Settling into Bright Winter (long)

Thanks to another thread I got wrapped up trying to understand seasonal colour analysis. I’ve looked into this before, but been disheartened by the reports of analysts getting it so wrong. But there’s merit in trying to understand what colours work when dissecting your style, so I gave it another go.

I started out with contrast, something that doesn’t get talked about much in SCA. I found some very useful posts on the menswear blogs:

From this I determined that my colouring is medium to high contrast.

Then I found out about how the 12 sub-seasons relate to one another on a continuum of warm and cool, dark and light, soft and clear, shown here as a wheel:

I learned from 12 blueprints that your season is decided by The Most Important Thing, which will be one of the parameters of SCA that correspond to the three basic colour components:

  • Hue - warm or cool
  • Value - light or deep
  • Saturation - soft or clear

All of this makes some kind of sense from a colour theory perspective. I decided it was easier to do this by figuring out what I’m not as well as what I am.

  • I’m neither light nor dark. My natural hair colour is dark ash, my eyes dark blue green with flecks of gold. I have very fair, almost translucent skin with a pink undertone. 
  • I skew cool. My veins are blue. I look better in hot pink than I do in orange. That means I’m somewhere in Winter or Summer.
  • But there’s warmth. I have freckles. I usually wear silver jewellery but gold looks OK too. After years of experimenting, I’ve decided my best hair colour is red. This rules out True Winter or True Summer. 
  • I've come to think I look quite striking in black, which would make me a Winter. I’m unlikely to be Dark Winter, although I can’t rule it out. That leaves Bright Winter, which would mean my Most Important Thing is contrast and saturation.

If this is correct, it explains a lot about my preferences. Black works best accented with optic white or brights, which is why the Bad Boyfriend is such a roaring success. Softer colours can work but they need a lot of help to keep them from falling flat. Warm brights can also work in moderation. Most of my current wardrobe falls within in the Winter palette, with a few brights from Bright Spring, some darks from Deep Autumn and some cools from Summer.

I feel like I’ve just discovered a superpower, which I can use for good or evil. Bright Winter seems like my natural home but it scares me too, because while colour and contrast make me feel like my best self, they can also make me look quite intense. Intimidating even. Perhaps that’s how I’m supposed to look.

All in all, this is an incredibly useful piece of information. Moving forward, I’m going to test the hypothesis and challenge myself to dress more like Bright Winter. I’m also going to update my glasses. But I’m not going to ditch colours outside the palette. Instead, I’m going to use it to learn how to colour outside the lines more effectively. Soft colours in support of cool brights, warm brights by cool deep neutrals. It might just work.

What about you? Have you self-diagnosed your colour season? Are you happy with it? How do you extend outside it?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Chiara replied 6 years ago

    I don't want to rain on your parade, BUT if you have the opportunity, do go and have a draping with a trained sci-art or 12 blueprints analyst. I say this as someone who tried to self analyse, and then had an analysis, wow, how much did I learn! I had got to Light summer, using an elea blake lip drape, but in fact I am a warm-leaning Light spring. The chance to see how you face and skin responds, to different combinations of hue/chroma/saturation is incredibly helpful (and also fascinating- seeing how features and skin markings are accented or fade, depending on the color). I had lived in black for so long, I literally didn't know what I was looking for (I just accepted that how I looked in that dark, cool color was my 'normal' appearance).
    Unless you have the swatches of each palette, it is almost impossible to judge where a real life color sits with any certainty, there are just so many variables. You put something on, and think 'it's bright, that's why it looks good'. But it may just be bright compared to what you've tried on before. When compared to a palette it could turn out to be sitting in a dark palette (dark winter and dark autumn are both a lot brighter than people realise). Rachel Nachmias describes the scenario well:
    SO I'd suggest not investing in clothes on a hunch- have the analysis and have greater certainty!

  • Jeweled replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for that fascinating journey to your color palette, approprio!
    I'm also self-diagnosed, but as a Light Spring.

    Back in the early 1980's when I was in high school, one of my aunts came for a visit, bringing the "Color Me Beautiful" book, which was really popular at that time.

    Color Me Beautiful had only the 4 basic seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter).

    My aunt had us (my mom, sister, and me) pull out clothes in colors of the 4 seasons, and we did a draping session for each of us.  She determined that I was Spring.  And I think she was accurate with that.

    For many years I happily wore my Spring colors, but somehow drifted away from them.  A few years ago, someone convinced me I was Soft Autumn, so I moved over to wearing those colors.  But although those colors are nice, they were actually horrible on me - and it took me about 2 years of wearing that palette before I realized those colors totally didn't work for me.

    So I went back to my Spring roots, and started by experimenting with Bright Spring.  But Bright Spring's hot pink (one of that season's key colors) made my face look orange.  Also I couldn't wear the dark colors in that palette - they just overpowered me.

    So I moved over to True Spring.  I could kind of work that palette, but discovered that about two-thirds of those colors were too dark for me, the neutrals didn't look good on me, and I don't seem to be able to wear yellow-tinged colors as well as I did when I was younger.

    So off I went to try Light Spring.  This palette, i believe, is really my "home".  The neutrals work quite well on me, only a few of the darkest colors are too dark for me, and the colors are a much better fit for me.  I'm using mainly the cooler half of the Light Spring palette (especially the pink corals, periwinkles, and aquas), plus the neutrals.  These colors are working really well for me.

    My "most important thing" is lightness - I'm easily overpowered by darkness in colors.

    I discovered from this blog post by Tina of "Three Drops of Sunshine":
    . . . that it's normal to skew warm or cool within your palette.

    Actually, approprio, if you haven't discovered Tina's blog, she has focused it on Bright Winter and Bright Spring for the past year or so, since she was draped as a Bright.  She writes very insightfully, and you might get some useful info from her.

    I don't extend outside of Light Spring colors.  I wanted to limit the number of colors in my closet, to make everything more mix-and-matchable.  So  I'm mainly focusing on building my wardrobe around Light Spring's pink coral, periwinkle, taupe, khaki, and ivory.

    And you're right, approprio - knowing your best colors is truly a superpower for one's style and wardrobe!  :)

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Chiara, that's really interesting, thanks! And you're not raining on my parade at all :)

    What I didn't mention is that one of the things that caused me to pick this up again was that I saw the draping phenomenon on myself. I've lately been making a dress in bright green, yellow and turquoise (yeah, i know, but trust me, it's spectacular!) and it's striking how this fabric changes my appearance. It really lights me up. I got the same effect from a coat I had in a rich aubergine (now sadly worn out), and I've seen it with other bright purples as well.

    I can see how complicated this is, as evidenced by what I've read about the draping process and how often people get it wrong. To be honest I'm still very sceptical about the absolute efficacy of the system, even though I can see its merits. I know quite a lot about colour theory from my work as a designer, and I know that whatever you do there's always wiggle room. There's also danger in looking *too* perfect. That's not where I want to be. I don't want to dress to a particular colour palette. I want to know what that palette is and how it works so I can learn to dress outside it. 

    I'm definitely considering going for a draping session. I can see the only way I'm going to trust the processes by experiencing it first hand, and possibly learning to do it myself. For instance, I haven't ruled out dark winter or bright spring. Either are a possibility. In fact, I should experiment with both palettes and see where they take me. 

  • replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for this post! I always find it so helpful to learn from others' approaches. it sounds like the bright winter colour scheme will add some nice drama to your look and, since you design and make your own clothes, you have the luxury of experimenting. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Jeweled, what a great story! Would be lovely to see some pictures of your Light Spring wardrobe. 

    I do think there has to be some form of self-diagnosis in this, because in the end you're the one wearing the colours and you have to take responsibility for them. And I don't believe this is something that can always be figured out in an afternoon, no matter how good the lab conditions are. 

    You're right that this becomes more important as we age, and it becomes harder to wear colours that might not suit us. I've also experimented with autumn colours, and they do me no favours at all (although there are a few pieces that have survived). So I do believe that I'm primarily cool and bright/deep rather than warm and soft. I think I'm pretty comfortable with the Winter assessment.  

  • Rambling Ann replied 6 years ago

    The article about contrast helped explain why my palette needs to shift so much from winter to summer when I have a tan and my hair gets lighter. I go from a moderate level of contrast to almost none. Instinctively, I have reached for less black, lower contrast, more column of color but didn't know why it worked. Thanks for posting it. 

  • Sheila replied 6 years ago

    I am a draped Bright Winter and you are right it is all about contrast.

    I had self-diagnosed myself as a Soft Autumn... and over a two year period had adapted to that season. Loved it !  But it was not to be so. It is very difficult to self diagnose...

  • DonnaF replied 6 years ago

    Apart from having the draping or analysis done in natural sunlight even under a skylight, what about the characteristics of that sunlight?  It seems to me that colors would look different in Tahiti than they would on a winter day in London or Seattle.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, I love how you outlined the steps of your research into color analysis. I've visited some of those sites or similar ones and have been totally overwhelmed. Your process makes a lot of sense. You do look fabulous in that "bad boyfriend" outfit. But I think you typically choose colors that look great on you. I can understand your desire to delve into how it all works, too.
    I have had my colors done, but the system didn't identify my season. There is probably an underlying season, but I can't tell what it is. I generally try to choose colors that are in my palette. But as the contrast sites point out, that's only part of the route to success. I could wear a combination of colors in my palette that doesn't really bring out my features too well, if I get the level of contrast too far off. I can't let myself worry too much about it, because I find it hard enough to figure out what to wear some days! Still, I'm drawn to the theoretical exercise.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    I actually think you have a great eye for color, it might be difficult to find an expert who truly is an expert and can do it better. I had one analysis done a few years ago and was told I was a soft summer. I'm fairly sure that's true, but she wasn't all that professional, in hindsight. I've also dived deep into color analysis in the past, but I've gotten too obsessed with it (and had problems implementing it at the same time). Now I just keep it in mind as a rough guideline and I think it works well for that purpose.

  • Dixie replied 6 years ago


  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Ok. ok, I've been warned off self-diagnosis. Thanks Chiara, Sheila and DonnaF for putting me right. :) I still think that Winter is where I'm at, but Chiara's link (above) has got me thinking that Deep Winter has to be a contender.

    DonnaF, as I understand it, the draping process is all about how the colours react to each other, which should be independent of the light quality, but clearly isn't. That's probably one reason why there are so many misdiagnoses, and why I'm approaching this with caution. 

    Once again, I'm looking for the spirit of the law and not the letter:  how should I (or anybody else for that matter) use hue, saturation, value and contrast in putting together outfits that suit us? Because I think we can dress to a strictly calibrated palette and still get it wrong if we don't understand how and why that particular combination works, but we can get it much more right if we use different colours to play to the underlying principle.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for your thoughtful input. Kibbe was a cakewalk compared to this. 

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Oh my, it's taken off! Thanks all :)

    Firecracker, weirdly enough I thought of you during this process, because you seem to have a unique colour sense that I couldn't quite classify, a sort of neutral Autumn/Winter? And I know what you mean about figuring out what to wear. I have the same problem. Maybe this will make it easier. 

    Astrid, it's very kind of you to say so. I love colour. Shame I'm so clueless about which ones suit me that it's taken me this long to figure it out. But yes, it's very hard to self-diagnose, very easy to get obsessed, and oh so difficult to implement. All I can say is there might be just enough winter brights in my closet by now to really engage with it. 

    Dixie,  I'm pretty sure I'm the darker end of the neutral cools, because I can look a bit wishy washy in the softer colours. I'm still on the fence about bright vs deep. I had a look at your pictures before you took them down (you look terrific!) and you're certainly deep! More than that I couldn't say. You're very fortunate to have such distinctive colouring. 

  • Sal replied 6 years ago

    Very interesting reading. I had a colour analysis done as a teenager as a spring,, although at the time the analyst thought I was borderline summer as well.

    I kind of followed it for a few years, but in my 20s I definitely moved away from it and only started thinking about it again since joining the forum last year. I have self diagnosed as a Bright Spring because I feel I can wear these colours, I love these colours, and they suit my personality. As I worked through questions it seemed to fit me the best. I love clear mid tones, such as coral and green, but I love black and cream. At the moment i am having a pink time. I am confident I am not in the winter or autumn palettes, but I think I could be a different spring or summer.

    I may invest in an analysis, if I find a great one,

    Approprio, I can see this palette suiting you as you suit and seem to be drawn to drama and boldness in your clothes.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Yipes Dixie, we lost your comment! It was brilliant!

    Here it is again from my cache. Let me know if you did that deliberately and you want me to take it down.
    Dixie said:

    Hey, I'm glad I left you thinking!
    So your conclusion is that you're a little bit neutral?
    I found out another source, if you're interested. The equivalent of your category in this system would be CLEAR COOL BRIGHT, what do you think?
    If you suit silver best, blueish red, bright pink, ink black and pure white, jewel tones and clear bold or icy colors. Your natural coloring is crisp, distinctive and high in contrast. Your eyes and hair color is usually rich, clear and intense, and sometimes a little ashy. Your best colors are always clear, bold, icy and rich, and should mirror or be in contrast to your eye color. Those with the brightest coloring in this group can sometimes flow into CLEAR WARM bright, and need a lot of contrast. The purer cool types is best to stick with the perfectly clear and cool colors.
    Dusty, muted, and wishy washy pastels, does not do you justice, so try to keep your look sharp.

    I want to ask you about my coloring but I'm still reading this. I think I'm a deep warm neutral. That describes me the best. I can borrow cool colors from the deep cool's, but I still have a warmness and look best in more warm colors.
    Let me know if you think you're a clear cool bright.

  • Dixie replied 6 years ago


    Yeah, I thought you were done! I have that habit of deleting things. 

    Distintive colors, you think? I'm still debating about deep cool neutral and deep warm neutral for me. Probably warm.

    But here is the link if anyone wants to check this "new" categories:

    I think you have to surf in the website to find more about the specific categories that you're looking for.

    This system explores the "neutrals", people that fall between cool and warm. 

    So, if you feel you fall in the deeps, maybe you're a cool deep NEUTRAL. 

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    This is the full story :)

    but if that's too much :) I was categorised a "Spring" in the 80s but that never sat right with me. I'm now well into my 60s & have been feeling really terrible in black since I let my hair go grey. I have also been reducing my wardrobe numbers. So I was looking for something that would help me choose a colour scheme - to simplify my wardrobe.

    I discovered my driver is "soft'. I am on the really neutral end of warm so I'm a soft autumn.

    I really think you are on the right track - play with the palette & see what happens. I'm currently doing that with Kibbe types & it is really interesting :)

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    I love colour and how colour interacts together.  I had my colours done in the early 80s and I was a Spring.  I really wanted to be an Autumn because I loved dark brown and earthy colour.  I tried to wear Spring colours but went back to my old ways. 

    I have been on some sites trying to self diagnosis myself under some of the new systems.  I really want to be some sort of Autumn.  At the end of May I am going to an Sci/Art analyst.  The process takes 4 hours and I can bring my clothes and make up for her to assess at the end.  I am beyond excited. 

    I am working on making my wardrobe very simple and using 4 or 5 colours.  I had chosen the colours but this will insure that the colours are the right ones.  Unless the analyst gets it wrong (says I am not an Autumn!!!!  only joking)

    apprioprio you did look great in the bad boyfriend jacket and probably in black. 

  • E replied 6 years ago

    I'm a self-diagnosed soft summer. I'm very easily overwhelmed by saturated colours (i.e. I hold a colour up near my face, close my eyes, and when I open them again my gaze goes to the fabric, not my face), so when I read about the muted vs saturated continuum it was like a light bulb went off. My skin doesn't look particularly warm or cool, but I look terrible in mustard yellow (it turns my skin sallow) and have yet to find a soft summer colour I can't wear, so I mainly look for muted clothes on the cooler end. Occasionally I cheat into soft autumn or true summer, just for the fun of it, but my most 'wow' colours are always muted & cool-ish.

    Of course, I haven't been draped, so I haven't compared the palettes in person. So I don't know if I always distinguish as finely as an analyst might suggest. But keeping colours muted is definitely the TMIT for me! I've been doing that for years now & I think limiting my colours to mainly one palette has had an interesting effect on my style. I can wear more dramatic silhouettes, and I suspect I still feel comfortable in them, because they're in muted colours. It's also made me very comfortable with my natural hair colour, which is a shade people sometimes describe with mean phrases like 'dishwater blonde.' When I'm wearing the right colours, my hair just seems to glow, and it saves me time & hassle in not dyeing it!

  • deb replied 6 years ago

    I was draped as a dark winter by a SciArt analyst. The way outside color influences was interesting and technical. I was a fairly easy subject as the warm/cool pallet was immediate. Then working through the cool side we honed my category. Style Fan, I brought my makeup to my analysis, all of it, and we sorted it out. It was so enlightening and fun.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    I am not awake enough to delve into all these links but will - I love to analyze the intuitive. For example I "know" that pale blue, pink, and bright white look good on me (based on compliments if nothing else). But why? I have always assumed I am a winter, but why does olive skin suit winter colors? Isn't my yellowish skin warm? But most autumn colors look dreadful on me. Etc. Will reread later, thanks for all the links and interesting comments.

  • tulle replied 6 years ago

    Lucky you, Approbrio!  I think Bright Winter is one of the prettiest seasons--so vibrant and graphic with those clear colors and strong contrast.  I'm so obviously a Summer, there's never been a question in my mind. My closet is a sea of heathery blues and grays, with the occasional soft pop of raspberry, off-white, lilac, or other pastel.  Like most Summers, I sometimes long to be able to wear scarlet or bold black and white, but never enough to actually do it;  cool, soft and muted is what makes me look like me. (To satisfy the craving for intense color, I have a gorgeous coral handbag; away from my face, it's fun and JFE.)  I love your description of your revelation as the discovery of a super-power--I can imagine it feeling like that!

  • Helena replied 6 years ago

    approprio, I agree with Astrid - seems like you've done a very logical analysis and are now testing it out; I am not against having a professional analysis, but you'd want to make sure you are confident they could do a better job than you can. I have had a few analyses and none of them satisfied me, so it's not necessarily a slam-dunk. I like that whole "most important thing" concept - so much easier to focus on the main thing that benefits you. The thing is, an analyst can eliminate every variable and put you in a gray room, etc., but in reality, we wear colors in the real world, with different lighting, different weather, days we are sick and days we are glowingly healthy. We also have a personality that needs to be honored. For what it's worth, if you can pull off that bad boyfriend look and it felt good to you, I think Clear Winter is a great bet! Have fun with it!!

  • Helena replied 6 years ago

    Shevia - I remember reading somewhere that olive skin is actually cool, although often taken for warm. I forget where but if I find it, I will send. I also have a yellowish overtone to my skin, but am definitely cool-toned. So if you are seeing yourself looking best in cool tones, then you are probably quite correct that you a cool!

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Thanks so much everyone for your thoughtful responses, and for your indulgence while I overthink these things. It's absolutely fascinating to read about everyone's experience with their personal colour scheme. 

    I'm beginning to think TMIT for me is contrast as much as colour. I'm wearing a shirt with a bold navy/white stripe and pale wash jeans today (quite toned down for me, but I'm at home). I noticed it looks quite OK without the signature red lipstick, which I usually feel I need to be properly "coloured in". Same goes for a one or two other pieces in high contrast neutrals. Could be a nice way to bring some simplicity to my look and not look quite so scary all the time.

    Caro, that's a great thread! Thanks for including it. I wouldn't have had you down as "soft" at all, because to me you always look wonderfully dramatic. I hope you'll have more to say on the topic of Kibbe one of these days. :)

    Style Fan, looking forward to hearing about your experience with the colour analysis process. If they tell you you're not an Autumn you should probably assume they're wrong. ;) 

    E, you're living proof that muted colours don't have to be boring, when they can look as rich as they do on you. 

    Deb, I just reviewed a few of your WIWs. You do indeed wear those colours very well. It's a good reference point for me.

    Shevia, I don't see why olive skin shouldn't be cool. And we've seen you looking quite stunning in black and winter brights. One of the Picasso pictures? 

    tulle heh, that drama, it's a double-edged sword. Convention has us dressing in a far more restrained way. I get frustrated sometimes when I try something that would look chic, minimal and contemporary on someone else and it falls absolutely flat on me. The coral handbag sounds fab though. 

    torontogirl ain't that the truth about the diagnosis! There's all kinds of reasons why lab analysis should be taken with a huge grain of salt. As I said upthread, it's so important that we take responsibility ourselves for our own colour choices, rather than ask someone who doesn't know us to make those decisions for us. 

  • AM replied 6 years ago

    Great systematic approach to self analysis -- within the realm of color that is. I am all about drinking your kool aid, again. A while ago I did the lazy version of self analysis and came up with soft summer. But other than black, gray, white...(and maybe taupe), I feel that soft blues and berries are the only true colors that really work for me. My deep set, gray/blue eyes (and of course, black glasses) seem to allow for heavy doses of contrast. But only small amounts of optic whites within that field of darkness. I would so enjoy being draped for entertainment value and maybe for times that I want color (those times see to be more rare these days).

    I think you definitely can use your Bright Winter for evil or good! It's good to have a baseline and then wield your powers as you see fit.

  • Olivegreen replied 6 years ago

    Woo. Every once in a while I attempt to understand the colour schemes and I am just hopeless. Or they are :-) , can' t decide.
    I rock optic white in any quantity, and used to be high contrast. It worked for business, for sure. I can still look pretty good in that but with age and a certain glee in becoming invisible, am going to medium contrast, and less saturation, as much more comfortable.
    What a lot of the systems do not take into account, IMHO, is the size of the person. Both physically and personality-wise. Or the role.
    Agree that everyone has great colours and dreadful ones, but taking a ruthlessly honest friend shopping and trying stuff on or holding it to your face seems to work for me. If she spits up coffee that is a no!

  • Keturah replied 6 years ago

    I noticed you said this:

    I noticed it looks quite OK without the signature red lipstick, which I usually feel I need to be properly "coloured in". Same goes for a one or two other pieces in high contrast neutrals. Could be a nice way to bring some simplicity to my look and not look quite so scary all the time.

    Just curious what you mean about scary. Typcially, winters look good with a lot of makeup (well, what would seem like a lot of makeup to some other seasons, but it doesn't look like a lot on them) and red lipstick wouldn't look scary on them, unless it's too warm or too saturated.

    I got totally obsessed with self choosing my color season the last 2 months. (!) But it finally has worn on me because it caused me a little paralysis with my own clothes and color choices. I want to trust my instincts and intuition on my color choices, which is what i normally do, while balancing it out objective feedback, such as WIWs and some selfies when trying a new lip color. 

    That said, I wouldn't mind getting professionally draped. I just can't afford to get a Sci/ART drape done. Nearly everyone says I'm a winter. I have consulted with two stylist who, without drapes, both say I'm a winter. I did the elea blake lip drape and I'm also a winter with that. I just ordered the lipstick samples to see if I can narrow it down to vivid (bright), dark, or pure winter.

    I noticed when I had one of the EA winter lipsticks on, my whole face popped! My eyes turned emerald green, my skin glowed. It was quite a nice feeling. That said, dark autumn colors -- so long as they're not rust orange -- look nice on me. And I can wear intense colors, even oranges and neons! Most say orange is a no-no for winters. However, Christine from 12Blueprints says that just because a color isn't in a palette doesn't mean you can't wear it. It could be a color made up of two shades from your palette -- which is why I think there are winter oranges for certain. Also, I don't think we can get it perfect in our color matches. But we can aim for great, or at least beautiful.

    I like what AM says about using a color season as a base.

    Olivegreen, you almost made me spit up my coffee because i was laughing at your reply! Humor aside, I totally agree with you. A good friend with a sharp and stylish eye can really help with colors. 

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    AM, with those colours you're probably in the same ballpark. But don't drink my kool aid. :P

    Olivegreen, I don't think the system is hopeless, just very difficult to decipher. And you're right, a lot of what's written about it is indeed woo.

    Keturah, I'm ok with my lipstick. My skin won't take much makeup but my colouring demands it so the lippy is my way of keeping it minimal. Bright isn't a choice, it's a necessity. But I'm told I'm a bit scary in person and I think the bright colours intensify this. It's nice to know how to use high colour contrasts to dial it down without looking drab. :)

    And I really like what you say about orange. Rusty orange is not a good choice, but I have a neon orange beenie which looks just fine. 

  • Keturah replied 6 years ago

    approprio, ahh! Okay, that makes more sense. However, I wouldn't say you're scary. I know I haven't met you IRL, but I would describe you as dynamic and dramatic, confident and edgy. I think you're absolutely cool. Not that the opinion of woman you only know on YLF is high toast. :)

  • Olivegreen replied 6 years ago

    Heh, it is not so much woo as that I cannot grasp it. And generally I get this stuff easily, married to an artist and all. Called upon to critique colours and juxtaposition every day.
    I really like your style! It is challenging and interesting and fun. It bends gender a bit. It has a point. It is smart. Some people simply like the usual or safely conventional, and those people will probably not get you.
    I wonder if we all belong to fashion tribes? And sometimes dressing to fit into the one you are addressing, is useful, for sure.
    I have done that for money :-).

  • Helena replied 6 years ago

    approprio - for what it's worth - I am guessing by "scary" you mean something in the realm of - blunt, forthright, confident, no-nonsense, assertive ... are any of these close? In any case, I think it's better to dress to reflect your personality - it's more cohesive and far less jarring for others. To over-dramatize to make the point, Madonna's personality is quite "in your face" and dramatic, and when you see her, you are ready for it ... imagine dressing her in conservative, quiet tones; you'd be in for a shock once she opened her mouth! Let your style express your inner confidence and assertiveness, not 'tone it down'. The world needs us as we are! :)

  • Olivegreen replied 6 years ago

    My last reply got lost...but it was to the effect that it was not necessarily woo, just I cannot seem to get any of the systems. So complicated. And am married to an artist, so you would think it would transfer...
    I love your style. Hope that is clear. On point, smart, has an opinion, bends gender a little. Very sophisticated. Not at all scary. i always am attracted to things that have a little depth and some interesting references.
    Appreciate that you want to knock it back a bit for the people who feel it is a challenging look. I used to dress for a role at work, and have come to the conclusion that am always dressing for a role. I use what i wear to repel or attract attention.
    Which is why i think this is an interesting site, everyone is so different in their needs for presentation.

  • Marina replied 6 years ago

    I think color theory is an amazing tool and I love to explore seasonal analysis theory, but seasons are based on our (usually) dominant traits so I see then more like generic guidelines that need to be worked out. Everyone has peculiar/secondary traits that also matters and will create exceptions/minor differences - so much that it's not unusual people from one season that can embrace at least a bit of a sister season palette without any problems.
    I also have pale pinkish undertone skin with freckles, dark ash brown hair that is dyed reddish dark brown right now and golden-green hazel eyes. Despite having a cold undertone and high contrast (winter), I have some warmth and freckles, my eyes range from a mossy muted greenish-brown color one day to bright clear citrine color on the next, my skin go from pale and cool during winter to light and neutral-cool during summer and my ash hair color burns easily and get reddish reflexes (even without dye). I consider myself a unstable dark/bright winter who steps in the bright spring palette once in a while. I need to exclude some bright spring yellows, oranges and beiges and some dark winter greys, but other than that those 3 palettes work fine for me.

    About looking too intense/scary, I don't have a soft personality so dark and bright winter colors suit me well, but I think it is possible to make softer looks too. Some light tone colors that would be "intense" for a soft season will look light and natural on us - like white. And you always can use a softer color that isn't the most flattering one for you as long as it isn't terrible unflattering too with a little bit of makeup ;)

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Fun to see you have fun with this type of analysis, Rio. I'm glad you're not ditching the colours that aren't on the palette. If you fancy a colour - you should wear it. It's HOW you wear it that counts. I'm sure you'll make those colours work just beautifully. 

    I'm a Warm Spring. My colour preferences are conveniently in line with what works best for my complexion - apparently. Sour Brights. But I DO wear black. AND I wear a lot of black with white - which is supposed to be a no-no for me (my colouring is too low contrast). Well. I do add black with caution to my wardrobe (although my wardrobe cannot function without it). And I wear black to wear with white. My specs, rosy cheeks and lipstick help create contrast and soften the harshness of the colour combination to my eye. So there you go. Rules are made to be broken - or at least bent back into shape. I believe that you cannot see colours in isolation - which brings me back to it's how you wear it that counts.

  • Jeweled replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, when you said this:

    "There's all kinds of reasons why lab analysis should be taken with a
    huge grain of salt. As I said upthread, it's so important that we take
    responsibility ourselves for our own colour choices, rather than ask
    someone who doesn't know us to make those decisions for us. "

    I totally agree - and it reminded me of two things I've read previously.

    First, awhile back I read an online discussion where several of the people had experienced one or more personal color analysis sessions,  done by professional analysts from various different color systems.

    The upshot of this discussion was that different color systems look for different things during the color draping.  Some analysts look for colors that make your face look "softer" - because that's their version of the most flattering look.  Others (such as 12 Blueprints, I believe) look for colors that provide the most definition of your facial features.  And so on.

    I think that's one reason why so many folks have had color analysis from a variety of analysts - and get a different diagnosis every time.  The analysts are simply looking for different effects during draping.

    So having a professional color analysis doesn't necessarily mean the analyst's version of your best look will also be your version of your best look.

    The other thing I remembered was from the blog of color analyst Lisa Ford.  She says that the color palette her customers receive should be thought of as a guide, not a book of policies.  She adds:

    "Your color palette is NOT a fail-proof blueprint. Why isn’t it?
    Because the 12 color tones are neither exclusive nor 100% comprehensive,
    meaning that not everyone will fit neatly in one color space.  Why
    shouldn’t you utilize your book of colors like your very own personal
    bible? Even if your complexion does fit well in one of the color types,
    it would be a huge shame to just ignore the rest of the color
    spectrum/wheel. The other palettes, especially your color space’s
    neighboring one, offer a whole host of other shades to explore that
    might suit you just as well and they can enable you in building a more
    varied, yet still cohesive color palette for your wardrobe. Bottom line:
    Use your recommended color palette as a starting point, nothing more.
    Don’t reject colors simply because they are not in your palette and
    don’t assume all shades in your palette look great on you. You still
    need to do the legwork of examining colors against your skin and
    figuring out which colors fit your individual complexion, shade by

    She then goes on to say:

    "Your personal style persona outranks your color space.  Your color space should never restrict your ability to express your visual impression, through your wardrobe."

    The above quotes are from Lisa's blog post here:

    I especially appreciate her more balanced, realistic perspective on personal color analysis and use of the palettes.

  • Chiara replied 6 years ago

    I think that some seasonal palettes can more easily cheat in other non-palette colors, really, and of course you can always cheat in colors by not having them near your face, or pairing with your best makeup, or just be being reconciled to it not being your best, but something else about the clothing works. So, my partner is a cool leaning soft autumn- really he can wear a very wide range of colors and, while he looks a bit tired in black, if its soft and the fabric is right, its not devastating (although it is sad to see his spectular yellow eyes get dulled!).
    As a light season, black is pretty devastating on me, but I've found I can mitigate the effect if I make sure I wear it in transparent or silky fabrics. The transparency or reflectivity of the fabric lightens the feel of the color.
    However, the brilliant thing about sticking to the palette is that things really do go together beautifully- the neutrals and colors just mesh. So I find I get good use out of much fewer clothes for this reason.
    Shevia, Christine Scaman at 12blueprints says that its generally the cooler skin tones who turn green or yellow in overly warm colors. In my view, the pinterest pages she maintains with Rachel Nachmias are some of the most useful ways to start to understand the palettes, in terms of landscapes.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Ladies, I can't thank you enough for all this insightful input. I'm so glad I'm not the only one struggling to get my head around this. Sorry for not responding in detail, but my head's spinning a bit with all this new stuff!

    Chiara, Keturah, Marina, Jeweled et al, thanks so much for your additional info on accuracy, optimising and rule bending. I'm definitely going to review lipstick colours and see if I can find some different shades. 

    Angie, fun isn't the word I'd use for this, but I'm definitely learning something, so it's all good. :) I had you down for a Bright Spring because you seem to wear contrast so well. Just goes to show how well you can bend the rules once you know how. I've no intention of ditching the pieces I love in colours outside the palette, now that I've got a better feel for taming them into submission. 

    And I've been told by some of the scariest people I know that they're scared of me so it must be true. Here's a bonus shot from last year of one of my favourite scary looks. 

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    I love your scary look! WOW! I am not scared though. I know lots of scary people :-).

  • AM replied 6 years ago

    Loving this scary look but not scared either. Looks dramatic and chic.

  • Jeweled replied 6 years ago

    Just came across this post from 2013 on Christine Scaman's 12 Blueprints blog, discussing why different personal color analysts get different results - even when they're using the same analysis system:

    The post is excellent, but the comments below it are an especially great discussion for anyone trying to decide whether to do their own color analysis at home or go to a professional to have it done.

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