This was an extraordinarily helpful post! What is your take on incorporating seasonal colors? For example, I am a light summer color, so pastels and the such look good on me. While there are plenty of them to be had in the summer, it’s harder to wear pastels in the fall/winter as clothes and moods are more dominated by burgundys/navy/camel/black. What do you think is better – dressing in “unflattering” colors or wearing flattering colors are looking season-incongruent? I hope this question makes sense….
Some colours do look better in the hotter months, and others are better in the cooler ones. So how do you use your colour palette to still look great but work around the seasons?
Your Palette is a Guide Not a Rule Book
Within each palette there are lighter and darker colours. Your colour palette is only a small selection of the 50 000 colours (0r so) that would look great on you. It’s a tool to help you find colours that work, not a definitive prescription of the only colours you can wear. A bit lighter, darker, brighter, more muted – these are all options for you. Your palette is just used to identify the kinds of colours that you’re looking for.
Choosing the Right Colours in Summer
So in Summer, wear the lighter end of your colours spectrum and in Winter you may wear the medium to darker end. The most important factor when thinking about colours you choose is still getting the contrast levels right, no matter what season.
If you have a light ideal value (lighter hair) then look to wear more of the colours from the lighter part of your palette all year round. In summer it’s easy to work with your palette as it suits the season already.
So if you have dark colouring, wear your light to medium colours rather than your really deep colours, but if you have a high level of contrast you can still wear your light colours with your deep colours as this will work well with your natural contrast levels. Check out my post here that will give you more tips.
Those with a deep ideal value will sometimes feel that their summer wardrobe is dark – but this is when you can wear patterns that have light and dark elements and your brighter colours to give you a more summery feel.
Choosing the Right Colours in Winter
When choosing colours – light colouring suits light to medium dark colours. You’ll find that your deeper and darker clothes are only medium-dark -rather than really-deep and dark – but on you, they look dark and suit the winter season. We all wear darker clothing in winter on the whole as it’s more practical if you live where snow turns to slush and gets dirty!
Whilst deep colouring can wear theirdarkest colours easily as winter is the season that their palette was designed for.
Want To Discover Your Best Colours
Not sure of your colours? Want to find out your ideal palette and how to wear them? If you’ve wondered and wanted some professional advice, you can get this as part of my 7 Steps to Style program – find out your colours, your contrast, body shape and how your personality impacts on your style. Stop making mistakes and start building a wardrobe that makes you look and feel great every day.
More Tips on Finding The Right Colours for You
What’s Your Ideal Value and How it Creates Balance in Outfits
I had my colors done years ago and was told that I was an “autumn verging on spring”. But it is getting more and more difficult to find clothes in warm colors. Usually I can stock up in fall, but this fall I am even seeing cooler versions of brown and green which are my “go to colors”. What’s a girl to do?
I am very careful about seasonal colours and how I might wear them as I have to be careful not to have anything to yellow or muddy close to my face. I look washed out if I do that. I also have to be careful because my skin colour changes significantly from summer to winter. Olive in summer and very pale in winter and for those of you who are concerned I wear sun protection all the time. I use some standard colours across the seasons and use seasonal colours as accessories. For example I cannot wear maroon close to my face but will buy a pair of shoes in this colour and will wear them with a blue pinstriped suit.
I agree with Tracy. I am also an autumn and I find it harder to dress in spring but particularly in summer. I have tried to purchase lighter shades of my ‘colours’ but it is a challenge
This article is one of the reasons I love your blog! You really break concepts down, and explain them–the science of fashion. Thank you!
I love your blog, I have been following you for about 6 months now and find it soooooo useful. I had my colours done recently and was told I have a “zesty” pallette, warm but clear colours, not deep/not pale but in between. The pallete worked well in winter but I am stuggling with spring summer. More articles on how to put together these colours would be great. PS love your polyvore combinations.
Thank you so much for this article, Imogen! This was SUCH a help! I guess the rule of thumb is to try to wear flattering colors but to vary the depth according to season. That makes so much sense!!!
Irina – I couldn’t have said it better!