Why swatches?

Why do I use swatches in my color consultation work?

  1. Not everyone can see color equally easily.
  2. Color names are variable and unhelpful when identifying specific shades – Chinese blue, for instance, is also known as hot turquoise.
  3. It’s easy to forget which shades you look best in.
  4. It’s easy to forget how well your best colors work with one another, and why you should stick to them.
  5. Store lighting is notoriously terrible.
  6. Emotions color our choices.
  7. I use them for my own reference when shopping online for a client.

One thinks of color blindness as a straight line thing that the person without the color sense would know about, but that’s not how it works.   I found this out one night shopping with my best friend, someone I’d shopped with for more than 20 years.  We were looking at a pile of shirts, and she pointed at one and said, “Look at the beautiful purple ribbon!”  The ribbon was chocolate brown.   I’d known her for decades, and that was the first time either of us had realized that she wasn’t just a bit disinterested in the finer differentiations of shade, she actually *could not see them*.

Why shouldn’t she have the tools she needs to get the right colors?  That’s where swatches come in.dsc04912

I make my own swatches, so I make them big enough to put down on a garment in the store and see if they match properly.  I use cardstock as a backing so that I can write notes to the client  – it’s not just about your season, or even your best colors, the colors have their own uses according to your particular coloring.

My aim is never to make anyone permanently dependent upon me.  I want to empower my clients to maintain their image and wardrobe on their own… and that means they need those swatches.


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