What REALLY goes on during a Color Analysis? So much more than you think…

What really goes on during a Color Analysis?
So much more than just matching Colors…

Expert Color Consultation, Seasonal Color Analysis, Color Palette

Color Analysis is an art form, as much as it is a science. It uses both creativity and technique. It is up to the expert Color Analyst to perceive, as accurately as possible, your unique relationship to your Colors, with respect to the artistic and the technical.

When a Color Consultant is choosing your Colors, she is carefully watching (what we call) the Quality of Color. 

The Quality of Color is more than just the technical aspect of Color, but the technical words are a helpful first step (tinted, shaded, muted, toasted, etc). Your Color Analyst will watch for these initially – and then will expand on the quality of the Color into other words, like “pretty,” “sweet,” “sharp,” “spicy,” “mellow,” “intense,” etc. When creating a Color Harmony from scratch, it becomes essential to “listen” for these other Color Qualities, as they will lead to the discovery of your Season and, eventually, your Line-of-Design.

Summer Colors, Seasonal Color Consultation, Suzanne Caygill
Furthermore, the Color Consultant is not necessarily always looking to “match” you with a Color. She is actually looking at the interaction between you and the Color. She is watching how you affect the Color when it comes up next to your face – and how the Color affects you. 
What does the Color do for you?

An expert Consultant will look at the specific aspects in you that the Color supports and enhances. For some, the Color highlights their softness. For others, the Color will strengthen their inherent dynamism. For others, we will see their freshness heightened. When the right Color is chosen, we see the true expression of the person revealed.

Seasonal Color Analysis, Summer Colors, Caygill Method

We are not interested in slapping a pre-determined parade of colors on you. What a jip that would be (for you and for us). We choose each Color separately and deliberately, making sure it is exactly right. We make sure each Color does its job, and is in alignment with your inner quality (what Suzanne Caygill called your Essence) and then, naturally, your outer expression.

 

 

Color in One Beautiful Life

I lost a stunning soul-mate friend today. 

As I ponder her life and our friendship, I see both through the spectrum of Color.

Barbara was a Winter.

One night, a few years ago, she and I stayed up late into the night and talked about Color. She said she did not give much thought or care to her clothing. She thought the idea of having one’s Colors done was superficial.

I told her about the deep resonance we each uniquely share with Nature. I told her it wasn’t so much about the “image” as much as it was about the authentic; that Color supports and reflects the special qualities already present in a person…

I remember she wept during her Color appointment. She told me afterwards that she had never, in her entire life, been seen and acknowledged at such a deep level. We typed her a Dynamic Prismatic Winter. And she was that.

Barbara hated shopping. She hated even looking at herself in the mirror. Soon after her Color appointment, she had a nighttime dream. In the dream, she entered a department store in a wheelchair. A saleswoman brought a blouse to her and at first she felt great fear – but then her arms started to move as if in a dance. Looking at the blouse, she stood up from her wheelchair and began to dance all around the store, in joy. And so, it was a dream that convinced her to go shopping with me.

A week later, in the Nordstrom dressing room, Barbara was a complete curmudgeon. She was as cranky and close-minded as any client I’ve ever had. Her first response to every top, skirt or pair of pants I brought in was, “NO.”

I told her, “This is just your fear talking. Do you think we should allow your fear to make all your clothing decisions?”

She begrudgingly tried on some clothes. A silver and white Eileen Fisher sweater. A smart pair of sleek, black cigarette pants. A smooth, Black Violet Vince silk blouse. With these clothes on,  I watched her willingness dawn. 

Winter Colors, Winter Palette

It was my great pleasure to feel her icy hardness begin to melt. She could see how the Color & Line of Design in each chosen item really supported her. It was just clothes – but they were the right clothes, pieces that expressed her Essence and flattered her body. 

She hadn’t lost any of her extra weight, or grown several inches taller, or altered her narrow shoulders and wide hips. But she did something better: she allowed herself to see her true beauty. She said she could feel the Color & Line Harmony in her nervous system. It made her happy and satisfied in a way she did not remember ever feeling… I watched as she ran her fingertips down the quiet lines of a striking black jacket. She took in a deep breath and loved what she saw: herself.

Dynamic Winter, Winter Palette, Color Analysis

My dear friend (who had been the Ice Queen of Resistance) was so delighted with her new look that she began to sway back and forth to the dressing room music. She twirled and whirled, a smooth Winter girl in a rhythm all her own. I jumped up from my chair and we did the Dressing Room Jig, named and known for many delightful shopping trips to come.

We built Barbara a beautiful wardrobe. It was not large, but it was powerful. She wore all of it.

The momentum of Color had taken hold. She purchased a beautiful Deep Royal Purple chair from which to teach her workshops. She painted a Peacock Blue-Green wall in her living room and a Black Orchid wall in her office.

In the last month of her life, Barbara craved white. We had many “emergency” online shopping sessions in search of white sheets, tanks and cashmere wraps in pure white. Not Ivory, not Cream, not Pearl. For her, it had to be pure Snow White.

Winter Colors, Winter Palette, Winter Clothes, Color Analysis, Barbara Kaufman

It was a beautiful thing to watch my Winter friend move into Pure White. She was very weak, and her craving for it was not an intellectual or aesthetic one. My intuition told me that her longing for the whitest white served as both a visceral and Spiritual preparation for her transition. Just a couple weeks later, Barbara expanded peacefully into the Crystal White Mystery.

Till we meet again, my friend.

If it’s Cheap, it Better be FABULOUS.

I had a revelation while shopping with a client recently. With her Shopping Fan in hand, I had loaded the dressing room with clothes so she could hone-in on the Colors and Line-of-Design that most resonated with her.

It’s one thing to have your Colors done and to see them next to your face in the Color Lab. It’s a whole other level to see yourself wearing a garment that is perfect for you in every way. I wanted her to experience this next level.

She had made it clear to me before we started our shopping trip that she was on a major budget and would probably not be buying anything. She did most of her clothing shopping at thrift stores and didn’t like paying normal retail prices. No problem. One of the great gifts of knowing your Colors and Line-of-Design is that you can shop anywhere, from Goodwill to Gucci.

I took her to a local boutique that offers a great selection, so we’d have lots to try on. I noticed that when she tried something on that was not quite right, she would say, “Well, if this was 50% off, I would buy it.” There were several things she responded to in this way.

I knew her closet was filled with such items. There were cubbies and closet rods, from floor to ceiling, that were overflowing with pants, skirts, dresses and tops that were such a great deal – but not right for her. So, of course, she had nothing to wear.

Soon, she found a top that was glorious on her. The fit was right. The Color was superb. The Line-of-Design was perfect for her. When she put it on, she stood stunned. And I got shivers. It was all there. It was perfect.

Then, she looked at the price tag. The top was easily ten times what she usually spent on anything in her wardrobe. Her response? Wait for it: “I don’t care how much this top is. I have to have it!!!” Then she said, “If this top were twice this price, I would buy it!”

 

This is where my revelation came in.

When we say, “I’ll buy this because it’s such a great deal (even though we aren’t crazy about it),” we are in deep inner-self compromise-mode. We know it’s not right for us. But we are willing to wear this visual compromise because we’ll get it at a good price. The problem is, we don’t wear the price. We wear the clothes. In the end, we probably won’t wear it much. Which makes the whole thing a waste of money.

I thought, “What if we flipped it?” What if, instead of holding the bar-for-purchase at, “I’d buy this if it were cheaper,” we made the commitment to ourselves to only buy clothes that make us say this: “I’d move heaven and earth to own this! I’d buy this if it were ten times this price.” Whether it’s a $10 t-shirt at Target or a $500 sweater at Bloomingdale’s, it should thrill us. It should resonate. It should sing.

What message would this way of shopping send to your deep self? “I am worth looking like a million bucks. I only buy things that are amazing on me. If it’s cheap, it better be perfect. If it’s expensive, it’s gotta look fabulous.”

 

 

COLOR, The Essence of You, by Suzanne Caygill

Suzanne Caygill published COLOR, The Essence of You in 1980. It was to be the master tome of all things Seasonal Color Analysis.

For a free download of this book, click on the cover.

Suzanne Caygill moved into Lois (Marlow) Scott’s house for almost a month. Together they worked for long hours, gathering up all pertinent information for each Season. 

Lois kept the original manuscript that she typed. It was placed carefully in a box in her Color Lab. She was very proud of it – and very proud to have worked with Suzanne Caygill in its development. 

Suzanne Caygill, Seasonal Color Analysis, Color Analysis

Lois Marlow-Scott and Suzanne Caygill

The book was originally offered in the early 1980’s at a whopping $65. Many of Suzanne’s confidantes at the time tried to dissuade her from publishing such a highly priced book, but she would have none of it. She wanted it big. She wanted it image-rich. And so it was. 

There was an initial printing, but not any subsequent ones. The books have become somewhat challenging to find and are currently selling from $200-$400. 

Through a very generous donation of both time and money from Michaelin Remy (and her husband, Dave) COLOR, The Essence of You is now available as a free download. If you would like a copy, click here.

Suzanne Caygill, Color Analysis,

Suzanne Caygill at work

Although the book is very wordy (sometimes overly so), it’s a lot of fun to read about the Seasons from the woman who brought Seasonal Color Analysis to the world. There’s a lot of information in it; sometimes clearly written and sometimes somewhat hidden. This was the way Suzanne wanted it (as told to me by Lois).

Seasonal Color Analysis has certainly evolved since the 1980’s (and devolved in some cases). But I love that everyone has access, now, to its beginning. 

Again, if you would like a free copy of COLOR, The Essence of You, click here. You will be taken to the Cornell University archives and can download it from there.

What Everybody Ought to Know about Seasonal Color Analysis

There are lots of color experts out there with lots of categoried names and numbers and identifiers of all kinds. We meet clients all the time who are struggling mightily to fit themselves into one of these categories. Certainly, categories can be clarifying…as long as they’re helpful. But beyond broad and general strokes, categories become oversimplified limiters.

Some color systems have expanded into 16 categories, some have more – the expanded number of categories only confuses the issue and makes it seem (since there are more categories) that every person is going to fit exactly into one set of Colors. There is no way that anyone can come up with any system that all people will fit into. Nature is not finite and finished. Nature does not create boxes or the people to fit into them. Nature expands as It creates. We are each part of that.

In the Caygill tradition, you belong to one Season – and…

The Four Seasonal categories are broad and general. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. They are not meant to define or limit you in any way.

In the Caygill method, there will be one Season that is home for you. But rather than put you in a pre-defined set of Colors, Seasonal Analysis looks to you. We look for what is authentically you at your essence level. We give you the Colors that support your inherent coloration, as well as your personal energy and expression. We know that, at your essence, you are harmonious with Nature and within yourself. Our goal is to reflect that profound and living Harmony through Color.

Seasonal Color Analysis, Suzanne Caygill, Caygill Method

 

AND you are completely unique.

True Seasonal Analysis is limitless. Think of all the moments, in all of the Seasons, in all of time. That’s how many Seasonal variations there are – and there are more moments to come.

Here, at Seasonal Color Consultants, we are interested in what lights you up, what is already authentically true for you, what replenishes you. We are interested in giving you permission, through Color and Season to explore who you uniquely are.

It really comes down to this: You are way too grand, complex, divine, profound and amazing to be put in a category or box. We know you know this — so let’s get together and see if we can knock that lid right off.

The Secret of Seasonal Color Analysis: Visual Harmony

Visual Harmony is the remarkable physical, emotional and psychological alignment of Person with Color and Style. It expresses the unique person it reflects, from soul to sole. It is one part science and one part art.

This is how Visual Harmony is discovered.

We start with you: a naked human, born on the earth, in Nature. Your body, your mind, your energy, your personality, your Spirit and your Coloration are anchored in Nature and expresses It in a unique way. The Seasonal Color Analyst looks into you and onto you for that anchoring to Nature. Everyone is different, so if the analyst looks at you through a lens of stereotype, you will not be accurately seen. The analyst must wake up and LOOK at YOU, the alive and amazing being before her. She must receive your Essence and, when she does, she can discover your Colors.

As you are received and you come into focus, we discover the Colors that best support you, relate to you and express you. The Colors will have technical qualities – and they also reveal other qualities we pay attention to. These other qualities follow the emotional and energetic tones of your Colors and begin to show your energy and expression. Suzanne Caygill called these Focus Words.

When we find the unique place where the Colors and the Focus Words go together with you, then we have arrived at the Harmony. The Harmony holds the living gestalt of Coloration, Quality and Focus. All together, it supports who you are at your core.

Summer Colors, Summer Color Palette, Suzanne Caygill

Next, we take all of this information and look for clothing that expresses your Harmony. With your Colors and your Focus Words, we begin the very fascinating journey that this kind of Color Analysis provides. You hunt for pieces that, NO MATTER WHAT, align with your Harmony. In other words, align with YOU.

And when you hit upon that top or jacket, at a consignment store or at Neiman, you will know it. You will move heaven and hell to own it because it will shine on you and you will shine in it.

When you wear it, you feel terrific from the inside, not because you’re following someone else’s rules, but because you are in Harmony with yourself.

Whether or not they know why, people around you recognize that Harmony and they will stop you on the street – or simply stare at you when you walk by. They cannot help it. Harmony attracts.

That’s why, when we see it, we say, WOW.

 

pc1: janet little    pc2: montanarosepainter    pc3: david marselos