that’s not your color {Color Me Beautiful book}

In a fashion book I read last year, the author recommended Carole Jackson’s Color Me Beautiful, saying that, while dated, it still offered helpful advice.  Well, guess what I found in my mother-in-love’s storage room?

Color Me Beautiful book cover

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  (Forgive me.)  I think the main thing that amuses me about this book is its utter sincerity.  I’m used to gurus sharing guidelines, trendspotters reporting what’s hot right-this-second, and stylists prescribing basics to build on.  But this 1980s somebody-or-other with her shortlist of colors for everyone just cracked me up.  Her assumptions, such as the idea everyone who isn’t skinny is working to be so, added to my incredulity.  I’m more accustomed to dress-the-body-you-have advice.  I had great fun discussing this book with one of my sisters-in-love.  We laughed, and we also took notes.  Here are some illustrations from the book for your amusement and, perhaps, education.

face in the right season colors

I think the moral of this “2,000-word” story is: No one should wear orange make-up.  Am I right, ladies?  Jesting aside, I do agree that Margaret looks much nicer in the blue shirt (and eyeshadow).

face in the right season colors--two women compared

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the point Ms. Jackson was making on this page (does that drab beige really look better than the pink on the second girl?) but I appreciated the fact that at least the models were smiling in both pictures, not just in the “right” one.  Please tell me you’ve noticed that trick–everyone looks like they came off an all-nighter in their “before” and slept on a magical cloud in their “after.”  The same pose in both pictures does wonders for accurate comparison, so I applaud that choice!

Okay, who’s ready for some colors?  If you’re a spring (or think you might be), I apologize; that page was missing.  We have:


summer colors (Color Me Beautiful)


autumn colors (Color Me Beautiful)


winter colors (Color Me Beautiful)

You’ll have to find a copy of the book to assess your own pigmentation and hair/eye color.  Maybe your local library has a copy.  Mine doesn’t, and I was too embarrassed to ask my interlibrary loan guy to find it for me.  When the ILL guy is a co-worker, some curiosities go unsatisfied.  We have desk shifts together.  It would just be too weird.  (Thank goodness the book serendipitously found me!)

But back to the topic of color.  For all my mocking, I actually enjoyed this book.  The absolute approach (‘you will glow in these colors and look dull in anything else!’) was refreshing to me after all the ‘whatever works’ philosophy that’s floating around.  I realized as I read that I’m not sure what colors actually look good on me and which I’m drawn to simply out of habit (I’ve always loved red!), familiarity (basic black always works…right?), or trend-consciousness (please pass the mustard!).  Have you nailed your basic palette?  Does it make getting dressed an absolute breeze?  Do you glow on a daily basis?  (I had to ask.)

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1 Comment

  1. D.I.Y. wardrobe color guide | wellcrafted

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