How to Look Expensive Part 3 Thumbnail

How to Look Expensive Part 3

How to Look Expensive Part 3

access_time 2018/03/4 account_circle chat_bubble_outline 4 Comments
The links

Added above instead of below, which I say in the video.

How to Look Expensive Part 1 is here.

How to Look Expensive Part 2 at Calla Studio is here.

Louise Penny is here, the book I refer to is The Murder Stone.

“Better than the You you were  yesterday.”,  by Coach Kozak at HasFit.  Me, Coach, and Claudia, every dang day. They’ve made me better at life (another Coach-ism) and I support them.

Ted Chiang

The quote I mention, thank you to Naomi of Eastman Colour Consulting in Vancouver for sharing it with me.

Think of cocaine. In its natural form, as coca leaves, it’s appealing, but not to an extent that it usually becomes a problem. But refine it, purify it, and you get a compound that hits your pleasure receptors with an unnatural intensity. That’s when it becomes addictive. Beauty has undergone a similar process, thanks to advertisers. Evolution gave us a circuit that responds to good looks—call it the pleasure receptor for our visual cortex—and in our natural environment, it was useful to have.

But take a person with one-in-a-million skin and bone structure, add professional makeup and retouching, and you’re no longer looking at beauty in its natural form. You’ve got pharmaceutical-grade beauty, the cocaine of good looks. Biologists call this “supernormal stimulus”; show a mother bird a giant plastic egg, and she’ll incubate it instead of her own real eggs. Madison Avenue has saturated our environment with this kind of stimuli, this visual drug. Our beauty receptors receive more stimulation than they were evolved to handle; we’re seeing more beauty in one day than our ancestors did in a lifetime. And the result is that beauty is slowly ruining our lives.

– Ted Chiang,  Stories of Your Life and Others

It’s personal now

Feeling good in the colours we wear has to be personal.

When there’s no point of focus, we dance around our ‘look’ and can’t get it nailed down.

A little scary to look back on some of those purchases.

Where is the advice that’s for us, about us?

Where’s the script that we could read, that role we’d be cast in, where we don’t have to learn the lines over&over that keep changing?

So we follow generic advice.

It’s like being spammed by sales pages that we want to ignore but buy anyway.

Everybody’s doing it, it must be the answer.

We want to turn away, but towards what?

Towards ourselves, that’s what.

We want to look original because we are original. We want to look like us in away that we can recognize, still within that consensual reality that we all inhabit.

Everything comes back to how colour relates to you. If it doesn’t, cut it loose and don’t look back.

Colour analysis gives you that answer. And a door opens, and it’s peaceful and strong on the other side.

The video is also here at YouTube.


  1. Have believable hair colour.
Hair colour can look phenomenal if it’s done right.

The range of colours we wear well is fairly narrow, and by wear well, I mean fine to fantastic.

Lipstick isn’t red because of haemoglobin. Only human (and animal) lips are. Hair dye isn’t brown because of melanin. Only human (and animal) hair is. They form relationships with us, which may enhance, dominate, define, conflict or do a whole range of things on a different scale than human pigments would.

Hair colour is also right next to the face, always in the viewer’s awareness and reacting as strongly with skin as makeup does, or more if the area is larger.

Choose hair colour the way you choose attire or jewelry. How does the colour look with your whole palette, not just the most similar swatch or dot?

2. Forget about how clothes look with each other. Think about how they look with you. If the viewer has to step waaaay up or waaaay down to get from you to your lipstick, hair, or clothing, no adjustment can look like money.

If the viewer can’t tell where the clothes end and the person begins, what can you do? Wear a pile of makeup. Women sense that they’re disappearing, which is when odd stuff is added to show up again. There’s a better way.

Wear what you are. Narrow the gap between you and your clothing.

Not saying, look like your clothes, blend into your clothes, disappear into your clothes, and other variations on the theme.

Saying, look more like yourself, more You, with energy under your face that is still a continuation of you (not more than you), better together.

There I was, for decades, matching clothes with clothes, never dawning on me to factor me into the equation. With PCA, I knew how. With my palette, I could see myself in front of me. Imagine if you could put your head on the counter to do your hair. Makes life easier.

If you’re not sure about your own colours, try making combinations with your attire and hair colour. Would you put the two together in a print? No point looking at your eyes, they’re too complex to use as a guide. A garment colour can be out in left field; eyes may improve and the face may lose. Eyes contain a ton of information but it has to be read in context of a face. You need a professional colour analyst to sort that out.

3. Add navy. It’s available and one of the most forgiving colours when we’re not sure of our exact shade. Navy has a voice and looks like tradition, which can be associated with money.

Black can look like empty real estate for a few reasons. Make the rest of the outfit colourful or interesting so the viewer has something to look at.

We worry that colour will look narcissistic or self-involved, and someone might think “she’s more into herself than into me’ but that’s not what happens. No Season is a circus. Don’t let yourself be hijacked by fear and extremes.

4. NVM looking young. Or Rich. Go for modern and present.

A. Modern translates to current, a form of youth. Syn.: with it, keeping up with the times. Managing the present, not the past. Clothing, cosmetics, and hair colour that are 5 years ago, or a 5 years ago version of us, read to the viewer as outdated, old-fashioned, the opposite of youth.

Women want to look current, they see it as a sign of youth (true), which reinforces impressions of health and vitality. This is the right way to look young because it rings true. Money doesn’t need anyone to believe anything.

The idea of silver hair looking old, even that’s 5 years ago in the face of too much current proof that the opposite is true. I hear about women who work with the young and feel they need hair dye, and I think, “This is in your head, not theirs. It may be your ideas that need updating.”

B. Present. And accounted for, in the room, at the table. Visible, solid, grounded, wearing effective makeup, a healthy glow that’s not a yellow cast, and hair colour that’s right for today’s skin. Colour can give you all those (or take them away).

5. Let’s find your lipstick shade. Let’s find you four or five. If they’re discontinued, big deal. You’ll know how find a few more.

After your PCA, you’ll go back into the stores and be amazed at how much you’ve changed. Meanwhile, they stayed the same. Exactly the same.

6. Eyes show up best when we put lips on our face. If we’re Winters, we show up when we put lips on our face.

That doesn’t mean fire engine lips. Your colour analyst has options to show you.

7. Hair as the supporting cast, knowing the balance between definite style and part of identity. Is there a man alive whose hair is doing anything besides being there, especially in business? Eventually, if the hair is too big a player, folks are looking at it, listening to it, and so on.

8. Shoes as the supporting cast with a definite style, that you can walk in as comfortably as the men in the office. What looks pretty in pictures or eye candy seated at a table isn’t so great when the stride is awkward. Movies, ay? Nobody I see can walk in those shoes. Money doesn’t try. It just is.

9. Black, white, and the near colourless neutrals (steel, charcoal, ice).

So much of our taste is anchored in human visual perception and the planet’s calendar.

When colours are bright, distance is harder to gauge so things look flatter: Spring, Winter.

When colours are softer, our eye has a chance to notice light to dark as near to far graduations, so we sense textures and depth: Summer, Autumn.

Winter type neutrals: The least pigmented the neutrals set the stage for the most colourful colours. Wearing Winter neutrals with soft colours shows the viewer a landscape that evolution didn’t set them up to understand. When colours are bright, without a lot of light-dark contrast, our visual system can’t figure out what it’s looking at. Black and soft at the same time stalls our brain, leaves it hanging, like “What???”

Anyone watch Suits? Filmed in Toronto, I just learned. You can tell who looks like $$ and I bet we’d all agree. There was this banker…black jacket and soft pink-brown blouse. Her outfit said, “This isn’t how the world works.” When her outfit spoke for her, as outfits do, it said, “I may be confused about how the world works.”

Summer type neutrals: When colour gets out of the way, more gray appears. Suddenly, small colour steps = meaning! This novel is rich with detail. The viewer’s reaction: “I get you.”

Somewhere in between Winter and Summer where colour and darkness balance out, we get information about how things feel. New perceptions arrive, the texture of Autumn and transparent shine of Spring, the rounded, deeper light of 3D Autumn and flatter, newer light of 2D Spring.

You don’t have to know anything about vision or design. That’s all been done for you. Wear your palette and reap the rewards. People think you look great, their biology rendering them helpless to think anything else

10. Strategic logos or none. Logos are a time and place thing. Colour and design ring true on people with similar colour and design and then the magic happens (or the opposite magic of shiny plastic). Money doesn’t try to look like money and logos do. Money speaks for itself and logos seek status and recognition. Colour analysis explains to you the colours and finishes in metals will look like money with your intrinsic colouring.

11. Wear makeup ‘expensively’. Like it came out of your face by itself and looks real. Easy on the eyelashes and keep them fairly separated. The difference is often in the brush. IT cosmetics makes great mascaras. SuperHero’s brush has wide spaces so lashes clump together more. Hello Lashes has a smaller spaced comb that makes smaller gaps with enough stiffness to comb out, a fabulous product.

12. “I work from home and can’t figure out what to wear.” Yes, you and a million others like us. I think there are ‘comfort clothes’ that have glamour, she said as the stylists cringe. I’m thinking of the city wear that lines like Lululemon make, their trouser cut pants for example . Do you have Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) outside Canada? You’ll have plenty of others. Nothing is for everyone, a lot of it is boxy camping clothes, and compromise is part of life, but some of it has a certain glamour and dresses up fine. For the painfully practical like me, these clothes have interesting colours and maintain shape and colour well. If the doorbell rings or you have to get on Skype, no need to feel panicked. If you don’t see another soul all day, you feel happy that you didn’t think about your clothes and were so productive.

Wardrobe health is like physical health, financial health, or mental health. Yes, all loaded terms. When they’re in good shape, we don’t think about them. They operate behind the scenes, having received the attention that empowers them, so we can get on with our best life.

That’s colour analysis in a nutshell. You can do this. You already are this. We just have to connect you. Give a colour analyst an afternoon.

4 Thoughts on How to Look Expensive Part 3

  • Haru Ichiban

    Hmm, I kinda disagree with a couple of these items. I do like looking expensive, I feel much better that way than blending with the crowd of “informal” people. My Winter side, I suppose.

    Navy… some of us associate navy and unpleasant school experiences. In truth, the navy I wore as a schoolgirl was a True Summer one and didn’t flatter me one bit. I guess I could bear wearing my own navy if I ever found it, but I see it as a ‘meh’ color. I’ll take true black over navy any day. Difference of life experiences, I guess.

    As for modern, hmm again. I totally see what you mean, but I wouldn’t adopt that point. I wanted to post this on the Bright Spring post that said to wear high-end exercise clothes, but I think it’s not here anymore.

    In any case, I found something great to wear in hot weather. They are like short dresses/long shirts with prints that resemble Oriental elements to a degree (my mother calls them “kimonos”), flowers, fans, birds, that sort of stuff, in bright colors and sprinkled with multicolored, very tiny rhinestones. I wear them with satin or black cotton shorts and sandals. Nobody I’ve seen wears them, not hot in the least, but I think they give off a timeless elegance, way more than the “trendy” clothes. A time traveler who arrived to this century and knew nothing of fashion would undoubtedly say I’m looking more expensive than the fashionistas wearing cheap cotton and faded colors. And I can tell for sure by the reactions of people I just meet that I do look expensive in them.

    Also, skillfully-made timeless items, like Irish sweaters, give off the feeling of timeless elegance and money as well. Perhaps even more than trendy since they are associated with traditions.

    My two cents.

    • Christine Scaman

      Thank you, Haru, I’m completely enjoying your comments to the various posts and I’m sure that readers are as well. I hear you loud and clear on the expensive subject. It’s different for everyone really; I’m such a proponent of line analysis (Align at because it clarifies the look for each individual body (not pears or X’s or whatever concept it may be, but each actual body). The skirts you describe sound gorgeous. Would you have a link?

  • Haru Ichiban

    No prob, Christine, glad to add something I want to be of value to this site that has given me so much! I’m glad you enjoy reading them. I totally realize this is a very valid view for the average reader who won’t spend so much time and care about aesthetics as I do. I am an artist after all, and seek to express myself through clothes as well. My own message is “This is me, my own version of looking expensive. This is my version of modern. This is the way I’m evolving.”

    Funny, after reading this post my thoughs took a very different path… I have had trouble opening a new path in life despite my efforts, and I just noticed not my clothes, but many of my household items are from the past and loaded with emotions (most of them that I don’t want). I have been “Bright Spring-ing” my environment (floor and furniture and some things) but it’s amazing how many things I got (music, books, notebooks, folders, magazines) that don’t represent me anymore were overlooked.

    I don’t have a link; I found those shirts/dresses in import shops. Back when I started to dress as a Bright Spring I walked all the commercial streets of my town and perused pretty much every shop there. I only found those dresses in said kind of shops, three in total among thousands of stores. They don’t have a label but I’m totally convinced they are from China (further evidence is that they are all in the cool side of my season, since most Chinese are Bright Winters, right?)

    But if you want to see them I have no problem in taking photos of them and sending them to you. Where should I send them?

    PS I have been studying Kibbe as well, but found it a general guide at best. If Align is more accurate, I’ll be glad to check it out.

  • Haru Ichiban

    Oh, I just realized I could upload some pics to my deviantArt or make a tiny Youtube video. Nevermind then. I’ll get to it soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *