This post will be part life update, part business update, and part musing. I haven’t used this blog much for my own personal journey or thoughts, but I feel I cannot move forward with it without sharing some things that have been on my mind and heart first.
I took a break from blogging last year. You might not have known it, because I was posting consistently, but what I was posting was, in my opinion, not particularly exploratory or interesting. Informative, sure, especially for people not super familiar with the 12 seasons, but it was sort of an autopilot project for me. A way for me to stay connected to color analysis without having to use my brain much. I thank you all for your graciousness and positive response to something more low-key.
Because, you see, 2018 was a terrible year for me.
Way back in January of last year, I was still coming out of the funk of a difficult pregnancy and the adjustment to three small children. I had taken a break from draping for obvious reasons, but was feeling somewhat disconnected from the PCA world in general. I had spent my third and final pregnancy feeling pretty awful in my body and my wardrobe, due to the majority of my maternity clothes being from pre-color and style analysis and not as good on me as they could have been ( and given that I knew this would be my last baby, I didn’t buy many new pieces out of practicality and essentially hid from the world). It was winter, I was at home with three kids, and had nothing to do but glue myself to social media.
Then the universe threw a wrench in the proverbial gears when my partner began traveling for his job constantly. I had been used to him leaving once or twice a year and didn’t have a problem with it, but he was all of a sudden expected to be gone roughly 30% of the time. This was difficult for me physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally… really I was just a mess. I wasn’t taking nearly as many appointments as I wanted to because I simply wasn’t able to, and to add insult to injury, my hormones went haywire due to stress and breastfeeding, which resulted in severe cystic acne. I wasn’t feeling beautiful or stylish in any area of my life.
I was doubting everything. My ability to parent, my style, my faith, my marriage, the PCA rules I had spent so much time teaching others, it all just felt out of sync. Part of it was my natural disposition toward depression, and part was the fact that I was just having a rough year. The combination of outward and inward struggle was suffocating, and it spilled into every area of my existence.
But then, something changed.
I started to sit with and explore my doubt.
It started with little things, like makeup. Conventional PCA wisdom says that you don’t need heavy foundation when you’re wearing your colors because your colors will clear your skin visually. That’s not wrong, but with acne on the level that I had it, you were going to see it from across the street no matter how perfectly Dark Winter my clothing was. So I started wearing foundation again and instantly felt more confident. That led me down a makeup rabbit hold that eventually resulted in me going back to some of the techniques I found joy in before PCA – things like highlighting and contouring, crazy eyeshadow, and “no-makeup makeup.” But I felt like I needed to hide it from the community I so greatly respected for fear of being labeled as incompetent or a “bad” analyst.
It expanded to my clothing. I’ve never doubted my placement in Dark Winter, but I have known for some time that I like to wear some pieces that would be labeled Dark Autumn or Soft Summer. I can’t go all the way to pieces that cross over with True Autumn or Soft Autumn, but neither do I feel good wearing pieces that lean Bright Winter or True Winter. My “home base” is Dark Winter, but I have taken some pieces from other seasons and incorporated them into my wardrobe seamlessly. But again, I was careful not to post these to social media, or if I did, I always added a justification as to why I was wearing it.
On a deeper level, I sat with my doubts in my spirit. I realized I can grow. I realized that change is necessary, cathartic, good, and useful to being a fully-formed and functional human. I have not thrown away anything I believed before, I have simply expanded and deepened. I feel that this realization has touched every area of my being, and it has changed everything for the better.
So… what’s next?
Expect more exploration. Expect me to first ask how you feel in something before I give my opinion. Expect me to ask why you’re questioning, not because I don’t want you to question, but because I want you to verbalize your doubt and your certainty. I am so excited to continue to teach and guide, but YOU are the key to making any of this work. PCA, personal style, it’s all just a piece of the puzzle!
Am I still doing PCA and styling? ABSOLUTELY. I feel more on board with the principles of PCA than I ever have, because I now see PCA as information and confirmation rather than rigid rules. None of what I do matters if the person sitting in front of me does not leave feeling happy, confident, and beautiful. I perform my drapings the way I always have, but with a better understanding that how it relates to your life is the most important factor. I have also tried to move away from language that frames the person as their season. Instead of saying “She’s a Light Spring,” I am trying to move toward “She wears Light Spring best” or “Light Spring is her home base.” I don’t find the other way offensive or wrong (in fact, identifying as a Light Spring or whatever season really resonates some clients, which is great!) Rather, this is for me to reframe my mind that each person I see is utterly and completely unique and will wear their season differently.
I will also be adding two new services over the next few months:
Closet curation has been a long time coming, and is sort of a culmination of the expertise I’ve honed in regards to color and style. It’s a closet overhaul that involves looking at your wardrobe with a critical and emotional eye. I will come to your home and help you curate your closet with intention, by building outfits with what you already have, getting rid of things that no longer serve you, and identifying “holes” or shopping needs in your wardrobe. Stay tuned for an official launch of this service this summer!
Power color analysis is something I’ve been exploring on a personal level and am almost ready to offer as a service. I’ll expand on it in a future blog post, but I have long been dissatisfied with how I have been dealing with the question of “What if my favorite color doesn’t fit my season?” I have usually framed it as trying to find the closest equivalent in that person’s best season, but that isn’t always enough. Colors mean more to us than how they relate to our skin tone. If you adore crimson red, if it makes you feel something, but your best season is True Spring, I don’t want to redirect you to “close enough,” I want to find a way to incorporate crimson into your life in a way that is meaningful to you. Color psychology is endlessly fascinating to me, and I am especially interested in helping you find the colors that have special meaning to you and finding ways to work them into your life beyond clothing and makeup. If a color is important to you, I am committed to helping you connect with it, whatever that means to you.
I have spent too much of my personal and professional lives afraid to be myself. It took a hellish year for me to realize that my true self was the missing element to reaching the highest potential for all aspects of my life.
I haven’t found her yet, but I am on the way.
And I’m no longer afraid.