Color Analysis


Have you ever noticed that certain clothing colors make you look tired and washed out, while others instantly make you look stunning? You haven't just imagine this; there is a reason why this happens. And it has to do with color theory.

Selecting the wrong colors for your clothes can leave you looking ill or off. If you want to have a wardrobe that makes you feel great, it's paramount to find the colors that will flatter you the most. And color analysis is a great tool to help you find them.

How colors affect appearance

In the world of aesthetics, you will find three types of color:

Fabulous, universal, and wrong colours

1) Colors that look fabulous on you

These colors bring your natural appearance to life and enhance your skin, eyes, and hair. When wearing these colors, you will find that you don’t need a lot of makeup - a fabulous color reduces imperfections such as dark circles under your eyes, lines, and discoloration while bringing out a healthy complexion. You’ll appear bright and awake.

You might have stumbled across your fabulous colors by accident when trying on clothes. They are those that you are drawn to again and again because you somehow look really good in them. But what makes a color look fabulous on you

The answer is that a color will look great on you if it shares the same color aspects (or color dimensions) with your natural colouring. You have a natural color palette that is manifested in your skin, eyes, and hair. So any color that complements these color aspects will enhance your natural colouring and make you look great.

For example, why does Gisele Bündchen look so great in the autumnal green on the left? Because her natural coloring is muted and warm just like that particular green. This color emphasises these tones in her natural coloring, which makes her look healthy and glowing.

2) Colors that look good on you - neither great nor bad

These colours don’t look bad on you, but they aren’t fabulous either. These are the colors anyone can wear because their color dimensions are fairly neutral - meaning they are neither too cool nor too warm, neither too dark nor too light, and neither too bright nor too muted.

These colors are also known as universal colors and they look okay on everyone but are not the best. You can see in the image above that the teal color doesn't look bad on Gisele, but it doesn't look as great as the green colour. Gisele's skin doesn't glow as much in this image.

3) Colors that look bad or wrong on you

These colors just make you look off or sick. They can make you look drained and even highlight or create false impressions of dark circles under your eyes and blemishes. Your hair will look drab, your face will look gaunt and often give the impression of discolouration.

Why do some colors look so terrible on you? It's because they clash with your natural color palette. Their color dimensions are too different from yours.

For example, if you have warm undertones - like Gisele - a cool blue will make you look ill because it has cool undertones. The dark blue makes her look pale and tired and emphasises the shadows beneath her eyes.

Color theory

I have mentioned color aspects or color dimensions several times now. But what are they? For this, we need to understand colour theory.

I won't go into detail here, you just need to know the very basics. (If you want to learn more about color theory, please refer to this article.)

Color theory states that a color can be described by its settings on the three dimensions of colour:

1) Hue

The hue scale tells us the temperature of a color. It can be warm, neutral, or cool.

Hue Scale - Colour Analysis - the concept wardrobe

2) Value

The value scale tells us how light or dark a color is.

Value Scale - Colour Analysis - the concept wardrobe

3) Chroma

And finally, the chroma scale tells us whether a color is muted, neutral, or bright.

Chroma Scale - Colour Analysis - the concept wardrobe

Color analysis

Just like a clothing color can be described via the three color scales, your natural coloring can also be described this way. You might have warm, cool, or neutral undertones in your skin, eyes, and hair. Your features may be very dark or they may be very light. And your overall appearance might be very muted, or it might be really bright and clear.

The aim of color analysis is to determine your color profile. Where do you sit on each of the three colour scales?

In essence, color analysis determines the settings on the three value scales of your natural colour palette and then matches those with colors that share the same dimensions.

Seasonal color analysis

Seasonal colour analysis is the most widely used form of color analysis. It consists either of four, twelve, sixteen, or even twenty eight colour categories or seasons (depending on which theory is used). Each color category has its own color settings and matching colour palette.

It is important to mention that seasonal color analysis does not match colors to your personality or body shape. Rather, it looks at certain aspects of the natural coloring of your skin, eyes and hair and matches those with colors that will reduce the appearance of imperfections and blemishes and will bring out all of your natural beauty.

In other words, it shows you which colors make you look washed out and which ones make you come alive.

Let's take another look at Gisele Bündchen:

Now you can see how the dark blue color really looks wrong on her. Gisele is a Soft Autumn; her colour dimensions are muted, warm, and medium in value. The dark blue color is far too dark and cool for her. It actually makes her skin look pale and her hair dull. This is because the dark blue is part of the Dark Winter colour palette, which is dark, cool, and bright.

The green color, on the other hand, is spot on. It lifts the warm, golden undertones of her skin, highlights her eyes, and makes her hair glow. This is because the color is part of the Soft Autumn color palette and has the same colour dimensions as Gisele's natural colouring.

What's next?

In this section of the concept wardrobe, we will find out more about seasonal color analysis and how you can determine your color season. Read on!

An introduction to seasonal color analysis, including color theory and the history of using colors in fashion.
This guide will help you determine which of the twelve color seasons you fall into.
Once you know your color season, it's time to find out which colors look best on you.