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Knowing your dominant colours: Overview

Colour is individual, natural, magnetic, influential, emotional, therapeutic and joyful and the emotions it stirs are a vital part of a woman's beauty and charm. Everyone is different - hair, skin and even eye colour change constantly with the play of light and shade, and these nuances mean that every woman can possess a colour of her very own, one as personal as her signature. Women who understand colour look more interesting, more in control, more confident, more self-assured and ultimately more attractive. These women have more personality in their looks, because they have created their own colour signature.

The choice of colours out there is enormous and can be not only confusing but also quite daunting. Why is it that sometimes the colour blue looks great on you, then just ok and at other times doesn't work at all? The answer is that every colour comes in different shades, tones and intensities. So, blue is not just blue - there is icy blue, pale blue, light blue, pastel blue, clear blues, soft blues, clear blues, medium blues, dark blues etc. Once you know your dominant colour (which is based on your personal colouring) you'll know which type of tones and shades of blue look best on you and which look just ok. These ones can be made to look better by combining them with other colours from the dominant colour palette. Also, note that colours will either lose or gain intensity with your choice of fabric. So a blue linen can look lighter or softer, because it's translucent, while a blue corduroy might gain intensity because it's a more heavily textured fabric. There'll be other blues that you love but if they just don't work on you, stop wearing them and integrate them into your life in another way - for example, use the colour in your home.

In total Joy of Clothes recognises 6 dominant colours:

In the following examples we've used the same colour combination set in all of the dominant colour palettes to demonstrate how certain shades, tones and intensities change from one dominant colour to another. Each of these dominant colours has their own colour characteristics and their own set of rules. It's important to follow these rules rather then taking the 6 dominant colour palettes literally.

Be aware that little changes in your hair such as highlights or lowlights in your hair will affect your dominant colour. This means a colour that may have looked great in the past, now doesn't work so well because your hair colour has changed or skin matured. So, don't try to force it and try something new instead - embrace change rather seeing it negatively. Also, bear in mind that your favourite colour is not automatically your best colour to wear. If there are colours that look great on you, but for one reason or another you don't like the colour on you or at all, then just don't wear it. As important as it is to wear the right colours, it's also important to feel comfortable with the colour choice you are wearing.

Keep in mind that these dominant colours don't encompass the whole range of colours you can wear. They shouldn't be seen as restrictive, but rather, as a demonstration of how the same colour palette can vary in tones and shade when in a different dominant colour. These colour palettes should give you a starting point from which you can learn how to choose your colours, wear them and create new colour combinations that work with your personal colouring.

With this we hope that you can:

  • Feel more confident about choosing colours when buying new clothes, accessories and spectacles
  • Know what your dominant colouring is and how this determines what colours suit you
  • Understand why certain shades complement your natural colouring more than others
  • Learn how to wear and combine colours to achieve the look you want in both work and play
  • Integrate this information in your day to day life.

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