How to Use Your Power Colors to Create the Life You Want – Part 2

By on September 1, 2012

By Jeanine Byers Hoag –

While we instinctively know that some colors make us feel better than others do, it may be a surprise to consider the possibility that the colors you wear send a message to others, and yourself, by way of the mirror. In last month’s article, our focus was on how to choose color to communicate authority, to call attention to yourself, to set the right mood for a romantic evening or add warmth to a gathering with friends.

Now, let’s look at how to find your best version of black and other ways to use color in your most important relationships or in your everyday activities.

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Formal Color: Your “LBD”

This color is your version of black. I say “version,” because not everyone can wear black well. In fact, very few people can, unless they have deep coloring, and even then, it can look kind of stark and is probably not their color to shine in, if another choice is available. In my opinion, unless you are a winter, I would reserve black for funerals or other occasions where you really have to wear it.

But even if you cannot wear black, there is a formal color that will make you look your best on fancy occasions. David Zyla recommends using the ring around your eye to find this color. For me, it would be a deep green or a dark olive green, but for others, it might be a charcoal gray or a very dark, midnight blue.

Casual Colors

These are colors that support your coloring but don’t give off as much energy as your dramatic colors. Donna Fujii calls them understated’s and I think they make great casual, wear-anytime colors.

They are not limited to one color family, of course, so they can include a fair amount of the colors in your palette. So, for me, they might include peach, apricot, apple green, curry, a soft violet, light brown, wood brown. For cooler coloring, there might be sky blue, a salmon pink, an icy yellow, etc.

“Wear understated colors when you wish to create a more subdued and conservative impression. Examples of Understated include the soft yellows, blues, greens, and lavender.”—Donna Fujii

Energy Colors

This is a color that will give you energy and help you sustain it when you need it most. David Zyla recommends finding the darkest color in your eye and using that as an energy color. So for me, that would be an espresso or chocolate chip brown, an almost-black brown.

And I think, then, that the range of dark browns in my palette would all be energy colors for me, even if they are not quite as dark as espresso. So once you have identified the dark color in your eyes, consider the range of darkness for that color.

And this is the color you can use to strengthen the relationship with your children, according to Zyla. “Try a sweater, a pair of slacks or even a jacket in your energy color. It will give you support for hearing any secrets your son or daughter has to share, even as it reminds your child of how open and available you are.”

Tranquil Colors

In his book, Color Your Style, David Zyla has several great suggestions for how to use your tranquil color once you have found it. You can wear it to do yoga, you can wear it when you are relaxing at home, you can use it as an accent color in your chosen room, to make it more relaxing.

How or where do you find it? It is the lightest color in your eye! And just as I suggested before, I encourage you to identify not just one color but a range of colors you can think of as tranquil.

For instance, if you asked me what color my eyes are, I would probably say topaz. And I think of that as one of my tranquil colors.

But I also would include amber, smoky quartz, tiger’s eye, caramel, golden brown, honey, apple cider and maybe even rust as potential tranquil colors. If your eyes are primarily green, you might consider cypress, seagreen, fern, blue green and other similar colors.


For David Zyla, the neutrals are basically the lighter colors found in your hair. Beige, wheat, light brown, khaki, stone, and other similar colors. For people with darker cooler hair, we might be looking at heather gray or charcoal gray.

But for Donna Fujii, your neutrals are any color that has even less energy than your understateds. These are great colors to pair with the brighter or deeper colors in your palette. The ones that go with everything!

So these colors in your seasonal color palette are your power tools for creating the day, the week, the month, the year, the life you want to have. If used correctly, they can support you in being more authentic, in communicating the message you want to send, and in accomplishing your goals.


Jeanine Byers Hoag is a personal style blogger and the author of The Capsule Wardrobe Book: Signature Style Essentials for Plus Size Fashionistas. For more information, go to

About Jeanine Byers Hoag

Jeanine Byers Hoag is a personal style blogger and the author of The Capsule Wardrobe Book: Signature Style Essentials for Plus Size Fashionistas. For more information, go to

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How to Use Your Power Colors to Create the Life You Want – Part 2