August 02, 2022 3 min read
It has been a whirlwind since Soft Summer Kara came to a class I taught on the science involved in Personal Color Analysis this past spring. She immediately booked a color consultation and hit the ground running with a concerted effort to create a professional wardrobe in spite of unique challenges.
Kara is the Director of Security Strategic Initiatives for a large financial institution and needs to dress in a more neutral, reserved and traditional way.
Much of the more structured, detailed classic attire in her industry is too overwhelming for her petite frame and preferred natural style. She wanted to stay within a budget but was willing to invest in the initial color analysis consultation, a capsule wardrobe package and a personal shopping trip with me.
Read more about her strategic approach to getting her wardrobe updated to suit her soft coloring, profession, natural style and petite shape.
What prompted you to have a color analysis?
I was in an absolute panic. I started a new position before Covid and had my first work trip coming up. After two years in sweatpants, I had no idea what I was going to wear. I hated shopping and defaulted to black frumpy clothes because that was my image of what I was supposed to wear in the corporate world. I always felt like I was playing dress up in someone else’s closet and I felt like a fake.
How has it changed your life?
Fate intervened when I attended an information session at the local library and met Kerry. She was so warm and energetic and I was impressed with the extent of her knowledge and how much research she had put into understanding color and style. I am also happy that her line of cosmetics is cruelty free and made here in the US.
I also decided to do the Capsule Wardrobe Package with Andrea Bonawitz. She helped me figure out my body shape and showed me the styles that would flatter my frame, and the keywords to look for when shopping on-line. Who knew something as simple as tucking a shirt in could drastically change the way an outfit looks? We also went over how to pack for a work trip, and I’m happy to say I was able to fit a full week of work clothes into a carry-on with room to spare!
In what ways has it changed the way you approach shopping?
In the past I would “panic buy” before a work trip because I hated everything in my closet and felt like nothing matched. I’m embarrassed at the number of things in my closet that still have the tags on them!! I reached out to Kerry for a little extra help on how to actually shop and pull outfits together and I am so glad I did!
I suggested we meet at Goodwill for 2 reasons. 1- I wanted a wide range of colors and styles to look at and try on, and 2- I didn’t want to break the bank shopping. It was hard to break out of my old habits, but I decided to trust Kerry and at least try on the things she suggested and WOW!!!!! I ended up buying 40 items and only spent $225!!
After shopping with Kerry, I finally had clothes that were appropriate for the corporate environment and fit my frame and style perfectly.
It was exciting to see Kara's eyes light up when she saw herself in more fitted feminine styles, rather than the boxy, bulky more masculine things she was used to gravitating to. That day, I left Goodwill and went to Marshalls to make a return. The first thing that caught my eye was the perfect dress for Kara. Now that I knew her perfect colors and style and shape I was certain this blue dress with a little cap sleeve and a fitted waistline for $12 would be perfect for her and it was. She loved it!
What has been the biggest challenge?
Getting the red tones out of my hair. I always thought red would make my eyes pop more, but after seeing myself in pictures, I realize how brassy it looks. While wearing a shirt in my color pallet I pulled my hair into a ponytail and was amazed at how much brighter my eyes looked!
What has been the biggest success?
I used to hide behind my keyboard and never talked in meetings. It was to the point I would rather instant message the person next to me instead of speaking up. On this trip I felt so confident I took a seat in the middle of the table and actively participated!
I fully attribute my success at a week of workshops to feeling confident in my clothes!
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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:
July 25, 2023 4 min read
While doing color analysis in Boston in June, I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle Burton and giving her a 12-Season Color Analysis. Danielle had recently experienced a 4-Season Color Analysis with a House of Colour consultant and was told she was a Winter. I was skeptical that she was any type of Winter (in the 12 season system, there are actually 3 Winters - Dark Winter, Cool Winter and Bright Winter). Her light eyes, natural lighter and soft brownish hair and skin tone were much more consistent with my clients who fall into the lighter seasons, especially Summer.
Since her hair had been highlighted, we covered it with a neutral gray cap to do the testing portion of the analysis, ensuring that the lighter color did not sway the results of the analysis. It was clear from the beginning that Danielle was responding more harmoniously to the cool tones even some of the lighter cool winter drapes which was consistent with her 4 season color analysis.
But, while she contrasted with any drapes that were dark and bright, she was softened and balanced by the lighter cool tones, particularly Summer. The dark colors brought out shadows under her eyes and the brighter colors overwhelmed her and brought attention to themselves. In the end, she looked lovely and perfectly balanced and harmonious in the Cool Summer colors!
"While I had a great experience at House of Colour, I do think they are missing out on a ton of research and color science by not including the 12 seasons and variants. The added layer of cool vs bright vs dark was a huge difference for me and really solidified which category I best fit”.
Enjoy reading more about Danielle’s experience with both systems and her reaction to her diagnosis as a Cool Summer:
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