By Adrienne Fawcett
Someone, somewhere, determined that most of us wear 10% of our clothing 90% of the time. I don’t know where this statistic comes from, but it’s quoted frequently in fashion articles and blog posts and it seems about right, based on a review of my own fashion proclivities and an informal survey of my friends.
Why do we buy things we’ll only wear a few times, season after season, year after year? Why do we keep clothes that we hardly ever wear? It could be that we’re buying the wrong colors, said Suzanna Pearson, a Lake Bluff mom and fashion stylist who provides color analysis to North Shore women (and at least one Irish dancer).
In a personal color analysis, Suzanna evaluates which colors best match your skin tone, hair and eye color. She comes to your home, sets up her materials and starts draping you in scarves of various colors from the four seasons, looking for colors that lift and brighten the eyes. Once she’s figured out whether you’re in the “winter,” “spring”, “summer” or “fall” palette (or somewhere between), she provides you with a book of fabric swatches that you can take with you when you shop. She also experiments with make-up.
“Suzanna helped me understand what color choices bring out the best in me,” said Catherine Driscoll of Lake Bluff. “It’s interesting. She said that when you wear the wrong colors, people will comment on your clothes, i,e, ‘Love your sweater.’ But when you wear the right colors, people will comment on you, i.e.” ‘You look great!’ Thats so true.”
Melissa Giordano, also of Lake Bluff, said she’s had a similar experience when she wears the winter colors that Suzanna chose for her. “I thought having my colors done would limit what I could wear,” she said. “I was surprised to learn that it actually expanded my wardrobe,” she said.
Kari Skinner said the process helped confirm that she’s been on the right track with her color choices over the years, and that it also openned up some new colors for her. She now takes Suzanna’s fabric swatches with her every time she shops.
Based on these and other endorsements, I hired Suzanna to do a color analysis of my 14-year-old daughter, a competitive Irish dancer in need of a new solo dress. I saw this as an investment in the dress, because Irish dance costumes are very expensive. And since they’re usually ordered on the internet, there’s a real roll-of-the-dice feeling to the whole process.
Suzanna’s color analysis helped us choose a dress with confidence. And being able to provide the dress maker with color swatches gives me a feeling of security that I wouldn’t have achieved just ordering from an image on my lap top.
I liked the process so much that I’m going to hire Suzanna to do a color analysis for me and my other daughters. I figure it’s best to get them started picking the right colors now so they’ll wear 100% of the clothing in their closets 100% of the time.
You can see for yourself how Suzanna analyzes color–she’s giving a “Color Demonstration” at the Lake Bluff Public Library on Tuesday, April 24 at 1:30 p.m. Or visit her website–www.wearitwell.me