January 26, 2021

Dress your best self with Darcie Zauha

Getting AheadShot Cover art
Getting AheadShot
Dress your best self with Darcie Zauha

Show Notes

House of Colour image consultant Darcie Zauha gives tips and tricks to help people look their best, most authentic version of themselves. She gives people a vocabulary and knowledge to dress and shop confidently through color and style.

To find Darcie, go to:

To find Lane and his work, go to:


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Announcer 0:02
Welcome to Getting AheadShot, a show for anybody wanting to get ahead in life. Join conversations between international award winning photographer Lane Hickenbottom and his clients who while Getting a headshot offer relatable tips and strategies on a variety of topics, and now here’s Lane.

Lane Hickenbottom 0:25
Hey everybody, I am super excited to introduce to you Darcy Zauha. Darcy is an image consultant for House of color. So what she does is she gives people language about themselves so that they know the colors and the styles that will suit them, and helps them shop more efficiently, and also helps people present themselves in the very best light to help give them make them feel like their very best selves every day. Darcy is just really great to have you here. Thank you so much.

Darcie Zauha 0:57
You bet. Glad to be here.

Lane Hickenbottom 0:59
Yeah, so. So talk to me a little bit about like, like, what does a image consultant? What is talking about color theory? And? Okay, what it is that you do?

Darcie Zauha 1:13
Sure, sure. Well, I am a franchise owner with House of color, and every and it’s rooted in the work of Johannes itten, who was an art teacher in the 1800s. And the the genesis of it all is his interest in color and color theory. And he identified a lot of different things about color. And one of the big ones was that color changes based on what it’s next to. And you can see that in different imaging and different things about him. He also identified that the colors, all the colors in the world come from the primary colors of red and yellow, and blue. So all the colors in the world come from that plus white and black. And beyond that, your skin is a color. And so your skin has a specific undertone, and it’s either warm, or cool. And so based on that information, true red is actually the color that everybody looks great in. So women have heard for decades that we all need a little black dress, we actually all need a little red dress, because that true red has no yellow and no blue in it. And so it is going to naturally look great on everybody. And so colors will either help you or they will hurt you, when you’re wearing colors that naturally complement your undertones and your skin, then you don’t have to do as much you from women, you don’t have to wear as much makeup, it doesn’t have to be you don’t have you just don’t have to do as much. And so when you’re wearing things that are not complimenting you, then that’s when you tend to look at yourself in the mirror and go like wow, I need some blush, or I need some lipstick. I don’t have a great equivalent for guys though, for for women, we have a lot of tools, we’ve got hair color, and accessories, and makeup and clothes. All of those work together to help us present our best image. For guys, unless they’re coloring their hair pretty much they have their clothes. And so it’s really important for men to be able to know what colors are really helping them. And so it really kind of breaks down if so if colors are either warm or cool, and skin tones are either warm or cool. So all the colors in the world except true red could be divided into warm and cool. And one of those will naturally look better on each individual person. And once we know that, and it’s actually based on the cells that are under the skin. So it’s not like if you’ve got all of skin, you may be thinking, Well, I know I’ve got yellow undertones because I have all of skin. It’s actually the cells under your skin and they respond to the different colors that are next to it. And it it will one will make them look healthier. Like they feel good. And then the other contrary one will make them look like they don’t feel so great. And so and you can see a visible difference during consultation. So really, that’s that’s the big idea behind color theory. And then beyond that, once we figure out warm and cool, then we figure out whether clear, clear, saturated colors are better or if more muted colors are better. And so then from those two answers is warmer, cool, better is clearer, bright, better than you you can be placed into what we call a season. And so there’s there’s been a litany of colors within that season that are really going to compliment you the best. So that’s the kind of the big idea with with color theory.

Lane Hickenbottom 4:41
Yeah, no good, you know, so, one of the reasons why I wanted to bring you on in my early shows is well first of all, I’m going to back up a little bit. You know, this show is hopefully going to be about like providing people with lots of tips and inspiration. And so kind of a timeline of my history of working with you is you came in for headshots, and, and the nature of what you do. From a photographer standpoint, you know, color is very important what I do, I was just fascinated by, by what you do in and so I decided to go ahead and get a consultation for myself, which I found to be great. And I definitely, like the next time I went shopping for clothes, it it really made shopping a lot easier. But what I really wanted to, like, bring up here is that you and I are in a word. We’ve networked together business networking, through through sonisphere here in Omaha.

Folks, Darcy is the queen of giving useful and helpful tips. And it well, you are, you absolutely are. But it was during one of our zoom meetings when I was planning on having a podcast. And I was trying to figure out like what it might look like, and, and Darcy comes on and gives one of our fantastic tips. And then everyone else just decided, you know, I’m gonna give a tip because that was really cool. And from that meeting, Don the inspiration of Getting AheadShot. And so Darcy, I just want to thank you for that.

Darcie Zauha 6:28
That’s really kind of you to say thank you.

Lane Hickenbottom 6:31
Well, you are and so so let’s, let’s, let’s talk to you. First, I guess I’m gonna give a tip first, my first tip to people is they should come. If they don’t know what season they are. They might think that this seems bizarre. But my first tip to people as they should come see you. It really is transformative and eye opening. But But talk to me about about that language a little bit more or, you know, somebody does come to talk to you. How will they see the world? How will they see the clothes rack, when they go shopping in a different way.

Darcie Zauha 7:17
When when a client first comes in, I talk with them really about kind of what we just talked about with really the color theory and what the process looks like. As a result of knowing what your season is you get language that is specific to that season. So to give you an example, you for example, are an autumn and so that means you’ve got warm undertones to your skin. And more muted colors are better on you than the clear, really bright colors. And so the language for someone that is an autumn would be rich, earthy, vibrant, and warm. And so those those things, those words give you the language that when you are out shopping, whether you’re in your closet or online or in a store, you can look at all the colors in the world through that lens. For me, I am a summer and so we are similar in that we are both muted, but you are warm, and I am cool. And so how I look through that lens, I am looking for smoky, I’m looking for Rosie, something that looks like it’s a clear color that skim milk has been added to it. And so that visual helps me to look at all look at everything in the store through that lens. And so each season has its own set of words that are specific to them that help people be able to be able to stand in the doorway of a store, honestly scan it and see Is there anything in here for me, because when you see how the best colors on you what they do to transform you with no makeup on, no nothing. You want that and you want to seek out those colors. And it’s kind of like once you dry once you get a new car, and then you see that same car everywhere. It’s like once you see those great colors on you, they’re in your brain and they can’t they really kind of find you and they will hop out at you when you maybe had never even noticed them in a store before. And so having the language to be able to identify what it is about that color that’s drawing you to it is it can be a really objective way rather than Oh that feels like it would be good. It’s it’s a it’s a real tangible way to be able to evaluate whether something’s gonna look great on you or not.

Lane Hickenbottom 9:35
Yeah. And I will attest to that. It’s it’s changed the way that I look at clothes and I just find myself now like, I I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t want to think like probably like most guys, I don’t want to think a lot about what I wear. But like that’s not to say I don’t want to look good. And really what it’s helped me do is is kind of do exactly that. I don’t have to worry think about it. But like my top of my bottom coordinate, you know,

Darcie Zauha 10:04
always Yeah,

Lane Hickenbottom 10:05
yeah, always.

Darcie Zauha 10:07
Yeah, every season has core neutrals, and then they have brights that would go with that and everything goes with everything else because they all share those same qualities. All the colors in your season share the qualities of rich, warm, earthy, vibrant, so they all mixed together.

Lane Hickenbottom 10:25
So this is gonna upset some people, but talk to me about black a little bit.

Darcie Zauha 10:29
Okay, Black is a really, really powerful and intense color. And we have all heard that black makes us look skinnier, black goes with everything. And really black is just easy. And number one black is easy, because it is the most common garment color. It is actually what is doing a lot of damage in Renton bodies of water all over the world from clothing manufacturers. But black is a really hard color for most people. And really any dark neutral is going to do the same thing that black does in terms of making you look thinner, making you know coordinating with everything. But the better than black colors in each person’s season are going to do that in a much kinder way. And Blackwill. So black is actually in the winter palette. And so that winter, that winter season, they do have black, and they’ve got some charcoals and some other grades, but every season has great grades, every season has a great Navy. And so once you know and can see what’s happening when you wear black versus something that’s better than black and your palette, you can see a difference. And I would have never thought in a million years that I would give up black. And when I got my colors done about four years ago, and was told I was a summer I don’t have black in my palette. But I do have a deep, deep purple, I have a deep sea green, I have a beautiful Navy, I have some blue grays. And when she told me that those are my better than black colors, I thought yeah, whatever. But I could see on my face, I could see it, I could see I looked five years older when I would wear black by my face. And so then, as I transitioned to not having so much black in my wardrobe, I just started wearing things that were right for me right by my face, and then you and you want to start by your face because that’s where the impact is. And since then it took about three years for the rest of the black in my closet to go because what would happen is that when I would wear my summer colors, it they wouldn’t look right with black anymore. They look so much better and much more cohesive when I was wearing a soft Navy or a deep purple, like a smoked grape kind of thing. And once you see how those things blend together, black sticks out to you. And that’s not to say that black is not a great color. Because for some people it really is for for a lot of people black is like an exclamation point in their look, but it’s the 100% all black, no breaking color whatsoever, that tends to make you look like you’re fading into the wall. And while black is easy, Black is not always the best choice. And once you do know your season, you’re able to identify that and see that and even if you don’t believe it, when you’re sitting there in the consultation over time, if you are really investing in you know, putting things by your face that are the right colors for you, you you get to seeing that and I’m not a proponent of just get rid of everything in your closet. That’s not right because it’s not practical. And it’s not great for the environment. It’s there’s a lot of things that aren’t amazing about that. But when you do find the right things and the right colors, you will find that you don’t need as many most of us were 20% of our clothes 80% of the time and that’s because we keep buying things that we think are right or the or that we think will work and then they sit there or hang they’re on worn because they aren’t right or there’s there’s something about them that you just it’s not right for you and you can maybe don’t know what it is. But then once you learn your season or once you learn what your style is now you can identify Okay, this is why I never go for that or this is why this thing still has its tags on so that that’s kind of that kind of dovetailed out of out of out of wearing black but that’s sorry. So that’s that’s really an in an in I guess some some practical language. Black is not the best neutral for everybody.

Lane Hickenbottom 14:43
Right. And so let’s let’s dive into the the closet a little bit. You know so so I definitely recommend everybody go in and get their color consultation. Find your colors so that you have that language and you know what is best for you You know, you take out a lot of that guesswork. But for those who aren’t going to pay attention to that advice, you know, like, talk to me about, you know, about your closet, like, talk to me, you’ve given so many good tips to our group in the past about helping to slim down your closet, help them to make it work for you more, hit us up with some of those tips.

Darcie Zauha 15:28
Sure, sure. We, there’s a lot of things you can do in your closet without knowing your season or without knowing your style and style. Just to give you a little bit about that. That is where I look at your body architecture, and your personality and where you are in your life. And from those three things, I can identify a clothing personality for you. And that would dictate the scale of pattern that’s going to look best on you or the scale of accessories, it informs a lot of other things. So we’re color is a language, style is another language. And it’s basically the rest of your language. So once you know all of that, then you’re fluent in your own. But until you know that, and we’ve got some people, I’m working with two other consultants, doing a closet cleanse right now over two weeks, and half of them don’t know that don’t know that information. And they’re still getting a huge amount out of this closet cleanse. But some just basic tips. When you are wearing your clothes, pay attention when you’re getting compliments about those clothes, pay attention to what they are. Because when the compliment is about the thing, versus about you pay attention because when it’s about the thing, it’s probably because that thing is what standing out and you want everything on your body to be drawing attention to your eyes, your accessories, your clothes, all of it. So to give you an example, I thought I looked great in Coral, because people would say, Oh, that is a great dress, that is a great sweater. And then and that’s a warm color. And so then when I found out that really cool colors and more muted colors are best on me and I was wearing more Pink’s rather than corals, then the compliments became, wow, your eyes are really blue? Or did you just get back from vacation? Or that’s an amazing color on you. So the compliment became about me rather than what I was wearing. So as you’re navigating the closet be thinking, what do I hear when I wear this? And what do I feel when I wear this? When I look in the mirror? Do I look like I’ve tried? Or do I look like I just this is just what was on the closest hanger. So for many people just kind of giving those clothes some type of rating, like if you’re gonna rate it on a one to 10, what would you give it, ultimately, your goal should be to have only things in your closet that rate as an eight, a nine or a 10. And just by doing some other things, if it does not fit you right now, it should not be in your closet, most of us have a lot of noise going on in their closet. And so one way to decrease the noise is to take out the things that are not options for you. And you don’t have to get rid of them. But taking them out of your closet that I mean you get a lot of emotions when you go in your closet for many of us. And if you’re dealing with embarrassment or shame, or, oh, I paid so much money for those pants and they don’t fit, you need to get all that stuff out of your closet so that it’s out of your head. So having things in your closet that fit you number one is the biggest thing. And then number two have those clot have those clothes be clothes that you actually like. So when you when you’re wearing 20% of your clothes, 80% of the time, it’s because you’ve got 80% of your clothes that you don’t love. So then when you dial it down to what are the pieces that I really love best and that I would give an eight nine or attend to. You want to wear those all the time. You don’t need as many eight nines and 10 pieces because you want to wear them a lot. And it’s because we’re wearing 80% of the time, those 20% clothes, that’s how that math works. So doing it that way.

Two or three replacement pieces that you didn’t like as much. And so you’re, you’re basically you had steak. And now you’re buying hamburgers to try and make it steak.

Lane Hickenbottom 20:10
And so I’m talking my language.

Darcie Zauha 20:13
And that’s really kind of what we do. It’s you see the the $80 sweater that you love. And in your head, you’re like, I can’t pay $80 for a sweater, but you loved it, and you It looks good on you. The style was right, all of it was great, but you thought I can’t do it. So then you go to a TJ Maxx or Kohl’s or, or online or wherever it is, and you found a $20 sweater that was like 70% of what the one that you really liked was so you got that sweater and then you maybe you’re okay with it. So you spent $20 on that. And then you keep seeing kind of close to the the the one that you really wanted. And so you’ve maybe bought three or four things to try and get that $80 thing. And so you may have spent $100 on four or five pieces to try and get the feeling that you got when you had on the 180 dollar one. So you’ve you and it’s not just money that you’ve wasted, you’ve wasted a lot of frustration. And a lot of time, if you would have just pulled the trigger on that sweater that you loved and you knew you needed. And that that is one other tip. Don’t buy something that you hadn’t thought about before you saw it, it should be something and does that make sense, you want to have thought about it before you bought it that helps you not buy impulsively and it helps you not to repeat buy. Because if you’ve got a list, I have a notebook in my closet, that is a list of I do not need anymore, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, or, and I also have on there, what are some things that I’m looking for. So that helps me when I’m going to shop, I can shop with intention, and I don’t shop with guilt. Because I know that I’ve needed the perfect Navy dress pants, or whatever it is. And so when I know I’m shopping intentionally for it, then when I know it, I can get it. And if it is a high quality item that is gonna last me a long time, it makes sense to spend more on that, where if it’s a trendy thing or a fatty thing, then it’s easy to do that more cheaply, knowing that it’s not a long term. It’s not a long term deal.

Lane Hickenbottom 22:22
Fantastic. Yeah. So I’m going out looking for a dress shirt, I shouldn’t get a sun dress

Darcie Zauha 22:29
as your apt to do.

But it is I mean, when you’re

Lane Hickenbottom 22:37
not anymore,

Darcie Zauha 22:38
when you’re when you’re thinking intentionally enemy, you can almost equate it to taking care of a house, you know that every season, you need to change the filter, you need to, you know, blow out the sprinklers, you’ve got all these maintenance things that you need to do to your house. And your clothes are really that that can be part of that equation too. Not that it’s part of the house. But it’s it’s something that you need to maintain your closet is something that you need to maintain so that you can present yourself well. And by taking care of the pant, the things that you need on on the daily, then you get a lot of use out of them. And you’re not gonna like with your house, if you don’t blow out your sprinklers, your pipes are going to freeze over the winter. If you’re not paying attention each season to Okay, what do I need, then you’re just going to be frustrated, I mean, you’re not going to have a house flooded because you don’t have the right pair of pants. But you are going to be frustrated because you don’t have that thing that you want for that meeting or for that event. When if you plan ahead shop kind of regularly, then you’re not in a crunch. You know, I have women all the time. And guys, they’re like I have a wedding on Saturday. And so I bought it on Friday, I did not love it, I’ve only worn it once I only went to that one wedding, and I didn’t feel great in it. And so by thinking ahead and making your closet, a closet is not a frivolous thing. You’re spending your average closet has between two and $4,000 worth of stuff in there. That’s no small amount. So when you think about if I’m putting that much money into my closet, the things that should go in there should be awesome. And I should feel great when I wear those things because it’s an investment.

Lane Hickenbottom 24:19
So if I was thinking about two different types of people, you talk about, you know, running maintenance on a house, for example. Understanding the language of oneself color, is that more advantageous? Do you think for somebody who is very fashion forward and constantly updating their look, or is it more beneficial for somebody who would prefer to be a little bit lower maintenance?

Darcie Zauha 24:50
I think it’s really important for both for different reasons. For the lower maintenance person that in their head. Yeah, I can say that closer, not for but in their head, it’s just they really are for them, when they know that that royal blue Quarter Zip, and I’m kind of thinking about guys, but there’s a lot of women that are very low maintenance too, and they want they want to be, just give me tell me what to wear, and I will wear it when you know, the things that are automatically giving you authority when you walk in or in your room in a room where you’re communicating, that you can be trustworthy, I mean, all those things that you communicate in that first impression, vision, your vision, your first impression is 68% visual. So if you’re a person that doesn’t care about how they present themselves, then it isn’t, it really isn’t going to matter. But if you do care about how you present yourself, you just want it to be easy to achieve it. That is where color and style analysis comes in. Because you can eliminate a lot of stores, you can eliminate a lot of frustration when you’re in a store, because what took you 45 minutes to find the pair of you know, or the quarter zips, or the dress shirts, or the skirts or whatever you were looking for, you can dial in and do that in five minutes. Or you can do it online much more quickly. Because you’ll you know, and I know the stores that are going to work for your particular style, and then you save a lot of time and frustration and you still get the end result which is that you want to look good, you just want it to be an easy process. So that for for that group of people, I think it’s really important for the person that is very fashion forward. And that person tends to buy a lot of clothes and they’re and in some ways, and I’m kind of thinking of the Instagram influencer, because they have a job to do they Their job is to sell clothes to as many people as they can for that particular store. And so it is tricky for an influencer because they put on whatever the store is sending them for somebody. And so there is some trick to that. And but for the person that is not an influencer, but they are influenced by them. It’s really important because if you are if you are going on those like to know what pages and it looks super cute on that influencer, and you know that they are not a particular they’re not the same season as you or they their coloring is just different than you, if you buy that expecting to look like that. It’s not going to happen. So when you know your season and you know, the and the style as well that’s going to work for you, then you can be influenced in a way that you’re choosing instead of being influenced just by what’s there. Because I mean, I can look and I follow a bunch of influencers and I know immediately what’s going to work for me and what work won’t work for me. I know paperbag waist pant is not gonna work for me. I’m short waisted, I don’t tuck any, I don’t like to tuck things in unless I really have to. And so a paperbag waist pant is not going to be great on me. So I know I don’t need to get that. And I don’t mean need to make that mistake because I was influenced to do it bottom and then I put them on and I’m like okay, I look like I am 80% legs and 20% boobs and I don’t want that. So I just I know that and so once you know that about yourself, you can be much more intentional about what you choose to buy. And also you know what classics to get most people that are very fashion forward, they tend to be kind of trendy buyers which is not a bad thing. The problem with having too much trendy though is you have those are the people that have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear because you need neutral pieces in order to make all that fun stuff work. You need a great pair of dark jeans you need for you know you need your best gray jeans or whatever whatever those pieces are, or you need that great white button down shirt. Now that’s not going to be everybody’s style, but you need that great under piece in order to make all that fun stuff work. And so it really helps all ends of the spectrum from the person that wants it just to be easy just put it in my closet and I’ll wear it to the person that are recycling not recycling but they are repurchasing their whole closet every season because there are people that are doing that

Lane Hickenbottom 29:21
alright good. Yeah, this is just been pretty sweet. I would love to ask you. So tell everybody how can they find you like where where’s the best?

Darcie Zauha 29:35

Lane Hickenbottom 29:37

Darcie Zauha 29:37
I Instagram is my favorite social media platform. Everything I post to Instagram automatically post to Facebook. So I do that. My handle there is House of colour and it’s we’re a British company. And so colour is spelled with CO l o u r so I’m @houseofcoulourdarciezomaha , and Darcy is dr CIE Z. And so I am in Omaha. I am on the northwest side at 156 or 100 and 68th and Fort ish. I have a studio in my house. And so really Instagram is where I’ve, I’ve, I’ve really got a lot of information out there. And yeah, so that’s where people can find me.

Lane Hickenbottom 30:20
Fantastic. Darcie, thank you so much for joining me. You bet. Yeah, thanks for sharing your tips and for for the inspiration. You bet I was glad to do it.

Announcer 30:37
Thanks for listening to the Getting AheadShot podcast, recorded inside the Omaha headshot company studio to support the podcast, share it with others post about it on social media or leave a five star review to learn more go to We look forward to seeing you next time.

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