Skip links

Color Me Strategically

For any man reading this post, please be patient with me and read the whole thing. I promise it will make sense by the end.

Back in 1979, my sister Jackie took me to the home of one of her closest friends, Annette. Annette and her family lived in the hills of Saratoga, California, (near San Jose) in a beautiful Spanish home. Annette and most of her family had this gorgeous red hair, and as we sat around chatting, somehow the subject turned to what color clothes look best (or worst) on a red head.

That’s when I got my first lesson in four-season color harmony theory and personal color palettes. Annette and her mother, who were both wearing turquoise, told us about these talented women (Suzanne Caygill and Jennifer Butler ) who work with people to create their personal color palette – shades best suited to their specific hair color and texture, skin color and texture, and eye color. (Having spent many sessions with Jennifer over the last 30 years, I can attest to her amazing talent.)

The photo above is a picture of my portable color palette. My wardrobe is primarily filled with shades of green (my eye color) and khaki, and shades of peach and gray and black and crème. This color-specific style system helps me dress and look my best. I also use it as my secret weapon in business!

What should I wear for a meeting with my employees? Jennifer told me to wear my skin tone – as this would make me seem more open to communication and feedback.

Meeting with an important client? I wear a suit of one of my basic colors (my hair color) and a shirt in my skin tone, to promote communication. (A client once commented to me after our meeting that he felt like it was suddenly very easy to talk with me.)

How to stand out at a cocktail party at an industry convention? I wear my “dramatic color” – which for me is a shade of green.

So, men, how does this relate to you? Ever notice how politicians and successful businessmen always look so “put together”? They know when to wear their red tie and when to wear their yellow, green or blue tie.

These color choices are not selected at random! I can pretty much guarantee that these successful men have worked with a colorist or a personal style consultant for advice on what color and texture to wear to have the most credibility.

So, if you are looking to be more successful in your life, you might want to think about color in a more strategic way! (To learn more about Jennifer Butler’s work, please visit her website:

Colorfully yours,

Got this as a forward? Reading online? Click here to subscribe to this blog via email.

Leave a comment