How Your Personality Affects the Colours You Wear

Even if you have been told which are your best colours you may sometimes feel like you are wearing someone else’s colours because these just don’t seem “you”.  This is  because you need to take into account your personality – who you are – not just your physical colouring. I can give you a set of colour swatches that will look fabulous on you but they may need editing if you don’t feel comfortable wearing them. Very often there will be one colour that you just can’t imagine wearing.

So many times I have had clients tell me they won’t wear green because it’s unlucky or it was their school uniform colour and it brings back bad memories. Often those with Warm colouring think they can’t wear red or those with Bright colouring can’t imagine wearing a bright lipstick. Sometimes it just takes a few experiments and they grow to love the colour – especially when the compliments roll in! But on other occasions it can be dissapointing – you’ve got excited about finding out your best colours and then when you are given a palette, you don’t like it.

This was the case for me and it took me a long time and much experimentation before I felt comfortable with my colours. When I first had colour analysis way back in the 80’s I was told I was an Autumn. I had arrived dressed as a summer in a pale pink top and light blue denim skirt (as a child I was very blonde and by my 20’s was still mousey blonde with highlights. It was only after my children were born that I started to go darker – although I had always had dark eyebrows and dark brown eyes).

I was so disappointed with the wallet of sludge I was given!  (I was slightly happier when the consultant described them as “Armani colours”) However, over the following weeks the warm, rather than cool colours began to grow on me until Olive Green became one of my favourites. I could see that warm and muted colours did work on me but oh I so longed for some brightness. At the time I worked in IT consultancy, travelling overseas for business, running presentations and project managing big implementations and being a woman in that role was rare at the time. So looking back, I can see that although the colours suited me physically, I really did need some stronger authority colours so that I could command attention and respect.

How to wear colour, adapting your colours

Once my hair began to go darker I took the decision to stop having highlights and I went to a dark brown making my colour dominant Deep (still with a warm skin tone) at last I could wear stronger colours but I also started to wear some brighter colours too because I understood that they suited the final element in wearing colour, my personality. And now, as those “natural” highlights have started to come through I have gone a lighter shade in my hair colour as it works better on my more mature skin. I will be wearing less black but will still be incorporating some of those bright colours I love.

As you wear your colours more and begin to see what works for you, you can start to bend the rules and make your colours much more individual. After all, two women may have red hair and green eyes, therefore making their dominant Warm, but they could be completely different in personality. Yes, orange may look fantastic on them but if one of them is introvert she could have a tough time getting used to herself in a bright colour.

Below I have put together some suggestions of how you can “tweak” your colours and combinations to suit you. For example if you are Soft in colouring, more muted colours will suit you. But if you love bright colour you can mix in a few bright pieces. Equally if you have Bright colouring but want to tone down the colours you can add some more muted pieces. On the left of each picture is a muted look for Soft colouring – make it brighter by choosing the middle outfit. In the same way, on the right is a bright look, make it softer by choosing the middle outfit.

How to wear colour, bright versus muted colours

Mustard scarf // Mustard knit // Blue trousers // Mustard shoes // Floral scarf // Yellow shoes // Yellow knit //

How to wear colour, bright versus muted colours

Pink print scarf // Pink knit // Mules // Circle scarf // Fuchsia knit // Loafers //

How to wear colour, bright versus muted colours

Salmon scarf // T-shirt // Trousers // Trainers // Coral scarf // Coral shoes // Coral knit //

If you are attending the Colour and Style Event in March you can find out in person how this works, as we will be doing a fun exercise that will help you determine what’s right for you – I can’t wait to see this in action on those of you who are attending. For more details about the event and to buy a ticket click here.

Alternatively, I will be explaining more about it in my upcoming colour course – details coming soon! So make sure you are signed up to The Friday Bulletin to be notified when it goes live – you can do that and get my free ebook on wearing colour by clicking the button below.

Free colour guide, how to wear colour


  1. Jessica
    February 7, 2017 / 11:22 am

    Hi Maria, Just enjoyed reading this article about colour. I agree that our colour does change as we go through life for different reasons, but it was interesting how you’ve considered someone’s personality, I’d never thought of that before, but it does make sense that if you are more outgoing you will probably prefer a brighter colour, whereas someone who is more reserved will prefer more muted colours. I do believe that we can all wear most colours it’s just the ‘tone’ of the colour that’s important. Each colour will have a shade or variation that will suit each one of us.

    Jessica x

    • Maria
      February 7, 2017 / 5:49 pm

      Thank you for your comment Jessica. You are right we can all wear most colours, it comes down to the depth of the colour and how bright or muted it is as well as the tone. I think we should be able to wear colours we love even if they aren’t officially “right” for us and that’s where the personality comes in. The key element is confidence, if you feel good in a colour nothing else really matters 🙂

      • Carol S
        February 9, 2017 / 4:20 am

        Maria and Jessica, I agree with both of you. 30 years ago I was deemed a Spring/Light. Then you hear the consultant say you wear red just find the right one. Spring’s Clear Bright Red was just that. too bright for me even then. Only recently have more lovely colours come on to market such as colours centred around Salmon. It has only been in the last few years that I have realised that perhaps Spring was not perfect for me and that a more muted palette would be better. I still wear colours that make be happy like colours of tropical seas but I just make sure they are muted. And I love orange. Also with the brights that have in my wardrobe I now know how to soften them with an accessory. I now consider myself to be light, warm and muted. Love your blog Maria