Yellow

Yellow is an OMDB* colour of choice for many of us.

*) OMDB = Over My Dead Body

Of all the colours we have in our lovely drape sets, yellow (and orange, but I save that for another blog post) is the colour most of my clients shy away from, are suspicious of wearing, or plain outright dislike. Why is this, I wonder?

Yellow summer top from J Crew summer 2015 collection
Yellow summer top from J Crew summer 2015 collection

According to colour psychology books that I have read, yellow is the happiest colour of them all. It exudes life, youth and happiness. Sunshine is yellow. Who does not like sunshine? We decorate with yellow ribbons when we are welcoming somebody home. We are happy to fill our gardens and homes with yellow flowers, and at the same time we shy away from wearing it. We do not even dress our children in yellow, well perhaps children. But grown-ups are rarely using yellow.

We have learned to associate yellow with danger, especially combined with black.
We have learned to associate yellow with danger, especially combined with black.

Being a colour analyst, I am taught and I teach that we all have shades of yellow that we look good in, even alive and vibrant in. DW has a slightly smoked yellow, sometimes with a bit of green in it, like citrine. The clear, primary colour of yellow belongs to TW. Yellow that is even a bit brighter, like canary, finds its home in BW. All the three springs have many lovely shades of yellow, being palettes that are basically bathed in lovely sunshine. The bright daffodil is BSp, the true sunshine yellow is TSp, and a lighter, more hazy yellow is LSp. Moving to summers, we get a little nervous about using yellow, as it is perhaps the epitome of warm colour, and how to we make yellow cool and summery enough? We soften it with a haze of summer mist, and we have the ever so slightly grey, soft yellow that makes summer skin look like moonlight on milk. SSu yellow is so greyed, we can call it straw yellow. The autumns are quite at home in yellow, as long as they get theirs warmed up by fire, not sunshine. We see yellows that have spiciness and depth, like corn, curry, turmeric, and DA also rocks chartreuse.

Chartreuse and brown - a delectable Dark Autumn combination
Chartreuse and brown – a delectable Dark Autumn combination

Being shown the shade of yellow that belongs to her season, the client frequently bursts out: But I don’t LIKE this colour! But (sometimes grudgingly) must admit that yes, this particular shade of yellow does indeed like her, even if it is not mutual. My response is that you do not have to like every colour that is in your palette. You will have a variety of every colour that you will look fabulous in, but that does not mean that you have to make each and every one of those your favourite. And frequently, yellow is the colour that is sent to the back corner, outshone by eternal favourites like blue, red, and sometimes green. Very rarely do I hear a client proclaim that she will proceed to go out and get herself something in her yellow. Which is interesting, yellow being such a mood lifter and game changer.

Does it perhaps have something to do with the fact that yellow, aside from being a happy colour, also is an attention-grabbing colour? And perhaps a colour that is associated with childhood?

The fact remains that yellow can be one heck of a gamechanger, someting different and uniquely energising.

It makes you happy just to look at it, right?
It makes you happy just to look at it, right? (photo is called Splash! Photographer Jessica Drossin)

So if yellow lifts your spirits, wear it. If it lifts your spirit to see someone else wear yellow, tell them. If you are curious as to exactly which version of yellow is the best for you, find your nearest colour analyst and book a PCA.

You can listen to me ramble on about yellow in the video below:

YouTube video about yellow
YouTube video about yellow