What's your season? Social media users discover fashion's colour analysis method

  • Style
  • Thursday, 02 Feb 2023

Colour analysis to determine the best outfit shades to wear is trending on TikTok, but this is something actually known in the fashion industry over four decades ago. Photo: AFP

Are you a summer or a winter? This question may seem absurd out of context, but on TikTok, it's everywhere. A huge number of users are taking on the role of image consultant for several weeks now.

So what's this all about? Colour analysis and the theory of the four seasons are approaches to dressing that have gone viral, sending social media users into a tailspin as they seek out a wardrobe that is in harmony with their complexion.

You have probably been told at some point in your life "red suits you perfectly".

Read more: From 3D florals and hoods to chic sleepwear, womenswear steps into a new season

This kind of thinking is also one of the leitmotivs of image coaches, stylists, and other outfit consultants, in search of the wardrobe that will reveal all their clients' best aspects.

This discipline, situated somewhere between science and art, depending on who you talk to, has a name, even two – the "Four Seasons" and colour analysis – and TikTokers are going crazy for it.

Worldwide the hashtag #coloranalysis counts more than 650 million views, testifying to the infatuation of young generations for this method, which in fact isn't new at all, having first been popularised over four decades ago.

For some people, this may bring to mind the book Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson, a professional colour consultant, who wrote one of the key books on this concept intended to help individuals determine "the 30 shades that make you look smashing".

As well as know their colour season: delicate, light or bright shades like yellow for spring, or stronger, rich shades for fall.

While the author didn't originate the theory of the four seasons, she has significantly contributed to popularising it around the world.

Over 40 years later, TikTok is bringing this practice up to date with the help of filters – appropriate for the connected generation – that allow us to easily determine the colours that best suit us and our skin tone.

Image coaching 3.0

As we have seen, image consultants are some of the first to apply this method. In general it consists of putting a sheet or a piece of white cloth on the person – or more simply asking them to wear white – then to apply swatches of the colour charts associated with each season.

The only thing left to do is to determine which colours enhance a particular skin tone, features and/or hair colour.

Until recently, this approach was largely exclusively the domain of professional consultations, but TikTokers seem to have developed a genuine passion for the method to the point of handing out advice like real image coaches.

For instance, this is the case of a user (@magnifisenses) who defines himself as a "colour analysis expert" and relies on this method to determine the colours most suitable for various celebrities, whether blonde, brunette, and distributes advice throughout his videos.

Read more: More chic than geek? How fashion is changing wearables to be more stylish

We learn, for example, that gold works better for Eva Longoria than silver, that blondes need to stop wearing black, and that Rosalia wears cold colours better than warm ones.

No doubt the Spanish singer is already getting ready to talk to her personal stylist.

The phenomenon is spreading at high speed on the Chinese social network, with a crowd of users embracing the approach and taking on the airs of fashion advisors.

Indeed, we must admit that this simple, undoubtedly effective method, can indeed help most people avoid a fashion faux pas. – AFP Relaxnews

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