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How to use your Color Swatch?

Do you know how to use your color swatch? And do you really need one?

You've purchased a Color Analysis because you want to look your best and to avoid wasting money on clothes that don't do you justice.

Your analysis complete, it's really important that you fully understand the correlation between your coloring and the color palette you've been given.  

If it hasn't been explained to you then you should ask your color consultant - that's what you paid for!

That will allow you to have confidence in the color palette and see how the colors will help you to look and feel your best.

You will probably feel an affinity with your new Color Family or, at least, with some of the colors because your natural coloring and your instincts are connected.

Wow! it all begins to come to life and this is your opportunity to ensure that any future purchases will do you justice and your money is spent wisely.

Carrying colors in your head is difficult, more so under store lighting. Even if you have a digital swatch it cannot come close to the true colors of a fabric swatch. 

Tonal or Seasonal...

Whether it's Tonal or Seasonal, you use your swatch in the same way. A family is linked by blood but a Color Family is linked with a common color characteristic.

Fan out your swatch and see how all the colors harmonize because of the common denominator - it ensures no color clash. 

Use your color swatch as a blending tool...

It's impossible and unnecessary to match swatch colors exactly and far too limiting. Just imagine trying to find a dress in the exact color turquoise of your swatch? Not only impossible but beyond frustrating! 

Each color family is a group of colors that harmonize and blend. There are thousands of shades between each of the colors you see, just like an artist's palette. You're looking for colors that connect and sit happily together.

Hold your swatch against a plain fabric. Does it fit? Is there a shade that is closely related? 

Using a Cool swatch with a blue undertone (above left), the pink is not exactly the same as any of the squares but it quite obviously has a connection.

In the image (right) there is no color that anywhere nearly connects with the pink.

This time I'm using a Warm swatch with a yellow undertone. On the left there is a distinct correlation between the peach background and the colors of the swatch.

Right, the blue toned pink has no connection to the golden tones of the swatch.

Use your color swatch with prints

You can use this method just as easily with prints.

Below, the Cool color swatch has many color connections with the printed fabric and blends seamlessly. 

On the right, the Cool colors are very out of place on the warm colored fabric.

The Warm swatch blends into a print with similar colors (below left). On the right, the Warm colors sit uncomfortably on the cool print there is no connection at all.

Whatever your Color Family you can use the same method in your current wardrobe and when you're shopping.

Take any garment, fan out your color swatch to similarly colored 'windows' and see if the colors are harmonious. Do the red windows appear to belong to your red sweater? Do the green windows sit happily with your green skirt?

Colors will rarely be identical, they could be lighter or deeper, you are just looking for the 'connection'. 

BUT if a color looks good with your fabric color swatch, it will look great on YOU!

It doesn't happen overnight...

A color co-ordinated wardrobe does not happen overnight, in fact it can take several years as you gradually replace garments.

Even if you could afford to replace everything, it takes time to understand and feel comfortable with a new direction.

Begin by sorting out your current wardrobe and see what you have to work with. A collection of neutrals are the most useful items you can have initially, and a top in your best light - either white, off white or cream. 

Follow your new color swatch as you begin to add color. A t-shirt in one of your prettiest accents or just a scarf that introduces new color close to your face.

Choosing makeup in the most flattering shades is like an outfit for your face and even nail polish makes a difference as it flatters the skin tone of your hands. 

Does gold or silver flatter your complexion best?

All of these are very small changes but all will add to the overall new YOU!

If it looks good with your swatch it will look great on YOU!

Find Tonal and Seasonal color swatches HERE

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