Color Categories – The Keys to Color

Not every color is created equally when you are considering your visual appearance and image. Whether you are planning an update to your business wardrobe, choosing an investment piece for your evening attire, or just planning a weekend trip away, understanding the categories of color and how they affect your wardrobe planning and your visual image is important to help you develop maximum positive appeal.

Let’s look at the five (5) categories of color and how they can affect your wardrobe planning:

Core Color – these versatile and classic colors are the ones you build your wardrobe around. Most people will begin here and this is where you’ll spend a little more on the garments. These colors do not change every year and while you will find variations – i.e. light or dark charcoal grey – generally you’ll always be able to find these colors in stores at seasonally appropriate times. Darker Core Colors may be tougher to find during spring and summer, but in the fall and winter, they will be much more plentiful.

Basic Color -– a good color for many types of garments, but not necessarily the base of your wardrobe. These may be ‘classic’ colors that are not YOUR best colors, but which will add versatility to your wardrobe. Black is a classic color, but not everyone can wear it near their face or as the majority of an outfit successfully – that does not change it’s classification as a Basic color, it just means that it may play a smaller role in your wardrobe plan if it does not flatter you as much as another color. It can still be used for accessories and shoes, because wearing it farther away from your face will soften it’s impact on your skin tone.

Accent Color -– a very bright or unusual color that can be used for garments or accessories. These colors will not form the base or majority of your wardrobe, and may change from year to year. Often, this is what you will use to update an existing wardrobe and freshen your look for a new season. There are a range of accent colors that can be incorporated into your personal color palette, and others may be added depending on industry knowledge and promotion each year. Investing in a Core Color Prescription will help you determine what Accent colors will look best on you and which ones may deserve to be added to your periodic wardrobe updates.

Cool Color -– one that is blue-based or that has a blue undertone to it, i.e. Pure White, Royal Blue, Emerald Green, Cranberry Red, Burgundy, Black, Grey, Purple, Ruby Red. These colors are best suited to people who also have that cool undertone to their skin. A majority of people fit into this category at varying contrast levels, and can use these colors to build “Capsule Wardrobes” and future wardrobe plans.

Warm Color –-one that is yellow-based or that has a yellow undertone to it, i.e. Ivory, Beige, Turquoise, Acid Green, Tomato Red, Golden Yellow, Burnt Orange. Fewer people fit into this color category, making them standouts when they plan ahead and wear these colors well. The fashion industry will sometimes concentrate on one set of colors for a season – and recently, warm colors have made quite the comeback.

Universal Colors -– those considered “safe color” because nearly everyone can wear them well, and they flatter most skin tones, i.e. Soft White, Medium Grey, Stone (dark grey/tan), Warm Pink, Medium Purple, Warm Plum, Teal Blue, Medium Navy, Red Browns, Medium Charcoal. These colors can be worn by those classified as “cool” as well as people classified as “warm”, and they are easier to mix and match into your existing wardrobe and accessories. Versatility makes these colors valuable – and purchasing classic pieces in these colors ensures you’ll get many seasons of use from them.

There are very few hard-and-fast rules to follow when creating a wardrobe plan – knowing the color categories will help you design a wardrobe plan that supports your personal and professional goals and helps to make getting dressed that much easier. The key point to remember is that within ANY color palette, there will be colors that suit YOUR personal coloring better than others. Don’t add colors to your wardrobe just for the sake of doing something new…always judge color with an eye toward whether it enhances your Total Image – anything that does not affect you positively does not earn the use of your financial and emotional resources.

For more information on choosing your best colors, check out “Colot and Its Effect on You” by clicking here.