About this work

I am passionate about offering this system of color and design because it teaches us how to enhance our natural beauty and be authentic, confident, and powerful in the world.              

The underlying principle of this work is that, just as in nature where every detail is beautiful as it is, we too are perfect and complete just as we are. A small leaf next to a large flower is no less beautiful that a large leaf next to a small flower. We harmonize with our inherent perfection when we choose colors, textures, and shapes that mirror our own unique coloring, features, and shape. This sounds simple, but it is not how we are taught in our culture to accentuate our natural beauty. Instead, our shopping decisions can be swayed by fashion trends and sale prices, which seldom reflect our individual bodies. When we dress in ways that are not attuned to our uniqueness, our natural beauty is either diffused or overpowered.

The founder of this work is Suzanne Caygill, who saw a direct correlation between the coloring of human pigmentation and the color systems of the four seasons. She found that not only does a person’s coloring relate to one of the 4 seasons, but their characteristics and emotional essence also correlates to the qualities of their season. Suzanne started the Academy of Color in 1942, and her major work was Color, The Essence of You.

Personal Color Analysis

This work includes four basic foundational color types that are determined based on the client’s skin tone, hair color, and eye color.  These color types are then used to design a wardrobe and environment (e.g., wall color, furniture, etc.) that relate to each client’s color, design, and essence.

When colors are in harmony they brighten the skin tone and even out the complexion, helping the client to look healthy, rested and "put together". Colors that are not in harmony will dull the client’s skin tone and drain their coloring.

The Seasonal Harmony Types

Understanding the Seasonal Types is a dependable and powerful tool to better understand not only how to dress effectively but how to be in successful relationships with others.  Each of the four color types correspond to one of the 4 seasons.  Not only is our coloring related to a season, but so is our “essence”.  Below is a brief example showing some of these ways:


  •    the color essence is Clearness
  •    the design character is Light Hearted & Cheerful 
  •    the design weight is Light
  •    the design detail is Simple            


  •    the color essence is Softness
  •    the design character is Blended & Nothing stiff or hard
  •    the design weight is Light
  •    the design detail is Complex


  •    the color essence is Richness
  •    the design character is Drama, Presence, & Sense of Movement             
  •    the design weight is Heavy
  •    the design detail is Complex


  •    the color essence is Contrast
  •    the design character is Drama, Presence, & Sense of Stillness
  •    the design weight is Heavy
  •    the design detail is Simple

Keeping this in mind, if someone’s essence and coloring is a Spring, he or she would not want to wear a heavy cable knit sweater with a bold and busy pattern.  Likewise, a Winter would not wear an outfit of muted coloring and light silk fabric successfully.