Confused by Color?

A Back to Basics Post

Happy day AND year, reader dear!

I hope yours are going well! If this is your first visit, Welcome! If you are returning, Welcome Back! It’s lovely to see you again. (Well, not quite see, but you know what I mean, right?) I hope you had some time off this past month to rest and relax. I took two weeks off, and that’s the longest break I have had since starting my business in 2017. Yes! Closet Play Image will be three later this year!

If you are new, I’m Liz Klebba, an Image, Wardrobe, and Color Consultant living and working in the CSRA. That’s the Central Savannah River Area for those of you who don’t live in our warm and humid neck of the Southeast woods. When people ask how long I’ve been in business, I tell them I’ve been styling friends and family my whole life, but chose to “go pro” about three years ago. Yes, I am trained. Yes, I belong to an association with a code of ethics. Yes, I LOVE helping others uncover their style. Everyone has style; some just need help with the excavation… That’s what I do!

Each January, I tackle some topics I consider “style basics.” Today let’s chat about color. Nothing like starting with a HUGE topic for a short post! But we’ll start with the first bite.

What is Color?

Back to science basics: Color is reflected light. No light equals no color. A blue shirt isn’t “really” blue. It looks blue because it absorbs all the other wavelengths of light and reflects the blue light out for us to see. We have two different kinds of light receptors in our eyes, rods and cones. The cones allow us to see color. And yes, men and women perceive (in general) color differently.

Black and white are the two colors that aren’t actually colors. Black is the absorption of all color wavelengths and is (technically) a lack of color. White is the reflection of all the wavelengths of color, so white isn’t a single color color, but a combination of many.

What’s in a Name? The Hue

When we name a color, we generally call it by its Hue. Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, Orange, etc. Pure hues (like you find on the outer edge of the color wheel) are vibrant. When working with pigments, you change the color of a hue by mixing it with other colors. Mixing it with white makes a tint, black makes a shade. Mixing with grey makes a color smokey, and brown makes it toasty. You probably remember that the primary hues are Red, Yellow, and Blue. Secondary hues are Orange, Green, and Violet (Purple). If you are worried about where to find Pink, don’t. Pink is a tint of Red.

Here’s where it get tricky: Every color/tint/shade has properties. It’s those properties that make a color work for you, or not, and makes clothing match or clash. But that’s a subject for another post.

Where Are the Rest of the Colors?

You mean the ones that comprise the vast majority of women’s wardrobes? We already tackled Black and White, but how about Grey, Tan, Beige, Cream, Navy, Camel, Olive, Khaki, Drab, Brown, Mushroom, Taupe, Dove, and so on, and so forth. There are thousands of Neutrals out there that are created from the the colors you see on the wheel but don’t belong on the wheel. Navy is a shade of Blue, Olive is a shade of Green, and Brown is a shade of Orange. A shade is what you get when you mix a hue with black, remember?

When I encourage people to wear Color. I mean Color with a capital C. The ones you find on the color wheel. Color is powerful! Neutrals have their place, too, but have become the default (especially black) for dressing, and not for the better. Let’s reclaim color! It can boost your mood, make you look happier and healthier, and make you memorable.

So how about you? What’s your favorite color? How about your favorite color to wear? Are they the same? Why or why not? What’s holding you back? Do let me know in the comments below… I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,

PS: If you have any themes you’d like me to tackle, please let me know!

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