Color is one of the most effective ways to say to the world, “Hey, look at me.” While it would be gauche indeed to walk into a room and command attention in such an obvious way, you can accomplish the same results more subtlety when you wear colors that reflect your personal coloring. Just as great artists have a favored palette of colors they work with repeatedly, each person has a unique combination of skin, hair, and eye colors that make up their personal color palette.
Building your wardrobe around these colors will literally make you more visible.
Image coach Nicole Mertes describes color as a “tool of attraction”. The following exercise will help illustrate this point. Relax for a moment and imagine you are driving along a country road. As you are driving along the road you meet a shiny red sports car. Notice your response when you see the car.
Next, imagine that a little further on you round a corner and see before you a field of blue lupine in full bloom. What is your response to the field of lupine? Even if you haven’t been dreaming about buying a red sports car and even if lupine isn’t your favorite flower, your attention would surely have been captured by the unexpected encounter with this vivid color.
Color also attracts our attention through repetition. In the same way that repeating a thought or phrase adds rhetorical emphasis, repeating colors from your personal palette in the clothing you wear, adds visual emphasis. It is the easy, effective, and most powerful way to literally make yourself more visible.
Once color has gotten our attention it continues to influence our perceptions. Color can actually help sharpen the focus of our attention. In much the same way adjusting the lens of a camera brings a photograph into focus, adjusting the colors you wear can bring your image into clearer focus.
When you wear colors that are in harmony with your personal palette you become more memorable. People have an easier time seeing you and an easier time hearing what you have to say. Your ability to bring your gifts and talents into the world is heightened.
Ideally, we recommend that anyone who wants to polish their image work one-on-one with an image consultant. Consultants are experts at helping you discover the color palette that reflects your personal coloring. When you work with a consultant they can quickly identify your best colors. This is the surest, easiest way to heighten your visibility. But if that’s not a practical solution for you, here are some guidelines you can follow that will help ensure you are making good choices on your own.
First, identify your high visibility colors by taking a close look at your skin, hair, and eyes.
We’re in the habit of thinking in simplistic terms. We say to ourselves, “I have green eyes” or we say, “I have blonde hair.” But our coloring is so much more complex than that! In order to discover your deeper levels of complexity, take a mirror and go either outside or to a large window where you can see your reflection under strong indirect sunlight conditions. Beginning with your eyes, identify all of the colors you see. Our eyes are never a single color but are made up of a mosaic of different hues and shades. Write down all of the color variations you see.
Next, look at your hair and repeat this process. Look for the very lightest tones, the mid-tones and the darkest tones. Hair is almost always darker toward the nape of the neck and lighter at the crown and around the face. Make a list of all of the colors you find in your hair. Finally, repeat this process a third time but this time, look closely at your skin tones. Look for the range of shades from light to dark and also look for the underlying blush tones. Make a list of all the colors you see. Be as descriptive and specific as you can.
Pantone Spring/Summer 2020 Palette
When you have completed this exercise you will have identified your high visibility colors. These are the colors that reflect your personal color palette. These are colors you can use to form the backbone of your wardrobe and these are colors that will help make you stand out from the crowd. The next time you go shopping take this list of colors with you and use it to guide your purchases. You will be delighted to discover that when your wardrobe repeats the colors of your personal palette you instantly become more visible.