Category: Colour

Blog, Colour

Six reasons why you should have your colours ‘done’.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 /

Copy of What a difference colour can make! What a difference colour can make! Fiona

Having your colours ‘done’ will not only enlighten you as to which colours suit you best. You’ll be clued-up in no time and confident in choosing whether those colours should be cool or warm (temperature); dark or light (depth); clear or muted (intensity); and how you should mix those colours for your best combinations (contrast levels).

There are so many reasons why knowing your best colour temperature, depth, intensity and contrast levels could change your life. I speak from stark experience, as referenced in these photos of Fiona and I pre-colour intervention (28ish yrs) versus post-colour intervention (40ish yrs). What a difference colour can make!

For those who need more evidence (although I can’t imagine why), knowing and buying garments in your personal colours and contrast levels means:

  1. Everything in your wardrobe will mix and match: no more garment ‘orphans’ which require you to buy something new just so you can wear it;
  2. Saving cash: discovering the colours that flatter you will mean you avoid forking out for garment mistakes that end up languishing in your wardrobe, unloved and unworn, with the constant reminder of an attached price tag;
  3. Saving time: imagine walking into a store and being able to scan it in seconds to establish whether they have anything for you?;
  4. You can create great capsule wardrobes: mixing and matching means no more laboring over what to wear to work or what to take away on holidays;
  5. You will project to the world a truer impression of you: colour psychology (i.e. the impact of colour on your own and other’s mood and perceptions) is well researched and hence, big companies spend a lot of money working on their branding – including what colours to use. The colours we wear can have just as much impact on how people perceive you; and last, but not least
  6. You’ll look fabulous: wearing the wrong or right colours can be the difference between looking like you need a sick day or like you’ve just returned from Tahiti.

But we don’t expect you to take our word for it. Here’s a little ditty from our wonderful client, Angela O:

 “The Style Liberation colour session was a lot of fun and very relaxing. As somebody who loves to shop for clothes (and bargains!) I’ve never really thought about the role that colour plays in making me look ‘alive’ or a little ‘frumpy’. I could immediately see the impact that the wrong colour or shade had on my complexion…best of all I don’t need to remember a complicated palette of colours as the take-home swatches are small and simple; I’ll keep them in my handbag when shopping always!”

If you’d like to reap these and other benefits, book your Style Liberation Colour Analysis. You can book an individual session here or book a spot at one of our upcoming group sessions in Canberra (4th March 2018) or Brisbane (4th March 2018). Go on! It will be fun. We promise!

In the meantime download your free copy of 35+ Where to Shop. It’s a free guide, that classifies over 80 retailers by style personality, colour palette, body shape and dress code. We’ll find the perfect stores for you. Download it here.

Blog, Colour

Dark or light: Which depth of colour is right for you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 /


It’s one thing to know what colours suit us, but it’s equally important to know how light or dark these colours should be. The depth of the colours you wear could be the deciding factor in whether you wear the colours or the colours wear you!

In a Style Liberation Colour Analysis session, we’ll establish your ideal depth of colour and how to mix these for their best effect. The general rule is the deeper your hair, skin or eyes – deeper colours will be better for you. The lighter your hair, skin or eyes – lighter colours will be better for you. It’s not always as simple as that and the best depth for you will be based on a combination of factors and what contrast level is best for you (more on that later). Test it out. You may find some lighter colours wash you out. If so, you probably need to wear medium to deep colours. If you feel deep colours are too heavy for you, then you should wear light to medium colours.

If you’d like to know your ideal colour depth, book a spot at one of our upcoming group sessions in Canberra (27th November 2016) or Brisbane (13th November 2016). Don’t miss out, these are the last Group Sessions for the year. Or book an individual Style Liberation Colour Analysis session. Go on! It will be fun. We promise!

Blog, Colour

How to Use Your Colour Swatch

Monday, November 23, 2015 /

This is my first foray into video on this blog. Please be gentle.

I made the video to help you on your colour journey. Are you using your colour swatch to it’s full potential? Do you carry it about or is it sitting in a  drawer hiding behind your smalls? The video is a quick reminder about how to use your colour swatch and make the most from your investment.


How to Use Your Colour Swatch from Fiona Keary on Vimeo.

Find out more about my colour services here or get in touch at or 0422 633 659


Do you have one of these, it’s a colour swatch, or something similar? Is it in your handbag or is it lurking somewhere in the back of the drawer, unloved and unused? Have you spent money on a colour consultation but found that you actually haven’t made the most of your investment because you’re not using it?

Today’s video is a reminder on how to make the most of using your colour swatch. The first thing I want to remind you of, is that, in this particular swatch anyway, you have a cheat sheet up at the front. That’s just a summary of everything that would have been covered in your colour consultation. It covers important things like the contrast level that you use, prints and patterns that are going to work really well for you, texture that you should think about, and also gemstones and metallics that are going to work for you.

On the back of each swatch you’ll also find other information about a particular colour, so the name of the colour for example, the lifestyle effect, whether it is a core piece in your wardrobe, a basic colour in your wardrobe, or an accent colour, which scare children and small animals. You may also have a signature colour ticked. A signature colour is one that you would wear head to toe as an evening dress or perhaps even as a coat. A winter coat would be great. That’s just the high level stuff when it comes to your colour swatch.

Now a lot of people say to me, “But I can’t find those colours.” These are only 60 of your best colours. What that means is there are so many different variations of these colors that you’re not going to match exactly. What you want to do is try and find the colours that look like they sit within this colour palette. The easiest way to do this, and start on your own wardrobe first, is to take your swatch and compare it to things that you already have.

For example, if I compare it here, does it look like the colour belongs? Yes, it does. The top that I’m wearing is cool and the color palette that I’ve got in front of me is cool. However, if I put it against this very warm color, does it look like it belongs? No, it doesn’t. That’s the first thing: if it doesn’t, it’s not in your colour palette.

The second thing that you need to look at is the intensity of the colour.Do you have a muted colour palette, so a colour palette where it’s a little bit dusty or soft, or a clear palette where the colour is bright, rich or intense. That’s much easier to see than temperature sometimes.

Not every colour in your colour swatch is going to be the best colour for you. The reason being is it’s about creating the right level of contrast for you. I actually think this is the most important thing to get right, so I’ll actually do another video on that. Colour contrast is about mirroring what nature has given you. It’s a combination of your hair, skin, and eyes.

For me, my colour contrast is high because there’s quite a difference between my hair and skin. For me, if I was to wear a really light, pale color, what it will do is it’s too low-contrast against my skin and it will wash me out. I need to only use these colours when I layer, or use it in a print or pattern, or something like that. It’s just being mindful that if something isn’t feeling right about a colour from your colour palette, it perhaps is because you’re not getting the right level of contrast.

Have fun with your color swatch and practice coming up with lots of new color combinations that perhaps you haven’t tried before. I always say, if you’re not sure about how to combine color and you’ve got a particular piece you want to match with something else, use your color swatch. It’s a really great and easy way to explore using other colors without having to go and buy something else first. At least then when you hit the shops, you know the tone or the type of color that you’re looking to actually match with that item that you already have. It’s about having fun with it.

If you’d like some more tips and tools on how to use color or perhaps on style or body architecture, visit If you know of someone who would like to be liberated or have a color consultation done, all the details can be found at See you next time.

Find out more about my colour services here or get in touch at or 0422 633 659


High Contrast: Creating the Wow Effect

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 /

"Bedtime Stories" Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet

To create the right level of colour contrast for you, i.e. to  harmonise/balance with your colouring you should mirror your own level of colour contrast. For example, is there a big variance between your hair skin and eyes say dark hair, pale skin and medium value eyes? Then medium to high colour contrast is for you.

High colour contrast creates impact and has the wow effect i.e. look at me! It can be created by putting two bright colours together or a dark colour with a bright colour.


In general high contrast is best for the following colour palettes:

  • Cool & Clear
  • Cool, Clear & Dark
  • Cool, Clear & Bright
  • Warm, Muted & Dark

Only use it at work for special occasions as it can come across as being a little intimidating rather than friendly, open and collaborative. You don’t want to scare everyone. Wear high contrast when you are presenting – especially to large groups or when you are having a difficult conversation and require the upper hand.

There are three ways to create colour contrast when putting together an outfit:





As with everything, have fun with it and take some time to play in your wardrobe. You may be surprised with what you can create.

If you’d like to find out more about how to wear colour and which colours are right for you check out Discovering your Style or upcoming Group Consultations.

Blog, Colour

How to wear the colour of the year – Marsala

Thursday, February 5, 2015 /

According to Pantone, Marsala (Pantone 18-1438) is ‘the’ colour of 2015. Marsala is warm, rich and earthy and therefore perfect for Autumn/Winter 2015.

Who can wear it?

Due to its warm tones, Marsala complements the following colour palettes:

  • Warm & Muted
  • Warm, Muted & Dark
  • Warm, Muted & Soft (it may be a little dark to wear as a solid colour so I’d suggest using the colour as a layering piece)

A version of Marsala will also work for all the Warm & Clear palettes as well as Cool, Clear & Dark and Cool, Clear & Bright. Only if the shade is bright/clear rather than muted.

Sorry super cool people – this shade’s not for you.

Great pieces

Whilst you may not find the exact match in store, I’ve found the best variations of Marsala for this season.





Colour combinations

What do you wear it with other than black? Try these combinations:


If you’d like to find out if Marsala is right for you why not book a Colour & Style Transformation or join me at the next Group Colour Session on Sunday 22nd February.

Colour, Retail Therapy, Style

Top 10 Coats for AW14

Thursday, June 12, 2014 /

It’s getting cold out there! Well it is if you live in Canberra and it’s surrounds. If you haven’t purchased your winter coat yet don’t worry you haven’t left it too late. In fact, it’s the perfect time to make that investment as there are so many great sales on at the moment.

I recommend ditching the boring black (or grey or beige) coat and make a statement this winter. They may be a little harder to find this season but they are out there. Your coat should reflect your style personality so let’s take a look at my top 10 categorised by colour, shape and personality type:

Classic with Attitude


Freda Alexis Wool Coat in Midnight Blue (available at Matches Fashion Online) $350.00

Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright and possibly Cool, Muted & Soft; and Warm, Muted & Dark.

Rectangles and Inverted Triangles

Classic, Elegant, Dramatic, Creative and Natural


Lady in Red


Review Theodore Coat in Red $224.99


Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright and possibly Cool, Muted & Soft

Hourglass, Triangle, Rectangle and Inverted Triangle.

Classic, Elegant, Feminine and Creative.


The Natural


Gorman Derailed Coat in Olive $399.00


Warm & Muted; Warm, Muted & Dark; Warm, Muted & Soft

Inverted Triangle and Rectangle

Natural, Classic and Creative


Lady Like


Alannah Hill Lady Luck Coat in Blue $449.00


Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light; and possibly Warm, Clear and Light.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle.

Feminine, Elegant and Creative.


Military Blue


Table Eight Anna Military Detail Coat in Cobalt $179.99


Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle.

Classic, Elegant, Dramatic and Creative




Seduce Entrapment Jacket in Gunmetal (available at Birdsnest) $149.00


Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light; and possibly Warm, Muted & Soft.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle

Elegant, Dramatic, Sultry and Creative.


The Floral Number


Blue Illusion Winter Floral Coat $249.95


Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light; and possibly Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark.

Inverted Triangle and Rectangle.

Feminine, Elegant and Creative.


Splashy Spring


Cue A-line Long Line Coat in Watermelon $247.50


Warm & Clear, Warm, Clear & Light; Warm, Clear & Bright; and possibly Cool, Clear & Bright.

Rectangle and Inverted Triangle.

Natural, Creative, Classic and Elegant


Animal Instincts


Karen Millen Leopard Print Coat $399.00


Warm & Muted; Warm, Muted & Dark; Warm, Muted & Soft.

Hourglass, Rectangle and Triangle.

Sultry, Dramatic and Creative.




Sass & Bide The Miraculous Trench Coat in French Navy $950.00


Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle.

Dramatic, Natural, Creative, Sultry and Elegant.


The Alternative to Black Shoes

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 /

Does your shoe collection reflect the dark side? Do you often buy another pair of black shoes because you think they go with everything? Mmmm I disagree, I find colour goes better with colour and black should be worn with black, white, grey and at a stretch navy.

I love to play with colour especially for shoes and bags. It ensures that your outfits have a point of difference and are never boring.

I have featured a few pairs more than once as one of the concerns that I often hear from clients is that if they invest in neutral or colour shoes that they will not go with anything else that they have. If you work with your recommended colour palette (more on that in future posts) you will have endless mix and match opportunities and every excuse to invest in non-black footwear.


The alternative to black shoes - Printastic

Saba Printwash Dress $269.00, Mollini Nahini Sandal $139.95, Novo Idalee Heel in Mint $39.95, Country Road Jemma Patent Wedge $149.00, Mollini Yarni Heel $139.95, Wayne by Wayne Cooper Angelique Purple Patent Pump at Myer $149.95, Jigsaw Kensal Navy Sandal $199.00


The alternative to black shoes - Red

Veronika Maine Linen Blend Tulip Dress in Summer Red $239.00, Diana Ferrari Tiffanie Black/White Snake Pump $129.95, Country Road Eden Double Strap Heel $169.00, Mollini Jerra Heel $149.95, Mollini Yarni Heel $139.95, Novo Shoes Idelia Heel in Taupe $69.95.


The alternative to black shoes - Blue

David Lawrence Mini Ottoman Cross Over Dress in Electric Blue $239.00, David Lawrence Crossover Strap Heel in Camel $189.00, Novo Shoes Idelia Heel in Taupe $69.95, Mollini Marsy Shoe in Red $129.95, Mollini Nica Sandal in Tan $139.95, Jigsaw Belmont Wedge in Navy $189.00, Miss Shop Trisha 2 Blue Pump at Myer $59.95.


The alternative to black shoes - Grey

Cue Lurex Tweed Dress $229.00
Jigsaw Windsor Slingback Pump $199.00, Country Road Jemma Patent Wedge $149.00, Novo Shoes Lilo Sandal in Pewter $69.95, Diana Ferrari Tiffanie Black/White Snake Pump $129.95, Wittner New York Heel in Pink $139.95), Mollini Ucal Sandal $149.95, Sachi Amelia Managing Blue Snake Pump at Myer $149.95.


The battle lines are drawn: Pastels v Brights

Monday, October 21, 2013 /

I know which I favour but perhaps that’s because when I don a pastel hue I appear ill, hence a great sick day colour for me, not that I condone that. However, I do appreciate pastels and what they have to offer: soft, feminine and understated. Brights on the other hand lift my spirits and create a sense of fun and playfulness. For others, brights willhave you running in the fear that you may be noticed.

So for whichever side you are drawn to (and perhaps it’s neither or both) I do understand that it is sometimes a little tricky to translate these into looks for work so let me show you how.


Brights at work 1

Witchery Longline Slim Jacket in Red $200.00, Veronika Maine Monochrome Mini Dot Pant $159.99, French Connection Necklace $60.00, Wittner Topper Heels $140.00, Sambag Olivia Cobalt Grainy Leather Bag $370.00

Brights at work 2

Karen Millen Colourful Shift Dress in Green $375.00, Joanne Mercer Miranda Sandal $149.95, Marcs Simone Leather Satchel $229.00, Portmans Bone & Metal Bangle Stack $30.00, Ziggy Gold Pyramid Spike Earrings $69.00 at

Pastels at work 1

RM Williams Lake Torens Shirt in Pink $115.00, Saba Alicia Suit Skirt $169.00, LK Bennett Sue Suede Heel $310.00, Mimco Fibonacci Doc Bag $499.00, Mimco Novella Knot Choker $199.00

Pastels at work 2

Saba Marissa Dress $229.00, David Lawrence Sienna Notched Jacket $229.00, Jigsaw Chiswick Tote $299.00, Cue Stevie Mushroom Sunglasses $90.00, Sussan Kingfisher Stripe Scarf $29.95, Nine West Isla Heel in Pink $129.95.

So which side are you on? Pastels or Brights?



Friday, October 4, 2013 /

Last week we looked at wearing white head to toe, but if that you made you nervous don’t worry – add a little black and you will be right on trend channelling Monochrome.

The best news about Monochrome? It’s simple to adopt and will not require a great deal of investment. Most of us already have great black and white pieces in our wardrobe that can be easily mixed and matched with any new purchases that we wish to add.

This season monochrome patterns include mostly geometrics, spots and stripes which complements the sharp lines and tailoring. You may also notice florals and more subtle patterns available which are great for casual to smart casual pieces.

Monochrome is fantastic for work as it creates a medium contrast level which will make you appear approachable, open and friendly. Depending on the contrast level that you require you may find that you need to incorporate more black than white in your outfit or vice versa. For example, I would need to wear the Veronika Maine Colour Block Pencil Dress (pictured below) rather than the David Lawrence Contrast Outline Dress to create the right level of contrast.

If you feel that the colour palette is a little plain for you add a pop of colour (preferably something bright). Great colours to lift your outfit include: yellow, cobalt, emerald green and hot pink. All are key colours for this season and readily available.


Clockwise from top: Veronika Maine Stretch Cotton Colour Block Pencil Dress $279.00, Piper Spliced Printed Peplum Top at Myer $60.00, Diana Ferrari Peep Toe Shoes $150.00, Sportscraft Michelle Pants $159.95, Veronika Maine Window Paine Print Skirt $169.00, David Lawrence Contrast Outline Dress $269.00, Saba Tokyo Large Day Bag $349.00, Diana Ferrari Black Suit Jacket $180.00.


Monochrome - Play

From L-R: Sussan Oversize Mosaic Scarf $39.95, Target Large Canvas Tribal Print Beach Tote $20.00, Witchery Antoinette Gladiator Sandal $120.00, Country Road Square Print Shift Dress $249.00, Jigsaw Ladder Trim Top $79.00, Marcs Silk Geo Pant $189.00, Witchery Leather Sleeve Sweat $130.00, Sportscraft Polka Dot Skirt $135.00


White: Hot or Not?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 /

Head to toe white – I can hear some of you cry in horror. Even the most loyal trend followers are wary but don’t be too quick to discount. Yes, it may be a little tricky to wear at work without looking like you are trying to channel Miami Vice. It may also hamper your social activities for fear of red wine, tomato sauce or grass stains. But, white is fabulous for summer – it is elegant and sophisticated; and at the same time easy and relaxed.

Firstly, you need to choose the right shade of white for you. If your colouring is cooler you should opt for bright or silk white (off white). Warmer undertones will find ivory and cream more flattering. To determine the best shade of white for you, take a range of whites and hold them up to your face (this exercise is more accurate without make up). Flattering shades will be those that make your skin appear clear and even – the foundation effect.

It is best to create a medium colour contrast for work; it seen as approachable, collaborative and friendly. A medium colour contrast is the combination of two or more colours that create a noticeable difference in depth (i.e. light and dark). Contrast can be achieved through layering, pattern and as a single colour against your skin. Therefore, it may be best to add another colour into the mix to create the right level of contrast for you. Great combinations with white this season include cobalt, yellow and magenta. As always, black, navy and red are classic partners for white.


White Hot or Not? Work

Saba Hayley Jacket $299.00, Saba Wendy Drape Tee $79.00, Elk 2 Row Fins Necklace $55.00, Sportscraft Luxe Linen Skirt $135.00, Sportscraft Lily Cross Body Bag $199.95, Diana Ferrari Galore Heels $139.95

White Hot or Not? Play

Country Road Frill Sleeve Broderie Dress $149.00, French Connection Laser Cut Sandal $149.95, Lacoste Pique Small Tote $94.00, Mimco Blooming Bow Studs $60.00, David Lawrence Nadine Sunglasses $139.00.



For work mix structured pieces with relaxed blouses and tops; this will keep your look polished and professional.

For play there are no rules (other than keeping a packet of baby wipes at hand) but if you want to add interest use a mix of textures such as linen, lace and sheers.

So yes, you will need to approach meal times with care and have your dry cleaner on speed dial, but you will look oh so stylish and on trend.