I receive a lot of questions from potential clients wondering whether PIA is right for them, and I think it's very smart to raise your doubts before any kind of consulting appointment to be sure that you and the person you are hiring are on the same page. Here are some common variations of this question that I receive:

I'm in my early 20s (and look younger...), should I wait a few more years before having a Personal Image Analysis? Or it it still possible to determine my type, I just have to adapt it to my age?

Girls under 18 who want a PIA could potentially have one, provided they have matured most of the way and have parental approval. I think sometime during your early 20s is the perfect time to learn your Image Archetype. Usually, when I see girls this age as clients they are ready to transition from teenage dressing to dressing like an adult woman. Yet, they are also young enough to play within their archetype with a more carefree attitude. That's not to say there's not a massive amount for a woman in her 50s to gain by having a PIA, quite the contrary. But I think most of my clients wish they had this information when they were your age.

While we're on the topic, you are not too old for PIA, nor are you "No type now that you've gone through menopause". I know they call it the change for a reason, and I don't take that lightly. I would love to have the chance to show you your most beautiful self.

I'm carrying a few extra pounds (I'm not obese, but I do have some extra fat) - is it easier to analyze someone at an ideal weight? Is there a risk of being mistaken for a "yinnier" type?

In short, no. There are a few factors here. First, your archetype is certainly related to how flesh distributes on your body (notice I didn't say how much flesh you currently have), but that is not the only factor by far. Overall scale, bone structure in your face and body, facial features, and yes, that extra je ne sais quoi that some have called "essence" all play a role. Most of the factors I look at change hardly at all with a weight fluctuation of less than say 50 pounds. Many of my clients send pictures at different weights, and most of them change size but do not change shape overly much. Should you lose more than 50 lbs in the future after your PIA, I would be very happy to recheck your Archetype at no extra cost, as you will be getting a new wardrobe anyhow.

I haven't had a Personal Color Analysis, since there are no analysts near me (actually there are, I just have no idea what method - if any - they use). It will probably be a while before I'm able to have one (maybe in a few years...). I read your blog post "How True Colors Reveal True Features" and I started wondering if I should try to have a PCA first. But then I also read your "Color Journey" posts and got scared of doing a PCA with an analyst I don't know...

It is regrettable that everyone who wants one has not yet had the opportunity to have a PCA due to geographic constraints. I am confident that over time the coverage of analysts trained by Christine and/or Terry will increase. Already, they have made significant headway in Europe. You may soon have much easier access to an excellent analyst. That said, I have done PIAs for several clients in similar situations, and I believe it has worked out quite well. My general attitude is that if it will be a month or two before you will be able to have a PCA, you might as well wait. However if it seems it will be a long time, and might never happen at all, I don't see the sense in waiting. I have some pre-prepared materials for such clients on how to start thinking about which colors flatter her best.

I am thinking of having a PIA, but I am not really in a financial position to buy any new clothing right now. Does it still make sense to go ahead with it?

Personally, I believe that a PIA can save you a lot of money and time. However, if the cost of a PIA is more than you spend on clothing, accessories, jewelry, and haircuts in one year, it might take a long time for your investment to pay off. Certainly, you will be able to pare down your current wardrobe to the best possible options, which if you have a large existing wardrobe with a range of styles, could be really helpful. On the other hand if you have fairly little or a very limited range of items in your wardrobe, you may have trouble making it look much different than it did before the PIA without buying anything else. At the end of the day, it really is a personal decision, but I encourage you to think of PIA as a practical tool for building a flattering wardrobe, rather than just an answer to a burning question.