Personal Style Counselors


In the 1960’s Joan Songer took a lot of Suzanne Caygill's basic theory and made it more applicable and easy for people to understand. She found artists who were experts in color identification and had them trained to do color analysis for both women, men and children. She taught classes on how to use and apply their color and style information.  She called her business Personal Style Counselors. Joan once told me she was afraid to actually do the color analysis herself, but she did enjoy teaching the classes.  She never wrote a  book about her  theory and how it was applied. It was not because she did not want to write one, but she was too busy with the frantic demand in her business coinciding with the explosive interest in self-development characteristic of that decade. Her contribution was to create a individualized color harmony system with classes to complement the information, creating one of the most comprehensive systems that still exists today.

True Colors | By Diana Divecha

It’s been easy in Berkeley not to care what I look like. Here, a critical mass of educated people are hip to the beauty industry’s evil forces—and as a result, grooming is a whole lot cheaper and less time-consuming. I enjoy the freedom of walking into the grocery store in pajama bottoms and flip-flops.

But I have two smart teenage daughters, and they recently took my shapeless, baggy, frizzy look on as a project. They gleefully made me watch the Saturday Night Live skit that makes fun of “mom jeans” (those elastic-waist jeans with the tummy pouch in front and the side pockets that accentuate the backside). I tried to argue that the media loves to indoctrinate women with instructions about how to dress . . . but I also saw myself through their eyes: out of step with the times, unnecessarily frumpy. So when my svelte, 50-something friend in the music industry suggested I see a style consultant, I decided to give it a try. “It’s not what you think,” she said encouragingly.

Hella's Thoughts on Suzanne Caygill’s Legacy

Suzanne Caygill is often the unacknowledged genius/creator behind many color systems that are used today in the world of image consultants (if they bother to acknowledge an individual’s coloring at all). It has been proven over and over again, that what a person wears and the colors they are wearing, has a subliminal and immediate effect on people who come in contact with them.  The results are positive or negative but rarely neutral.

Understanding the importance of one’s coloring and how to work with it,  has been my interest and fascinaton for over 30 years. Applying my observations and experience  of color and the effects is has on people and their environment is the foundation of my work. Even before I began a career as a wardrobe and style consultant, I was an unknowing example the moment I applied the colors and designs lines suggested to me by a color artist who had been trained under Suzanne’s theory. By that I mean to say is that I had immediate and enthusiastic feedback from people that I came in contact with. I am sure you have had the experience either of being so unexpectedly taken back or affected by someone you saw and the way they looked, you impulsively asked them something like: “Where did you get that yellow sweater!?” Feeling like maybe you too could share in a bit of the magic…but even if you had that sweater would you look the way they do?

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