It may be winter outside but when it comes to colors, you could be a spring, summer or autumn. Seasonal color theory postulates that skin tones, hair color and eye color all fall on the spectrum between warm and cool, bright and muted, and that the combination you have coordinates with one of the four seasons. Here’s a quick round-up of celebrities and their seasons: Julia Roberts is an autumn. Angelina Jolie is a summer. Reese Witherspoon is a spring. Courtney Cox is a winter.
When you know what season you are, you can choose colors and design for clothing and jewelry that are most flattering to you. Practitioners of seasonal color analysis work with clients to determine their season and give them a palette of colors to guide them in shopping.
Shana Jacobs had heard of color analysis and decided she wanted more direction in choosing colors for her clothing. On a spring break in Miami two years ago, she had her color palette done. The experience changed her wardrobe and her life. After doing more research, the former high school forensic science teacher from Cedarhurst decided she wanted to do color analysis for others. With the support of her husband and four children, she spent a week at the Image and Color Institute in California for training and started “Color Me by Shana” when she returned. “I came home and practiced on family and friends,” she said in a phone interview. “I posted on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/color.me.by.shana) and it took off.”
Jacobs gave The Jewish Link an overview of which colors go with each season and how that translates into personality types. Spring has bright, fun colors lit by sunshine. A spring is energetic and will be the life of the party. Springs pick up on trends. Analyze a fashion blogger and she’s likely to be a spring. The patterns she wears are whimsical and smaller in scale, nothing too large. Summer colors are more muted. Summers have softer energy; they’re romantic and ethereal, more introverted. Summers can get things done. There’s depth to them and a need to make sure everyone is taken care of. Summer patterns are more diffused, like a watercolor painting. Blended florals that are soft and pleasing to the eye are summer patterns. Autumn colors are Jacobs’ favorite. She loves the toasty, outside colors of burnt orange, pumpkin, cinnamon brown and deep green. Autumns love walking outside barefoot; it is very grounding for them. They are into self-growth and feel a connection to earth. Autumn prints are more earthy. Animal prints, exotic florals and jungle motifs suit an autumn. Winter colors are striking, dramatic and grand. A winter can wear anything and look royal and poised. She never speaks without thinking. She is cool and calm and knows how to handle herself in any situation. She has a lot of physical contrasts, like dark hair and light skin, and can wear high contrast clothing. Black and white is stunning on a winter. Winter prints are large scale, uncluttered with simple drama. Winters can wear stripes, herringbone and houndstooth.
Seasonal color analysis often answers the question of why someone is attracted to or repelled by a certain look. A summer can be attracted to a calming romantic environment like a secret garden, where a spring would not feel comfortable there—she would prefer something more lively and manicured. Jacobs had a client who had been through color analysis with someone else but was unsettled. She had been told she was a spring and should go for vibrant, energetic colors. She tried to fit into a spring palette for a year. She was told to go for butterfly patterns but she hated butterflies. When Jacobs did her palette, she pronounced her a summer.
“She felt so validated,” said Jacobs. “She really loves ethereal clothing. She tried to be bubbly when she really loves time alone on a couch by the fireplace. She’s very happy she came to me.”
Clients come to Jacobs for a three-hour session but start the work at home first. Jacobs asks clients to create and send a “mood board” with photos they love. Mood boards have images of nature, interior decor, arts, clothing or shoes. Anything that makes them happy. “This gives me insight about what they’re drawn to,” she said. At the session, Jacobs does the key work of documenting a person’s colors. There are 17 different categories in a person’s palette. “By the time I’m done, I know what works.”
Women of all ages come to Jacobs. The youngest is 16 and came at the direction of her mother, who wanted to know how to complement her vivid orange hair and porcelain skin with freckles. Jacobs has several clients in their 60s.
Chava Levin is a young homemaker from Monsey who loves colors and wanted to introduce them into her mostly black wardrobe. She thought a professional could help her find a look that captured her essence but in a more colorful way. She spent months researching color analysis and found Color Me by Shana on Instagram. The two women clicked and Levin got just the guidance she wanted. “A lot of what I learned about my palette really resonates with me. It gave me a deeper understanding of why I was drawn to things,” she said. “It was reassuring to see how I connected with my true self. Shana and I are the same season and it was so fascinating to see how alike we are, how we are both drawn to the same aesthetics. Learning about my season put things in perspective. It took me a little time to really incorporate it into my everyday life.” Levin said she now consults her color palette with the related design choices she learned about when she shops.
Knowing your season helps you cut to the chase when planning a simcha. Jacobs is making a bar mitzvah this year and already knows the aesthetics and colors that suit her family. She loves doing color palettes for brides. “The bride is investing so much in her wedding. She should get the right colors and design in the gowns, the flowers and the decor.”
While $750 for color analysis is not inexpensive, it is a one-time investment that keeps paying dividends. Jacobs said many of her clients save up to get their color palette done. “You save money when you know how to buy clothing, jewelry and shoes that work for you.”
By Bracha Schwartz