were the cool colors of summer right for her? It is easy to mistake a blue-eyed blonde for a classic Summer woman; however, Florence’s complexion showed me what I needed to know. Now it was time to show Florence.

I put Florence’s left hand on a silver metallic drape and her right hand on a gold metallic drape. “Now,” I said, “look at your hands and tell me which one looks better?” After giving it some thought, Florence replied, “the right hand looks better. Somehow, it just looks younger and smoother.”

Next came the earring test. Gold earrings were clearly more flattering on Florence than silver. Florence was beginning to catch on.

Now for the final touch – a dab of sunny coral lipstick on Florence’s lips. “Wow,” she said. “Look at that! My face looks brighter and younger. I had no idea lipstick could make such a difference.” In fact, Ladies, the right shade of lipstick makes all the difference.

Florence has bright blue eyes, warm honey-toned skin and golden blonde hair.

While the cool colors of the Summer palette drained all the life from Florence’s face, Florence began to see how the warmth of the Spring palette breathed new life into her delicate features.

Lovely Jody Foster is my favorite example of a beautiful Spring woman.

I took out my color drapes and set to work showing Florence what the right colors could do for her.

When we finished, I gave her a pocket-sized set of Spring color swatches as a guide and told her not to worry about all those scary color terms that had intimidated her in the past. “Some of these colors will be more flattering than others, but if you stick to this guide, you really can’t go wrong, because these, Florence, are your colors.”

Like a beautiful Spring morning, Florence began to blossom before my eyes.

There were two final areas to cover in our discussion about color.

1) Neutrals: Since we will be building a classic, versatile wardrobe for Florence, neutrals will be playing a key role. All neutrals are not created equal. One man’s beige is another man’s taupe. In other words, neutrals, like their brighter-colored cousins, are either warm or cool. The neutrals we choose for Florence need to be warm (i.e., yellowy beige) rather than cool (rosy beige).

2) Color Placement: The color that really counts is the color closest to your face. Florence has a great pair of wool crepe trousers in steel grey which we will be keeping. In order to make this cool color work for Florence, we will top it with a warm yellow sweater and a brightly patterned scarf that will pull the warm and cool shades together and/or a tweed jacket that will do the same. Get the picture?

Time for the three of us (Florence, Fifi and me) to go shopping. Stay Tuned as Florence learns how to make the most of her shopping experience.  Click here.

Pictures and graphics from www.carolthompsoncosmetics.com

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