Top Stylist and Colour Consultant, Jules Standish, Teaches Us How To Achieve That ‘Wow Effect’

Three Diva Catwalk Dresses with what's your colour written above

Ever wondered why some days you feel inexplicably drained, stressed or on edge? Or maybe you have noticed that yesterday you felt happier, more energetic and inspired than the day before, although your routine was exactly the same?

Well, according to Jules Standish the colours you wear and encounter might just be the reason for this. 

Jules Standish is a top Personal Stylist, Colour Consultant, a lecturer at London College of Style and author of the Amazon bestseller How Not To Wear Black. Jules is the authority on all things style, fashion and colour, having appeared on numerous national and international TV programs, radio shows and newspapers.

Colour Wheel

Jules has kindly taken some time out of her packed schedule to talk to us about all thing colour and style and we couldn’t be more excited. 

This is the first of a three-part series where we will learn why colour is so important, how it affects us and how to use it. In this article, we learn how we can all find our own colouring at home! But before we get into all that, its time to learn a little more about this colour guru. 

Thank you so much for talking to us, we are so excited to learn more about you and about the fascinating practice of colour analysis! How did you get into it? 

By default, actually, as I was training to be a stylist and the course I took at that time insisted (very wisely as it turned out for me!) I did the colour analysis bit first.  Once learnt, I had to practice on 20 case studies, and I had my ‘light bulb’ moment around number 5 when I watched in complete amazement at the incredible smile that appeared on this person’s face every time I put one of her ‘wow’ shades up against her complexion. I saw the skin look even and healthy and a youthful glow appear like an instant ‘face-lift’ and from that moment on, I watched as this transformation happened over and over again. I realised that colours had the potential to make someone not only look amazing, but feel fabulous too, and that I could help people have their own ‘light bulb’ moments in their best colours.  I then finished my full training and worked for many years as a stylist, colour consultant and personal shopper, which led me to write my first book in 2011 called How NOT to Wear Black.  

Jules Standish Books

Check out Jules' best selling How Not To Wear Black here and her latest The Essential Guide to Mindful Dressing here

You have some really sophisticated ways of working out the best colours for people to wear, how can people at home work out their particular colours? Do you suggest those old-school ‘what season are you’ tests?

Having a personal one-to-one colour analysis with a professional is always advisable. The Colour Analysis system I use is focussed on the skin first, hair and eyes second, where harmony is key.  A warm, yellow golden skin tone will harmonise best with any shade that has these as an underlying base and a cool, pink/blue based skin tone will do the same. 

Here are a few quick draping tips to carry out in your own home:

  1. Get as much natural light on your face as possible
  2. Remove all make up 
  3. Pull hair off face
  4. Put a white towel around your neck and shoulders
  5. Find some different shades of colours in your wardrobe to try out
  6. Trial black to see if it suits you 
  7. Gold looks best on warm skin tones, silver on cool

Diva catwalk pencil dress

What you want to see:

An even, healthy complexion

Reduction of redness or skin blemishes

No panda or dark shadows under eyes

Lessening of lines and wrinkles

Sparkly eyes, where the whites look brighter

An all over glow

The ‘Wow’ Smile effect 

I teach my students that the colour should never shout first and WEAR the person.  Always imagine walking into a room, and on first impressions, is the person looking fabulous in the outfit, or are the clothes dominating the scene? Equally does someone get rendered invisible by the colours they have on, something that women as they age, often raise as a major issue, and colours should harmonise, not detract nor take centre stage.

Here is a quick break down of each seasonal skin tone and how to recognise yours:

Warm Skin-tone: SPRING

  • Has an underlying yellow or gold skin-tone
  • May blush, have a high cheek colour or broken veins
  • Can either be very pale, freckled, with red/strawberry blonde or brunette
  • Could also be dark skinned that tans well, with golden blonde or very dark hair
  • Black up against your face makes you look tired and older

 Best WOW Colours are WARM and BRIGHT: fiery red, turquoise, coral, golden yellow, bright emerald green with neutrals of camel, ivory, warm greys, dark blue, with bright gold jewellery. 

Diva catwalk pencil and swing dresses perfect for spring colouring

Click here for the red dress, here for the coral here for the yellow and here for the emerald 

Warm Skin-tone: AUTUMN

  • You won’t have a rosy cheek
  • You will have a golden undertone, and your hair will be golden blonde or chestnut, auburn or red, black with gold highlights
  • The complexion may have a metallic/bronze appearance and tan deeply
  • Black up against your face makes you look tired and older

Best WOW Colours are WARM and MUTED: rust, burnt orange, teal, dark apricot, mustard yellow, khaki green with neutrals of warm browns, caramel, chocolate, cream, dark grey, blue with antique gold jewellery.

4 Diva Catwalk pencil dresses perfect for winter colouring

To view the yellow dress click here, for the dark apricot dress here, for the burnt orange coloured dress here and the teal dress here

Cool Skin-tone: SUMMER

  • You will have a pink undertone
  • Hair colour is ash blonde, cool light brown but no warmth 
  • The complexion can be light and rather colourless
  • You probably don’t tan well/golden 
  • Black up against your face makes you look tired and older

Your Best WOW Colours are COOL and PASTEL: raspberry red, carnation pink, powder blue, mint green, lavender and lilac with neutrals of taupe, pearl white, dove grey, navy and rose gold jewellery.

Diva catwalk pencil dresses perfect for summer colouring

To view the power blue swing dress click here, here for the lilac dress, here for the raspberry dress, here for the mint dress and here for the pink pencil dress

Cool Skin-tone: WINTER

  • If the skin is light/pale it will be milky white with no high colour on the cheeks, but blue veins may be present 
  • Or the skin will be very dark or olive
  • Hair will either be white, grey, ash blonde or black with no red or gold tones
  • Your features will be strong and distinctive
  • The key is that black looks fabulous up against your face 

Your Best WOW Colours are COOL and DYNAMIC: Fuchsia pink, magenta, burgundy, plum, vibrant cool red, electric blue, forest green, cool emerald, ultraviolet purple with neutrals of brilliant white, black, charcoal grey, navy with silver jewellery.

pencil dresses for winter skintones

For the blue dress click here, for the magenta click here, for the ultraviolet click here and here for the forest green 

DARK Skin-tones:

African, West Indian, Asian, Oriental or Latin do not automatically fall into the Winter category, but may be able to wear darker shades of other seasonal colours. 

The next article in this series where Jules teaches us how to use colour to dress for success coming soon...