Thursday Miscellany: Color Analysis Resources & More

Color Analysis: Manina and Annie explain color system and theory to Susan B of une femme d'un certain age.

In Analysis…

Many of you have expressed an interest in having your own color and/or style analysis, so I’ve pulled together a few resources you can check out.

If you’re looking for an individual color and style consultation, you can check out the directory from the Association of Image Consultants International. AICI is the largest association of professional Image Consultants, and their members go through rigorous training and periodic re-certification. Here’s the link to find an Image Consultant in your area.

My friend Brenda Kinsel is an Image Consultant in Northern California. She is well known and has written several books on personal style. She might have some availability or can refer you to someone she knows in the area.

I’ve heard good things about John Kitchener. He’s now based in the Southeast US, though I understand he also offers online consulting.

Some of you have also recommended David Zyla.

And finally, if you’re into a Do-It-Yourself approach, Imogen Lamport has her 7 Steps To Style system you can do from home. And Sylvia of 40+ Style offers a 21 Steps To Style online course.

And of course, if you’re in London or will be visiting, go see Red Leopard!

Be aware that each stylist/consultant may have their own system and viewpoint. My own recommendation is to find someone who covers your hair during the color analysis if you have colored hair.

Hope this helps!

Small But Mighty

Levears post earring backs stainless steel. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

In a recent post about clip earrings, a couple of you mentioned Levears backs for post earrings. I decided to give them a try, and can now enthusiastically recommend. They make wearing post earrings comfortable, and keep them from drooping. I’ve tried similar “support” backings, but these just seem to work much better.

A Mini-Getaway

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age posts near Chinatown gate in San Francisco.

I took a quick trip up to San Francisco yesterday, to meet up with some old blogger pals, including Lisa of Privilege (who took this photo).

It was a gorgeous day…sunny and quite warm for SF. We had such a great time catching up! I’m on my way back home today, but really enjoyed my mini-getaway.

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  1. You always look amazing and I’ve got so many great ideas from reading your blog, as I am over 60. I know this sounds mean, but I don’t think either of the women in that photograph have outfits that are flattering to their coloring

    1. Haha everyone’s an expert
      I’m sure they have their colours nailed. They did a great job with Susan ❤️

    2. I have to admit that I had the same reaction to the Red Leopard photo. That bright coral color looks rather harsh on the woman on the right, and it seems like a softer coral would looks a lot better on her. (Maybe it looks better in person than on my computer screen.)

      1. Pseu/sue’s red blouse is a much more flattering colour. I love red, but find that orangey-red very harsh.

    3. Funny, I thought the same thing about the women in the photo. I’d switch their outfits. The bright red/orange suit would look great on the brunette. Washes the blonde right out…it wears HER! But as Susan says, everyone’s an expert…..

      1. Yes, it’s really hard to capture colors accurately on a monitor, but if you saw these two women in person, you’d see that Manina (with the black and silver hair) definitely has cool coloring and Annie (redhead) is definitely warm.

    4. Check out to see other pics of Manina and Annie. They also have a Facebook page. They both just ooze style. There are other before and after pictures that demonstrate they know what they are doing. I can hardly wait to have my color and style evaluation next spring.

  2. Speaking of colours, these might be of interest.
    A European clothing company, Olsen, is showing a lot of green, especially darker greens. There are many Olsen stores here in Ontario Canada. Susan, you mentioned something about trying to find a red to suit your colouring. I always see a lot of reds at Talbots which is an American chain for women.

    1. I checked out Olsen garments at the Bay site (major Canadian chain; from cheap to designer). There are some lovely things (my favourite is another red blouse in a linen blend; a bit Mexican in inspiration but not too folkloric) but also some horrible over-decorated garments that scream old-age pensioner. A few years ago Talbots had a lovely forest-green jeans jacket, but were out of it in my size.

      As Elizabeth will know, forest green is practically a neutral in much of Central and Eastern Canada (and the Northeastern US), except in the depths of winter. And there are always some evergreens peeking through the snow.

  3. It has been hard to find resources for color styling in my area (Oklahoma). I was looking at the Kettlewell site you mentioned in a previous post, and noticed they had a link to find a color stylist. It directed me to the House of Colour directory, and there are many stylists listed in the Midwest. coincidentally, one of the stylists located in my city is a woman I knew from the gym several years ago! The description of their consultations sounds very similar to your experience at Red Leopard. Here is the link to their main site:

    1. I had a House of Colour color and style analysis done several years ago, and it was terrific and virtually identical to Red Leopard’s. But a couple of years ago HOC started imposing draconian franchise terms on their licensees, at least in the US, which caused some people – those who read the terms, I’m guessing – including my person, to leave the program. Too bad, because they could have been much more successful by treating their people fairly.

  4. I have just loved your posts about your experience at Red Leopard. Although it’s unlikely I’ll have an opportunity to have a session with them, I have learned so much from reading about your posts. It seems I’m a Summer and a Minimalist. Today I will go through my closet and do a serious edit. Such fun! I look forward to your daily posts.

    1. Thank you for posting the resources! I contacted John K and will be doing a virtual color analysis. He has a summer special for 225.00. It involves taken photos in direct sun, easy enough. I am excited to do this and you my Dear provided the inspiration!

  5. I’m very curious about the concept/idea of covering your hair, while doing the colors. My hair was blonde (colored) and now silver and blondish (natural) but the silver around my face changed a lot of what works on me and what doesn’t…so why do they feel covering your hair is a good idea?

    1. Now that I think about it, maybe they only cover if you have colored your hair. They didn’t cover Doug’s hair for his analysis.

      1. That makes perfect sense. Anyone can change the color of their hair but that shouldn’t change your season. If you do color your hair they would need to cover it since the most important thing is your skin tone. And didn’t they make color tweak suggestions for your hair? To better match your skin tone?

      2. Britain is such a lovely place for elegant menswear; hope he picked up something choice in London.

    2. I agree with DSL. Since I have gone silver-gray, I find that I need more contrast with my medium skin and blue eyes. In other words, my hair color needs to be factored in to what colors will flatter me.

  6. On your trip to San Fran, with your new do and casual clothes, the smile on your face speaks volumes. You look like you are enjoying yourself and truly happy!

  7. Ever since Susan did her color analysis, I have been obsessed and taking about every on-line DIY quiz I could find. I think eye-color is over-emphasized and makes it difficult to do a good analysis. Fewer than 20% of us have blue eyes! I am a brown-eyed Summer with a daughter who is clearly an Autumn despite her big brown eyes. It seems you need to call your eyes “hazel” instead of “brown” to fit the Autumn, Spring and Summer profiles.

  8. I think I must be missing the subtleties of color and style. I do like the softness your new hair color, which makes your previous lighter color look a little harsh by contrast–but only by contrast–and I like you in both your poppy and your new soft leather jackets, but I can’t say that you look *better* than you do in the two “denim” shots here,, where I think both in terms of style and color you’ve hit the nail on the head. What am I missing? Or would you say rather that in the denim outfits also fall within your new color palette and style type?

    1. Hi Renée, the blue-green jacket isn’t terrible on me, but is just a little cooler and softer than my current palette. And the navy jacket and scarf in the photo on the right both survived my post-analysis closet purge.

      1. Happy to hear the navy jacket survived! It’s so unique.
        I have to put in a third vote for that blue-green jacket and scarf. I remember thinking at the time how flattering it was and different from your neutrals, but not too different.
        Having said that, just because it looks good, doesn’t mean it’s the best it can be, right?
        Enjoying your journey!

  9. I’m loving all of the info on your color analysis. I had my colors done in 1979 and it was amazing. I’m also a spring, and I can tell when I’m wearing the wrong color. There was a book in the 1980s, Color Me Beautiful, that was very helpful as a do-it-yourself color analysis. I don’t know whether it’s still in print but it’s excellent and inexpensive.

  10. I actually have a question regarding the Levears earring backs. I read the reviews & they don’t sound promising. My concern is that the backs
    may be too thick or thin for some posts or wires> Have you noticed this?


    1. Hi Donna, they work well with the post earrings I currently have, so that’s what I’m basing my recommendation on. I’m not sure they’d work with wires, but I could be wrong.

  11. I don’t question how a doctor takes out an appendix & I don’t tell color experts what color they should wear. Having said that, I can’t grasp this whole concept. I have poured over your post (or anything related) on your visit to Red Leopard; I understand the process but I just don’t know how to translate that to myself. I just glanced at David Zyla website & he starts talking about the color of your eyes in this portion then that portion then here then there; it makes no sense to me. I guess I’m not a DIY on this particular project. So, in the time between now & next year when I go to London to let Red Leopard color & style me (I know my style, but another eye never hurts!!) I keep saying I won’t spend the money & my husband keeps telling me to hush because I never do anything for myself. Thank you Susan, you’ve made me rethink myself & how I feel about me. It’s been so long since I have focused on myself, It’s a strange feeling. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  12. Ages ago while in my 20’s I had a color analysis and was deemed Spring/Summer. I was so disappointed. I really, really wanted to be my Mother’s coloring which is Jewel tonesFall/Winter. I’m fair, she’s Mediterranean and Olive complected. I have loved her style and color palette! Transferring her style to my color palette was quite the challenge. I discovered along the way we were not the same style. She’s more elegant and classic and I’m more preppy and classic with an elegant piece thrown in here and there. I was able to tailor my preppy look to classic pieces easily. THANKFULLY!

    I’ve come to love my Spring/Summer color palette, but since letting my gray hair show and am 50/50 gray/ashy brown and no longer coloring my hair I have had to relearn my color palette! Cooler shades rather than bolder in the Spring/Summer line up seem to favor me more and I’m not comfortable giving up my golden shades! I may have to have another consultation to find my warmer shades of Spring and Summer to be able to wear my favorite gold jewelry and warm-toned clothes. Who knew? In the meantime, I’m embracing my cooler side and bring in more silver friendly colors.
    “Living One’s Life to the Fullest Means always being willing to turn when there’s a curve ahead.” DM.ZAJAC
    I’m taking the curve!

  13. Always love a day in San Francisco. Love always your clothing ideas., and the shoes in this post., they are pricey but so tempting. I am going to New York in late October for four nights of theater. We will be there for 6 days, hoping to visit some museums too. Could you do a post on a travel wardrobe for New York? We will be doing walking between theater and hotel, good walking shoes a must. This is a fundraiser for a local theater here in Northern California and is very reasonable.

  14. My question is this. If you are a “golden” spring, what are the other spring palette choices…names? I had never heard of breaking down types of springs!

          1. Very interesting! I’ve contacted them as I may be going to Germany in October and would love to stop over in London for a session! Why not….life is short! Thanks….and I told them my inquiry was a direct result of your visit and blog!

  15. I had my colours “done” back in the 80s and learned that I was a Spring. At first, I kept my little packet of fabric swatches in my purse and used it whenever I shopped. Gradually, however, I started colouring outside the lines, so to speak; experimenting with other colours. Eventually I put the swatches away, but after reading your recent posts and seeing a resurgence of interest in knowing your colours on other blogs, I decided to get my swatches out again and see how far I’ve strayed from my recommended palette. The only problem is, I can’t find them anywhere! I’ve been turning the house inside out looking for them. The plus side to this is that drawers and cupboards are getting cleaned out and reorganized!