Nov 18, 2011

Sportin' the Blouse

So I pulled out my Spring blouse to wear with my new pants.
I felt a whole lot better wearing these colors than what I had on yesterday!

How did I feel? I felt more professional and feminine~

What I wore to work today

A wise friend of mine suggested that I write about what I wear each day and see how I feel over a period of time to determine my predominant type.

The weather's gone crazy in Seoul lately. We had summer, then winter, then fall, and now back to winter! So I'm keeping warm with a black parka (T4), a mustardy top (T3), and muddy brown pants (T3).

How did I feel in all these? Well. I like all of them separately. But they don't go so well together! I wore them together because they have the best insulation against the current weather, and keep me warm enough but not too warm for my classroom. If it were to be tweaked for better *styling* I'd wear the pants (they're new!) with a peach shirt, and a T3 red color belted pea-coat with sharp looking loafers that match the color of my pants!

The mustardy top would be worn with ivory slacks for a formalish look, or dark denim skirt for a casual look.

That black parka would be worn with a dress though with thick warm tights. The dress would be woollen or tweed type thing that's mod yet chic.

Anyhow, how did I feel in those three put together? I felt totally weather appropriate, yet pretty dowdy overall! T_T. Sad!

Nov 7, 2011

My Studies Thus Far to Create a Color Strategy for My Capsule Wardrobe!!

This has been my journey in color so far!

Just looking at the color palettes, I was so drawn to the Autumn with Summer Influence color combinations. They looked so soft and feminine! But trying the color combo's right below my chin level in my photos showed that her suggestions are dead right! I look more focused in the color combinations from the Autumn with Winter Influence color palette.

OK. So which color grouping do you think works best on me? There are so many color analysis methods out there. And these are the ones I've tried so far. 

Thanks for reading & voting! :->

Love & Light,


Nov 6, 2011

INSTANT STYLE FORMULA: Choose Your Core Wardrobe Colors Using These 10 Colors!

OK. So here are the 10 colors to help you choose your Best Neutrals using Yang and Yin principle from the Korean O-bang-saek method! Please note that these are very rough web approximations. I've created these palettes using and the photos I've gotten from my Internet research. Please also note that I am not a certified Color specialist nor an academic. Please feel free to take what works for you and discard the rest!!!

These 5 colors are your Yang Colors

Yellow / Blue / Red / Black / White

These 5 colors are your Yin Colors
Green / Light blue / Salmon Pink / Tan / Purple

Now, depending on your hair, eye, and skintone colors & your lifestyle goals and needs, you want to come up with your Core Wardrobe Colors.

These are the colors from my hair, eye, skintone.

My core wardrobe colors that have supported me over the years...
my go-to-colors...

Now when you compare these two charts, you'll notice two things: a) 3 of my go-to colors are basically a repeat of my hair, eye, skin color! b) The other 2 colors are a version of blue and a version of red. In the Yang-Yin color palettes, you'll notice that my midnight blue is from the Yang palette, and that my red color is from the Yin palette. You'll also notice that both of these colors are as deep as my black hair color!

Of course, I am not saying that you should always wear what you've worn in the past. But if you're an adult you can probably think back on all those years you've dressed yourself and figure out your go-to-colors that have never failed you.

From this point on then, unless you're going to throw out everything you've got and start from scratch in building your wardrobe, it would serve you well to stock up on your go-to-colors for all of your basic clothing needs that will become your Key Wardrobe Items.

After you've gotten them completed, then you can think about the colors you would like to  wear. Me personally, I am very drawn to these combination of colors:

What I could do instead of rushing out to shop though, is to try things out on Polyvore and see what items I am going to buy in what order, and what color/design lines/fabric textures/budget I'm going to have, as well as which areas of my wardrobe has the most critical gap. 

OK then! I hope these help you to move you along in creating your Core Wardrobe Colors! Remember color is strategy!!



Introduction to Your 5 Yin Colors and 5 Yang Colors to Create Your Core Wardrobe Color Strategy!

After I finished my personal core wardrobe color chart, I suddenly wondered if the colors I ended up had anything to do with the local traditional colors of Korea. Because Koreans have such a conformist coloring -- black hair, black-brown eyes, beige skintone, I wondered if the colors that my ancestors wore in their Hanbok had already accomplished the best color combinations that I could refer to for my color combinations.

The research led me to the exploration of the O-bang-saek and O-gan-saek which are the 10 colors that had distinct color-names to them. The O-bang-saek were colors regarded as Yang energy which also mean the 5 directional colors. As far as I can see, this is very closely related to Feng-Shui elements with Earth Yellow in the center representing Stability, and the four directions North, South, West, and East each having a color representation also. 

As these 5 colors represented the whole world, they were regarded as special and often were used to wish blessings, health, prosperity, and health.

Note bene. After going back to my research material, I am noticing I have made an error. Along with the word O-bang-saek, there is another word O-jeong-saek. For now, to my understanding, the former relates to the 5 elements of Fengshui and the Bagua. And when it applies to color itself, they call the Yang group of colors O-jeong-saek. So from this point on, when you see the word O-bang-saek, please note that if I were to be technically correct, they should've been written O-jeong-saek instead. I am sorry for this inconvenience!

The five source colors shown in this Blessings-Pouch are given below with Korean sounds for each of them:
  • White (Baek-saek)
  • Black (Heuk-saek)
  • Yellow (Hwang-saek)
  • Red (Jeog-saek)
  • Blue (Cheong-saek)

I had not consciously made the connection but these colors so local to Korea are easily seen in Korean food colors. 

I'm including the above photos to make a point about how the 5 colors that we now call Red, Blue, Yellow, White, and Black and what my ancestors would have called 5 directional colors. Because color pigments from long ago would have to come from natural sources, a lot of them would not be the kinds of explosive, intense, artificially manufactured colors. So please bear in mind that what you and I call Red, Blue, Yellow, White, and Black may be slightly different than what the original names suggest!

Here below is a picture of a Moo-Dang. I can now see how those intense rich and dynamic colors that they wear come directly from the O-bang-saek. Note how he is holding the 3 primary colors on the left, and 2 colors black and white on the right. 

Here, I can see how the colors used for this hunter is ONLY using the Yang/Directional colors, and no intermediary colors. See below for a chart on those! This is an image of the Spirit of Goguryeo people found in a Goguryeo tomb. He is riding a horse in colors white and black; he himself is wearing the colors red and yellow. Of course it is possible that the artist for various reasons may have used such restricted colors, but I think it is quite possible to believe also that this was done intentionally to express the Yang characteristic of Goguryeo people. Among the three kingdoms that ruled in the Korean peninsula, these people were the most enterprising and most eager to expand their territory. Or at least that's what I've been told. :-P

And here are some diagrams explaining the O-bang-saek and O-gan-saek. The colors that were created by mixing the O-bang-saek, 5 Directional Colors were called O-gan-saek, which basically means 5 Intermediary Colors. 

So mixing black and red gives you this purple color. Black mixed with yellow gives you the richer gold/tan color. Yellow and blue gives you green, although traditionally the blue in Chinese character "Cheong" is not the blue we call blue, it actually is a blue-green color so it actually encompasses blue AND green! So if you read Korean poetry, you'll see that the word "Cheong" is used to describe both the sky color and the grass color! And then you get the pink from white and red, followed by blue mixed with white which gives you a skyblue color. Hmmm, I am not certain but even the Red that we call red might be different than you think because the Korean traditional Red is more like a tomato red I think (don't quote me on this yet!) and it is possible in some sources to quote red mixed with white being orange. Again going back to my previous assumption, the white found in nature, is not going to be the pure white from a paint tube; it is more likely to be a cream or ivory color with a little bit of coloration, in which case it is plausible to find that particular red and white creating an Orange.

In the diagram below, the squares are the O-bang-saek, and the circles are the O-gan-saek. What's particularly neat about these is that with the distinct 4 seasons of Korean climate, there's always a cycle of Birth/Death/Rebirth... and although there are slight variations each year, there's always that cyclical expectation of Seasonal Colors that are the source of new colors in Fashion/Interior trends.

So to summarzie, the O-gan-saek that are created by mixing O-bang-saek are:
Green (Nok-saek)
Skyblue (Byuk-saek)
Pink (Hong-saek)
Tan (Yoo-hwang-saek)
Purple (Ja-saek)

For those of you who want to know more about the traditional Korean colors and their names... here's a chart for you!

Now in the color chart below, you can see the top row made up of the 5 Directional Yang Colors. And the bottom row made up of 5 Intermediary Yin Colors. I'm really loving this chart right now, because this can now help me create my combinations of Core Wardrobe Color Combos with the Basic Principle of mixing Yin and Yang!

For instance, if I want a basic 2 color combination for my outfit and I wanted only Yang energy, I would pick 2 colors from the top row. If I wanted a mixture of Yang AND Yin, I'd pick one from each row. Then if I only want to have Yin colors for top and bottom, or inner and outer, I can just choose the colors from the bottom row.

Of course, it would get quite complex once you start doing accessories in different colors, and you could end up with 3 color combo's now!
  • Yang-Yang-Yang
  • Yang-Yang-Yin
  • Yang-Yin-Yin
  • Yin-Yin-Yin.

OK. Well. I hope these Yang-Yin color groupings really add to your Core Wardrobe Color Strategy! Because this is why I've researched it for myself. :-> 

It is said that all our skin tones regardless of race and ethnic origins are a version of Orange according to Irenee Riter:

So, I think the traditional colors using natural dye CAN help us in creating our core wardrobe colors better than going with the paint-tube-colors. They will always be a closer approximation to our natural colors, right? :->

In closing, I share with you these beautiful Korean bowls. You can see the colors from nature that correlate to Red - Black - Blue - Yellow - White. 

Happy color-strategizing to you!!!



FINALLY!!! My Core Wardrobe Colors Palette (for Deep Autumns)

I have finally arrived at my "Most helpful colors for wardrobe decision" color chart! So what this means is that these are the colors I wear on a fairly regular basis over and over again. Of course, each season, I add new colors here and there, but if I were to go through all of my outfit combos, these would be the reliable Support Colors that I turn to regularly to make those colors stand out. Hmmm... interesting...!

My Best Neutrals From Experience (recommended for Deep Autumns) with Pictures

My primary neutrals BLACK / TAUPE
& staple wardrobe items

My secondary neutrals BLUE / LIGHTs
& staple wardrobe items

My tertiary neutrals Wine / Eggplant / Corals
& staple wardrobe items

OK. So these are ITs. My wardrobe staples, things that have been tested over time to have real staying power that get worn with great results, and mix well with other items.

I'm a deep Autumn so I am not sure that you can wear them with your coloring! But I hope the groupings gave you some ideas and inspirations to cull & plan your Core Wardrobe Colors!

Here's to Color Strategy, comrades!!



My Best Neutral Colors From Experience (recommended for Deep Autumns)

My primary neutrals: BLACk / TAUPE
I looked up color groups in Wikipedia, and Black has its own page but taupe is actually a mixture of grey and brown! For me, these two are my wardrobe stables and I need them for outer wear, tops, bottoms, bag/shoes/belt, and hat/gloves/scarf to make my wardrobe functional and cohesive. This is where most of my investment pieces should go. Where I should spend the most on in terms of color strategy. Probably around 70-80% of my money should go here.

My secondary neutrals: DARK NAVY / IVORIES
The warm midnight blue and jeans are all blue colors. The ivory/beige/creams/wheats are a mixture of yellow and white. Compared to my primary neutrals, these really are a small proportion of my wardrobe items. One blouse for work in a dark navy (or more specifically a warmed up midnight blue), a pair of dark denim pants, one navy jacket OR a denim jacket depending on your life-style, if you like navy maybe a scarf, bag, and skirt could work well also. Light neutrals could be a classic white shirt, a cream sleeveless blouse, a light neutral shell for Late Spring to Early Fall, just one pair of light neutral pants and a skirt, and one ivory fur trimmed coat for Winter. If you go on a lot of expensive dates or hotel weddings, you might do well with a beige bag/shoes/pashmina. I would probably spend somewhere between 15-5% for these colors.

My tertiary neutrals: WINE / EGGPLANT
My full length winter coat is in wine color and it's been with me for several years now. And I don't get tired of it. I think I like it better than a full length black coat. A cashmere blend V neck knit I had for work also lasted several years and the color was eggplant. Another dress which didn't last as long but still served me well was a Byzantium/Purple linen dress for summer.

Having paired these two colors side by side, I realize there's a huge pontential for these colors as accent colors in my wardrobe. But I'm not sure what design lines and fabric they ought to be in. But preferring to err on the side of classic/practical/frugal, I think it might be better to build these colors into my wardrobe slowly. Well, we'll see. After all, this exercise was just to clear my head and review my past choices in building a wardrobe. Anyhow, I would again spend somewhere between 15-5% for these colors.

I think color strategy is something that can really make or break a wardrobe. :-> Happy colorifique day to you ladies!



Money Saving Color Strategy for Your Core Wardrobe Colors: Stock up on Neturals!

Today I'm really thinking about the colors I wear over and over and never get sick of. I realize that the clothes that survive and get the most wear in my closet basically fall into 3 or 4 colors! 

a) warm tone black
b) warm tone midnight blue
c) muted or dusty browns or grays = all taupe's ranging from light to dark!
d) white/ivory/cream/wheat-ish lights neutrals.

I have tried many colors over the years and last year I included some intense tans into my core color group. But other than my jeans, the only articles of clothing I repeatedly wear are just those. Maybe adding a wine for winter. But that's pretty much it. 

So after all the shopping and wearing's been done, the colors I don't get sick of are actually VERY FIXED!! And any and all of the colors I wore have come and gone, and passed through my wardrobe!

This is especially important for people living in the colder climates; because most Winter clothes are pricier than your Summer clothes, and because they usually are more durable it is twice as more important to invest well for your Winter clothes. 

Once you understand your fabrics, you'll find that you can actually find some fabrics that will take you through 3 different seasons! Or maybe 2. But these days, I really try to avoid clothes that will only give me 1 season of wear. If I do, I make sure that those are the trendy pieces that can spice up my wardrobe but do that well.

OK then. So below is a chart of Neutral Colors that you can wear and not get tired of for a long time. I think it's helpful to find the neutral color that matches or enhances your hair/eye colors. And to make sure that it is a color that also goes well with your skin's overtone and undertone.

In my case, because of my deep dark hair and eye colors, warm black, warmed up midnight blue, charcoal gray, muted dark brown (this could be cooler than other colors!), and a medium value taupe have served me well for over a decade. I actually own a wool jacket that I bought 10 years ago that still fits me like a dream and doesn't look worn at all. 

OK. Gotta go and work on streamlining that Winter Capsule Work Wardrobe of Mine now!

Keep warm or cool (depending on where you live of course!)!!
And stay safe and happy!



Once You Know Your Season, Determine Your Core Wardrobe Colors to Save Money!

Hi ladies! So whether you're Dressing Your Truth or have been color-analyzed at home or by a consultant, you now know what your dominant type is or what your recommended color ranges are! But we're just getting started! :->

After I found out that I'm a Vivid Autumn/Deep Autumn/Striking Autumn (they pretty much mean the same thing!) I still realized I didn't have a cohesive wardrobe that is well put together with a color strategy to support me.

The problem is not that I don't have enough clothings and accessories. It is that I have too many colors!!! After looking at some style inspirations, I realized a couple of things about my color preferences. And I was determined to have a core wardrobe color or at least to have a plan and strategy to help me make future style purchases that didn't end up as an expensive mistake!

So, today, I would like to suggest a starting point for you! Now, please bear in mind that this step is for ladies who already know what seasonal color group they're in!

The color combo suggestions below are some resources I came across in my research in 2010. I'm so glad the website is still there!

The site also has some great info on how to budget for your wardrobe and have a three year clothing budget plan!

I meant to share the color combo palettes on my post but I just found out that the creator of that website has a Copyright policy where she prefers you to only share her links with others. So I'm refraining from sharing her texts, images, and worksheets, and leaving you to discover them for yourself!!

List of all links on her website:

Bon voyage!

Inter-Season Colors I Would Love to Live In (palettes from

So the other day, I was looking through some more information on Science of Dressing by Irenee Riter. And came across some really neat, useful color palettes for all blended color groups. I carefully examined each of them and asked myself which colors I could most easily wear on a daily basis. Here are the two that made the cut! :->

~ the winning color palette ~

~ the runner up color palette ~

For detailed information, please visit this page:

Have fun~!!! :-)

Love, Jessica

Nov 5, 2011

3 Outfits in Light Neutrals (Type 2 x Type 3 colors)

Chanel tweed meets Monsieur Dior's details

Jackie O' gone mild mild mild

the everyday Dior look on the Casual Side

Instagram ::: Hepburn School