Maximize Impact Through Color Value

For those of you who may have missed the news, Kristin and I are now certified color analysts. We spent a week in Dallas studying with Elaine Stoltz, a master of image and color consulting.

Through the process, we learned more than just how to choose flattering colors. We learned how to identify personal value and its impact on how we look.

Let’s take a look at value, an easy way to identify it, and how to use these concepts to look better.

A color’s value is defined as the lightness or darkness of a color. Black is the darkest, and white is the lightest. Value is measured by a grey scale.

Human hair and skin values can be applied to the grey scale. Simply take a black and white photograph of yourself and compare it. In the photo below (makeup free) it’s obvious that Kristin and I have different values. My hair is much darker. Surprisingly, my skin is slightly darker in value when compared to hers, too. Because hair is dominant, my OVERALL VALUE is classified as medium dark. Kristin’s OVERALL VALUE is medium.

You may be asking, why should I care?

My answer is this— if you want to look your best, incoporate your OVERALL VALUE somewhere in your outfit.

For example, here’s an outfit modeled at Fashion Sewing Club (see photo below). Although flattering, the colors are too light in value. The black and white photo reveals my hair is much darker in value than my clothing.

I can still wear this outfit, but next time will add accessories in my overall value: brown wooden jewelry, a darker bag, and belt are great options to “connect” my clothing with my head.

When dressing, repeat your overall value in your outfit. It makes a difference.


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