A World of Color


By Natalie Bencivenga


January 20, 2021

From Zoom meetings to grocery store runs, dressing in 2021 may feel very differently from years gone by. Shopping may not seem as exciting right now, but we still have to put on clothes and face each day. Instead of wasting time shopping for pieces you may not need in colors that may not flatter, why not look at fashion through a whole new lens? You can be eco-chic, fashionable and shine bright just from editing your own wardrobe and wearing colors that flatter your skin tone. Don’t know where to start? Look no further! Julie Shields, House of Colour consultant can turn your closet from drab to fab! 

Julie Shields, House of Colour consultant

Have you always been interested in fashion and style? 

I was really a tomboy growing up and I think I followed a lot of "bad fashion" that really didn't work for me from 18-24!. Then, I had my colors analyzed when I was in my mid 20s and that really changed my closet game.

How did you start this journey becoming a stylist with an eye for color? 

I was living in London, England. A friend started her franchise and our husbands went to become models for her training. My ex came home with his color wallet and started talking about how fantastic he looked in all these colors. I was immediately on the phone asking her when I could come in! I saw the amazing transformation that happened when I was in her chair, how certain colors made me look alive (without makeup) and then other colors, including black, aged me and brought out all my wrinkles and dark shadows. I opened my own House of Color franchise in 2007 and haven’t looked back since.

What is House of Colour? 

HOC is a franchise company that now has its own official USA entity. We are now 80 consultants strong with a dozen new consultants being trained each month. House of Colour believes that everyone is beautiful and it is our purpose to bring this belief out in everyone who seeks our services. 

Can you explain color theory as it relates to clothing? 

We are visual. We see color first before anything else and so when we dress in color we are sending a message. When we dress in colors that flatter us — get us into focus instead of the clothes — then we are creating an image of the person we are on the inside to the outside world. Color theory has been around for centuries and what I do as a color analyst is make it specific for you to use on a daily basis. 

What is so empowering about wearing “your colors or your season”? 

It really is as simple as this: When you look good, you feel good. As we’ve been “stuck” at home over the last several months, it’s given people a real insight into how they feel when they are dressed in slouchy, unflattering clothing and how their mood lifts when they decide to get “dressed up” to go to the grocery store. I want people to look in the mirror and say, “Damn, I look good today.” How we dress tells others about us, but it also reinforces the stories we tell ourselves.

Who is your client and what should they expect? 

My clients are those people that have tried to make changes by themselves and now need to make an investment to educate themselves with the right tools to actually make it work. Our goal is to have you look and feel amazing! I help my clients to save time, energy and money by learning the skills needed to create the perfect closet specifically for them. 

What are some mistakes people make when shopping? 

They don't edit their own closet first. Many people shop out of boredom or because they feel bad about themselves. These are all negative associations. When you take the time to edit, or have someone edit your closet for you, then you can align it to your current lifestyle and that’s powerful.

Let’s talk clutter in closets. What are three rules you have to help people weed out what they already own and cut down on buying what they don’t need? 

  • Time: We are all busy. If you allocate just 15 minutes a day, set a timer and then attack one element of your closet, like jeans or tops. Small chunks aren’t overwhelming and when you feel happier standing in front of your closet, the rest of your day goes better. 
  • The 1-10 system: Take a few minutes each day to grade the pieces in your closet. Everything in your closet should make you feel like an eight, nine or a 10. This is something my clients learn in a Personal Style Class. It’s such an amazingly simple and easy process to use. 
  • Recycle. There are so many amazing organizations that would love your gently loved clothing and accessories. Treasure House Fashions is just one of my favorites.

How can this way of shopping cut down your carbon footprint and make you more of an eco-chic fashionista?  

When you are mindful of what's in your closet, you can make a difference. If the retail industry stopped making clothes today, we would have enough clothes on planet earth to dress everyone on it for the next 60 years.  Many of the fabrics used in “throwaway” fashion are not biodegradable. They sit in landfills for decades. It’s not enough to say, “I'm just one person, I won't make a difference.” If just everyone reading this article took action, then we’d actually make a difference. Don’t count out thrift stores, resale and consignment stores, clothing swaps and clothing rental apps. Some of these stores are treasure troves of designer brands that just didn’t work for that particular person.

What are some of your favorite tips for people when it comes to learning their own colors? 

You can wear 25 percent of the world’s colors well, use them all! During your color session we “rate” your season of colors specifically for you. My clients leave knowing exactly what colors look best. Is it just a splash on an accessory? Is it a “wow” color to wear from head to toe? I work with all different types of people to help them achieve their perfect looks based on the colors that flatter them the most.  

Connect with Julie: Text her at 412-225-5109 or email: to schedule a free 20-minute consultation. She will then suggest the services that would fit best. Currently, she is offering virtual and online services right now to safely work together. 



By Natalie Bencivenga