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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

New Year, New Job - I need to dress to Impress!

I'd be lying if I said that I thought I was well dressed. I think I dress "safe". I don't try to be fashionable unless I am absolutely sure I don't look ridiculous! Black clothes are easy to find, simple and no fuss. I look ok.

Trinny and Susannah have a lot to answer for as the thought of being man handled and shouted at always kept me from investigating a stylist. I didn't fancy being bullied in to clothes and colours I wasn't comfortable wearing.

I also didn't like to admit that I needed help in the area of style and fashion! You’d expect a make up artist to have excellent taste! Well I do, but I am just not that brave when it comes to my clothes!

The stereotypical image I had in my head was that "having your colours done" was the refuge of the businesswoman. You know, the woman who feels like she has to dress aggressively to be taken seriously. Funnily enough a few years ago, I used to be that businesswoman. I wore nothing but dull coloured boxy suits that I hated.

Meeting Ann Day was a revelation. Ann is an image consultant with Colour Me Beautiful and also a Life Coach. She has an extensive career and background in fashion, but trained with Colour Me Beautiful to become a colour analyst and image consultant. A complete make over with Ann costs £450 and includes colour analysis (which I had and will explain), Image analysis, Wardrobe planning and Full wardrobe management. It seems like a lot of money but read on before you dismiss it.

Ann Day's website

I went to Ann, as I am about to start a new job, I am keen not to revisit those suits! I want to look and feel confident though. I don’t want to sacrifice my femininity to be taken seriously by customers and colleagues at the same time. I thought better of going to my local department store for a personal shopper experience. I didn’t want to feel like I was being given the hard sell to buy clothes and accessories. All I wanted were clear guidelines so I can develop my personal style in my own time.

You know that with make up, wearing the right colours makes a huge difference to how you feel and how others see you. I think that’s why we spend so much time and money on make up! The philosophy behind Colour Me Beautiful is just the same but with clothes and make up. I decided to have colour analysis as I already know a bit about how I should dress my body shape. I am a classic athletic shape. Broad shoulders, narrow hips and long legs. So the best kind of clothes for me are those which minimise my upper body and accentuate curves on my hips.

The Wrong Colour combinations!

Ann explained it much better than I can plus she has coloured swatches to help illustrate! First we spent some time talking about hair and skin tone, she determined that my underlying skin tone is yellow/orange rather than pink or blue. This crucial bit of preliminary information explains why pastel colours make me look ill! Anne then draped palettes of different coloured swatches of materials over my shoulders to see which looked best. She said that I would know which suited immediately as they make my face “light up” and look healthy. I found this bit hard because I couldn’t see past some of the colours as I didn’t like them. It takes a bit of time to get used to colours that you may not immediately like.

Anne determined that I was a warm and deep palette as opposed to a cool and clear palette. This rings true as I don’t like wearing light colours as they make my skin look dull. The palette of colours I am going to use to help me shop for clothes and accessories is made up of 42 beautiful colours.

My Palette of 42 warm and deep colours. It's a set of material swatches attractively bound together in a purple leather wallet.

Anne then went through the entire palette draping each colour over my shoulders and talked me through how I could use the palette to build outfits. I loved each and every colour even though to begin with I wasn’t keen on colours such as lime, salmon and pewter. I felt vibrant and glowing when the right colours were placed next to me skin. As Ann puts it “people will first see you wearing the colour rather than seeing the colour wearing you”.

The Right Colour Combinations

I am so excited to have a palette as I can keep it with me when I go shopping. If you’re still not convinced about an investment of £95 for colour analysis then try this:

  1. Go to your wardrobe
  2. Take out the outfits that you wish you wore more often but don’t because they don’t really suit you.
  3. Calculate how much that clothing is worth
Is the figure more than £95? The chances are that it is. I think that having my colours done combined with my styling knowledge means that I won’t be making any expensive wardrobe errors. The next thing I am going to do is organise my wardrobe thanks to Ann’s tips. Organising my clothes as they are on the palette, from light to dark will make picking outfits really easy. Thankfully I am moving house soon so a wardrobe reorganisation won’t be a big deal! New job, new house and now new wardrobe!

Just a note, I won’t be buying loads of new clothes just yet! Lots of the clothes I have are the right sort of colours. Where I can, I am going to try and dye clothes to the new palette especially if I really love the item and don’t want to give it away!

If you’re looking for a fresh start in 2010 but don’t know where to begin, colour analysis might be just the thing!


  1. SOunds like a great experience and money well spent!!

  2. Wow, never knew that there's such occupation exists!! That's a great experience that you had there... I wouldn't mind having more assistance in what works for me and what my undertone is (still having trouble figuring it out) and yeah, wow! Great post! Thanks for sharing!


  3. OMG!! I just went to the website, I think there's one in Australia. In my city!! Oh!! =P

  4. Whoops, I take that back. I don't think there's one in Australia. Hahaha... There's the training to be a consultant but I don't think there's any consultant to find. LOL!

  5. What is your new job? arn't you a makeup artist anymore?

  6. Looking forward to finding out about this new job! Sounds like a really useful session actually - I could do with a little Gok Wan in my life, but I completely agree about the trinnie and susannah thing - awful women!

  7. sounds brilliant - its definately easy to se with the swatches next to your skin - I often wear black all the time - the age old thing of being slimming lol well thats what I tell myself.
    I might investigate it in the new year :)
    good luck with your new job

  8. Working with an image consultant to help dress for your body type, personality, values and occasion can certainly be invaluable. Glad you had a positive experience.

  9. very nice your sister is gorgeous! :)

  10. sorry comment in worng post! :(

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