Colour analysis for the individual by Trudy Van Zyl. Colour, without a doubt, affects on us on a profound level. Colour has the ability to lift us, energise or calm us. It can help us to feel in control, to feel authoritative. This feeling is also conveyed to the person viewing us in the colours that we wear as well.


Colour psychology is working on us every day in subtle ways. It’s why large corporates and business people have long been using colour to convey their steadfast reliableness and trustworthiness. They adopt navy blue for their corporate uniforms and business suits as navy blue says trustworthy, reliable, dependable, and established. However, in some corporate industries, friendliness and approachability is key to good business so the corporate uniform or suit will be in a brown taupe pewter tone, for brown says responsibility, support and stability .


What to wear when you’re going to see the bank manager? Or for going to court?



Pink — for the guys and girls — says nurturing. It says, “I need you to help me, to look after me, and to show compassion.” If you’re public speaking, red will mesmerise your audience and hold their attention. Red says passion, energy, vitality, and confidence. Add some navy blue and have establish, trustworthiness plus vitality and confidence.


Green is so often adopted by those who respect the environment, or have an environmentally friendly or sustainable product or service that they are promoting. It says, clean, natural, and growth. It’s refreshing.


Black, which encompasses all colours, is so often donned by those in the creative and artistic industries. Walk into an alternative, edgy fashion store or advertising agency, and most everyone is in black. Black says mystery, introspection, intuition, magic and power.


And so on it goes. Colour, without us even realising, plays such a significant role in our everyday lives.



The power of colour for our wardrobes really began to make an impact in the early 1980s when Carol Jackson of Colour Me Beautiful launched her first book of the same name in America. It spoke of the four season system of colour analysis. However, the system of seasonal colour analysis’ first inception can be dated back to the 1950s when Suzzane Caygill, an American colour theorist, fashion designer, milliner and poet, developed her own seasonal colour system, the Caygill Method. Suzanne had a TV show for many years on the presentation and wearing of colour. She wrote books on the subject and trained consultants.


Her seasonal method was in depth and personalised. However, it wasn’t until Colour Me Beautiful in the 80s developed a compact four season system and released their book that colour analysis became a world wide phenomenon. Colour Me Beautiful were able to reach out on a much larger scale, with colour printing becoming far more accurate, high quality and inexpensive. It allowed the company to produce books with accurate colours and skin tones.


These days, there exists a range of different approaches to personal colour analysis, with the seasonal approach being the most well known. What every approach has in common is the final outcome, that is for the individual to wear colours that are in harmony with his or hers natural colouring, contrast and intensity. By wearing colours that complement your colouring and are in the right contrast and intensity for you, you will look alive, energetic and more youthful. You will have greater presence and you will feel the difference too. Plus, there’s the money that is saved by wearing a group of colours in harmony. You will need less time to shop as you know your right colours and won’t bother shopping where you don’t see them. You need fewer clothes in your wardrobe as everything mixes and matches in a very exciting and creative way.


I have loved colour as long as I can remember. Even as a young girl, painting was my favourite pastime. My love affair with personal colour analysis started in my mid-20s when I trained with Colours in Harmony. I went on to train with Colour Me Beautiful in the 1990s and have, in the past few years, retrained in Colour Me Beautiful’s tonal system and Fashion Feng Shui Dressing With Intention. I still feel as excited and passionate about colour analysis as I did when I first trained in it. It’s such an amazing process, watching a person literally light up when the colours are right for them.


What to expect in a colour analysis session? Your consultant will identify your palette of most flattering shades to flatter and enhance your looks. Your colours will be presented to you in a colour wallet that will contain at least 48 colours of neutrals and accent shades. This wallet is to be used for clothing shopping and for women for cosmetic purchases.



Photo: Roy Emerson

Trudy Van Zyl