Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter? Depending on what side of TikTok you’re on, you might have seen the trend of finding your ‘season’ going around. What started around the 80s as a department store experience has become a popular topic on social media and beyond.
I had an idea of which season I was, but I wasn’t sure and was interested in discovering more. I tried to use the TikTok filters and even reached out to a couple of color experts on TikTok, but ultimately, at the suggestion of my close friend, decided to make the trip to House of Colour Tampa.
House of Colour describes themselves as “image consultants and personal stylists based in the USA; we help you discover your best colors and style to build your confidence and wardrobe.” And luckily, there was a franchise owner just about an hour away from me! So, one day my mom and I drove to Tampa, where we had a color consultation with Barbara, who was just amazing. This was our experience.
To start, let me take a second to go over the “seasons” according to House of Colour.
First of all, there are two main categories – warm tones and cool tones. This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – warm has more of a yellow undertone, and warm seasons look better in gold. Cool seasons, however, have a blue undertone and look better in silver. From there, each category has two seasons. Each season also has sub-seasons, but I won’t go into that too much!
The warm seasons are Autumn and Spring. Spring colors can be best described as warm, fresh, clear, and light. Meanwhile, Autumn colors are described as warm, deep, rich, and earthy. The cool seasons are Winter and Summer. Winters have vibrant colors, high contrast, clear, and intense colors. Summers have soft, smoky, cool, and harmonious. Here’s a photo that shows the different shades of blue that would fit into each season.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about my experience!
My mom and I arrived at Barbara’s home, where she has her studio space, and immediately felt so welcomed and excited. My mom insisted that I go first, so I sat down in the chair, and we got to work. The studios always try to have the chair facing a large window so that you can get natural light, which is the best way to do the analysis. We were also asked to wear no makeup so that she could get the best idea of our skin undertones. I should also add that going into this, I was convinced I’d be an Autumn. Quizzes I took, that TikTok filter, and any descriptions I read said that as a brunette with dark brown eyes and fair skin, Autumn was my season. So, I thought that I already knew everything but figured it would be fun.
In any case, I sat down and had a drape put over me so that she could start pulling fabric swatches from her rack. This part was sort of like the eye doctor – is this one better, or is this one? First, she considered whether I was a Warm or Cool season. And y’all, imagine my surprise when after only a few fabrics, she told me I’m a Cool season! Once I knew what to look for, it was so obvious that the Warm tones were not doing it for me – they brought out a yellow undertone I didn’t even know I had. I honestly looked a bit jaundiced. So, Cool it was.
From there, she then began to compare shades of the same color – red to red, blue to blue, to determine between Winter and Summer. We realized quickly that the Summer colors dulled my features while Winter colors enhanced them – for instance, my teeth looked whiter, my eyes looked bigger, and my jawline and cheekbones were more defined. It was crazy!
Afterward, she went through all of the colors within the Winter palette to find my “wow” colors and my “authority” colors, which are the colors you look best in. Mine were navy blue, charcoal grey, indigo, and pretty much every shade of purple. Who would’ve thought? From this, she could say that I am a Jewel Winter, meaning the Jewel tones look best on me. Then, it was my mom’s turn!
My mom went through the same process, and was also a Winter. However, she was a Sprinter Winter! This means she gets super clear and bright colors (fuschia, acid yellow, etc.) rather than the cooler colors with lots of contrast.
Once we had our seasons, Barbara taught us a little 90-second makeup routine with a powder foundation, lipstick color, blush, and mascara. I was very grateful to learn that we’re the season that gets black mascara! She helped us select blush colors and then makeup colors to try – it was so fun! I never thought I’d be a hot pink or red lipstick wearer, but here we are.
We also got little fan booklets that have all of our colors. They’ve been really helpful with shopping for clothing and makeup. It was so much fun, and we had such a great time. So much so that I was really excited to go back and do my style analysis!
A couple of months later, I returned to Barbara with my friend Kelsey (who had told me about House of Colour in the first place). This time, we were going to do our style analysis! In this consultation, we’d learn more about how body types, bone structure, and personality put us in a style personality that helps us get dressed. Of course, we are all multi-dimensional people, but we all have a core personality as well. Kind of like astrology (if you’re into that).
House of Colour took the six main ‘types’ and created 23 different clothing personalities. Some are more Yin, and some are more Yang. If you’re familiar with Kibbe body types, the main types are the same, but HoC focuses more on personality. However, even if your personality is strongly towards one, you must also consider body type. For instance, someone petite and curvy should probably avoid super angular clothing. House of Colour sees the six types as: (these aren’t the exact descriptions, but they are close)
The Six Types
Dramatic: Dramatic, angular, edgy, and striking. Think Victoria Beckham.
Classic: Sophisticated, elegant, put-together, and timeless. Think Jackie Kennedy or Kate Middleton.
Natural: Textured, layers, relaxed, and bohemian. Think Elle MacPherson and Stevie Nicks.
Gamine: Quirky, cute, fun, and androgynous. Think Audrey Hepburn and Carey Mulligan.
Ingenue: Youthful, feminine, elegant, and pretty. Think Jayma Mays and Elle Fanning.
Romantic: Sexy, mature, feminine, and curvy. Think Marilyn Monroe and Kate Winslet.
My Style Consultation
Unbeknownst to us, we were being typed from the moment we walked into the room. We had been asked to wear what we’d wear to brunch with friends, bring five items we like, five we don’t (or just don’t wear a lot), and an outfit to change into to be measured. I wore a halterish navy blue dress with a circle skirt with cute little yellow flowers. My friend Kelsey wore black pants with a nice blue blouse.
We then started to go through the House of Colour book. It talked more about the styles, some tips for professional dressing, and the origin of the ‘rules’ of clothes – it was interesting! I really liked too that throughout all of this, Barbara reminded us that just like with our colors, we aren’t completely confined to our type. If we want something that’s not our usual thing, that’s okay!
Then, she had us get changed to be measured. Kelsey went first, and then it was my turn. She measured from the top of my head to my armpit, armpit to where my hip and leg meet, there to my knee, then knee to the floor. It was funny that Kelsey and I are both longest in our fourth quadrant (knee to floor) – I guess that’s not super common! She also measured my bust, waist, and hips. Then, she had me step a bit away so she could take a look at me from head to toe, first facing her and then facing away. This started to give her a better idea of my body type.
Apparently, I’m proportionate between my top and bottom half (just about 2” difference) but definitely not from bust to hips – that’s about 8”! Which explains why shift dresses look awful on me. I am a split type because my top half is a bit less rounded – I have a tiny rib cage, an even tinier waist but slightly defined shoulders, and a very round bottom half. My top is considered an oblong, while my bottom is a full curve (lol).
She also looked at our faces and necks – I have an oval face and a medium neck. This also helps differentiate between a more Yin or a more Yang type. She then told us how each of us was in proportions and angularity/roundness, which means we also learned that certain sleeve lengths and necklines would work better for us. Also, we found the ‘sweet spot’ where tops and jackets should hit us. For instance, since my hips are my widest point, I should avoid anything that ends right at them because it’ll always draw attention to them, which explains why I love crop tops so much!
After we were both measured, she presented each type and what kinds of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and handbags they’d wear. It was really helpful to get that visual. After each one, she asked how we felt about that type – did anything resonate, or was it a hard no? It was fun to see how our answers were similar and different!
Then, we took turns going through the clothes we had brought as our likes and dislikes. Here is where I think Barbara really started to get an idea of our type!
Finally, we took a personality test. If you know me, you know that I LOVE personality tests, so this was my favorite part. Some of the questions Barbara answered for us based on her measurements and observations. Some were easy, and some were hard. All were fun! It really got me thinking. At the end, we tallied up our points – Kelsey was more Yang, and I was more Yin. Then, it was time for her to run some data and pull up our types!
Kelsey went first, and she is (drumroll, please) a Natural Classic! So that means quality fabrics, a bit of texture, and layers here and there, but mostly tailored, neat, and elegant outfits. Simple accessories (like pearl studs) and not too much pattern unless she’s making a statement. This is exactly what she thought she’d be!
Then, I was revealed to be a (…….) Romantic Ingenue! Which is also exactly what I thought I’d be. So for me, that means smaller, delicate patterns here and there, more ‘girly’ elements (bows, florals, that kind of thing), flirty and pretty. Really, I just like pretty things. I also love sparkle and luxury. I would say that Ingenue is my daytime look, while Romantic is my nighttime look.
She showed us what our lookbook will look like, how she’ll choose tailored items for each of us, and a document that showed what styles and cuts of jackets, pants, etc., work for our body types. This would also be updated and sent out to us the next day.
Overall, I had a great experience with my color and style analyses. I realize some people might think these are silly and outdated, and that’s okay! But I found them fun, informative, and empowering. I have always struggled with shopping. It’s hard for me to find things that fit my top, bottom, waist, and hips. I don’t always think I look ‘good’ in what I wear. So, to know that the next time I go shopping, I’ll be equipped with a palette of colors and some styles to look for versus styles to avoid makes me feel 100 times better. My experiences have also made me seriously consider taking courses and doing training to start my own kind of color and style business!
If you’re in the Tampa area, I highly recommend Barbara – schedule with her here! Tell her I sent you!