I feel like I spent the majority of 2020 in ´leisure wear´. I´m sure this translates into different things for different people but for me it pretty much meant I varied between a sarong, leggings and a t-shirt and my dressing gown, depending on the weather. As winter drew in, my forty fifth birthday was edging closer and I was most definitely in the wardrobe doldrums. Then, in what felt very serendipitous, I won a competition on Instagram for a Colour Confidence course with Leesa Whisker.
Leesa is an Image Consultant and Stylist who has spent twenty plus years in the fashion industry and has been featured by the likes of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, The Times and the BBC. I trust she knows her stuff. The course is designed to help you identify the beauty of your natural colouring and the colours that suit you when it comes to clothes, hair and make-up.
The timing couldn´t have been better. My post-lockdown shopping spree hadn´t filled me with the buzz I had anticipated and shopping in general has been further complicated by my desire to shop consciously – I want to avoid mass produced fast fashion as I´m well aware of the industries impact on our planet. I want to buy brands that are eco-aware and produce sustainably and play my part in being a conscious consumer.
I also want to simplify and really curate my wardrobe. I considered guinea pigging myself and trying out Project 333, which has risen in popularity along- side the general minimalism movement, but I really do think I need more than thirty three items in my wardrobe!
Enter step one, the online Colour Confidence course which aims to help me identify the colours that suit me and those that don´t. Once I have this foundation, I can build from there. First off, you need to take a picture of your self in good light and without make up, so you can see your natural colouring. You then use this picture to help you identify your dominant characteristics:
- your depth (light or dark)
- clarity (bright or muted)
- undertone (cool or warm)
Once you´ve identified each these through a clever set of colour palette fans you then know your ´season´. The course takes about three hours in total to complete and through a series of videos Leesa guides you through each stage. By the end I had identified myself as a ´Spring´ though I wasn´t entirely sure – its harder than you think to analyse your own face. Interestingly, I found it relatively easy to identify other people´s seasons but when it came to my own I wasn´t entirely sure. I don´t know whether this is down to my inner narrative or whether it´s because in today´s world, we are bombarded with images and subconsciously we are accustomed to making snap assessments of others – whatever it is, it does seem that we are more used to looking at other people than we are at ourselves.
The course does touch on issues of self-esteem and learning to view ourselves with kind eyes. Leesa recommends a one minute exercise in self love per day – simply look in the mirror and feed yourself positive affirmations – if any negative thoughts creep in, look away and don´t look back at in the mirror until you´ve quietened them. For such a small slice of your day, this is definitely a positive investment in yourself.
At the end of the course, I had the personal colour check with Leesa, all provided online, to ensure I had got the right season. We also talked about what action to take in terms of really creating a wardrobe that works for me and came up with a plan:
- take out the items not in my colour palette
- think about combinations in the clothes I already own and identify any ´gaps´ – what items do I need to give me more versatility?
- to make a more limited selection of clothes work, I need more tops than bottoms to create more whole outfits
- quality over quantity especially when it comes to key items (winter coat, summer dresses, a beautiful blouse)
- inspiration – this has been made easy as Leesa has put together vision boards for each colour palette and season on her Pinterest. Shopping online is also great as you can view a brands whole range and see them modelled.
I kicked off with a big clear out and actually re-arranged the way I look at my clothes – knitwear has come off the hangers and into draws folded up (which helps it keep it shape better), I´ve grouped together trousers, skirts, t-shirts, blouses and jackets in my wardrobe so I can see what I have in each ´category´. Even these small changes have resulted in some different combinations of outfits without me buying anything which is a good start.
When it comes to shopping I will definitely take time to look at colours I previously by-passed completely (green for example) instead of gravitating to my usual colours of choice. I´ve learnt to really look at how a colour works next to my natural colouring, what drains me and what brightens me up. After all, our clothes are a bit like therapy – putting on a outfit that makes you feel good is as good a remedy as anything, so embrace your colours and shine!
Enter code TheConsciousHome10 to receive 10% discount off either course.