Accessories Accelerate a Color Transition

When Gretchen traveled from California to St Louis for a conference, she stayed over an extra day to fit in a color consultation.  She had already had her colors “done” multiple times, but felt they still weren’t quite right.  As a coach for high-level executives, she needs to quickly establish both respect and rapport and she sensed that color could contribute to both.   (Whether you need to enhance trust and connection with a client, friend, spouse, boss or sales prospects, these same techniques can work for you.)

Here is Gretchen and the Color Fan we created – honestly one of the most beautiful I can remember ever doing, but also not even close to the traditional brights she’d been steered to in the past.  Can you see the obvious connection between her personal colors and these softer fashion colors?


As a top-tier pro in her field, Gretchen will establish visual authority by choosing  highest-quality tailored clothes rather than relying on stereotypical dark colors and high-contrast (ie. black/white) combinations.  She can readily afford fine quality because the easy coordination among her colors means more outfits from fewer pieces.

Now for the Rapport… By focusing attention attention to her face – especially her eyes – these colors cause clients to make eye contact with Gretchen more readily and sustain eye contact longer, therefore feeling immediate rapport.  Brighter colors would draw all the focus to her clothes and contribute very little to cultivate a trusting relationship.

Gretchen is enthusiastic about redirecting her wardrobe, but wanted some shortcuts to move the process faster without spending a fortune, so we focused on a couple of basic garments and some well-chosen accessories.

She already owns a bright red blazer, which she has always worn with exactly what retail suggests — black pants and a white shirt.  Can you envision how that would be too strong for her soft coloring?

We talked about changing out the black trousers for a pair in warm brown, and trading the white shirt for a knit shell in a soft sandy color similar to her hair.  She’ll also change the blazer’s black buttons for these mother-of-pearl ones. To make this unexpected color scheme more visually connected, we added a scarf that echoes both the red and her hair color, even down to the striated coloration of the blossoms.  In the pic below, you’re seeing the Color Fan strips that represent her skin, hair, eye and body red.  See how the red jacket alone a tad strong, but the new brown/sand mix makes it a very flattering combination.

The same brown pant and sandy-colored shell also work  beautifully – if unexpectedly – with the soft green, closely related to her eye color.  Most people wouldn’t think of brown and green as a combination, but this scarf made it a no-brainer.

Another way to create upward focus to her face and eyes is with necklaces/earrings that repeat colors from her personal color scheme.  Points of connection, remember?  In each example below you’ll see the relevant strip from her Color Fan for reference:

  • The green necklace repeats the green of her eye color.
  • The Tahitian black pearls draw out the blue tones her eyes also have.  Natural materials like pearls, shell and stones have mottled, blended colorations that relate more readily to human coloring elements.
  •   The blush-pink mother-of-pearl chips are similar to her skin tone – another great way to soften a garment that is otherwise too dark and strong for her.
  • The cream M-O-P squares echo her hair color, softening an outfit in much the same way the sandy shell did in the combos above.Her coloring is nearly a balance between warm and cool, so her best metallic  looks are a gold/silver mixture or a tri-color mix adding rose gold.  We added one of each, focusing on a hammered and slightly matte finish on the left and a mix of fine chains in 3 metals on the right.  Because of her soft coloring, big areas of shine would be overpowering.

What ideas from Gretchen’s wardrobe update can you incorporate in your own closet?


About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Karen Rogers on August 2, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Accessories aren’t just the “fun” of a wardrobe, they truly are the defining elements. I’m lusting after the green & brown scarf. I’m not seeing it in your shop. Please tell me you do carry it.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on August 3, 2018 at 8:39 am

      We do – but we are in the final-final stages of a new web site so I’m not adding any products until that launches. However you can email me directly and we can work something out to get it for you now.

  2. Janee Connor on August 3, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I love what you’ve done for Gretchen! Just about everything you’ve shown here could easily apply to me – my coloring is very similar to Gretchen’s, and as I’m in the process of revamping my own wardrobe I plan to steal all of these ideas! Thanks, Nancy!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on August 3, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Glad you found it helpful. WE worked with some additional scarves too, but I didn’t want to make the post too long by including them all. Although they are all in stock, they aren’t yet up on the web because I’m waiting for the impending launch of our new site. But if you email me directly I’m happy to send you pics and you can just order via email.

  3. Melissa on August 7, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Great job!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on August 7, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      Thanks Melissa. I just got an email from her today saying how much she is loving her new color direction and how many nice comments she is getting from friends and coworkers.

  4. Lisa Alan on August 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Great article! This is really helpful to me. I also have soft coloring. The whole idea of the possibility of one’s coloring being “nearly a balance between warm and cool” is pretty mind-boggling to me! I was taught back in the eighties that one was either warm OR cool and there was no middle ground. Except, of course, there is! Thank you for all the great info you are sharing here. I have your book and your Craftsy class and would love a consultation. Do you ever get to Phoenix? Thank you. Can’t wait to see your new website. Lisa

    • Nancy Nix Rice on August 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Ah yes, we’ve come so far since Color Me Beautiful. I just got home from doing a close clean-out with another in-the-middle gal – she had 3 color consults before she came to me, and now it is all starting to make sense to her. Funny thing is, she knew on a certain level which of her things did and didn’t work, but kept second-guessing herself because of all the erroneous info she was being given. Glad this post helped a light go on for you.
      About Phoenix – I do’nt have a pan to be there in the near future, but as we schedule new Style School locations they are always announced in the newsletter. And of course if you get a group of 6 or so ladies interested I would then promote it and make it happen. Just sayin’. Of check out the long-distance color consultation option via photographs.

      • Lisa Alan on August 15, 2018 at 6:49 pm

        Ok, thanks! I will figure something out, one way or another.

  5. Cassie on January 24, 2021 at 2:28 am

    Brown bottoms like that have been a staple in my wardrobe since college, and I constantly paired my brown bottoms with green or dark red tops! My sister in law commented on it, saying that it was such a weird combination to see, but she liked it. I just took colors I loved in my wardrobe and wore them together because I couldn’t be bothered to think too much about it if they weren’t obviously awful. XD So apparently I’m not awful at this wear-your-colors thing, I just can’t pick out my colors intentionally yet beyond trying on clothes that catch my eye and hoping for the best.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 24, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      It really is the case that almost any 2 colors that both look good on a person can also look good together. If you’d like help insuring that all your choices are your best colors, check out out totally personalized color consultations at We can now do it via emailed photos so you do’nt have to wait until you and I are in the same locale — which in the current conditions might be a while!

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