When I was a teenager, I didn’t have any friends, so I spent the majority of my time at the library. Now that I am back home, 20 years later, I find that not much has changed – ha!

Several months back, walking up and down the aisles of the library in my hometown, I came across Color Your Style: How To Wear Your True Colors.

The concept of the book intrigued me, this being that there are specific colors that best express who you are, and that they can be found on your very own body – in your eyes, in your veins, etc. Once you’ve discovered them, the book goes on to teach you how to incorporate them into your wardrobe and your environment. Interestingly enough I did find that my “true colors” do enhance the visual expression of who I am, and that I was already drawn to these colors at times.

One reigning characteristic about me is that I am systems thinker, very drawn to all manners of classification and organization. So any type of self-knowledge system such as personality-typing or disciplines based on organizational structure are always very attractive to me.

Today, I woke up with this book on my mind, as I got the idea to use my true colors in my visual work as well. So I got up and reassessed them by making watercolor swatches.

Another personality trait of mine is that I am impatient, so I didn’t let my swatches dry completely before taking photos. Also, the photos are not 100% true to life, but you get the idea.

In short, I can’t do wrong in brown – which is cool because I like brown a lot, though I don’t wear it very often. I’d say the most surprising find was that of my first base color (found in the rim of your iris), which is actually a deep navy, not black as I would have guessed.

There are 8 basic colors and here’s how to find them:


Essence: Your vulnerable color, your version of white, a skin tone that harmonizes the colors in the palm of your hand

Romantic: Your passion color, your version of red found by gently pinching a fingertip—or the color of when you blush

Dramatic: Your “look at me” color, your version of blue, found in the color of the veins in your wrist

Energy: The color that supports you when you need a pick me up, taken from the darkest part of your iris (but not the ring around the iris)

Tranquil: Your peaceful color, taken from the lightest part of your iris


First base, formal, your version of black, taken from the ring around your iris

Second base, less formal but still serious, your version of brown, taken from the darkest part of your hair [there are tips in the book for where else to look if you color your hair]

Third base, casual, your version of khaki, taken from the lightest part of your hair (there are tips in the book for where else to look if you color your hair)

Very curious – what are your true colors??

Another aspect of this system is finding your type via 4 season color theory. According to the book, my season is Autumn (which makes sense as it’s my favorite season). Each season is further broken down into types akin to something like astrological profiles. I am “Gamine Autumn.” I’d never heard of the word gamine before reading this book, but I’d say it’s spot on.

Here’s the profile, in case you give a fuck about style:

Gamine Autumn

Archetype: The Stylish Beatnik
Motto: “I do it my way.”
Secret Superpower: Her unique and intensely personal process. If you want someone who does things like no one else, go to the Gamine Autumn – you’ll never confuse her with anybody else.
Kryptonite: Trying to blend in. She can’t do it. She shouldn’t try. This type’s forte is doing her own thing, and as long as she’s allowed to be her own unique self, she’ll shine as brightly as she deserves to. But when she’s asked to blend in, she becomes fierce, fiery, and bad-tempered.
Nature Image: Seeded eucalyptus, Lenten rose.
Artists: Frans Hals, Albrecht Durer.
Charming Contrasts: This atypical Stylish Beatnik looks best in medium contrast, so if she’s going to wear more than one color at a time, she should turn to prints. A medium-contrast paisley print summer dress comprised of her essence, romantic, and Second Base colors is best offset by sandals, a shoulder bag, and jewelry in her Second Base.
Fabulous Fabrics: Silk dupioni, muslin, basket cloth, raw silk.
Signature Scents: Rose oil, cedar.
Must-Haves: This Stylish Beatnik looks terrific in a hooded overcoat with toggles, stirrup leggings, a tie-front blouse worn under a jumper, a pencil skirt with buttons up the side, and a fine-wale corduroy shirtdress. This lady is quixotic, and the unusual delights her beyond belief. Her wedding gown will not be a wedding gown at all, but a short stylish dress most certainly in a color other than white.