March 03, 2020 4 min read
I’m thrilled to introduce you to Rebecca Leclair, a friend and colleague as she shares her journey with color throughout her career and her more recent personal color analysis experience.
During my 30 year career in broadcast news, I was always conscious of “what not to wear” on television. No white--too stark. No black--too stark. No bright green--if I stood with the meteorologist in front of the “green screen”, my outfit would key out and the weather map would be superimposed over my dress. I knew not to wear polka dots or crazy patterns which could be distracting to the eye. Plus, I really wanted people to pay attention to what I was saying, not what I was wearing.
Early in my career, some TV consultant told me I was a “winter” and that I should avoid pastel colors and focus on jewel tones. I agreed with that advice since I thought I looked good in emerald green. I chose to wear suits because I wanted to be perceived as professional at all times. That often limited me because the most common colors for suits were navy, grey and black. Pretty boring. I once found a peach pastel suit and bought it just because it was not navy, grey or black. I didn’t care that it did not match my skin tone or my “orange-based” stage makeup. I simply picked it to increase the color count for the suits I hung in my closet.
As the TV news industry changed, so did the emphasis on women wearing suits. This actually made it harder on me. A new consultant came in and suggested dresses and blouses. However, I found myself simply picking clothes for the style and fit, not necessarily for the color. I needed lots of outfits so if the color did not look great on me, I would not be upset because I knew it would only be in the rotation a few times.
In 2017, I left my television job and started my own business. I worked from home, often wearing sweatpants, and had “plenty” of outfits to put on when meeting clients at coffee shops. I was back to just putting a black jacket over a blouse or dress. As long as I looked professional, I was good. Or so I thought.
Kerry Jones and I have known each other forever. We grew up in small neighboring towns. We both went to Syracuse University and thrived separately. Years passed, we each married, moved to starter homes on the same street and started families. Surprisingly we enrolled in the same Lamaze Birthing class and had our first babies within hours of each other in adjacent rooms at the hospital. A few years later we both moved to the same suburb. We would see each other occasionally but it wasn’t until I asked Kerry to do a presentation for an SU Alumni event that I considered “having my colors done”.
I never thought I needed her advice. I was a “Winter” and that had not changed in 30 years.
How wrong was I! During my personal session, we talked about how my hair had changed over the years and how I was using highlights to cover the grey and how I am no longer a true brunette. She asked about my make-up which I admit, is a mishmash of brands and left-overs from my television days when the goal was to cover blemishes completely and darken my skin tone so the lights would not “bleach” me out.
As Kerry “danced” around me with her test drapes, placing color after color around my neck, she explained the natural order of colors, hues and tones in the 12-season system. It made sense just listening to her but when she would put one color up against another, right under my chin, my skin, and my hair, it became obvious. I am not a Winter but a Bright Spring!
Initially, this revelation brought on a mini-panic. What would I do with all my “wrong season” clothing in my closet? How will I afford to replace my wardrobe? Do I need to throw out my make up and start new? Well, Kerry is the type of professional who “gets it.” She understands the time and money it takes to build a wardrobe. She also knows how much effort it takes to find the right colors. That’s why she created the swatch book you can carry in your purse or leave in your glove box. Whenever you have time to shop or go to the mall, it is right there to help you pick the right colors.
And it works! I am not going to waste any more money on Valentine red colored items. My swatch book tells me which colors of red are better for me. I can still buy emerald green items, but I love the new light-green sweater I found at Marshalls that matched the swatch AND fit me perfectly! I am replacing one item at a time and I have toned down the highlights in my hair and focused on darkening my roots as Kerry suggested. My daughter noticed the difference and said, “That looks more like you, Mom.”
It has been awhile since my personal color analysis and I still hear Kerry’s voice in my head, explaining how color, hues and tone all work together to create the right look. I love her low-key yet energetic approach to helping her clients understand the process. Despite being considered a world-renowned color analyst, Kerry is not satisfied unless she can convey her knowledge to others and help them come to their OWN determination. The “show and tell” session gives her the opportunity to share her expertise and gives the client a chance to confirm. I appreciate the time she took with me to prove to me I am far from a Winter and that I am ready to take on “Bright Spring” with gusto!
Television Journalist/Communication Consultanthttps://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-leclair-ba10bb8/
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December 03, 2023 7 min read
It is my pleasure to introduce you to this month’s Dark Winter feature, eyebrow, skincare and permanent hair removal expert, Gia Pauldine. Gia was one of my first clients when I started my color analysis business nearly 20 years ago. It was around that time that she also founded her business, Restoration Electrolysis, LLC.
Gia was easy to analyze. Her deep brown hair worked well with black and dark brown neutrals that were then and still are so easy to shop for. A few pops of rich reds, deep greens and purples and she was good to go for many years. When she decided to go gray more recently and wondered how to incorporate it with her clothing choices, we had the pleasure of reconnecting and working on her wardrobe and closet. I was amazed at how gorgeous her skin looked and she introduced me to some of the skin revitalization services she offers now including light therapy. Learn more about her unique, wholistic eyebrow makeovers and skincare maintenance to the process she went through in letting her hair go naturally from a dark brown to a multi-hued gray and how it impacted her clothing choices.
September 07, 2023 6 min read
It’s a treat to introduce you to this month's colorful lives feature, Soft Autumn Tim Stich who is also my son!! Tim’s experience with shopping for clothing and wearing color is unique as I become a color analyst when he was quite young. When he and his sister Clare were little, I tried dressing them in bright colors with strong patterns as was the style then.....but even before learning about personal color harmony, I started to sense that the clothes overwhelmed them and began dressing them in softer colors and solids. I was even shocked the other day to discover when I pulled out his school photos that every single photo (even before I learned of his color palette) was taken in a Soft Autumn color. You can see how his life has evolved wearing the soft, earthy colors that suit his ruddy hair, freckles and soft blue/green eyes.
Over the years, he has mostly been very eager to wear what suits him and looked to me to help him distinguish soft autumn colors from the two seasons nearby - warm autumn and soft summer. We enjoy shopping together, especially now that he lives in Manhattan and the shopping is abundant. It can be a challenge to find his colors in sizes and style that fit but when its perfect, it feels great and he knows it. Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a guy whose mom is a color consultant!
August 01, 2023 7 min read
I am so excited to introduce you the “entertainingly irreverent” (Associated Press) Soft Summer, Valerie Peterson. Valerie is an extraordinary storyteller in a variety of media including scriptwriting, screenplays, fiction, non-fiction and book publishing/consulting. I analyzed her colors years ago in Rhode Island at a girls weekend hosted by a mutual friend (color analysis and girls weekends make a great combo!). In the years since, Valerie has embraced her Soft Summer colors in spite of living and working in New York City where black is a standard and practical.
It was a thrill when her publisher chose a photo of my family for her wonderfully spirited book, Peterson’s Happy Hour. On page 46, you can find me with my family - brothers, Mike and Tim and my parents Marcia and J. Michael Jones circa 1970. The book features many more photographic gems and recipes for a fabulous social gathering!
In this month’s colorful lives blog, Valerie shares her journey with her color palette. As with all her writing projects, she is humorous, colorful and entertaining! She has kept in great condition and still uses the Sci Art swatch book that I provided back in those days!! Be sure to check out her large body of work on valeriepeterson.net and read more in the blog:
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