Color, Emotion, and Mis-Identification

Color evokes emotion.   Warm, bright colors evoke energy.   Cool, clear colors evoke intensity.  Cool, muted colors are sensible, and warm, muted colors are comforting.

One of my greatest challenges as an image consultant is explaining to my clients that yes, you can wear the colors that look best on you and still evoke the emotional response that’s so important to you – whatever that is.   You might not end up wearing the stereotypical color for that emotion, you might have to think outside the box a bit, and accessorize more intentionally, but you can get where you want to go, no matter what colors you are working with.

But the subconscious comes shopping with us… so you have to be on your guard if you know this applies to you.

Let’s take a celebrity and examine her public wardrobe vs. her on-screen wardrobe.  Reese Witherspoon is a beautiful woman.  Her season is Spring – and nearly every costumer that she works with chooses warm clear shades to bring out the warm tones in her skin and hair.

Here’s Reese in some, unnamed movie (thanks, google image search):

Note how golden her skin appears, how her eyes pop, and how everything flows together.

But offscreen, Ms. Witherspoon is nearly always seen in Summer colors – yes, they’re still the light/bright colors that work best on her, but she chooses cool tones rather than warm ones.  (She still looks great).


Why might she do this?  Well, these colors scream efficiency.  They’re also extremely classic colors, and Ms. Witherspoon’s career indicates that she likes to be taken seriously.

So – what colors are you holding onto in your own wardrobe that you know don’t really work for you… but you just can’t bear to get rid of?  What lines do you see yourself wearing in pictures that don’t quite suit you… but you keep finding in your closet?  And what do those colors say about you?  What is it that you’re trying to communicate?

Once you figure that out, you can do the communication in colors that suit your natural coloring and your inner self.

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