I’m sure you’ve all seen loads of information on social media about colour psychology related to interiors and how by choosing the right colours we can affect the feel and look of our homes and surroundings. If colour can indeed have that affect on our environment then surely that also applies to the colours we wear - by wearing clothes in the right tones and colours for us then can we assume it will make us look and feel better.
This is the magic of combining colour psychology and colour harmony.
You’ve probably already experienced colour psychology in action without realising it - have you ever decided on an outfit for a night out or put clothes out for the next day only to find when you’re ready to wear them they suddenly don’t suit your mood and you have to find something else ? That’s because your mood has changed and what you now need to support you has changed from when you made your initial choices. Kids are great at expressing their personalities through their clothing/ colour choices and seem to instinctively know what they need to wear on any given day much to the exasperation of parents who don’t always think wearing a spiderman outfit constantly is appropriate !
Discovering your personal colours then isn’t simply about finding colours that suit you or match your hair and skin colour - though that is a bonus as you will look better and feel better. But because we are dealing with colour psychology it actually goes much deeper than that. I always say to my clients - “Colour never lies” - and its true. It just cuts straight to who we really are and reveals to us our authentic selves independently of what we have been conditioned to believe about ourselves from society and other influences in our lives. By exploring your personality type and more importantly your subordinate personality we can begin to make an analysis as to which colour group you are best aligned with and will best benefit and support you.
Incidentally it’s important to note that your subordinate personality can often have a massive influence on how you live your life and express yourself to the world. It’s not uncommon to find that people find it easier to express their authentic selves at home but not necessarily through the clothes they wear. There’s probably two reasons for this - we are all hugely influenced by fashion trends and might be persuaded to buy things through clever marketing that we don’t really need. Also, subconsciously we may not feel confident enough to show the world the ‘real’ us. Have you ever met someone, formed an impression about them from how they look, then when you visit their home discover its saying something completely different about them.
From my own experience I realised that I had been expressing myself and my creativity through my subordinate influence for years. Yes I always wore beautifully colour coordinated clothes and my house was a testimony to the positive effects of colour harmony. BUT they were not a true expression of myself ! On reflection I think this was because I suffered personal traumatic events in my early 30’s which had a huge affect on my confidence and self esteem. As a result I had been hiding behind the safety of my subordinate colours - showing the world a version of me but one that wasn’t the true me. Ironically, whenever I drew or painted my true self would emerge through the colours and style - I never really liked what I was creating and constantly struggled to create work I was happy with ! Now I know why and am much more aligned with my creative expression.
Discovering my colours felt like a rediscovery of me. It really was. I’m not saying this is how it is for everyone but we are all influenced by external factors in our lives and it is easy to lose that sense of ‘self’. I know for a lot of women having babies can dent their confidence; for both men and women, getting older; putting on weight; illness; just dealing with ‘life’ can all have an adverse affect on our well being. As a result we present a version of ourselves that might not be a true reflection of who we really are.
For me it was a transformational experience and surrounding myself with my ‘new’ colours did take a bit of getting used to. Now every morning when I open my wardrobe I am met with a glorious array of colour that brings me joy and is a reflection of me. If ever you wanted a positive affirmation every morning then surely this must be it !
The four colour groups and four personality types
MORNINGLIGHT DREAMLIGHT FIRELIGHT STARLIGHT
MORNINGLIGHT - warm, light tones that express liveliness, sparkle and simplicity
DREAMLIGHT - cool, midtones that express the characteristics of cool, calm, elegant and understated
FIRELIGHT - warm, intense subtle tones that are associated with depth and substance, rich abundance and maturity.
STARLIGHT - cool, intense clear tones that simply express crystal clarity and power.
(please note that the screen distorts the tonal variations so this is not an exact depiction of the tones. The word are a better description)
Every single one of us will ‘fit’ with one of these groups though obviously we all have our own unique personality traits. For example no two Firelights will be exactly the same - they will be influenced by their subordinate personality and of course other social, conditioned influences. They will however however be aligned to the same colour group though may have different colour preferences within that group. For example a Firelight with a Morninglight subordinate is more likely to be drawn to the brighter, less murky colours of firelight. A Firelight with a Dreamlight subordinate might prefer Firelight colours that have a lot of grey in them (farrow and ball paint colours spring to mind)
One thing worth pointing out here is that we will all naturally try and self analyse and one of these groups might appeal to you more than others but it is worth remembering that it’s not always easy to see ourselves exactly how we are. When looking at the groups we might see a bit of ourselves in every group which can feel a bit confusing. Or we might find ourselves drawn to a particular group because it is something we aspire to rather than something that we really are.
So going back to the beginning - I think its safe to assume that if we wear the colours that are aligned to our personality type we will feel more supported and definitely look better. This type of analysis is absolute - your colours don’t change as you get older, or if you have a suntan, or if you dye your hair. I often hear people saying that they can no longer wear a particular colour as they’ve got older - the truth is they probably never could but because they were younger they could get away with it.
“If a colour is right for you, you can wear it anytime of the day or night, with or without makeup, from the day you were born to the day you die.”
Angela Wright - Colour Affects
By understanding which tonal group of colours you belong to, together with your own colour preferences within that group you can confidently make colour choices for any occasion - choosing colours that both make you look and feel great. As an added bonus you’ll get an insight into your authentic self and as you grow in confidence will find yourself making changes in other aspects of your life.
Personal Colour Analysis
you will look younger, feel more centred, feel more energised
2. all the above will give you more self confidence
3. you will gain insight into your authentic self that will have a positive impact on your life - from clothing choices, to how you decorate your home, to your creative expression
4. make shopping trips easier and less stressful - its easy to scan a shop for your colours and not get distracted by everything else
5, buy clothes with confidence knowing that by making the right colour choices you are buying something that will last a lifetime - no ore expensive mistakes
6. know exactly what colours to wear for any occasion - whether its a friends wedding, a job interview or a daunting presentation at work.
7. every morning be met with a positive affirmation of you when you open your wardrobe
As a little experiment - if you are someone who wears a lot of black - for a few days wear different colours and see how you feel at the end of the day.
I really hope that this has been informative and interesting. I can’t go into all the complexities of applied colour psychology and personal colour here but if you’d like to learn more then please sign up for my newsletter to receive info about workshops, top tips etc.
My working practice is based around the theory of my wonderful teacher - Angela Wright. You can google “The Wright Theory” if you’d like to discover more about this amazing woman.
Thanks for reading