at home with Gok Wan
October 2008, cover page, pages 73 and 74
Toshiko was interviewed about colour analysis and how you can benefit from knowing your complimenting colour tones.
Be honest now. Is your wardrobe a colour-free zone? Are your clothes firmly rooted in black, black and even more black, perhaps with the odd flash of...surely not...grey and brown? Let's face it, black is the colour traditionally worn to funerals, so dressing yourself in it, day in, day out, is hardly likely to make you feel cheerful.
However, for many of us, adding colour to our wardrobe is a scary prospect. We feel safe - and, the big one, slimmer - in black, we think it's flattering and, there's no denying it, it is classic and stylish. But even those of us who do brave colour sometimes get it wrong.
But colour, in all areas of your life - whether it be in your home or your clothes - says a lot about you. And, if you choose the ones that work for you, it'll add zest to your wardrobe and help to keep you feeling happy.
So how do you make sure you wear the colours that leave you brimming with confidence?
Toshiko Kobatake, an image consultant based in London, explains, 'When you wear a colour, you don't want the colour to stand out more than you. Even if you love the colour, the colour may not love you!
How may times have people said to you, "I love your top". What they're actually doing is complimenting your top, not you. What you want people to say is, "Wow, you look fantastic in that!" It's really important to realise that people could say they love a top when it's on a rail in a shop!'
Toshiko continues, 'In fact, almost anybody can wear any colour but it depends what kind of red or blue. As image consultants, we focus on the colour characteristics, not the colours themselves.'
Tones and shades
Colour analysis is a way of finding out what colours suit you - that most enhance your natural colouring, such as your hair, eyes and skin tone.
Toshiko uses the tonal method of colour analysis, which is based on whether you have either warm tones (yellow-based colours) or cool tones (blue-based colours), as opposed to the seasonal method, where you find out whether or not you are a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter colour person. 'The tonal method of colour analysis is pretty versatile,' says Toshiko, 'as there are more than 70 categories to choose from. We look at skin tone, how clear your skin is and how healthy it looks - it's known as depth, clarity and undertone.
Wearing the right colour tones makes you look healthier and more vibrant. And even if you really love a certain colour, but colour analysis shows it doesn't suit your tone you can still wear it if you want to. However, the important rule is not to wear that colour near your face. It really makes a difference if you wear colours that suit you around your face - in fact it makes a biggest difference to how you look and feel. The biggest mistake is made with black. Yes, it can be slimming, but if you wear it near your face it often makes many people look tired and sallow.
'I wouldn't tell people to chuck out all their black clothes, says Toshiko, 'but I'd work on black as a base and add colour to it'
'Be wary of what you think you know about colour - black does make you look slimmer but there are no other hard and fast rules. It's rubbish to say that redheads can't wear reds - I love the idea of redheads in red, it's all about your personality and what you can carry off...'
Five ways to add a splash of colour to your wardrobe:
1 Clothes - we do it with colour in our homes, so start doing it with your clothes, too! Little splashes of colour can make all the difference to your outfit. try wearing a coloured scarf or having a camisole peeking seductively out of a top.
2 Jewellery - a necklace, a ring, a bangle - the choice is endless and with high-street finds being so stylish and such good value, you've no excuse not to have a rainbow range of colours bursting out of your jewellery box.
3 Bags - we all love'em so instead of playing safe with black, be brave and go bright and bold with your choice of bag colour. As with jewellery, there are some great designer lookalike bags on the high street that won't break the bank.
4 Shoes - you might not have the funds to be the next Imelda Marcos, but wearing shoes in a colour is a really good way to start experimenting with colour. Wearing a lighter colour shoe really helps to brighten your look and isn't too scary if you still find wearing colour difficult.
5 Belts - a fantastic way to add a bit of brightness to the centre of your outfit. Wear them loosely over cardigans, on trousers, snugly around dresses, the choice is yours. There are hundreds of styles available so, again, no excuse!
For booking appointments or enquiries, please contact Toshiko:
Tel: +44 (0)20 3489 3319
Image Consultation Options
1) Luxury Course: Total Image Consultation (3 hours)
Details as above.
2) Compact Course: Image Consultation & Wardrobe Planning (3 hours)
This session is ideal if you have a reasonably small amount of clothes and would like to do both wardrobe planning and image consultation at your home. (Colour swatches, make up and written profiles are not included.)
3) 'Tea for Two' Image Consultation (6 hours)
This package is dedicated to the pair of you; whether you are a mother and daughter, a wife and husband, partners, siblings or just great friends. You can take the consultation together or individually, it's purely up to you. It's always so fun and relaxing to share an experience with someone you care about. The great news is that you can also take advantage of the special price offered for this package, just for the two of you.
4) Personal Branding Session (1 hour) / Face-to-Face or on
5) Colour Analysis Session (1.5 hours)
6) Colour Analysis Session for Men (1 hour)
This session does not include make up.
7) Style & Personal Branding Session (1.5 hours)
8) Image Review
Even if you have had an image consultation or wardrobe planning before, it is important that you review and update your image on a regular basis. To ensure that you maintain your current image, revamp it further or perhaps project a different look due to change of lifestyle or ideas, we will be at hand to achieve the look that you want.
9) 365 Plan
This plan is perfect for busy people like you who want to always look your best, but in reality, find that spending time for yourself comes last on your do list. This "All-Year-Round" plan ensures that you look and feel great, not just today or tomorrow, but any day, anytime, all year round in the most efficient and effective way.
The benefit of 365 Plan is that it takes you through an image consultation, wardrobe planning and seasonal personal shopping within a one-year period, allowing you flexibility to suit your schedule and is offered at a more attractive price. If you don't look after yourself, who will? We will guide you all the way.
- 365 Plan - Platinum (Luxury Course: Total Image Consultation + Wardrobe Planning + 2 x One-Day Personal Shopping)
- 365 Plan - Gold (Compact Course + 2 x One Day Personal Shopping)
- 365 Plan - Silver (Luxury Course: Total Image Consultation + Wardrobe Planning + 2 x Half-Day Personal Shopping)
- 365 Plan - Bronze (Compact Course + 2 x Half-Day Personal Shopping)