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My Final Thoughts On Virtual Color Analysis

My Final Thoughts On Virtual Color Analysis

The results from my four personal online color analysis over the last few months have been mixed and a little confusing. I assumed everyone would come up with similar results but I was wrong. Today I’m wrapping up my series with my final thoughts about online personal color analysis.

I started this experiment to see if a virtual, online color analysis could be:

  • accurate
  • helpful
  • worth your money

Here’s how it went

My first analysis was an Online Personal Color Analysis With Your Color Style who decided I would be most flattered by wearing the bright, cool, and light colors below. We had a zoom call (which she videoed) so she could explain her choices. She then mailed me this color fan to use.

reviewing palette for virtual personal color analysis

My second was a Virtual Color Analysis With Dress Your Colors who decided I am a Soft Summer and will look best wearing the light, soft and cool colors below. We also had a zoom call so she could walk me through her reasoning. She emailed me instructions on how to use this palette along with makeup colors, etc. I chose not to purchase a color fan.paper soft summer color palette review

Next, I had an Online Personal Color Analysis With Red Leopard who decided I am a Soft Autumn and will be most flattered wearing the soft, warm colors below. We did a zoom call to discuss my colors and she sent me this picture of my best colors from the soft autumn palette that she thinks would be best for me. soft autumn colors for Jennifer Connolly

She emailed me several downloadables to use until my color wallet arrived by mail. The green dots are on the colors she thinks are particularly good for me.

Last week I shared my Virtual Color Analysis With Joan Kosmachuk who decided I am a Sophisticated Spring and will be most flattered wearing the colors below.  soft bright color paletteThe cost of each color analysis varies and you can check out prices on their respective websites.

My thoughts

Color analysis is both an art and a science. There is seemingly no end to the number of systems and “experts” offering this service. The quality of training varies and so with it, the results they can provide. Many analyses are very in-depth and some are no more than something you could read in a book. I’ve developed concerns about the accuracy of colors on monitors and see that as a potential pitfall in this process. It’s also important to ask what training and system the colorist is using before you sign up.

Typing women into categories for color can be as limiting as typing us based on age…and you know how I feel about that! Personal color analysis should show us the colors we can feel confident are our most flattering. But what happens when you get varying results? It shakes that confidence.

I learned something new with each color analysis, but in the end, they all left me feeling limited. I choose to see these as guides, not hard and fast rules. I need to like if not love, the colors I wear. A few of these analyses gave me colors I dislike so I would never wear them. I will continue to buy and wear colors that bring me joy. Does that mean I will wear colors that aren’t the most flattering on me? You betcha!

What do you think?

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53 Comments

  1. Ellie
    October 4, 2020 / 8:38 pm

    Many (many!) years ago, I read the book, “Color Me Beautiful”. I definitely fit into the “Autumn” palette and proceeded to base my wardrobe around those colors. I traveled to visit a friend and was excited to tell her about my new wardrobe. When I opened my suitcase, she looked in and said, “But it’s all brown!” It wasn’t – there were olive and ivory tones along with shades of brown. And all looked good with my hair/skin tones. But it made me realize that there is room for more in our wardrobe than just those colors that may flatter us most. Life is too short not to wear what makes you happy!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      October 5, 2020 / 7:37 am

      I agree, Ellie. I want my clothes to provide joy!

  2. Cathy D.
    September 24, 2020 / 11:31 pm

    It has been fun to read your adventures with color analysis, and I’m not surprised with the results. I spent many years trying to figure out my colors and became increasingly confused. Finally, about 5 years ago, I gave up. Since then, I have limited my color pallet to mostly blue, always my favorite color, with lots of white. Even though I’m a very fair natural blonde, I still occasionally wear black pants and black accessories. After all, I’m a New Yorker and black looks terrific with blue. Since focusing on blue, all of my wardrobe problems have gone away. For the first time in a rather long life, I’m happy when I open my closet door in the morning. I thought wearing blue all the time might become boring, but that has not happened. After all, there are many shades of blue.

    Thank you for all the work you put into your very interesting blog!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 25, 2020 / 7:37 am

      What a fabulous idea!! There are so many gorgeous shades of blue too.

  3. Eve
    September 24, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. I imagine they do get it right as much as wrong but I believe we are naturally drawn to our colors. It is really more color combos that appeal to me rather than one color. I love geranium pink with sage green, golden yellow with olive, red with tan. I just feel good when I wear them. It’s really hard to beat blue jeans and a white shirt with black flats. A med blue denim jacket makes be happy over anything.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 9:35 pm

      Great expression!! And so true.

  4. Carrie
    September 24, 2020 / 1:33 pm

    Thanks for taking one or four for the team Jennifer!
    I’m glad you did this series because it has finally put to rest my thinking I needed to get my colours done again. Like I’ve mentioned before I was told I was a winter back in the late 80s through a Colour me Beautiful analysis and I’ve stuck within that palette for the majority of my wardrobe, trying a colour here and there from other seasons along the way. Like one of your readers’ above said “and then out that colour goes again”. One out of season colour that sticks around in my closet is Olive green which matches my eyes and I’m finding that greyed down jewel tones look good that my hair is now silvery white (still some blonde in the back) Thats another thing, the colour analysis people state that blondes can’t be Winters and I think that’s baloney too.

    Anywho didn’t agree with any of your analysis’ completely, because for the most part IMHO they just highlighted what does look good on you which I think you already know. Red Leopard in my view were way off which I hope for their sake is the computer monitor issue. I can’t get over the paint chip style palette either. When I had my old palette (that I wish I didn’t throw out during a move) they were small silk fabric pieces. Much easier to match up clothing with than a piece of cardboard.
    Personally, I think the most important thing you can wear is confidence! If you love what you’re wearing and add that touch of confidence you will carry it off! I can’t think of one outfit I’ve seen you wear that I thought “what was she thinking? ” so you’re already winning!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 9:34 pm

      Thanks Carrie! The RL analysis didn’t resonate with me either so I’m hoping it was their monitor. I know they have many happy clients who get typed in person.

  5. Sue
    September 24, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    Your experiment confirmed what I had pretty much concluded–color analysis is just as subjective as our own preferences, but way more expensive.

  6. Kay
    September 24, 2020 / 12:50 pm

    Waste of money. IMO. The company with the most hype gets the business. When I meet my maker, I wonder if (s)he will ask me what my “type” is. When my house burned down, the “right” colors went up with the “wrong” ones. I know some people think this business is important and are willing to spend the money, but I’m not one of them.

  7. Chris
    September 24, 2020 / 12:23 pm

    I enjoyed your reviews and looked forward to each new report. I did think the consultants worked in overdrive to describe a credible science or method to support their process. My brain twisted during each analysis. But it was fun. You always look terrific and intuitively select your best colors. That’s why I read your blog!

  8. Anon
    September 24, 2020 / 11:00 am

    P.S. I am looking forward to a Dressing Room Diaries series where you try on items from one of these suggested palettes each time, for the readers to judge. I know that you know some of these colors would not be your choice. So let’s see! It would be interesting. Maybe we’ll all be surprised.

    I always try on the “it” colors for the season, just to see. Olive works for me if it’s a lively olive with a bright undertone. And copper is working for me this year.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 9:30 pm

      As soon as I can, I will!

  9. Anon
    September 24, 2020 / 10:38 am

    Thank you for this. Every monitor or device I use seems to give me differences. Black reads as navy. Navy reads as bright royal blue, etc. I just don’t see how online color analysis can work.

    When I worked in the print industry, newsprint was very limited in the color range it could provide, but costlier glossy magazine print could be quite accurate, although not perfect. Even paint chips, which are ink, not paint, are a guide, but there’s no substitute for the real thing.

    In person, the systems themselves are so varied that they, too are guidelines and nothing more. The art of color depends on the skill of the person providing advice, which is often quite costly and not necessarily in scale with ability.

    There is much variation in color. We should wear what we love, what speaks to us: a scarf, a top, a magical combination — and train ourselves to trust our own eyes. Work the rest of the magic with makeup wizardry. If people give us compliments, trust that, too. Even a pair of gloves or shoes in absolutely the “wrong” color is okay. It’s not near our face.

    We need to go back to childhood and the colors we loved in clothing then. This is where our true colors shone. We all perceive differently. We all have a different spark inside.

  10. Tracey
    September 24, 2020 / 10:25 am

    Wow! I was really shocked to read about your results being so different with each analysis. I am not a color specialist, but I would have a hard time believing that you are a soft autumn. I realize that I am only seeing you in pictures, but you really look like you have cool undertones & not warm Undertones. When I see the colors you wear in your photos you appear to me as someone who has her colors figured out, because you always look really great & pulled together. However, I really enjoyed your post. Obviously, having a color analysis without being in person probably is not the most ideal way to go, since color translates different in pictures & on video. It would be interesting to know if your results would have been the same if you had been there in person wouldn’t it? I really enjoyed this post!

  11. Jan
    September 24, 2020 / 10:11 am

    Your color analysis experiment just reinforces my opinion that you already knew which colors were your best friend. We see it over and over in your blogs!
    By a certain age, we all probably have a pretty fair idea what color or style of clothing best suits us. I am so far beyond having an ad in a magazine or a mannequin in a store try to steer me in a direction that I know won’t work. So I guess what I’m saying is that I won’t be have this analysis done and I will proudly wear what makes me happy. Oh my gosh, our life journey teaches us so much, trust your basic instincts, they didn’t happen overnight.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 9:27 pm

      Perfectly said, Jan!

  12. Linda L
    September 24, 2020 / 9:46 am

    What a journey! I feel you probably know what looks best on you and what you feel comfortable in. Now that my hair is a shocking white (naturally) I tend to use color to play off that. I love orange but only wear it in the autumn when I feel comfortable in such a seasonal color; I rarely wear purples because they remind me so much of a sister I lost; my mother in law once strongly insisted I looked awful in maroon ( funny story now but it hurt me terribly as a young bride!). Color is so personal to me and I think if you feel good, you look good. As someone else said, at nearly 70 I wear what I like! You always look stunning and I appreciate this exhaustive process you went through.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 9:26 pm

      Mothers in-law are not always the kindest. I know mine wasn’t. Wear what you love Linda and I’m sure it will be flattering. Xx

  13. Dianne🇨🇦
    September 24, 2020 / 9:33 am

    I had my colours done many years ago, a few things have stayed with me….even as you go grey or white it’s your skin tone & eye colour that matters.
    She also said that we can all wear red….some with cool tones some warm.
    Thanks for sharing ,I need a reminder to get out of blacks!

  14. Linda
    September 24, 2020 / 9:26 am

    We need to wear what makes each of us happiest! If our clothing makes us happy, then we will feel confident and more at ease!

  15. Pat
    September 24, 2020 / 9:04 am

    So many opinions can become confusing. However, I do believe there can be a crossover in seasons. I was classified as an Exotic Summer, and was advised for my hair color to be a warm/cool blonde – darker in the back and lighter in the front. Not to wear anything darker than the darkest tone in my hair. Now that my hair is white with gray, it has become exceedingly more difficult. I’m in my 70’s and not sure I want to go back to coloring my hair. As my hair gets a little longer, I’m thinking of getting low lights. I do wear summer colors well, and was told I could wear a few of the Autumn colors, as long as they are not yellow based. I am convinced my skin tone is neutral, and it depends a lot on my hair color…what colors are best. This may not be rocket science, but it can be difficult. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jennifer. I also would like to know which one shows more of the colors, you gravitate to?

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 9:23 pm

      It’s a mixture for me. I’m feeling more alive in clear colors but they can’t be too strong. Warmer colors make me feel and look slightly ill so I avoid them. I do see why wearing brighter colors are our hair goes gray might be flattering. I thing we need to experiment.

  16. Kay
    September 24, 2020 / 8:33 am

    I have had my colors done twice and the results were certainly not identical. And for some colors they were very different from each other. I found the real value of the color analysis to be that my eyes were opened to colors that I might have ignored in the past. It allowed me to stop limiting myself based on some past thought or comment or judgment that I made about what looked good on me. It’s very good to be able to question the assumptions you’ve been making and open yourself up to some different choices.

  17. Kathryn
    September 24, 2020 / 8:24 am

    I am not sure you shared the results of your original goals, where were:

    “I started this experiment to see if a virtual, online color analysis could be:

    accurate
    helpful
    worth your money”

    I was hoping not to have to infer a response, but also understand that a blog must maintain a certain neutrality.

  18. Ann
    September 24, 2020 / 8:23 am

    I think that how I feel and think I look in different colors is what matters most. If I wear a color that I really don’t like, it affects how I feel that day. If I wear the colors that I’m naturally drawn to, then I feel more upbeat and confident. And those colors that I love have changed over the years so there may be something with following your heart here … maybe Mother Nature inherently knows when we should change our colors as our skin and hair colors change with age. Just my humble opinion.

  19. Marcia
    September 24, 2020 / 8:17 am

    I’ve really enjoyed this series. Having never had my colours done, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a winter who has aged and has gold in her skin, eyes, etc. When someone tells me I look good, or that they love a particular colour on me, I know I got it right.

  20. Laura
    September 24, 2020 / 8:11 am

    Well, Jennifer, all of it was fascinating to read – but I’m as annoyed as you probably are that there was such discrepancy! I thought the first set looked better with your coloring than the other three, but am still wondering which one you liked best

  21. Judy miller
    September 24, 2020 / 7:47 am

    I think a woman knows what colors she looks best in! Stand in front of mirror and analyze. I kno what colors make me look better and I kno the colors that should be a no-no!
    Meanwhile, smile and go confidently into the world

  22. Eileen
    September 24, 2020 / 7:46 am

    Interesting, if I read this right… four mentioned light , three mentioned cool, and it’s divided on soft or bright. ( correct me if a read it wrong). I have had a few in person analysis, and one online. Because of my devices changing my coloring,, I prefer in person. I do believe certain colors enhance us visually. Media has made some colors memorable, Marilyn Monroe, in whites, Gone with the wind green, Audrey Hepburn in black, Sophia Loren in Earth tones, etc…interesting thought… what if we exchanged colors on these actresses? Hmmmmm

  23. Francesca B.
    September 24, 2020 / 7:44 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience Jennifer. Honestly I am far too passionate about my own views on color to accept anyone else’s, so I can’t see myself ever going to an expert. In the limited time we all have on Earth if you love it and it makes yuor heart sing, buy it, or put it on your Christmas List! There are clothes in my 70’s I should not have worn but I love seeing the pictures now 🙂 We make mistakes; we’re human.

  24. Julie Traxler
    September 24, 2020 / 7:39 am

    I’m sorry that you had a disappointing experience with online color analysis. Yet, I appreciate the effort you made for all of us. I can see the wide range of colors you (supposedly) have to choose from. Also, thank goodness you are going to choose to wear any color in which you feel confident and beautiful!

  25. Phyllis Hughes
    September 24, 2020 / 7:29 am

    It was disappointing that you received such varied responses. Do you feel one was more accurate than the others? The Soft Summer seemed the most accurate to me, but I can also see you wearing the Sophisticated Spring colors. The Sophisticated Spring colors seemed very limiting. I agree you should wear what you like and feel most comfortable in.

  26. Mary
    September 24, 2020 / 7:21 am

    I think the problem was these were not done in person. I had my colors done years ago by a woman who used the Carole Jackson Color Me Beautiful program. She said I was a Deep Autumn and pointed out that my hair color (dye) was not consistent with my coloring. Needless to say, I got that corrected. She was absolutely right that I am a Deep Autumn. Those are indeed the colors I am most drawn to, which is usually the case….. we instinctly know our colors. When I dress in my Deep Autumn colors, the compliments flow all day. when I don’t…..nothing.

  27. Sandra Baron
    September 24, 2020 / 7:20 am

    I thank you for saving us money. On line color analyst seems almost impossible. I had my colors done several years ago. I remember she draped several colors on me and also changed the lighting. That’s not easy to do on zoom. I am a fall and I have noticed I receive many more compliments when I wear “my colors”.
    I enjoy your posts and love seeing your thoughts.

  28. Melissa
    September 24, 2020 / 7:20 am

    Thank you for embarking on this experiment. Before you did so, I admittedly was not inclined to spend money on a color analysis because I assumed it was a scam. I also believed that women should stop listening to what others say and they should wear whatever makes them feel good. Your experiment confirmed my prior assumptions. If you took five strangers off the street and asked them what colors you should wear, I suspect that we would all agree with at least one of the strangers. A reminder that we should trust our instincts and wear what pleases us.

  29. Paulette Levy
    September 24, 2020 / 6:22 am

    I find the sophisticated Spring and Soft Summer selections the most flattering for you, as we have watched you model clothes from various retailers. The Sophisticated Spring was a bit limited but the colors -highlighting blues- is you! Definitely!

    I haven’t had my colors done in decades and just recall being a Spring! I am currently trying to find a flattering red to wear, as well as a green. I’m boring as I still gravitate to navy blue, tans and beiges or grey and white. The hunt is on.

  30. Marie Anderson
    September 24, 2020 / 6:09 am

    Very interesting!
    I find the last analysis most accurate after following your posts for awhile!
    I had a friend who “had her colors done”. Unfortunately every time I saw her she was following the recommendation and was wearing the same shade of green. It was not a good thing for her appearance.

  31. Rose
    September 24, 2020 / 5:59 am

    Seems very confusing and somewhat disappointing! I guess just continue to go with your gut instinct. By now everyone knows what colors they feel good in. As I get older I seem to gravitate towards bright colors so as not to look so pale.

  32. MRSBEN2
    September 24, 2020 / 5:45 am

    I’ve never had my colours done so did appreciate this journey/exercise of colour analysis however for several reasons do agree with you, to wear those which ‘bring you joy’ and shall add ‘wear those which you feel most comfortable in’.

  33. Diane B
    September 24, 2020 / 5:38 am

    So disappointing to have such varied results. I guess this just makes me wait until I can get one done again in person. The problem is that it has to be done without a mask and that will be quite some time before I feel comfortable travelling and all that it entails. i still think the cool colours are stunning on you and really bring out your eyes and cannot imagine you in mustard or pumpkin etc. With all the options thrown at you I would think you would just throw up your arms and wear what you like for now. I hope the air is much better there, and can’t imagine, since there are days in Ontario where we have a haze from it . Stay well and safe.

  34. Barb
    September 24, 2020 / 5:27 am

    It seems like the bottom line is wear what makes you feel good and you like yourself in. I wear colors that make me happy, and when I pass a mirror, I like what I see. The color analysis is fun but life’s too short to wear something colors I don’t love.

  35. Joyce Reardon
    September 24, 2020 / 5:05 am

    Thanks for doing all this. I love the way you look so you know!!

  36. Linda V
    September 24, 2020 / 5:02 am

    After everything you had done you must be confused! I had my colors done years ago. I am a winter and I stick with those colors. I wear primary colors, with the blue undertint. No orange or orange reds, only blue reds, etc. I tend to wear the darker shades since I think they make me look slimmer! Good luck figuring it all out! If you feel uncomfortable in a color, don’t use it.

  37. Nancy
    September 24, 2020 / 4:57 am

    Thank you for going to the trouble and expense of this experiment. I have often wondered myself just what would happen if I did several color analysis simultaneity. Over the years I have been labeled autumn, winter and summer. I agree these may be guides but I trust my own instincts even more now and will just save that money for travel!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 8:43 am

      Our instincts are usually very accurate:)

  38. Joan
    September 24, 2020 / 4:36 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  39. Linda R Gaertner
    September 24, 2020 / 4:30 am

    After seeing your analysis I don’t think I would do the on line offers. They just seem so vague and I don’t trust my computer monitor To give an accurate skin tone. The process just seems too vague which doesn’t make me feel confident of the outcome. Thank you for showing the pitfalls. The color variance is too great to make me want to try this.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 8:42 am

      My pleasure Linda

  40. Lisa
    September 24, 2020 / 3:51 am

    When I see photos of you (on my monitor) – I see “soft”. Pinks and blues appear to make you shine. I agree there’s too much variation from monitors for a virtual analysis to be entirely accurate. Last fall I was analyzed in person (in daylight, with draping) and am 100% satisfied with the results (Red Leopard, btw) but it wasn’t obvious when we started – it took some trial and error to even decide if I was warm or cool. Fortunately, we determined my best colors are the ones I gravitated to before the analysis. I think that’s the important take away of all this – you should wear what you love and feel best in.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 8:41 am

      I think in person draping is preferable all around. The “aha” of draping is what makes the difference. Unfortunately I didn’t get that with any of these virtual ones.

  41. Penelope
    September 24, 2020 / 3:30 am

    This was a very interesting exploration Jennifer. Thank you for sharing.
    My main concern with almost every color system I’ve seen is the in accuracy of the color charts. They mix warm and cool colors on the same chart.
    Also I don’t believe in “ neutral” coloring.
    I agree without that credentials and experience should be a factor in choosing a company or color analyst.
    I think your diagnosis of cool & light brights is most flattering for you. I disagree with Red Leopard.
    But like you, I like to wear colors outside my palette. However, I almost always end up getting rid of them.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      September 24, 2020 / 8:37 am

      The RL palette didn’t resonate with me either.

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