Next month it is going to be 3 years since my Sci\ART color analysis. This anniversary made me reflect upon the changes in my life and my style since then. I am not going to bore you with the story how fascination with the magic of color and modern analysis process became my hobby and then my second job. Today I am going to share with you 10 shopping mistakes I made in my first year post PCA. I hope my experience will prevent you from making them or will help you find solutions sooner than I did.
- I used to buy mostly neutrals
I was afraid of making mistakes with colors so I kept buying neutrals which, in my case, were black and white. My closet wasn’t very colorful at the end of the first year. The longer I was refraining from trying new things and practicing new skills, the longer the whole transformation process was taking. Now I’m more aware that mistakes are part of the learning process. If I were to go through this all over again, I would be less concerned. I’d go ahead and purchase a number of colorful tops.
- I narrowed my choices to a few colors only
I did not spend enough time getting to know my color palette and practicing ‘swatching’ (using my color fan to find harmonious colors when shopping). I could spot my pinks, fuchsias and purples from the other end of a store, but I did not make much use of all other colors in my color fan.
- I matched clothes to individual squares of the fan instead of looking for Season harmony
I limited myself to the 65 colors in my fan. If you’ve had a Personal Color Analysis, you know by now what harmony is, how to look for those first impressions, how to use your lipstick colors to harmonize clothes and how to create visually exciting color combinations. Use the tips your analyst gave you to make the most of your Season’s color palette!
- I was shy about using my color fan in public
I wasted time just buying things, harmonizing them at home, and then having to return them. The human eye and memory are not perfect – they need the calibration that the fan provides. Going through the shopping racks with my fan in hand drastically reduced the number of items I took into the dressing room and then home.
I also learned to better utilize salespeople. Not so long ago, it made my makeup shopping at Inglot very easy. When I showed the shopping assistant exactly which cool red shades I was looking for, she immediately brought a few lipsticks in similar colors. From there, finding the best one was a matter of 2 minutes.
- I did not remember to ask about the return policy before making a purchase
On a few occasions, I was left with clothes which ended up being in different Seasons once I swatched them in daylight. I didn’t know what to do with them. I couldn’t just throw them out because they were new. But I couldn’t wear them because they didn’t work with the other items in my closet.
Now I don’t shop in any stores that do not offer refunds unless I’m convinced an item belongs to my palette. Even stores offering a store credit or a gift card in lieu of a refund can be problematic. I ran into this issue when returning purchases at Tatuum. For the next 3 seasons I tried to use their gift card but I couldn’t find anything I liked in their assortment. In the end the card expired. That was an expensive lesson.
- I avoided returns and filing complaints
I was not comfortable returning clothes or filing complaints on poor quality items. I’m still unable to comprehend why going to the post office or a store turned into a major quest for me, with weeks of planning and preparation. Being unable to utilize my consumer rights well, resulted in clothing compromises hanging in my closet. Clearing my closet seemed to be a never-ending process. I kept trying new ways to get rid of the items that weren’t working: not used for 12 months, beautiful/useful/memento, storing in a box for 6 months until I make up my mind etc. When I started working on my style coaching program, I realized it requires a strategic, long term approach, which takes into account various internal and external factors. I referred to my business background and adapted the corporate methods of creating business strategies to building personal style with my clients. Looking for more business analogies, I understood that I must approach my closet the same way I approach reduction of redundant inventory at work – I have to stop unwanted items from getting in, rather than putting my energy into taking unsuitable items out. That worked.
- If I liked something, I tried hard to convince myself it was in my color
With time I realized that having 100% of clothes in my colors is not the only ‘right’ way to a consistent and satisfying closet. And self-delusion is not a solution. Getting to know the rules behind hue or saturation helped me understand where I can compromise. So, if I love something, I just have to find the commonalities with my palette which would make the item work with what I already own. With this approach, I have been able to include items from the two neighboring Seasons, as well as some True Summer neutrals (washed out black!). As a True Winter, I steer far away from all Springs and Autumns though.
- I did not have my Personal Image Analysis done right away
My post-PCA purchases were correct from the color point of view but they represented a complete mix-up of styles. Some clothes did not work with my body lines, others I simply did not like wearing. The pieces of the puzzle clicked into place after I had a Personal Image Analysis. It became clear where I’d made mistakes, what the interdependencies between color and line were, and why my style had been inconsistent. Looking back, I think I should have had both my PCA and PIA done at the same time in order to put my shopping on the right track right from the beginning. If you are facing similar challenges, do not hesitate to book your PIA appointment now.
- I stayed away from blush and lipstick
Not being used to strong makeup, I was cautious with color cosmetics. Taking selfies when testing new waters changed things by 180 degrees. I was able to look at ‘the woman in the photo’ objectively and decide whether she looked good or not. Interaction with my own reflection in the mirror was more subjective and emotional. Now I can see how the right blush smooths my skin and enhances my eye color, while a perfect lipstick adds 5 points to self-confidence and sex-appeal.
- I used to stock up
When I found an item of clothing or a cosmetic in my color palette, I bought two of them immediately. What if this eyeliner is discontinued? What if I don’t find another top in this color? I forgot that color analysis provides the knowledge and tools to make great choices every time. If my favorite cosmetic disappears from the stores forever, I can take my fan to Sephora and find 3 new ones anytime. If the clothing assortment in stores changes next season, I know how to find things which will work for me… and for the season after that… and the following one too.
Which of the above points are you struggling with? Which were you able to avoid? What other mistakes did you make? Please share in the comments below.