Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More insights from The Colorist

While I don't know that any of us are in a position of completely revamping our wardrobes based on the insights from one book, I do think it's interesting to read and study things like this.  A greater understanding of one's own preferences and tastes can never truly be wasted...

The first exercise in The Colorist (Shigenobu Kobyashi) is to choose 10 colors you like, and five colors you don't like:


Then you find these favorite colors on a full spectrum array, and determine if your color preferences are more for different shades of one color, or for different colors of a particular depth or intensity.  Yes, this is impossibly difficult to read... but on my computer, I can "right click" on any image and open it in a new tab, in which it will be larger, and I will be able to magnify it even more.



And remember those words that we chose last week - the ones we liked, and the ones we didn't?  Those are all arranged on a grid of mood/styles, which will have colors associated with them in the next exercises:
I found myself in the lower right quadrant - somewhere in the elegant/cool/modern area.  

Bear in mind that this entire book is just one man's opinion on how colors and styles are related.  One really INTERESTING man...

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this, it's very interesting. I prefer vivid, strong, and deep colors and dislike very pale and grayish colors. While on some level, I probably knew that, it's nice to have it spelled out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Janice,
    I know you were wondering the other day if anybody reads your blog: Please, do not even put these thoughts in your head! You make my day. I get my kids ready for school and keep checking... did she post anything new yet??? Then, at the end of my day, I share it with my husband. I started reading your blog from the very beginning and love it! A book is a great idea ( mom on the go, love it!). Your blog made me realize how much clothes I have (some hit, some miss) and it actually gave me more confidence as I was(despite of not thinking of it) already heading the right direction with my wardrobe.
    You are my style guru! Just like Pamela Salzman is my cooking guru. And for me September is a beginning of the new year too! Love school ;-)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janice,
      I've been reading your blog for a month and a bit. I recently lost a lot of weight, so almost nothing fits. I can still wear my black socks; that's about it. You are my new style guide and mentor and guru and angel. I'm 61, retired (unwillingly) 4.5 years. Everything in my life is in flux. Your blog is an anchor. As I reinvent myself, I'm accepting that the way I choose to present myself to the world is always a reflection of my inner emotional and psychological state. I can pretend that I'm indifferent to my presentation, that I hold the whole style/fashion notion in contempt as a materialistic, superficial marketing game. Nonsense! I can be in denial about this conversation with the world, but I can't be exempt from it. Style, is important. It's a statement about my values and my relationship to others. You're helping me work out who I want to be in the world. (In ways way beyond clothes and closets.) So please don't under estimate how important your work is. I'll bet there are lots of us out here who read but don't say much. I'm going to Paris in April, a huge big deal for me. Your blog is the most important part of my preparation. You teach, you don't dictate. Your posts are thoughtful and not at all self-promoting. What you do here is a huge service. I hope you're happy with the results. I know it's a lot of work. Please don't stop writing. Please write a book.

      Delete
  3. I found a used copy of this book and bought it on your suggestion the first time you mentioned it. There I found that my top color faves were all over the chart. No wonder I have trouble settling down into a monogamous color scheme in my clothes closet. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thinking more about this, I realize that my sister, a brunette who has intensely blue eyes, always, but always, wears blue or navy--and has a fetish about decorating in blue and white. But I have indeterminately-colored eyes (greenish-gray) whose color really depends on what I am wearing. And my hair color, well, that depends on my mood of the month. My home decorating varies depends on the room you walk into: there is a serenely modern, neutral room; there are pattern-on-pattern rooms; a lodge-look bedroom from the 90's; an experiment with a bright yellow room with outsider art on the walls... It's not that I don't know my own mind. I do know my own mind--and it is promiscuous, color and style speaking. Since I'm 64, that's probably not going to change now. :)

      Delete
    2. I am all over the map with both words and colors in this exercise, too! What I found to be the most difficult was to pick 5 colors that I didn't like. I love color! Like you, my decorating style varies from room to room. There's the more formal living room with rich gold, green, and burgundy shades. The guest bedroom is yellow and blue with blue toile accents - very pastoral, I think. My bedroom is misty green, with botanic prints and a victorian cottage and garden painting - very "dreamy" (one of my words) colors there. The kitchen is retro 40s bright colors and vintage Fiesta. And the office/craft/sunroom is still evolving, but I envision antique white walls with green/brown/orange accents and tropical prints. I wonder what all of this really says... perhaps it really does explain why I, too, have trouble sticking with one palette in my closet. I would like to think that it demonstrates that I have a deeply complex personality and cannot be easily placed in a neat and orderly category, rather than that I have a borderline identity crisis! :-)

      Delete
  4. I would love to find this book (but not for $127 on Amazon!). I'm glad you are sharing some of the information here as I find it fascinating.

    When picking a favorite color I find I don't always wear my favorites but rather decorate with them. My home colors are creams, greens, beige and browns. ( I like a neutral palette so I can accessorize by season.) But my closet is full of blues and pinks, white and denim, black and grey.

    Does anyone else find this to be true?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm like you, Lisa. I love reds and yellows and decorate with them plus blues and sometimes pinks. But I can't wear yellow at all, and only certain shades of red. My clothes are more neutral, with teals, blues and purples as the predominant colors. I am all over that color chart with my likes!

      Delete
    2. I like lots of colours, too. I decorate in white/cream with dark red and some green accents (though I've found that is sometimes dictated by the room - my bathroom is white, grey and lavender...) and in clothes I like both red/black/white/grey but also burnt orange with purple, burgundy, green and mustard, which is kinda confusing! I also like different styles, not all of which are appropriate to my age any more (and more particularly not my figure), so I have a hard time defining myself...

      Delete
    3. Same here! There are shades of greens, purples, royals, and sea-blues that I surround myself with in my home. They are soothing and make me think of the waters on Okinawa, where I used to live. But my skin is kind of transparent, and highly reflective, so if I wear these colors next to my skin, they would bring out every dark shadow under my eyes, and every blue-green-violet vein in my hands and feet.

      The bulk of colors in my wardrobe are blacks, whites, silvers, dove-greys, golds, a few tans, a few deeper charcoals, pale pinks, corals, turquoises and bright lime-greens.

      Whether light or dark, there has to be a degree of saturation to the color, for it to look right against my skin.

      Delete
    4. I totally get what you're saying here. I indulge my home with what I won't put on my body. I'm okay with that. I'm a color freak; I love color.

      Delete
  5. I know my favourite colours and intensities, but some of them look awful *worn*; I'm just like Lisa and my closet is, too.

    There is a blued/greyed violet that makes me sigh and feel both melancholy and romantic at once.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for posting all of this! This was a fascinating exercise! I was surprised to find out that I do have a 'range' of color preference. Most of my picks were in the "Bright" tones, with a couple of vivid-strongs, and one dark-deep. How much fun is this??? I have a new 'toy' to play with, to match colors against, because I know these are colors that make me happy :)

    The word exercise was interesting, too! I had a hard time narrowing down to twenty, but when I picked my absolute favorites, I have a line running from the bottom left corner, which contains most of my favorite adjectives, up to the upper right corner, with no real diversions in between.

    Again, thank you for posting these, this is so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, I was pretty neatly even on the quadrant: 6 in both left side boxes and 4 in each right side box. Not definitive. As for colors, I both like and dislike Vivid, Strong and Brights. Subdued and dark didn't even appear on the radar! Although my closet does sport a bunch-o black & brown and I enjoy wearing them. I found myself nodding agreement with Gail's 10:54 post!
    JoyceP

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your blog and look forward to it everyday. The colour exercise has been very interesting and I learned something new about colour, and how to put it into words.
    Thanks for sharing your book and talent. I too am building a capsule wardrobe and your blog has been a huge inspiration and eye opener. I've learnt so much. Thanks StacyS

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had so much fun with these new exercises! Must be ever so deliberate with my purchases and you keep finding great new ways to help us with understanding how to select appropriately for the individual. Thank you Janice!

    With the image words I am nearly completely in the vertical center in various sections-my coloring is low contrast medium tones so I think that soft and neutral is a good territory to play in.

    I am biased to cool hues but found that I like some warm hues when subdued to dark while my dislikes were similar warm hues taken to the deep to dull side of the chart.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fascinating! But why does this book cost $453 on Amazon??

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is interesting. I think it's obvious that more than one of us obsess over what colors look best on us. I'm conservative with what I wear out of the house but I go wild on what I wear at home as I love most colors. I can't imagine a colorless world. Color just makes me happy. When I was a kid, black & white books with no color pictures could not hold my attention. One of my biggest pleasures was the largest box of crayons...you know (if you're a baby boomer), the ones that came with the built-in sharpener! I have to have light and color or else I'm a creature that won't come out from under the rock. I bypass black & white movies on TV. One exception is the bedroom; a soothing, pale, monochromatic décor is more sleep-inducing...instant calm. With no TV in the room! I do also refer to the most beautiful bathroom I've ever seen, which was totally decorated in white...filtered sun through white plantation shutters, gauzy white shower curtain wafting on a small breeze, white clawfoot tub and white flokati (is that the word?) scatter rugs, white walls, white vintage basket-weave cabinets, white sinks and toilets...and the only other color in the room was the soft brown tone of the wood flooring and one sepia-toned watercolor painting reflected in the mirrors. I was transported...it was so restful; a sanctuary at day's end.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very interesting. Will have to add this book to my wish list!

    ReplyDelete