Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Do You Have a Color?

The idea of "having a color" always makes me think fondly of Peg Boggs in Edward Scissorhands, who was quite committed to lavender as her color - so much so that she was hardly seen in any other hue. Likewise, "my" color seems to be red, which often elicits compliments and proclamations of "that's your color!" Accordingly, I've gotten rather possessive over red. It is my color, after all. This isn't necessarily a good thing. Once a color becomes yours, it's possible there's a little too much safety in it, don't you think?

The concept of "having one's colors done" is a fascinating one, too. The Color Me Beautiful phenomenon took place in the 80s, and I was lucky enough to have a color analysis as a Girl Scout. (I think that was my favorite scouting activity ever . . . way better than camping.) I was proclaimed a "winter" and was told that I would look best in an ivory wedding dress since white would wash me out. (Truthfully, I did not end up following that advice when the time came; I went with the starkest, snowiest white I could find.) I seem to recall the CMB lady promising all sorts of things if you just wore "your colors:" romance, career success, eternal youth. No wonder we get so attached to our colors!

I bring up this idea because while I have always stuck to blue-based jewel tones, I find myself enamored of a different color lately, one that's way out of my comfort zone. Namely: saffron. Also known as marigold and perhaps mustard. (Perhaps I'm working up to this color with the pale yellow frock I'm currently working on?)

Remember Michelle Williams's 2006 Oscar Dress? (Best. Dress. EVER.)

I so want to wear this color. But it screams "autumn" to me, not "winter." But I will be oppressed by this color tyranny no longer! Mark my words, readers. Mark my words.

I've been trying to get myself used to some saffron-y goodness by draping myself in bolts of fabric (the guys at Mood seem to find this vaguely amusing). And I'm warming up to taking the plunge. The thing about sewing, though, is that you're making a pretty big commitment to a color by buying fabric and making up a project. It's not like running to American Apparel or Forever 21 and paying under $20 for something that you'll just throw away if it's not for you in the long run.

So . . . how do you get out of a color rut? Or, like Peg Boggs, do you stick to the tried and true?


  1. Michelle Williams at the Oscars is the best a blonde has ever looked in yellow. Absolutely one of my top 5 Oscars dresses!

  2. I too am contemplating taking the plunge into making something in saffron (although I've been calling it mustard)... I keep seeing lots of women wearing this colour and I have begun to obsess out of making a skirt or top in this colour, because as a 'spring'(My mum went through a phase of CMB too...) i'm not sure I can carry a head to toe mustard/saffron look!

  3. I tend to go through color phases and I ride it out and figure that each one will build upon each other.
    Recently I did a lot of sea-colored (blue, teals) shades, then deep purples, now I'm in a strong yellow phase. If I keep going long enough I'll end up with a well-rounded color wardrobe.

  4. I do this every once in a while - funnily enough for me it's bright jewel tones I keep trying. Livens up the closet of duns and pale blues. It's a lot of fun, but I have to tell you that those things do end up in the "give away" pile much sooner - I just don't wear them much.

  5. I totally agree with you about how once you get going on a project you've made the commitment. I don't sew alot, but I worked on something recently that was black and silver, because that was the best fit for the concept. I am an autumn though and I was so worried it would look horrendous on me. It has turned out really well though. Maybe it's the make-up I wear when I wear it, but there are definitely paths out of the color tyranny. I bet you're on one with your saffron dress.

  6. The whole color thing is true, though. Everyone has colors they look good in and colors they don't. I don't look good in red, but I do in hot pink. I despise royal blue, but the other blues works for me as long as they aren't true pastels because pastels wash me out. I look better in white than I do in black. Even my makeup used to look different on me in the summer than winter when I used to wear it. There is legitimacy in the "getting colors done" thing.

    Now, that being said. If there is a color you want to wear, just find a version of it that looks good on you. It's a way for folks to be more thoughtful in the way they present themselves.


  7. I'm a winter type, and cold, bold colors suit me much better than the pale ones. However, I really like almost all colors, and I try to wear them all. Well, except for khaki, and baby blue - I hate these two colors! Khaki is just an ugly color to me, and I look sick in it. On the other side, baby blue is a color with lack of personality (if a color can have personality?).
    I wear olive green frequently, as well as various shades of purple. I also love white and most of my tees and shirts are snow white.
    Funny thing - I like red as well, but I don't have many red garments. When waring it, I usually combine red with white, and a lot of my jewelery is in shades of red.

  8. I love that dress and that film. I recently surprised myself by buying some mustard linen for a blouse. It wasn't a success as a make, but I did like the colour. I wore navy blue for the first time this year since leaving behind my school uniform. I've also discovered 'grey' as a colour. I don't know why! I love all the different colours you can experiment with as a Sewist. I have just started fantasising about making a red needle cord skirt to go with a new blue and white jumper I recently bought in the sales. I could go on and on...

  9. I tend to stick to "my" end of the spectrum (blues, greens, violets, and blue-toned greys and blacks) not just because I'm a goth, or I'm a winter (though I am both those things) but also because anything with a yellow undertone, including orangey reds and most browns, really truly does make me look as though I am expiring slowly from a terrible liver disease. Last I checked, 'jaundiced' isn't really fashionable on anyone.

    Freya's idea of a single piece in the colour is a good one, though, especially a skirt if the colour in question wouldn't suit your complexion.

  10. Ha, funny, I always have the impression that the colors you wear are too hard on you and I would love to see you in softer colors, so I definitely vote for you trying the saffron! It's a gorgeous color anyway :)
    Honestly I never gave much thought to the colors of my clothes until I wanted to start sewing. I figured I had to know whether the color would suit me before sewing the whole thing up, so I got interested in the Color Me Beautiful stuff. I haven't made or bought a lot of new clothes since having my colors done though, so I don't know what to think about it yet. But I think it would definitely be a change!

    I don't really see it as a tyranny though, more as an opportunity: it makes me want to try colors I never tried before, because I was used to not really liking them.
    I also wonder how much the clothes you wear as a child / that were bought for you by someone else still have an influence on the colors you wear?

  11. Edward Scissorhnands was too much! Peg and her Avon remedies to fix him up-very funny. Just a suggestion, but maybe you could purchase a rather inexpensive but pretty item in saffron and wear it for a while before you commit to the more expensive fabric. It would give you a chance to decide whether or not you "love" the color on you or just "love" the color on others. Just a thought.

  12. Lately that same shade of saffron has been appealing to me too! Alas, I cannot wear it, and am doomed to just admire it on gals who can pull it off. ;) (It tends to make me look sickly.) It's such a drool-worthy color though!!!! I say break free of the seasonal-color-hang up! lol. This shade of yellow is so striking and I think would be an amazing color to work with.

    I remember poring over my mother's copy of CMB when I was a teen, determined to figure out what season I was! At first, I thought I was a fall, but my coloring changed a bit halfway through my teen years, and I'm a weird mishmash of multiple seasons. At this point, I just try to wear what looks good with my skin tone, instead of getting caught up in trying to pigeonhole myself. ;) lol.

    Red is a color I easily get in a rut with; its one that a lot of people compliment me on when I'm wearing it. Likewise with medium range blues; as evidenced by the amount of blue I've been sewing with this year! Yikes! I lately have been determined to try out some other colors: namely bring more jewel tones back into my wardrobe (rich teals, purples, sapphire blues, and deeper garnet red--rather than my usual "fire engine" red), as well as branch out with some lighter shades. Which is funny, since I've never liked light colors too much (beyond pink), but have lately found some lovely shades of aqua that bring out my eyes.

    Even though I'm trying to get out of my red/white/blue hangup I've developed this summer (hey, it works, despite the obvious patriotic connotations ;), most of the colors I'm looking to introduce back into the mix are colors that I've worn before with success. So I guess I'm not really getting out of a rut per-se--just expanding my "color rut" a bit! lol. Although I'd love to find a shade of yellow/gold I can wear; I just haven't found the one that works best with my skin yet...

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

  13. So go to Forever 21 or the like, and buy a cheap top in that color. Wear it as much as you can for a week. Think of it as research or color-skill building, much as you would practice a new sewing technique.
    You will know soon enough if it will work for you.

  14. I recently had my colours done and was quite chuffed with the results. I can't remember exactly what I am (left my little book of swatches at home today!) but it has helped me look at colours of clothes differently. I now actually wear purple! I never would have before thinking it was too dark for me. But it looks good and its sort of become my new black.

    If I remember correctly, it was all about reflection upwards. So, you still may be able to get away with the saffron. Just try to get a colour that you know suits you up near your face and have the saffron away from your face. Maybe a scarf or a collar in say a portrait style?

    Good luck and I hope to see a dress in saffron soon!

  15. My 'color' is green - and not even all greens, just the ones with blue in them like forest, teal, etc. Not yellow based greens. I stay away from yellow - but gold is ok for me.

  16. I'm definitely in the winter/spring category, but I wear orange, green,and brown enough that I firmly believe there should be a shade of every color that you find you can wear. However yellow is a challenge- but worth it since I light up when I see people wearing yellow. I think that if you wear colors that make you happy, that you can find that you can pull them off. However, there's always that rogue photograph that will prove us wrong..(hee)

  17. Hah, I was raised in a Color Me Beautiful household. Think I'm joking? My mother had our colors done early enough that my brother's blankie is crocheted in the right season. Which is Spring.

    I've always respected Color Me Beautiful just because of how it simplifies the lives of non-shoppers - as a summer, I spent years asking myself "Is it blue? Does it fit? Okay, I own a shirt now!". At the same time, just like deciding that you're a Sensing Introvert and never pursuing an Intuitive Extrovert hobby, it can really get you into a rut, and what's the worst that happens if you wear a color that isn't ideal? You look either ruddy or sallow, unless your makeup or outfit contrast with it. Meh. Worse has happened, right?

    I will say, though, that I have three yards of lovely mustard-yellow vintage french sateen waiting to be made into a skirt, and I'm not sure I'll sew it until I find the perfect cyan fabric or top to wear with it. Because an entire outfit with no blue is just not to be thought of.

  18. does grey count as a color?

    what I wear depends very much on what I'm doing and the time of years - dress/work clothes in colder weather are pretty much in the neutral range (black, grey, taupes) while casual clothes tend towards darker, muddy hues (army green, navy, pumpkin)

    In warmer months, the nice stuff tends towards neutral tones again, with more ivory thrown in, and casual clothes explode into just about anything and everything.

    Every time I wore deep blue or green to work, people would tell me how great it looked on me, but I prefer my clothes to be more subtle, and less statement making - what can I say, I like to be invisible! :)

  19. You know, I just have a different colour for each mood. When I wake up in the morning (seriously) I just 'feel like' green today, or red, or grey or whatever. I don't know how to explain it, but in effect you'll se a whole rainbow inside my closet. I need to be prepared for whatever colour I might feel like. I have grown more fond of certain ones that I feel suit my skin tone best, but still I just can't get myself to wear the same colour two days in a row... Yellow is my all-time favorite colour though, and I'll always be in love with the yellow dress I wore to prom!

  20. I have also been grappling with this subject - I have to plan an entire corporate work wardrobe for the new year, and really want to get colours that make me look fresh, and that go with each other. This turns out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. Too bad I don't know if I'm a summer or a spring! Maybe it is worth investing in this....

  21. I don't necessarily believe in "getting one's colours done" as a be-all-and-end-all. However, I had colour "families" recommended to me by a personal shopper who I had help me pare down my wardrobe and explain what kind of clothes were best for my shape, lifestyle, etc (which was a VERY worthwhile exercise!)

    And the colour family has made a difference. Like you, Gertie, I am solidly in the so-called "winter" group— dark hair, pale complexion, cool-hued rather than warm. I have a penchant for wearing navy and white stripes.. but that's another story.

    BUT, I don't see how the rich saffron yellow you're describing is at odds with the winter colours! It's rich, bright, and bold, like the reds, jewel tones, turquoises, etc that I (and you, I think) are fond of.

    The best litmus test: as long as you feel like yourself while wearing the colour, go for it. And if it's right, it will have longevity in your wardrobe.

  22. I would say red is also my colour. Not only have I always loved the shade, I love its powerful, conflicting symbolism. Right AND left, love AND violence. (Sadly my husband dislikes it, so the amount in my wardrobe has dwindled over the last decade). Also, finding the right red is key.

    I, too, was draped as a child, and while sometimes I like knowing I'm a "spring", mostly I can't say this did me much good. As a child, it made me afraid to wear certain colours. It wasn't until my late teens that I finally gave myself "permission" to wear black or white (and I was mostly hanging out with goths at that point). It was wonderfully freeing. While I know a few autumns (my mother included) who absolutely shine in their "appropriate" colours, for the rest I have a harder time differentiating. Or caring.

    I think most of us gravitate towards shades that flatter us anyway, at least if we are paying attention. And if we're not, a little swatch booklet is not really going to solve the situation. ;)

  23. I love yellow, but don't wear it well, so I've lots of it in my home. I'm surprised by how much blue I wear, but I think many blues are universally wearable. When I want to feel energized, or jazzy, or sexy, I wear red. "My colors" are whatever appeal to me at the moment, make me smile when I look in the mirror and put a spring in my step. If you want to wear mustard, go for it. Rethink you lipstick if you like, but follow your heart.

  24. Try that saffron yellow, lady. I have a feeling you'll look amazing in it.

    Red is my color, too, and I'm similarly possessive. I've been told I'm a winter and an autumn, and basically believe that color rules are a form of tyranny. Yes, some colors will look better than others ... but you'll never know for sure which ones they'll be until you TRY them!

  25. Like Tanits said, I think we gravitate towards "our" colors ... especially if we sew and are aware of how things look. I'm also a winter per CMB, and IIRC, pure white is supposed to look good on us, better than ivory. I've always favored white gold jewelry and bold jewel tones, which are what "winters" are supposed to wear.

    That said, I think it's fine to break the mold now and then. I tend to avoid yellow near my face because it makes me look sallow. But maybe I will make that yellow sheath dress, and just be sure to wear a deep green scarf at the neckline! Or put a white collar on it ...

  26. Ha! I'm a red-head with my very boring-black 20's not too far behind me, so my wardrobe has been black, black, black, dark green, brown, orange - basically fall (redhead) colors (but no mustard!!)

    Lately, I've been more drawn to COLOR!! AND, to mustard - it's the color for fall, afterall, at least, according to Pantone!

    A few months ago I bought an awesome mustard cardigan from new York and Co (http://www.ma-petite-chou.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Chelsea-Cardigan-Rosette.jpg) - NOT my usual store, they were in the front window and cute so I went in and bought one (and subsequently went back for the green and ivory ones, I LOVE this cardigan!! although I do not rock it with the ginormous turquoise beads or white pants...)

    Anyway - that started me on mustard - and in an effort to get back to work (laid off two years ago, enjoying being a stay at home puppy mom a little TOO much!) and try to do something different than my endless collection of dark, pinstriped work-suits, I put together a whole mustard wardrobe for the fall wardrobe contest at pattern review!! (to see the ongoing saga.... http://thesnugbug.blogspot.com/)Yay for mustard!

    Also, I recently bought a completely gorgeous piece of wool that's halfway between teal and emerald to make Vogue 8648 - it will look GREAT with my hair, but everytime I see it in my fabric cabinet it just looks so wierd! So bright!! So not black or dark green!

    I have a few other friends around the same age as me and we are all going through the same thing - a decade spent in black whatever we could find and now we are positively blooming into tropical flowers! Yay for our 30's!

    I think a lot of people just get into their color space and it's visually comforting. We don't like things that jar us. I learned from picking colors for quilts that it's important to pick one "ugly" color - not really ugly, but a color I usually wouldn't chose. That color will be outside my pretty defined palette and as such, provides the contrast necessary to show off all the OTHER colors! I try to remember that rule in a lot of things!

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  28. I LOVED the Edward Scissorhands reference! I haven't seen that movie in years.

    I don't have a color! I don't even have a group of colors that I wear! I just love color. Though I love neutrals, too. What color I wear on a given day depends mostly on my mood (ok, I'll be honest: it's actually what's clean/back from the dry cleaners).

    I think with your coloring, you'd look awesome in saffron. And you could get your red fix via lipstick.

    PS - Didn't Diane Kruger wear a similiar Jason Wu dress?! I adored that one, too.

  29. I'm also trying to get out of my rut by wearing a bold yellow dress! It's the screaming yellow plaid polyester satin vintage dress I got last year. It's a doozy! I just finished shortening it to a length that is barely in my comfort zone, and I bought some truly ridiculous yellow wedge sandals (Michael Kors "Valley" on super clearance at Marshall's!) to wear with it. The whole outfit is specifically designed to drop kick me out of my frumpy comfort zone. I plan to wear it for a night on the town in Nashville and perhaps drink enough that I won't notice that my feet are killing me.

    Pics of the dress before shortening here: http://chronicallyuncool.blogspot.com/2009/12/can-you-hear-me-now.html

  30. When I turned 40 nine years ago I picked up a book at a thrift store, Fit and Fabulous at Fifty (or something line that)-- which explained among many other wonderful concepts that every season can wear coral and teal and periwinkle. This book was a shot in my arm. I purged my closet of the black I had always bought off clearance racks galore and loathed myself in. As a redhead, brown eyed white girl who never tans but "peaches" and who never make-ups, I invested in brown-- my new black. I felt like a soaring eagle. I also added color, color, color to my closet. I feel beautiful in mustard, rust, olive, pumpkin, coral and teal and periwinkle (ahem), chocolate (no dark, thank you). As my hair begins to gray and streak blond (which is what most redheads do at my age), I'm feeling beautiful in the colors of spring-- chartreus (sp?) and lime, yellow straight up, peach and even baby blue. I steer clear of pinks and red, although the latter is my sweet hubby's favorite color. My daughters did suggest, "Mom, you could wear some awesome red shoes with brown!" Ha! I love that idea! Girls, don't wait till you're 40 to wear the colors which make you feel more beautiful than you already are. "No Shortcuts:" Well, it's on sale. Somebody said it's the skinny color. THEY said blah, blah, blah. Wear what feels lovely. You are!

  31. I've never had my colors done, and I don't know what season I am, but I wear a lot of blues. And then sometimes greens. And maybe purples. After college, I discovered that pink (though it's not a color I love) is really flattering on me, so there's some of that in my closet now, too.

    I would love to wear yellow -- especially a mustardy yellow -- but it makes me look tubercular. ('nora said "jaundiced," and that would fit, too.) I've been trying to bring yellow into my life in smaller ways. Yellow flowers on a blue skirt background, yellow and orange together in a t-shirt, etc. I'm happy to have found some things that work for me.

    And I think saffron would be lovely on you! :-)

  32. I was tossing out old clothes for Goodwill the other day and I was stunned to see how many types of green shirts I have. So I got rid of a bunch and now I wonder why I did because I need some now! I love green. I'm drawn to turquoise, pale blue, sea green and those types of watery, sea colors. It's so interesting to me to hear what colors people like. I don't like purple much (and I loathe lavender -- LOATHE it!) Deep Chinese Red has always been my favorite, but I find it hard to get seriously RED fabric. It's either too orange or too brown.

  33. Go for it, Gertie! As a makeup artist I'll tell you a secret. Knowing "your" colors is a good thing because that is what looks most natural on you by complimenting your skin tone. BUT that doesn't mean you can't wear contrasting colors! It just means they will stand out more on you than on someone who is a summer. Use your hair and makeup to either downplay or emphasize the contrast.

  34. Do it!! For years, I kept to a pretty small selection of colors - blues, a few bright pinks, etc - but have over the past year or so, started to branch out. It's so much fun and I've stumbled upon a whole bunch of colors that actually look pretty nice on me. Sure, I still look best in bright blues and saturated pinks, but my closet has greatly benefited from stepping outside of my comfort zone.

    I think it's time for you to go on a shopping excursion for some saffron fabric! :)

  35. Love the mustards and yellow hues for fall. Reminds me of 1966! A common theme at that time was "heathered" shades of a given color. I discovered then that the muting of just about any color allowed me to look just fine, even close to my face. I am a "winter" dark hair, brown eyes, light complexion with freckles....yes, even at 62 I still have my freckles. Father was a redhead! I still have two special outfits from then. One is a coral-ish orange sweater with an openwork neckline and the plaid wool bias cut skirt and a sweet shetland green cabled cardi with the same skirt in the green. Now, they are a size 6 so no longer in wearing rotation, but they are cute!

    Anyway, my point is I also look good in red (blue reds, not orange reds....think Revlon's classic "Red" nail polish, test out your non-traditional colors as a scarf, a perky little flower or two on your cardi or a contrast trim on a traditional jacket. I think most people will find, as mentioned before, that a slight change in make-up ... blush or lipstick, can make that alternate color your punctuation mark for the day!

  36. If you can add a color that is "you" to one that isn't and place it near the face, typically that helps to make it work. So saffron with a red trim or deep pink or green or...

  37. I had a CMB book when I was a kid and self diagnosed as a Winter. Mostly so I could wear black, I think.

    I've branched out a lot since my goth days, but yellow is never, ever going to suit me. It really does make me look freshly dug up, but I love it on other people. My palette is mostly in the bright jewel tone range, with special mention for scarlet, teal, emerald, violet and hot pink. Yes, sometimes all together!

    I have a cousin with such a specific favourite colour that my family can all identify something as being Lucy Blue - a particular shade of royal blue that looks absolutely amazing on her.

  38. I stick to the CMB season... and tend to wear way too much turquoise and jade green... (I'm a Spring) but I think you can totally get in a rut, especially with winters. Thoughts:

    1) Can you get your colors redone, and make sure "winter" is what you are?
    2) There are more than just deep jewel tones for winters! You also have ice pastels and some extreme brights.
    3) Your color lady was psycho, winters are the only ones who look good in stark white, washes the rest of us out.
    4) If you want yellow, and are a winter, there is indeed a yellow for winters. It's lemon yellow - the one you often see set up with black and white in prints.

  39. I am so pumped about this post. I am a woman with a color. My color is the mustard, golden yellow, color you have been dreaming about lately. Funny because I have always wanted to look and feel good in red. I even died my hair blond in hopes of pulling off the red.
    My advice about my most favorite color of all time: Try adding accents with a dark chocolate brown. It can bring it into more of a winter feel. I like to use an olive, or dark green for the same effect.
    I like to dive into new colors by pairing them with colors I am more comfortable with. Sometimes that means tweeking the hue's you are choosing so that they look nice together. It doesn't always work with every design.
    It is funny I am no question a color person. I didn't realize it until today. My aunt gave me my colors when I was very young. That must have made an impression because my closet is filled with the same brown and orange colors she told me were mine long ago.

  40. My "color" is white. I love to wear it, I think I look good in it, and despite how many white blouses I already own I'm always ready to sew another.

    I'm a rut person I guess - the colors I like best, I think look good on me, so I'm sticking to them. It helps a lot when it comes to sewing separates so I know I'll already have something in my closet to match (white, red, navy).

  41. I do think that its fun to play around with the idea that you have a color, though I don't know what mine would be. I love color period. Maybe, rather than going head to toe in the color you're loving, you could try breaking it up with one of your colors. Why not give it some dark currant red accessory to play with? Or what about a brilliant violet? That saffron, mustard color looks just lovely and fun paired with that.

  42. i am also a winter too so bright gem colors look best on me and it is true...muddy colors kinda go blah on me for clothing my color is red & blue but my house colors are green & orange!!


  43. The seasons are divided up into types too... for instance, I'm a clear winter, which means I can wear some form of bright yellow (even saffron if not all over.)
    for charts
    You can also flow towards another season, meaning you can wear some of that season's colors (I think I flow towards spring.) It's all very complicated, right?

    And yeah, winters can wear white, so your color lady was crazy. Personally, "my" color is bright cobalt blue. I tend to buy things in that color a lot, and also blue-violet, bright raspberry, emerald green (without too much yellow in it.) As a clear winter, red is a bit much, though I do love it. I think the colors this is great - for me it only confirmed what I had been thinking all along, that I looked best in these colors. I used to feel compelled to "round out" my wardrobe by buying colors that weren't the same as my usual ones, but I find I never wore them, because they didn't make me feel good about myself!

  44. I am a "winter" too Gertie, but I've never, ever heard that winter's should wear ivory. I'm pretty sure that's a no no. (I've heard of winter white, but that's definitely not ivory.) It's funny to me but some people end up ditching the CMB ideas are often people who have had really bad advice (that doesn't seem to line up with the books etc?). Anyway, I'm winter too, and I wore the whitest white too for my wedding dress (and looked fab, like you did :D) That was the exact colour you SHOULD have worn!

    As for breaking out of the mold and going with other season's colours - it's totally ok! I usually accessorize with those ones if I go through an obsession - recently it was yellow (like Michelle's dress) now it's drab olive. I just know WHAT the colour does to me - and that I think is the best thing! Knowledge is power and all that ;)

  45. I'm a Summer. I love teal, sage and rose. I'm pleased to find chocolate (as an alternative to black) is now in fashion.

    However, I'm a skirt maker and firmly believe that anyone can wear a skirt in any color. What matters is the color next to your face.

  46. Go for it. You are young and life is short. If you do buy qualty fabric and take the time to pour love into your project I would suggest that you hedge your bets and add some black or similar to that saffron. Think of a black collar, cuffs, and belt, then a yellow for the body.
    If you do not want to make that decision then perhaps saffron accessories (belt, handbag, gloves, bead necklace, etc. might allow you to live with the color.
    In any case have fun.

  47. Ooh yes, how can anyone resist mustard yellow? Everything looks better in yellow, that's my motto!

    Re. straying from your colours, I've never really liked to admit which colours suit me as I like to wear every colour under the sun. This is going to change though - just ordered Color Me Beautiful. I know that's not what you wanted to hear... Make a yellow skirt! Like your Emma Pillsbury one but in mustard. Oh yes.

  48. Gertie, I came to post what Jan already said....

    You actually were going with Winter with your wedding dress, when you thought you were going against it. Bright/stark white is winter, not ivory white. See, you knew what looked best on you and it was winter ;)

    I'm a "summer" and though I can try to wear colours that are supposedly in, that aren't summer, like mustard, I always regret it because I look ill and 10 years older in them.

  49. I've been following your blog for a few months now, and I love all the tips you have for beginner sewers. I just finished my biggest project since I began sewing last summer. I just posted some photos, and I'd love to have your opinion. :) Thanks, Gertie. (www.blackcurrantthoughts.blogspot.com)


  50. I tend to do cycles of color. For a while it was greys and burgandy, then I was into just black and white, then browns and red. I've never liked wearing blues or much green. I just go with whatever is interesting and makes me feel good. For some reason, I'm really interested in orange these days... I just go with it and have fun.

    You can wear different shades of a color to go with your sking tone. A little warmer or cooler or paler... holding the fabric up to your face and testing it before you make that committment is a really good idea, no matter what the guys at Mood think! ;)

  51. I have been borderline obsessed with mustard yellow for about a year now. last year I always paired it with shades of grey and this year I seem to be gravitating towards navy as a pairing. :) Love it! It works as such an amazing earthy neutral for being so bright.

  52. Green seems to be my failsafe colour, I love greens. I've never had my colours done, but I always get complimented on that colour. I think though you are right, it's easy to get stuck in a colour rut, and also to become afraid of other colours... I'm afraid of yellow... it just looks awful on me, which is ashame because I love yellow.

  53. I would love to be able to get that color analysis today because I just don't know what my color is. The closest I come to purposely choosing a color that flatters is using the tips I read in an article on "universally flattering" colors like pink, eggplant and Mediterranean Blue; which are all great colors on me.

    Otherwise, I don't know if I am a cool, warm, neutral, winter, or summer. I just go with what I like.

  54. My father was Greek and my mother is Cherokee and Choctaw; therefore, I have a strange greenish-red undertone. I MUST stick to colors that work with my skin tone, lest I be asked "Are you feeling alright today, Miranda?" "Yes, I am fine, thank you. I am wearing pastels today." To be frank, I look sickly in colors that are not "mine". I don't have a single color that is mine, but I do have a palette that I safely stick to.
    It can be charming to have a single color that is "yours". It may read as a signature accessory of sorts-- as long as it has a variety of styles to be displayed in though.
    That being said, life is short, live wildly and chase the saffron!

  55. Actually, I wear what I want. But here is a useful tip: wear a color that you like (but that may not be YOUR color) away from your face. You might want to try out that saffron as a skirt in case it doesn't respond favorably to your skin tone and hair. You can put a "safer" color closer to your face.

  56. I had my colours done and it was a revelation. Being a redhead with an unusual skintone (I have a different freckle structure to other reds) made choosing colours from what was available in stores really tricky. I am a "warm spring" and I love all my colours. I go through phases with them all too so it is never boring!

  57. I love Peg! She reminds me of my mom in her Avon/Mary Kay days :) Personally, I seem to gravitate toward jewel tones and black and white combos year round. One way I test drive a color is to purchase that shade in an accessory (scarves, gloves, or shoes) and if I fall in love with the hue I may commit to something larger like a dress, skirt, or coat. Some colors have surprised me such as goldenrod, chartreuse, and persimmon -- they look great with dark brown/auburn hair! Now, I'm no color specialist, but you may enjoy wearing eggplant, wine, navy or even moss green. I think these look great on brunettes with dark features. Eggplant and red are most certainly my go to colors.

  58. I always wanted a CMB evaluation in the 80's--thought it would make my life perfect, just like you say.
    My color for clothing is a coral or salmon pink. The saffron yellow is gorgeous, but looks really bad on my. I try to use those colors that look bad on my in things like handbags, home decor--places where I will see them, but not have to wear them. After all, I usually don't see what I'm wearing unless I look in the mirror.

  59. Orange. So much so people assume all my clothing is in some shade of it. It's not, but I have orange solids, orange prints, orange dresses, skirts, shirts, pants, shorts...even an orange silk slip.

    I can't really wear red, due to having auburnish hair and a reddish complexion, so orange was a good compromise. I also am one of these people whose skin tone works with colors no one else in the world can wear (hello, pastel tealish, greyish green). It works for me.

  60. hey! Red's MY colour!! A lovely lady even explained why I should wear more red, apparently it grounds your creativity, whereas blue (which I inexplicably wear all the time) is the colour of daydreaming which is why I never get anything done.
    (Read Dusk's comment here, it's fascinating and I was touched that someone I didn't even know took the time to analyse me!! http://stylewilderness.blogspot.com/2010/05/fourth-daughter-retrospective.html#comments )
    I think you could wear a very deep saffron as a dress, it would look stunning with the red lipstick. Red lipstick... that's something in red that I haven't tried but really want to, having skin with a yellowish cast though I'm uncertain whether it would suit me. Colour certainly is a fascinating topic!! I try to wear as much of it as I can!

  61. We had the CMB boook when I was growing up too, I read it many times and I always remember it saying that the colours and clothes you wear should make people complement you and not your clothing (the idea being that you look so radiant they don't notice your clothes because you are wearing "your colours").

    I'm a winter by CMB and the posters are correct that in CMB white is our colour, not ivory, as well as icey pale shade usually carry the adjective "baby" in the name. I also remember reading that reds fell into two spectrums - orange shades and blue shades (like Cherry, my fave red) and as a winter, blue shades will flatter you but orange shades will not.

    I've always yearned to wear yellow and I've now got a few bright yellow shades in my wardrobe, just had to find the right shade. I used to go through colour phases, now the majority of my clothes are teal, white, cerise, beige, khakis, (blue) reds, dark purples and my core colours are khaki/olive (which I love), brown, and indigo denim. Because of wearing black in the theatre, I tend to go for bright colours and patterns much of the time out of work or the duller khaki/beige tones on days when I don't feel like sparkling. I've just realised that when I was an office worker, most of my clothes were pink or purple. I wonder why the subconscience chose those?

    I have noticed that my 11 month old daughter is a summer colouring, she looks wonderful in the same shades that suit her dad (another summer) but in "my colours" she looks less radiant. I actually dress her in a lot of summer's blues because she looks so pretty in it but I do have to keep correcting people as to her sex!

    CMB was a hit of the 80s but it was in no way orginal. My 1953 Simplicity sewing book has a couple of pages advising on "The Best Colors for Your Type" based on hair and high colour (but not complexion, and demonstrated by women with scary, evil eyes!). I wonder, are there professional CBM advisers still active?

  62. My colour is peacock blue. My bedroom walls are peacock blue, my bed is bright turqouise, my robe is turqouise and all my pyjamas peacock blue. I didn't do it on purpose, I just suddenly realised one day that everything I own coordinates.

    Thenj I died my hair blue and ALL MY CLOTHES matched my hair. I now own many more red tops than before.

  63. I have no idea where to "have my colors done". I have looked at many books, and magazine articles but they assume that I know if I am a certain season or if I am fair or medium or look good in jewel tones, whatever. If anyone has a true, basic reference source, I would love to hear it. Or should I pay someone, a stylist, who?

  64. ha! CMB! in elementary school my best friend's mother was a CMB rep. and i think i was an autumn...i wish i could remember. all i know is now i am obsessed with non-color and collect it in spades (gray, cream, white, nude)...so my color? non-color.

  65. I spent my life confusing CMB colorists. One would say I was a summer, then another would say winter, and another spring - and the colors I knew I looked best in were a sprinkling from all the seasons, winter's bright teal, summer's burgundy, fall's plum, etc. Finally a color consultant who wasn't CMB cleared up the confusion - apparently my skin's undertone is exactly neutral, neither warm nor cool, and since CMB's first division is warm/cool, I didn't fit any of their categories.

    The upshot was that extremely warm (orange, yellow) and extremely cool (blue) colors look horrible on me. OTOH, any green or purple shade is mine all mine, and I love them all!

    In the end though, any color that makes you feel wonderful is "your" color. If it makes you happy, do it!

  66. I love mustard! It's the only shade of yellow that I can wear, and looks divine on those of us with auburn hair. I'm still searching for just the right shade to make into a pencil skirt + shift dress. I never heard of this seasonal system, but I guess I am an Autumn - I look best in light shades when they are slightly muted/dusky, but then the system falls apart because jewel toned darker colours suit me as well. The one rule I stick by is that grey, hot pink and lemon yellow make me look like death!
    Unfortunately some colours just won't suit our complexions, no matter how much we want to wear them. In circumstances like that, however, there's nothing stopping you from making a skirt, carrying a handbag or wearing shoes in that colour - I just would avoid wearing it next to your face.

  67. I can't believe you've written a blog on colours! I have driven myself BONKERS over the years trying to decide whether I'm warm or cool, which colours suit me, which drain me! I go NUTS over it and have to tell myself to STOP!! Oh, no - I'll be colour obsessed tomorrow now that I've read your blog! HELP!! PS I believe that if you want to wear saffron, you should go for it!! I think you could wear it. It can't hurt to give it a go. I'd love to see what you decide to make - so go for it and post your pictures on your blog!

  68. Did you see this? http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/xcart/891403-Dark-Mustard-Silk-From-Nicole-Miller-44-Wide.html

  69. I had my colors done as a teenager. It was a really great experience. I'm an "autumn" which means that the saffron/mustard color that I, too, am loving at the moment looks really great on me. I think in the end, you can use what you know about colors to choose a shade that looks best on you. For instance, I love purple, but I know that it is not the "best" color for me, so I stay away from lavender and try to pick purples that are more red than blue. Most people can wear some color of yellow, but in this case, the strong orange undertone of Michelle Williams dress is difficult to pull off. Her make-up artist did an incredible job of balancing that color against her skin.

  70. Ugh, mustard. Sorry, I was a teen in the eighties and this color will forever remind me of highschool fashion mishaps. That and the episode of the Cosby Show where Theo and Cockroach wanted these fashionable but expensive mustard and black shirts and they paid Denise $20 a piece to make them each one and she totally screwed them up. But they wore them anyway and their dates thought they were really cool and fashion forward.

    Honestly, I think in this case, I'd buy the 20 dollar H and M top (or scarf) and wear it every day for a week before I spend a lot of time and effort making something in beautiful fabric only to discover the color just didn't suit me.

    I don't want anyone to be tyrannized by color, but in truth, there are colors that each person looks bad or good in. I don't think they necessarily conform to a season, and they do change over time (I used to be a classic autumn, but now I look terrible in those oranges and forest greens). That having been said, every color has a shading such that you could find a mustard/saffron that suits you. Like some aquas look good on me, and some don't.

    Slight change of subject, I find that there are entire stores I completely avoid because I simply can't stand their color palette. Part of the reason I'm learning to sew. I find that some stores with colors I like don't have the most flattering clothes for me, and stores with flattering fits for me have icky colors.

    Right now I'm on a fairly intense grey/blue kick. I find if I'm not careful, I wind up looking like some kind of garage mechanic with the grey/blue.

  71. I'd say there is no way you would be told to wear ivory if you are a winter - you are best to wear stark white if you are a winter. This is because winter is COOL and Spring is WARM - they are the warm-cool opposites of the bright spectrum. In the same way, Summer is COOL and Autumn is WARM- they are warm-cool opposites of the muted spectrum.

    To find your colours, do two things - find out if you are warm or cool by looking at your SKIN tone and holding a white then a cream swatch under your face. White is cool, cream is warm. Then, hold a bright pink then bright orange swatch under your chin. Pink is cool, orange is warm.

    When you have found if you are warm or cool, then ask yourself if you are 'muted' or 'bright'. That is, do you like contrast in your clothes, hair, makeup or do you prefer a more even blend. Winters and Springs suit bright contrast, while Summers and Autumns suit more muted or softer palettes.

    This is a guide only, but knowing your general season can help a lot. Remember, the colours you love are usually the colors that look best!

  72. I have colours i go to. Mostly black and red with no yellow undertones. Lately I bought a lot of blue/navy fabric. There seems to be a change going on... Perhaps because I am forced to wear all black 3 days a week at work. This leaves me longing for colour, bright jewel tones, even patterns.
    When buying fabric in any other colour than black I usually try to find a window with natural light and a mirror to see what happens to my face. This gives me an idea if I can pull it off or not. I do the same with wool for knitting, too.

  73. Wow - I adore Audrey in My Fair Lady and her costumes, and Color Me Beautiful is a great book which I adore. My closet is completely neutrals and greens and warm tones. But I will say that if you (as a cool person - also a kewl person!!!), want to wear yellow, consider sort of a sorbet version of yellow - with a lot of white, but I'll bet you will look great in an icy version of that yellow. Not too much orange though.

  74. My mother is an "autumn", and my father carries around, even now, a sheaf of color samples in a plastic holder, that perfectly encapsulate all my mother's Autumn favorites. Because we both have greenish eyes, for a long time she asserted that I was also an autumn.

    I'm not.

    I hate wearing burnt orange and off-white, which make me look pallid, and anything with yellow undertones, because I'm too pale for them.

    I think "my" color is purple. Except when it's teal. Or blue. Or red. I like to mix my big bold colors, and I'm warming up to burgundy and navy as well. I think I just like color. :)

  75. I feel so left out. Your blog seems to be dominated by Winters! I used to do those consultations back in the 80's. I'm a hard core Spring with a lot of Autumn in my coloring.

    Winter's jewel tones make me look like I should be laid out in a box. Summer's pale pastels make me look totally washed out.

    If I stick to my colors, I'm usually good to go: crayon colors (think the 8 basic colors in a small Crayola box), or some of the softer earth tones (olives, light brickish reds, ivorys, creams, golds, browns . . . you get the idea).

    My kids used to say my wardrobe was 40 shades of pink. I'm trying to branch out.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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