We have two themes in this article. One is to assemble outfits that are ‘off-Season’. It’s easy to find clothing in our 12 Tone palettes at certain times of year and near impossible at other times. The second is to introduce a new style voice, since I wonder if my outfits are a little repetitive.
My daughter, Ally, has more style in her little finger than I’ll find in my whole life. She’s Kibbe-innocent but can see whether lines match people instantly. Today’s Polyvores are from her perspective. I asked her to keep in mind that she’s dressing women of all ages, to which she replied, “No woman of any age needs to wear granny clothes and I’m not picking those.” Fair enough.
Ally’s also here to break a few rules. In her charming 17 year old way, she asked, “Why does anyone have to do what you say?” Point taken. Nobody does. You’ll find colours and styles you might not normally see.
Light Summer in December
True Summer in October
Any one piece may not be perfect. But the whole thing together works. As S., the student who arrives this week for the training course, so aptly pointed out, the word ‘match’ isn’t always appropriate. I use it too often. Whether your clothes match the swatches in your palettes, whether your lipstick matches your red belt, whether your sweater matches your hair – it doesn’t really matter so much. They need not be identical colours. They need only look like they live in the same harmonic field relative to the the whole composition.
The idea is to use colour to create a vision that is cohesive. All the elements are working together and with you. Everything has a good reason for being there. That’s how we look at paintings, landscapes, and other people. We don’t dissect the saturation of their blouse. So the vest above is on the dark side. So the pink backpack could be pinker. In the big picture, I’m not sure it would make an important difference. The parts are finding enough in common to stay together. Not unlike marriage, or any other relationship.
True Autumn in April
Yes, it really is this cold here in April.
It strikes me that we’re still just making Polyvores. This may answer part of our purpose, which is, how to wear muted, warm colours when everyone else looks like an Easter basket.
The other part of the question is, where do I go to find my colours in April when the stores are full of coloured candy floss?
- shop wider; I’ve actually begun buying things I find on Polyvore. As eBay is the world’s biggest yard sale, Polyvore is the world’s biggest shopping mall right in my house.
- buy online, always risky, but many allow free returns.
- shop all year round for all year round; within 6 months of your PCA, once it’s caught up with you, or you with it, you will keep most of your choices for years, and you’ll spend more per item because you’ll know it looks right and will work with the rest of your closet
True Winter in September (or March)
Any of us who knows both her colours and her body line finds shopping nearly as easy as it used to be. There’s no one-stop-shop any longer. We buy Christmas outfits in July, we are always looking. Other than True Winter and Soft Autumn, I don’t really dedicated stores for colours. Even for those groups, you’ve only got their (limited) design lines to select from.
By request, the Bright Spring Dramatic Classic
Dramatic Classic, where pouffy becomes maternity or Jack Sparrow. A rounded edge is Peter Pan.
What’s interesting here is that the Bright Seasons tend to have a lot of sweetness in the personality. I’ve heard them called pushovers but that comes from someone who’s only working from a traditional, narrow, male-based definition. Power wears many hats. These people are not mean, abrupt, rude, or rough. As the Bright Spring is a Spring, she will take things to heart. You can’t throw words around that you don’t mean. Being with her is an exercise in being happier and more gentle.
Dramatic Classic is not sweet in the traditional sense either. If anything, it’s a little sharp. If you began with the absolute average woman, DC isn’t closer to being the average child. It’s closer to being the absolute average man.
The intersection of the two is that Bright Spring’s colours and DC’s lines are both very clean. No extras, no gadgets, no fuzzy, no fluff. If you drew the outline, the edges would be sharp, no question where one thing ends and the next begins. Nothing fades into anything else. Absence of blur effect, noise reduction up.
I gave Ally a few colour words – lively, clean, same or opposite colours, a little bit of Winter, and the shape words – sleek, expensive, close, upside-down triangle or straight lines, and then just asked her to dress me. She didn’t read the book because we get too rigid about rules and end up in costumes. Her job was to pull together an overall effect.
Black is small, shiny, on the bottom half, with other elements that warm up the overall look. If black is in the top half, it takes up small surface area, it’s opened up like lace or pointelle, or there’s lots of skin.
Every item need not be sunny, there’s Winter here. But each vignette should say bright, alive, warm, crisp.
Something delicate really looks good. Crispness near the face looks good, it need not be especially yellow. Bulk with angularity looks clunky or spiky. Fine, thin crispness is good, like icicles.
Smooth, geometric, shiny, new, expensive – all work with the pearls, in a chunkier setting. The pearls are fine because the edges are defined, as feathers would not be. Those long dangling earrings, some DC’s might disappear them, but on a Bright Spring DC, they’d be great. The sharpness offsets the small size.
Hearts are an inverted triangle shape, as are teardrops, both great on Spring and DC.
The whole earring that sprays up – unless you know different stores than me, you’d never wear earrings. Chunky smooth pieces that sit close to the ear and have a solid presence on the ear lobe are good.
Mixed metals are good here when they’re shiny.
No platforms on shoes. Frankensteinish.
I normally would never wear a bow, but the asymmetric position of it is good. I like the design on that sweater, interesting with the blouse. One of those excellent combinations that nobody could do like Bright Spring.
I hope that you go to the site and make these images bigger. There are some really nice things here.
I am Canadian. Summer is from May to September. In some parts of our country, we seem to have two Seasons, July and Winter.
V is a Dark Winter who lives in the Northern US. She spent some weeks in Florida in July. She made these observations:
I must’ve seen about a dozen women (ages 40 – 80) during that 3 week time frame who were wearing all-white outfits. These were just women who were out shopping, dining, whatever…not dressed up for anything special that would otherwise dictate wearing white.Some wore dresses, some wore loose tops with loose pants, etc.They all looked cool and appropriate. I didn’t have time to study what season they might have been. I simply thought they looked cool and refreshing.
V was attracted to the head-to-toe light colours but wondered if a dark person would look great in all white. My first thought was, wear the clothes. Why not? It’s just clothes. Enjoy the holiday by changing everything about how you normally live.
If I think of Jacqui Onassis in all white or white&navy, I pick the white and navy. If you take in the totality of any person, all white is never enough. In the totality of an appearance, there exists much more than just clothes, like eyes and hair. Maybe by wearing all white, our heads become a little more colourful, and that’s not bad. Little things can go a long way. Lipstick and mascara count. Throw on a great belt, a superb watch, a gorgeous head scarf, or important earrings. As ever, taste is always right, but to me, all white isn’t much more interesting than all black. Those outfits succeed based entirely on what’s added to them.
Light and Location
V. did some research and came up with this excellent article.
The author is on to something. Equatorial light is more direct (straight overhead) so more short (blue) wavelengths must reach there more often, possibly causing colours to appear cooler.
And then there are cultural differences, like if everyone around you is a blonde, how long do you stay brunette before you start feeling like an outsider? When we bring ourselves to a new place, do we change our apparel colours to suit the place, the light there, or the fashion there? What’s in the stores is different. We buy stuff when we travel that we’d never buy at home, but it just felt right for the place and the time as a way to recognize the many ways in which the new place influences us consciously and physiologically.
Dark Winter About Town in July
Any woman who knows her best colours will find some times of year easier to shop in than others. The next article will show some off-season collections. For today’s palette, buying dark saturated colour in May isn’t easy, it’s true. Like everything, you get better at it. You learn to buy your summer clothes in November. Colour analyzed women have the confidence to buy apparel whenever they find it. The colour will be just as good in six months as it is today.
Exciting Colour Combinations
I’ve had enough time living with my Dark Winter palette to now have a closet full of DW clothes. And the colors do all ‘go’ together, as one would expect. The question I have is…as so many of the DW colors are darker (and on the less-vibrant side, due to their ‘drop of chocolate’ or ‘slight film of soot’), when I pair 2 colors …for example a cobalt blue dress with a lightweight purple flyaway cardigan over it….to me, the color combination just looks “blah”. And I see this over and over with combining my DW clothes. The individual pieces are fine, but I can’t just easily mix and match. This is particularly obvious when I travel. I may have suitcase full of Dark Winter clothes but many of the combinations just don’t have much eye appeal. I’m obviously missing something that will add the ‘jazzy spark’. What am I missing?
I wondered about
1. Are the colours being worn truly saturated? This is something Winters have to grow into. As a Winter, colours are bold, strong, almost shocking. A person who doesn’t have the True Winter palette there for comparison might think many of your blues and greens are True Winter’s. These colours are so not blah that wearing too many at once can get parrotty.
2. Some women much more flamboyance and/or drama in their geometry or their preferences than others. They need styles of clothing that convey that. Design and style require that both colour and line to be right for the individual. Are the cuts too conservative/classic/careful for a person who needs more flair? All of those will come across as frumpy-ish if you are Yanger than the clothes, no matter what colour they are. Flamboyant people wear more colour all the time.
3. Clothes alone, like makeup alone or hair colour alone, don’t convey the whole image. Accessories add many layers of expression. When we buy ourselves a present, it’s often a cosmetic – affordable and fun. We own enough cosmetics and they’re repetitive. We should be buying accessories. On Winter, they also are bold, noticeable, with big presence. The hard metallic element is very much part of the image.
4. Your own taste. My suggestions can only take you so far. If they were complete and applied equally to all women, that would mean that there are 12 kinds of women. Study how other image systems put colour together. Your answers are not in any one of them but in the places where they all intersect.
Dark Winter Staying Cool
Dark colours are also very warm. Any suggestions on how to look good dressed as a Dark Winter and stay cool too?
My eye likes a Dark Season person (in the 12-Tone personal colour analysis system, that’s Dark Autumn and Dark Winter) to give an overall medium to very dark impression. Don’t forget that you are already a dark block all by yourself. We tend to look at outfits, like the all white top and pants, and forget the person they’re hanging on, the block that makes the biggest contribution of all. Picture outfits from the top of your head down, not your neck. That’s how they look to the rest of us.
Sheer or floaty textiles and lots of skin can cool even if it’s dark. I find black much more interesting in hot weather. Icy colours are an automatic fix here too. It’s Winter that gets close to white in their lightest-darkest range and takes advantage of these colours in hot weather. Summer folks may have more choice in the stores in July, but their pastels are quite far from white.
Our appearance doesn’t begin or end with clothes. It begins with the person and ends with the entire composition. Dark nail polish, jewelry, lipstick, or a purse isn’t hotter to wear but absolutely affects the whole picture. Jacquie O. was fine in her white pants, white headscarf, and white&navy tee, but it was the huge dark glasses that balanced the image. Those were what we identified her with most.
I can’t think of a website that gives real women better advice, usable and beautiful, than Imogen’s. I see she’s done some work on the site and now has an e-book that you could get free. Here, Imogen shows colours for different seasons.
Dark Winter on Vacation
What might we wear that’s more interesting than all white and still relaxed?
Every time I apply the 12 Tones of colours to a different medium, it’s like learning it all over again. Once you’ve learned to choose clothes, you figure makeup will be easy. Not so. It’s a whole new sorting experience. Students who come for the Analyst Training Course will bring a page of makeup swatches that we’ll classify to Season. We will also have a bag of fabrics and we’ll organize those. And they’ll think, “Does this ever get easier??” This is partly why I feel that those who are serious about their colours should own their swatches in more than one format.
Shopping in the Theoretical Universe
When one of the three colour dimensions (hue, value, chroma) changes in a colour, so do the other two. Maybe you’re looking at a green item and it seems a little less pure and more heathery than your swatches. You’re really not sure if it’s still in your Tone’s chroma range or not. Compare the item to your swatches based on something besides chroma.
Darkness level can be useful. If the Tone has definite upper value limits, like the Light Spring and True Spring (though really, they all do except the 3 Winters), this can exclude certain Bright Spring colours. The pastels of Summer have a fair bit of pigment, much more than the Winter icy light colours, so giving a light colour to Summer or Winter isn’t hard. The Winter ones are much closer to white.
Sometimes, the distinction isn’t so easy, especially between neighbour Neutral Seasons, meaning the 2 Softs, 2 Lights, 2 Darks, and 2 Brights. We have to go after what makes them most different. You have to get colour-specific because they’re too similar in terms of the 3 colour dimensions. Is one redder, greener, yellower, etc? Even with Trues and their 2 Neutral Seasons, it would be hard to distinguish True and Soft Summer by darkness. For some of the colours, the saturation difference doesn’t seem obvious, though it is there, because both are muted. True Summer is cooler, but ‘cooler’ is too generic. True Summer is bluer than Soft Summer. Even the blues are bluer.
Neighbouring Neutral Seasons are more accepting of one another’s colours without interfering with the overall harmony. They have the most important colour dimension in common – Light, Soft, Dark, or Brightness. They’re similar in value. The heat setting is close, one cooler, one warmer, which musn’t be discounted. One definitely looks better and one definitely looks worse, but there’s some willingness to compromise.
True cool Season palettes share no colours with their Neutral neighbours because the Neutrals contain a little heat, the one dimension where True cool Season skin won’t negotiate. There are definite detractions from appearance.
True warm Season palettes share no colours with their Neutral satellites because their Neutrals contain a little coolness, the one dimension where True warm Season skin won’t negotiate. The person doesn’t look as good in many little ways that, when added into a bigger picture, make a big difference.
So, why couldn’t the True cool Seasons share colours, like a True Spring wearing True Autumn colours, since they both respect the need for warmth? The theory seems sound enough – as long as the theory only recognizes this one single dimension, which isn’t how colour works. The result reminds me of one of Sherlock Holmes’ more famous quotes, from A Scandal in Bohemia,
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Any two True Seasons have only one colour dimension in common: heat (Spring and Autumn), high saturation (Winter and Spring), coolness (Winter and Summer), low saturation (Summer and Autumn), lightness (Summer and Spring), and darkness (Autumn and Winter) . In an analysis, a person who looks good in Autumn and Summer is probably enjoying the softness of the colours. It’s the only thing the two Seasons share. The fact is that they differ in the other two. All three have to be bull’s eye perfect for ultimate harmony. True Seasons do not share colours no matter how dark blue the True Summer’s eyes are or how blonde the True Winter.
Winter colours on Summer people stick out. It’s hard to see anything else. Summer colours on Winter people are weak. Maybe a couple of each could slide by but the whole thing isn’t right. It fascinates me to no end how the Sci\ART drape colours that Kathryn Kalisz assembled are not always exactly to be found among her swatches. And yet, the harmony with the Tone is unmistakable. I think of True Autumn’s famous schoolbus yellow, beloved by many who have been draped with it. It’s not exactly in the True Autumn swatches. You might even think it’s in the Bright Spring group. Lay all the fabrics out together and you’ll see that the colour belongs with True Autumn.
So many of Conan Doyle’s character’s quotes apply to PCA. From The Sign of Four,
I never guess. It is a shocking habit,- destructive to the logical faculty.
Colour analysts do not guess. You know or you don’t. If you’re not absolutely sure, don’t call it. Say the truth, “I don’t know.” Fine, we’ll figure it out some other way, but don’t bring in a mistake that will carry through the rest of the analysis. People send me photos and I say, “I do not know.” When I was in medical school listening for heart murmurs, the students would say “I think I hear a murmur.” And the Scottish professor who had seen it all or the genius woman who led the surgical department, they replied, “Pick one. Either you hear it or you don’t. Commit.” Colour analysis is not guesswork. It takes some confidence. You have to know when to open-mindedly yet politely ignore the client the way a doctor does with rambling medical histories and pages of internet self-diagnosis. It’s not that the ramble contains no value or truth, it’s just that given the facts of the patient’s condition (or colouring) and the facts of symptoms and illness (or colour classification), some of their conclusions cannot be correct. In our training, we will cultivate the strength of your convictions.
And from so many of the stories, the most immortal quote of all, for the I-look-just-like-my-Soft-Autumn-sister who drapes to be a True Winter:
“… and when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
The Neutral palettes will compromise on heat level as long as their important dimension is respected. Keep colour dark, and Dark Autumn skin says, “A trace cooler, a trace warmer, a trace more saturated, I’ll play along. Your total look won’t fall apart.” If colour goes light, Dark Autumn skin says, “Sister, get it right or you’re done like dinner.”
Keep colour light and Light Summer skin says,”Stick with the cooler of Light Spring’s colours and it won’t be a big deal. They’re all pretty light in the big picture of white to black. Yes, OK fine, Light Spring is a bit yellower, so don’t plant a big block of it right under your chin, but your harmony won’t self-destruct.” Once colour goes dark, Light Summer skin says “There will be no good choice. We won’t like anything we see in the mirror. You did pretty well in the True Summer drapes, arguably your closest runner-up, till they turned dark and we took a wrong turn.”
Back to the topic, choosing blue for True Spring. It’s kind of tricky because blue is inherently associated with coolness. Many have trouble with True Spring blue. I would guess that the difficulty arises between True and Bright Spring. The other Seasons’ blues are quite different. Is Bright Spring blue just bluer? Yes, partly, and as the amount of blue increases, so does the darkness. Other things change too. Red is arriving in Bright Spring. Yellow is moving out. Pigments are not being muted. They’re so pure, they’re almost synthetic. True Spring still looks from-nature, without the sense of the Brights’ “Whoa blue.”
By the time we add enough yellow to colours to create a True Spring group, the most yellowed colours of all, there’s not much blue or red among the swatches. They’ve turned into turquoise and coral. But True Spring does have some blue that harmonizes perfectly with the other colours. It’s very blue but not as blue as it could be (which would be closer to Bright Spring) and not very dark.
Bright Spring blues are not just more saturated than True Spring. They’re redder by the arrival of Winter (so purplish) or less yellow (so without a green or teal quality that True Spring’s darkest blue has) . When you compare them side by side, the individual colours in the palettes are not as similar as the whole palette appears to be. This is a hard call though, if you only look at one palette. So if there’s one palette where you get hung up, buy it. Make sure you know the difference. Learn to trust your eyes and your taste too. If the blue item doesn’t disrupt your beautiful harmony, then it will probably be just fine, especially if the colour block isn’t too big.
Shopping in The World As We Know It
Got all the talking out of my system. I’m scanning the Polyvore layouts looking for True Spring blue.
I want colour. As I look, I think ‘lots of blue, lots of blue’.
There should always be more colour than darkness to perceive in all of True Spring. More colour and a feeling of sunshine. Yellow sun shining down on blue would make it look a little green IF you compared the blue to a redder blue. It leans a little turquoise/teal, not red/violet, to harmonize with the rest of the composition, or palette.
Remember that colours on every monitor look different. We’ll think more about comparisons than absolute colours. I started this post about 10 times and kept changing everything till I only worked on it in the same two hour slot each day. Imagine how long that took.
1 looked pretty good, but too dark. It’s saturated, so must be Winter or Spring. Spring’s blues aren’t red. If anything, they’re greenish, presumably from all the yellow in them. Winter’s colours are redder. I’d put this in Bright Spring as their second-darkest blue.
2 is too hazy for True Spring. It’s too dark for Light Spring and a little too saturated (too much blue) for True Summer. It also has a green quality, meaning it must be heated with yellow or gold, which True Summer isn’t. It’s in between the warmer and cooler darkest blues of Light Summer.
3 is not saturated enough for a Spring. It’s also more pink-mauve. I’d put it in Light Summer.
4 is interesting. It’s reddish, making it look a little purple. Means Winter. Too light for Dark Winter. I’d see it between True and Bright, closer to Bright.
5 doesn’t have the slight greening of True Spring’s darkest blue. Looks to me like Bright Spring’s darkest blue. A true blue that is obviously no black.
6 is more saturated than 3 but not enough for True Spring. I see haziness. Must be Light Spring. Amazing how hard it is to gauge colour in different lighting, ay? And across different textiles.
7 is hard. Doesn’t seem red enough for True Winter. The saturation is very high, leaving the Brights and Dark Winter. It feels too saturated for Dark Winter. Not sure. Probably be alright for all 3 Winters. I’d need to see the item surrounded by gray under full spectrum lights to decide for sure.
8‘s shine is making it look lighter than it is. I could imagine Light Spring’s darkest blue. Looks like it could be bluer, like it’s not at full saturation. It’s not True Spring blues which lean to green, and not dark enough to be Bright Spring’s dark blues. Bright Spring dark blues are greenish or reddish. This is pinky, like Summer’s mauve undertone.
9 is heathered. It lives between Light Spring and Light Summer.
10 is a good contender. It could be Bright Spring too, better if it were a trace more violet. Bright Spring is a Neutral Season. Like all Neutral Seasons, they have warm and cool version of colours including blue. Bright Spring has a greener blue and a redder blue.
11 is nice, ay? makes me think of Japanese art, those blossoms on branches. The blue could be good for True Spring. The flowers that go to white and black moves the item into Bright Spring or Winter, but the blue doesn’t have the red-violet quality of Winter’s effect on blue.
12 has yellow and significant haze, so a Summer. It’s a sunny day, not a shady one, so Light Summer. But it’s too desaturated for Light Summer. Maybe it’s at the low end of that Tone. If we pretend the light on it is a little cooler, it would be True Summer.
13 has yellow and more pigment, still hazy. It feels better in Light Summer.
14 is a little too saturated for Light Summer, it could be Light Spring.
15 is yellowed too much for Light Summer, looks like Light Spring.
16 is very close to white. One of the Winters get that.
17 Well, gosh, Light Spring? It’s a little too red for Light Summer and a lot too red for Soft Autumn. Not dark enough for True Autumn. My gosh, are you feeling exhausted? In Light and True Spring, those orchid purples appear. But it’s dusty. Maybe Light Summer is better. I feel all tired out now. In the same way that there are lines of garments that make sense on nobody, I guess there are colours that are right in none of the 12 Tones. That colour is making me feel weird.
18 isn’t lots of blue. What I get first is dusty, then dark. Soft Summer. Thank you, goddess, easier one.
19 could be True Winter. It’s not at full max sat like 22 and it’s reddish. You’re not alone in finding this really hard and I have all 12 Colour Books.
20 True Spring, oh, please? Nope. Not greenish and a little too dusty. If I had to say, does it lean green or purple, I think, “Shoot (or a word with similar first sound), I don’t know.” I hold up the True Spring swatch book and the blouse turns pinkish. I see a marketing opportunity here. We could sell pieces of cool, neutral, and warm gray. You could hold your garment up to it and watch them change each other. This top looks like Light Spring.
21 is Soft Autumn, right? I’m not so sure. It’s a little too colourful and not dark enough. Amazing too how hard it is to judge one colour dimension when the other two aren’t constant, as in, how hard it is to tell which of two colours is lighter when their saturations are not the same. Soft Autumn is less saturated and more dark. Light Spring purple is more decided about itself, it’s is either bluer or redder. Light Summer? Yes, probably.
22 could be True Winter in the light areas, aggressively blued with definite black feelings. The saturation is so high that I think of a Bright Winter. Shopping in the real world is like searching for the lost world of Atlantis.
23 is True Summer. I pick up no heat, or hardly any. It goes a little darker than True Summer at the bottom and the top blue part is not quite as freshly cooled. Soft Summer would be fine here, though her blues are a touch warmer, and her lighter blue-gray is less blue. Whatever. We are going to have no clothes unless we cut ourselves a little slack.
24 could be True Spring quite well (or Light Spring). The aqua writing is too blue for True Spring (would be greener) and works better in Light Spring.
25 Stark white, high contrast stripes means there’s Winter in it. The blue is too blue for True Spring. The two Bright Seasons could manage this but they would want to add sunshine to the overall look. Too saturated for Dark Winter. Could be True Winter.
26 Light Spring. Groan. I have to believe this is getting easier. For True Spring, it would need a faint green tinge and no dusty quality. This has a red tinge. I know that because I held the True Spring book up to it and the item looked even redder. But I gotta say, it’s so close.
The other confusion might be with True Autumn, but there’s no problem here. True Autumn blue is redder (purpler, actually), duller, and darker. I figure the purple must come from making gold (Autumn) from the yellow primary, since gold is added to Autumn colours. Adding purple would mute and darken yellow. Then, adding gold (purpled yellow) to blue makes darker, muted, purply blue. True Spring’s darkest blue is not as dark as True Autumn’s, and it’s a little green (from all the yellow of Spring), not a little purple. Autumn mostly has teal and brick, what happened when all the gold was added to blue and red.
27 Enough fooling around or we’ll be here all night. 27 is good. I’m using 36 as my reference red-blue in this panel. 27 one leans green.
28 is one of those pieces that would keep me wondering why. Why does it look like a strapless dresss with an undershirt? That orange stripe would captivate my attention and I’d be stuck. Not everything has to make sense of course. Like my liking of yellow-beige stone with plum doors for a house. Just put it here randomly.
29 Bright Spring. Too light for True, and tending red. Plus, details are silver.
30 I can feel a tough one coming on. Too blue for True Autumn and Dark Autumn. Must be an Autumn, though, it feels muted and earthy. What’s too blue for Autumn and still muted? Summer is. This is too blue for Soft and True Summer. Wouldn’t be Light Summer, would it? It’s a trace dark, but as Sherlock says, once you’ve eliminated the probable… Honestly, it doesn’t feel altogether harmonizing with Light Summer’s freshness and it’s somewhat dark. How about Soft Autumn? It’s a little too blue, but it feels more belonging. Is that just the cut? If it were a sheer blouse or shiny taffeta, would I have an altogether different feeling? This textile reflects light in a way that mutes colour. One thing I hoped this post would illustrate: We post photos of ourselves in a Light Summer colour when we’re really in Soft Autumn. I get sent photos of a woman comparing Light Summer and Bright Winter, and the colours she’s wearing are off for both. Maybe by just a hair but it changes the whole skin reaction, just as it changes the perception of a garment. Photos and I don’t get along. My other point: sorting drape colours accurately is hell on wheels. Understandable why analysts have trouble agreeing.
31 is OK. A bit light and better by colour in Bright Spring. The lace is rough, which makes the saturation look lower, which would place it in True Spring.
32 Quite blue for a True Spring or True Autumn. Not enough chroma for the 3 Winters. Too saturated for a Summer blend. Dark Autumn?
33 Heart be still, it seems fine. Lots of blue, not too dark. Navy isn’t something I agonize over. I organize it in fairly dark and dusty (Summer, ease up on darkness for Lights), really dark and saturated (Winter), not dark and very blue (Spring, more dark for the Brights), and there are better choices (Autumn).
34 Thanks be to Jesus!!!, another good one.
35 is good. Lots of blue, not max blue, not too dark. How do I know it leans green? Because I’ve given myself a reference point, which is 36. In a store, do the same. Gather up a bunch of close colours. Your eye will sort them automatically.
36 is a red-blue. Would be True or Bright Winter. It on the darker side and not fully saturated, as True Winter is, but I can look at it again and think, “No, no, Christine, you ding-dong, the darkness is fine for Bright Winter. It just needs a trace more chroma.” Holy cow, who cares? There are 30 million worse blues you could wear.
37 Put the kettle on, dolls. It’s good.
I met with Chantal* and Rita* within a month of each other.
Chantal’s hair is cut in a short, wash and wear style. The top layer is very yellow, while the hair beneath is medium-dark brown, entirely natural. She is in her late 50s and will probably still have yellow hair in 20 years. Makeup took away 15 years and showed us a very defined bone structure, with high cheekbones and a nose that tips up at the end. Her expression is focused, questioning, and very alert. A personal colour analysis (PCA) long ago said Spring, which we agreed seemed reasonable. She loves colours. Where most women arrive wearing black or no-commitment colours, she had on a lovely green blouse.
Rita expected to hear Light Summer. She does appear fair, with blue-looking eyes and medium brown hair, coloured to a red-gold colour that works surprisingly well, a bit like rose gold jewelry. Although seemingly light of skin, hair, and eye, it was something about her expression and the shape of her features that put the geisha image in my head. Young, exotic, yet apart, on a Caucasian woman in her 40s.
These women have a lot in common. They live practical lives and make practical choices. Both are sensible, serious, organized, quiet, thoughtful as in pensive, and introspective. Neither is rapid in their movements, impulsive, random, giggly, youthful (except to look at), overtly cheerful, or chatty. Nor are they blunt, direct, or sharp in the slightest. They are very polite, pleasant, and hold their cards close.
On meeting them, the impression is light and warm, except that the intensity of the eye in the face is compelling, rather than blending evenly into the face and equally with the other features. The eyes seem like ‘more’. This is not an impression I get from the brown-eyed Bright Spring, maybe because hair is usually darker and the overall look is more balanced.
In the world of 12 Season colour analysis, the natural colouring known as Bright Spring takes its pigmentation from the Spring qualities of colour (warmed by yellow, pure colours, not very dark). Winter has a little say, causing the colours to be cooler, redder, bluer, darker, and even more pure than Spring alone. Bright Spring is a colour rush.
Accepting Bright Spring, or any Season, from the draping is usually easy. It’s a done deal by the time we’re finished. 9 in 10 people can easily see their appearance change. It is what it is. The makeup is harder to accept. The conundrum of “I don’t recognize myself.” and “That woman in the mirror looks fantastic. Why is she acting like me?” takes time to sort out internally.
The book RTYNC (in the right column) and the documents I send clients (similar to the book, but they continue to evolve as I learn and widen my own experience) suggest that Bright Spring looks most consistent with their natural appearance when they dress as activated, energized, bursts and squirts, crazy zigzags, a sunny morning after a freezing rainstorm,
combined with the delicate, a chandelier, gold foil, tinsel, cinnamon heart candies,
and the young, a large or small shiny coloured purse (Bright Spring is not medium), hairbands, sheer coloured tights, and mod looks. A little sharper than Twiggy daisies.
Cirque du Soleil. The motion, physical vitality, and adrenaline of the trapeze. Coloured spotlights. Body paint.
What if you’re really a denim and khakis, Old Navy T-shirts, practical jacket, medium black purse, brown suede slip-ons kind of woman? What if you just like to look medium and not one of those qualifiers connects with you at all?
Some questions came up.
1. Can you confirm that colour 3.3 (from the True Colour Australia Colour Book) is a very dark brown? What would you call it?
Yes, but to me equally gray as brown. I think of the colour of a seal. Bright Spring’s grays and browns are uncommon, very hard to find in cosmetics, and don’t have easy associations for names. They’re just colours I memorize and look at again often. Most important, the colour is not earthy.
2. What is the difference between black and coal?
The image of coal is to illustrate the darkest black&white gray possible before flipping to solid, dense black.
3. I noticed that you show lots of gray shoes in the emails while the book suggests using hair colour to choose shoes – I would feel more comfortable with the yellows and browns of my hair colour as I’m not a big fan of gray – do you see that as a good choice for me? And is this boot close enough to my hair colour, which is darker underneath? I’m not sure I can see myself trying to find or wear light yellow boots/shoes! If this is too tan, too earthy, is there a way to work with that?
The boot Chantal asks about, above, is here at Roots Canada.
Overall, I think they’re fine. No two women will wear their colours the same way. I like that the boots are not too dark, orange (a bit orange, but lots of yellow), or lumberjack, with heavy treaded soles or cowboy feelings. Your energy isn’t really mesa or Cheyenne. These just feel natural, which is how you feel to interact with. You have no pretense or drama in what you choose to share. So in that sense, I like their authenticity and ease. The boots don’t feel like they have something to prove and neither does Bright Spring.
They are quite warm in colour, warmer than you are. They may not go perfectly with your new clothes colours, even if the clothing style is great with the boots. Wearing your hair and eye colour is one of those areas where women have to decide for themselves. I find that it can get you into problems when you interpret your hair or eye colour incorrectly, which we all do, all the time. Eyes have 20 colours in them at least. Hair is not a good indicator of Season, but it does have the same warmth setting as everything else about your colouring. This is common with True Winters who have apparently warm eyes and hair – if they wear those colours, their skin turns yellow, and there is conflict with the rest of the outfit.
For Bright Seasons, hair colour is the most difficult to understand and replicate. If the colour swatches show more gray, it’s because you are at that coolness level. Brights look poor in brown eyeshadow unless it’s the cleanest colour (no orange, no muted, no earthy). True brown can become mud on these faces. The clarity of your pigments can turn even medium browns into looking heavy and clumpy. But it’s important not to discard every item – I would wear these boots for sure, just with the warmer colours of your palette so they don’t seem like outsiders.
How about the choice above, linked here, also at Roots Canada?
4. I’m having trouble seeing myself as a high contrast person. Is this something that I take on faith as revealed by the drapes or can you help me to recognize this in myself?
No. 1: If we define contrast as distance between lightest light and darkest dark, then you’re a medium to medium-high contrast person. You don’t go to white or black. That’s value contrast. Now, your eyes are extremely intense in your face, giving a sense of a pretty wide span from light to dark, as you have, but not maximum.
Position white and black in your head. Now put a dot at a darkness level around medium. That’s the overall darkness effect you’re aiming for. You’ll achieve it using a span from yellowed-white to coal. Clearly, light and medium colours will be necessary, and the more dark you use, the more light you balance it with.
Above, medium value contrast, yellows with blues, sharp line distinctions in the foreground. Bright, sunny, warm. With every bit of black that’s inserted, the whole thing dies a little. Save it for tiny bits just to sharpen the edges and bring focus.
No. 2: There’s also colour contrast, distance apart on the colour wheel between two colours. You are colourful to look at. Your natural pigments are quite far apart (yellow hair with blue eyes, on some, we see light skin with golden brown eyes), which is why I find complementary colours so good to look at on warm Seasons. They are a logical extension of the natural appearance.
Medium value, sharp edges, a trace of black, neutrals with colours, the pants and T-shirt, the blouse and the earring.
No. 3: I like to see very sharp, clean edges between colour blocks on Brights because that’s what you look like, not all fluffy and blended and soft. That’s not contrast per se, but sharp divisions look more contrasting (is there line contrast?), it’s just a way that clear colours look good. You are moderately sharp to look at (bone structure, eye intensity, haircut is not feathery). Clean edges are a logical extension of the natural appearance. If you follow the guidelines you are made of, your clothes become yours for a reason. They seem connected with you.
This is Bright Winter – simpler, symmetric, darker, colder, with only a faint warmth. Black is half or less of the whole or the whole thing dies a little. Black sucks in light in itself and steals it from everything around it – almost shameful with the purity of the Bright Season colours, and a delicate balance even for Bright Winter because the light is faint and will lose the fight with a black wall.
You really can mix and match quite freely in your Colour Book, aiming for an overall darkness effect that’s about medium (there! a medium thing about Bright Spring). Allover light or dark isn’t so good. You are not monotone to look at. Inserting a colour somewhere is always necessary. Inserting a big colour block plus another one is even better.
Whether it’s lightest with darkest or medium with medium doesn’t matter too much. Your Colour Book duplicates your inherent lightest to darkest range exactly so you’re safe moving around in it. If I were to do the Colour Equations again, I’d lighten Bright Spring up even more, with bright blue, stone, or white pants. The only groups that make any sense to me in white pants (their white) are the Brights. True Winter, it would depend on how it was done.
In the client’s document, I changed two paragraphs to read this way:
This is Spring-like colour worn in a Winter’s way – meaning that you will wear your bright, clear, warm colors best, but using 2 or 3 different colours at once, and with moderate contrast, not as high as a real Winter would wear. Contrast defines how much distance exists between the lights and darks. High contrast implies that you wear the lightest lights and the darkest darks together. You are fine in these combinations, and equally good when combining your midtones.
With colour this bright, especially if the line between the colour elements is very crisp, they will look contrasting. They will not be like a watercolour swirl, which creates the problem of grayed colours when complements combine, quite opposite to the properties of the colours you are made of. You probably have medium-high extremes of lightness and darkness in your skin/hair/eyes, so you would repeat that in clothing and makeup to look balanced. Your palette does the thinking for you in this regard in that it comes close but not all the way to black and white.
5. You didn’t mention pearls as a choice for Bright Spring – I have a simple strand – will it work?
Anything will work. Like diamonds on a Soft Season, it’s not a natural fit but that doesn’t matter. Wear them anyhow if you love them. This is how you make your Season yours, your personal brand of dissidence that lets us know you better. It has to work for you, not the other way round. I know a Light Summer woman, the epitome of gentle grace, who wears the most beautiful, large rounded oval, slightly dangly, super sparkly, aquamarine earrings. It’s brilliant. It says to me “I love my life so much that I can’t hold it all in.”
No matter what we do, as gardeners, cooks, doctors, Seasons, we learn the discipline, we figure out the shortcuts and what we can get away with. Then, we decide how we’re going to break the rules or mould them to suit what we bring to the game. That’s just life lived with complete freedom of expression.
6. I have a sweater in yarn that combines several bright colours, alternating the colourful yarn with stripes in a dark / neutral colour. Would it be more flattering to stick to a solid colour?
Brights look great with many colours at once, just not blended together (blending colours causes either a watercolour effect, or the graying of mixing complementaries that makes the muted colours of Autumn and Summer). Side by side complementary colours or with a neutral colours, both are terrific on you. Stripes give energy.
There is a taste factor. You might like your colours blended together and that’s not wrong, just not what my eye prefers because it’s hard to maintain the high purity of each pigment. Be careful that the yarn isn’t comfy/chunky/heavy looking, especially if you’re working in neutral colours. It risks getting too homemade looking in that Autumn homespun way. Pick something young, Angora, sparkly, smooth. It should not look back-to-the-land. It should look brand new. Fun colours are always better on you, since colour is like your neutral.
A blue-eyed Bright Spring is very colourful to look at.
Your hair, eyes, and skin come together like this. You are beyond just colourful. You are coloured in complementary colours (blue eyes, yellow hair). That’s an extreme, or a type of contrast. So is light, warm hair on top, dark, cooler hair beneath, another type of contrast. The warm-cool in the colouring at once is true of all Neutral Seasons, but quite bright and alive here. To the viewer, it feels energetic and young.
On Bright Seasons, colours seem more at home than neutral grays and browns. Colours become your neutrals. Every Season has its extremes and only that type of colouring is completely at home and at ease in them. As Susan said so well, black is dressy, but only on True Winter is it casual wear. That’s what ‘at home’ means. It is that easy that it becomes your anytime, anywhere, the one thing you don’t plan around, where you can hide and relax. Having said that, nobody is at their best in head to toe black. Nobody.
Black is only thought to be dressy. Usually, it’s detracting. It can make textile look more expensive, yes. It is easier for marketers to sell us a ton of one thing than have to keep changing production lines, yes. The Dark Winter wears it well enough since it’s dark, but it begins to transform into the solid wall that it is on everyone but True Winter, so they warm it up. Walls are not entirely foreign to Dark Winter’s energy.
On Bright Winter, there are no walls, there is excitement. They are better in white than black, and a so-slightly yellowed white. Black shouldn’t be more than half the overall look. Thankfully, both Chantal and Rita knew to avoid it. As Bright Springs, a thin stripe of it here and there is fine but not more than that or it does what it always does – makes the colours dead. It sucks in all the light around it, which is an absolute shame for Bright Spring, the clearest, brightest colours that exist. The overall effect is gasping for sunshine.
7. I was very surprised to read that Spring is strongly associated with triangles and diamond shapes. I feel more drawn to squares in fabric (linen plaids, cotton madras, cotton checkerboard print) and rounded shapes in jewelry (beads, hoops, circles). Any comments?
Your preference. Those shapes are what I feel. Some see triangles as a Winter shape. Squares express more practical, natural, durable, serious, productive energy – maybe truer to how you have seen yourself for the last 20 or 40 years. Could be that the next 20 will be a little different.
Four years after my PCA, I was able to pull in the drama of Winter and could tell where the Enough line was. I couldn’t have done it 3 and 1/2 years ago. It cannot be assimilated in a week, a month, or a year. But you do continue to move closer to your center, hear your guides more clearly, and choose what is and is not the real you.
8. I’m having trouble thinking in terms of adding fun to my clothing. Suggestions of nylon, satin, trims, ruffles!! sound very girly, not a look I’ve ever worn or feel very comfortable with – any suggestions as to how I can approach this?
Bright Winter and Bright Spring read the style suggestions and see this
All I’m saying is that you’re not this. She is beautiful on someone else.
Start with the colours. Only the colours. Stay inside the lines you are comfortable with today. Pretty soon, they will loosen up and you’ll find some extra breathing space inside them. You might try yoga clothes instead of gardening clothes, as an example. The clothes at Lululemon, Athleta, Title Nine, MEC are often superb on Bright Spring and way better than rugged wear.
There is no need to ever get fancier than that. Nylon is a windbreaker. Satin might be a scarf. Forget trim and ruffles, and glitter. Not everybody does everything. The point is to get energy, as movement and saturated colour, into your look. Workout clothes give you that.
9. My biggest challenge is with the repeated descriptions of Bright Spring as light, delicate, charming, and adorable. When I read these descriptions it starts to feel like maybe I’m not really a Bright Spring after all. Could we have made a mistake?
The most aggressive woman I know sees herself as nurturing. It shocked her beyond belief to learn that in the character assessment at work, every single person pulled out the Highly Competitive card. A very controlling Soft Autumn. Bit odd. And yet, she is absolutely nurturing.
A True Summer of very classic proportions, in fact quite straight in the hip, sees herself as extremely curvy. In her view, she is aggressive, masculine, direct, bold, a walking firecracker. Yes, well, I could go with endlessly seeking. She has no risk aversion though, which is not really a Summer thing.
We get mixed up about ourselves. More important, we are hugely complex. There are only 12 Season groups. Just playing the numbers, factor in 100 personality traits at high, medium, and low levels, parenting, environment, birth order, experience – you wouldn’t have 12 possible combinations, you’d have 12, 000, 000. Still more important, the 12 groups are not organized around character, they’re organized around colour.
Could I have made a mistake? Sure. Anyone can, anytime. But I don’t think I did. We’ll drape you again if you want. Free. Just bring someone with you. I don’t talk much the second time unless I think I got it wrong.
You have a great deal of Winter in your character. You are certainly curious, analytical, and interested. You have the youthful appearance/hairstyle/feature shape associated with childhood, so there would be great continuity if you wore that but you don’t have to. You may find some of that a year from now. You may prefer to express more distance and reserve and less party, just as you are.
Don’t struggle or try to chase it, you’ll just push it further away, like chasing money. Try not to overthink it or you’ll extinguish all your abilities to feel it. Leave it there and explore stepping around your borderlines in ways that feel good. Release any effort at trying to control it. Trust that it will happen, don’t feel that you need to know how. Your mind took it in when your eyes did – remember how that happened during our PCA session? We were learning it together just by seeing it happening. A few words at the beginning and then we could feel it.
10. If it sounds like my thoughts and feelings are whirling around – they are!
They’re supposed to. In our short time together, we had to pull apart everything you thought you knew about your colouring, right back to absolute zero, to the point where you could say, “I do not know what is going to happen next.” Then, we built it all back up again with the blocks lined up correctly. It is a lot to take in.
To learn, you have to unlearn. What we think we know pretty well is usually where we are weakest.
To learn truth, you must surrender what you believe to be truth. Ask anyone who’s had a PCA. You get enough proof to get rid of a lot of stuff fast and make space for the real and the right. It’s a shock to the system.
To gain control, we must first surrender control. Control is only an illusion. Trying to get it is what keeps us tired.
To gain power, we must surrender power.
To empower ourselves with new truths is bound to evoke resistance. We will come up against it every single day. In detaching and deciding, we become free and open thinkers.
I know that I overwhelm you with information during and after a session with me. Everyone learns differently and I don’t know what will click with you. I want you to leave a different person than the one who walked in, on every level, not just your lipstick choice. These reflections, the expansion, the open-ness, the wonder and the wondering, they will carry over into every aspect of your life.
Begin with the colours, bringing them closer to your body as nail polish or a beach towel. To the viewer, they still look like part of your energy field. In time, less serviceable items may be easier to replace with brighter combinations or prints that feel too risky today.
Keep asking me questions. I need it to know where you could use some help. Helping you in real and tangible ways is what I am here to do.
And remember the whole point of your personal renovation (Chantal’s excellent words):
Add Joy to the Journey, to every little glimmer, every success, every little deeper understanding.
We share zodiac signs, Meyers Briggs types, and Season. How could we not have a day of the analysis and philosophy of beauty and self?
Here we begin. Cuteness beyond words.
Draping and Black
Once she had a chance to review the journey of her colour analysis, Lilia asked,
At first, we did the four drapings of black, brown, silver, and gold. We saw that black gave a severe look and was the worst followed by silver and gold which all gave something good and bad, and then brown that felt comfy but not striking.
So why in the world would I wear that black color on me if I know it was the worst on the first drapes we saw. If there is some color I should combine as a basic and then adjust to my Tone, why could it be more the brown that was the best of the four ? (from what I remember but maybe I have a bias in my memory?)
You’re remembering the very first drapes where the categories are still very broad. When I use those first four drapes, I am not thinking in terms of Season decisions. We were gathering information about what your skin does placed next to different colours. Only True Seasons will have definite Yes/No reactions, but they’re 1 person in 10.
We will see better and worse effects with all four of these early drapes. Dark Winter often looks comfortable in True Autumn if you ignore the yellow because they have a little muting and that type of warmth. Their eyes often connect with some Spring colour characteristics – why? Because they find and harmonize with the higher saturation. I think in terms of “skin better with gold than yellow, eyes better with higher saturation” rather than “Winter over Summer”. All four of these first drapes can be equally success and compromise, even the one we might pick as best.
Black wasn’t Lilia’s worst. It was the best in some ways, despite too much shadowing. Summer silver grey was non-existent, diminishing of her and diminished by her. The drapes have an effect on us and we have an effect right back on them. The skin was fogged in, cloudy, yellowish, almost polluted – what Winter colours do to Summer colours when held side-by-side. Winter’s white makes Summer’s white look yellowish even though it’s not, it’s slightly blue-pink-muted. Only black cleared the smog to perfect the skin tone, removed the jaundice of Spring and Autumn, and brought definition to the features. Too much definition? Certainly, but we adjust that later on in the process.
Those first drapes represent the extremes of that pure Tone. Very few people wear them perfectly. I haven’t seen a True Winter (or True Autumn) in forever. Yes, it is a compromise to choose black as the best, but at the first drapes, everything is a compromise unless you’re a True Season. Plus, our eyes hadn’t yet learned all they were going to. They had many more comparisons to absorb. The process adjusts and adjusts. That True Winter black is too blue-black and too shiny but there are many blacks, just like many blues, and so on. Dark Winter’s is a little warmer, a little duller. Extract some Winter blue, hold it in front of a diesel exhaust for a moment (meaning add a little Autumn gold), et voila! Dark Winter white extracts a little of True Winter’s blue and adds a drop of dark chocolate(Autumn gold).
I don’t suggest all black on anyone, even in your best black. It looks Babushka. It makes a person look older. Colour is younger without even trying. Head to toe black is outdated, an urban myth, an energy flat line. But Dark Winter can and should wear black. It is a very basic wardrobe colour on that Tone. Some Dark Winters feel that dark brown or dark blue are more modern than black to wear with other colours and I don’t disagree at all. With black, the pendulum went too far and it’s time to center it again.
On Dark Winter, it’s only black that I don’t love best when it’s shiny. Shine exaggerates. Light gets lighter, warm seems warmer, cold, colder. All the other colours in the Tone are equally good matte or shiny. My opinion only, Bright Winter is shinier than even Winter’s usual high shine. Dark Winter is the least super shiny.
I take a lot of heat about this particular green. In the Masterpiece Drapes we show at the end of the session, there are 15 stunning colours for that Tone. About the green, every single woman says, “Are you sure?” She is uncomfortable and squirmy. She declares, “Ok, well, I’ll never own anything in this colour!” Some go out and it’s the first purchase they make (that’s usually the woman who’s given me the most heat over it )
I still only own it as a facing on the collar of a red vest. I don’t remember it from my own PCA. But what did I know? We analyzed my family of 5 and found 3 True Seasons and 2 Neutral Seasons that were the same. Meant nothing to me. We could have been 5 Bright Springs and that would have seemed normal.
In a year, a woman owns an item from about half of her palette. She is comfortable in her more perfect makeup colours, and she pulls out the palette and thinks, “Look at that colour. Why have I never seen it before? Why do I not own anything in that colour?” And the world of you opens up a tiny bit more.
The green is important in the wholeness of you. Every one of your colours is. We get caught up wearing our six best but no landscape is complete with only that. We need our earth and bark, our bitters and sweets, to present our totality. We are a balance of our light and shadow places. The circle of life, the equilibrium that must exist. Your colours can access parts of you that you can’t reach on the day of your colour analysis. You don’t know about these levels and regions of you yet. The colours are looking further down the road of you.
There is a tendency to see these final drapes as 15 turtlenecks. They are wherever you insert them. Your eyes will capture one button on a friend’s coat. A navy coat is far more interesting with a narrow green band sewn into to the cuff or lining, or the whole lining!, than it would be as a solid navy block. The person is communicated more completely, as the multilayered individuals that we are. How amazing is it when your clothing can be that accurate about you?
The One and Only Magic
Today, I wore lipstick and I just saw my lips, no harmony, just biiiiiiig lip color! I went back home and indeed it was a true winter sample. But on the palette it was good and did harmonize well! Also my coat is a navy blue, not as dark as the one in the fan but with more saturation and clearer. Funny how yesterday with a deeper blue/and black, I got complimented each time crossing someone and today, nothing. Seems true winter colors on me are awful and it makes such a difference switching from dark winter to true winter!
No question, it is unbelievable how the little adjustments make a giant difference in how you look and feel once your eyes and heart are sensitized to it. If you can’t quite tell if a colour matches for saturation, look at it another way. Is it too blue? True Winter is where you may find most errors, but they’ll all be too blue.
How close your choices have to be to the swatches is something many women wonder about. Next post: 3 Weeks After Your Colour Analysis.
I wonder if colour analysts agree that we don’t meet people and work at guessing their Season before the draping begins. But subsconsciously, we analyze every person we meet – and for me, on every aspect of our interaction. True Winter will wear makeup to the appointment. I’ve only met 5 or 6 and it has not failed. They will find a way. The Lights will say, “Sheer is never sheer enough.” Dark Winter will tell me fairly early on what they don’t like. Lilia doesn’t like any version of purple, from the iced violet that is usually a favorite, to any other version. Burgundy felt much better.
She said, “I showed my PCA pictures to some people, and each time it’s Ooooooh that purple is SO beautiful on you! Dammit! As I see it, it is really a big deal because it’s the undertone.”
Yes, approximately what I see as the undertone of Dark Winter. As you’ll read in my book, I don’t really know what undertone is as a biological layer. Nobody ever defines it in a way that makes sense to me so I do what I always do – I make up my own version till I hear a better one. The book (RTYNC over in the right column) shows the undertones as I see them today, though for some (like Bright Winter), there were a couple of choices (not Dark Winter).
I’ve read that undertone is the colour of our different bloods. That implies structural changes to hemoglobin, doesn’t it? It’s not implausible that it could change its molecular structure enough to alter its colour without impeding its binding with oxygen. Who’s going to fund the research to prove it? What drug could be developed based on the data? Undertone is a bit of an aura feeling I get, though I’d never put that in a book. It’s like the sum total of the glow of the individual. Does that imply that I can see it before the draping? No way. My eyes need to see the reactions of your skin just as much as yours do.
Lilia: So from what I understand, I chose the only colour I hate in the world to be my very number 1 good colour.
Ok, Number 1, it’s funny.
But on a psychological level, philosopher that I am, I’m sure we have an intuition for colour. I’m sure we deeply know and recognize what’s good or not. When I see my wardrobe I can find a lot of consistency with Dark Winter. Why would I have eliminated the best colour on me ?
Christine: Yes, it is funny. And, for me, fun. I love to take you as far as possible from the woman you arrived as. I want to open every window in your mind that you will allow so you can see yourself as you never have. Your choice of words is so good, “I chose the only colour I hate…”, because you did.
Many women wonder why they have aversions to their best colour, even on a larger scale of “Why would I eliminate my entire Season?” I don’t know but I’ve talked about it or around it a lot. We lose our path. We hear other voices than our own from when we were that little face up at the top. We believe compliments to be accurate when in fact, compliments are always always emotionally invested. We don’t love who or what we are. We need permission to be our real selves. So many things.
Lilia: Is there something to fear about being beautiful?
C: Yes, I think there is. One woman said she actually felt uncomfortable being noticed for this reason. Like separating herself from the safety net of her human tribe. Like having to live up to a newer, bigger, fuller, stronger level of herself. When I pray, I don’t ask for cash or prizes. I ask for the health, happiness, and safety of those I love. And I ask that I can be enough to achieve the things I want. Could that be it? Could we feel afraid that we’re not going to be enough for what this new face communicates?
Lilia: Yesterday, I was wearing good colours. I was complimented and I felt SO awkward. That was so unusual. I didn’t expect that effect. I thought that I already had good colours in my makeup and clothes base. I felt that I just needed a few changes to put all of them together and the difference wouldn’t be that much that anyone would notice except me.
ERROR. I discovered there is a “wow” effect. There is a magical effect. (that magical effect that I didn’t have with TW colours today). Now, I can now recognize it very well when “the magic” is here.
C: Those photos we took are striking in a visceral way. Only the exposure and saturation are raised a trace to show the true colours. Often with those last drapes and the makeup on, my heart rate speeds up. It’s very physiologic. The beauty of it makes me light-headed. My breathing patterns change because my brainwaves are altered. It’s not just me, I just have thought about it more.
Lilia: Colours are waves. Anybody who had already knows a little physics knows how waves and frequency work: when you add the same ones together and you have a signal amplified. Adding contrary ones gives a zero signal. I just realized today how obvious it is to link colour analysis with the theory of amplification in physics.
M: Synchrony >> Synergy = More than the sum of its parts. Interference theory.
You get better at seeing magic when you compare closer and farther over the next few weeks of learning your colours. The closer to the palette, the better. With every shopping expedition, you will compromise less.
Reading to Grow Your Soul
Lilia brought this into my world. You will feel closer to who you want to be and how you’re going to get there. From before The Secret took over our co-creation paradigms.
Click on The Game of Life and How to Play It.
If you re-read or remember any part of it because you never heard it said that way, then donate.
Use of Images
The images contained in this article are of private individuals, not celebrities. I consider the permission for me to use them as a privilege. It is my intention to protect these women’s privacy and generosity. If you use any of the photos without permission, I will seek legal counsel. I do not want to have to reduce the beauty and detail of the photographs with watermarks.
This is a learning site. Please do use my words with credit back to the web page you copied and pasted them from. If you mix up my meaning and get the message wrong, feel free to omit any reference back to me.
Still lunar and fluid like all Summer, still vaporous, but with a dimensional quality, like a silvery apparition, the hologram we discussed in Part 1. Soft Summer does not have a feeling of steps. What these fairly-light and fairly-dark colours do is flow smoothly.
“Can the Soft Summer archetype as you model it have a warmer embodiment?…mostly we’re compared to water spirits (which imagery I do love). I wonder if we could have a warmer side that’s maybe more of a mountain spirit? I do have warm-leaning eyes and some warmth in my hair, but yes, the SA drapes turn me yellow. Even so, gold, brass, copper, and rose gold are better on me than silver or pewter, which tend to just sit there on me.”
She makes an important point that applies to many Soft Summer. That warmer incarnation is certainly in my head, but maybe not always in my words and images. Something that comes up often for me is that I see many who are very borderline Soft Summer/Soft Autumn. They’re like the neutralest of the Neutrals, positioned almost even between those two Neutral Seasons. To see the eyes alone, you’ll pick the warmer Season for sure, except that the skin yellows with drapes. On these women, silver (not overly cold and shiny) and gold (not overly yellow and shiny) are about equal.
Soft Summer warms and solidifies significantly relative to True Summer imagery. In my book (over in the right column), we went from a lake to a forest. Hopefully, the Polyvores below portray that.
About shimmer, Paisley said,
As long as the iridescence doesn’t take the color too high, I think iridescent makeup is gorgeous on us. Also your makeup style depends on your Kibbe. Having been identified as a Romantic, I was relieved to read Kibbe’s recommendation that even daytime makeup should have some sparkle. I think very softly glowing making adds to the misty factor, as do finishing powders that are pearlescent. The point being to keep it soft-focus — it’s can’t go toward metallic in any way. But glowing and pearlescent is gorgeous on us, IMO.
And IMO, you’re exactly right, Paisley. I can not say it as well as a woman who lives it.
Seems to me that part of the shimmer, maybe all of it, is explained by the equiluminant property of this palette. Rendered in B&W, it would appear to be just a few shades of grey and much of the detail would disappear. Bring in colour and the combinations are pure melody. Everyone of the 12 Seasons soars depending on what you can do with it. For Soft Summer, it’s in the allure that happens when these colours are worn together on this type of colouring.
Why? Because vision in our brain operates on two parallel tracks. The colour system recognizes faces, objects, and details. The B&W system sees movement, depth, and position. In equiluminant compositions or outfits, the colorblind B&W track won’t quite be able to tell the location of the elements. But the colour track will see the elements well. This disconnect gives these compositions an unstable, shimmery, unearthly feeling. We talked about it in Part 1. Sorry for repeating, it is so amazing to me.
The SD body has presence. The horizontal shoulder line is substantial and the vertical line equally so. I am not a Kibbexpert, but narrow, petite, or slender wouldn’t be words I’d associate with Soft Dramatic. If someone picked those words for you over Amazonian, I’d have to wonder about another Image Identity. If you look at Images for Raquel Welch, she is luscious-yes, dumpling-no. Compared to other body types, these are a little burly. A lot of size, strength, and length in the upper and lower body.
Kibbe Soft Dramatic (SD)
- broad shoulders, a strong horizontal line
- a long bold sweeping vertical line
- drape, flow, light fabric ; soft plush – so far, great on Soft Summmer
- shiny fabric – for Soft Summer, this looks like the lustre of pearl and abalone shell ; go past it and your colouring will make the fabric shinier than it is and the fabric will make your face more muted
Many Summers ask if they look good in pearls. They absolutely do, taking into account your body’s geometry. Classics wear the classic strand(s) better than one big-huge piece. Dramatic bodies need big and geometric shapes to include the necessary angularity that balances who they already are.
We’ve talked about what looks like black and white on you in Black and White for 12 Seasons. Once you learn to manipulate what you wear to look like B&W or black&red or whatever on you without actually wearing those colours, you have cracked the code. You can achieve any look without ever venturing into unflattering colour by knowing how your own colouring exerts influence over what you wear. How do you do this? Wear your 12 Season Sci\ART palette. Job done.
Mr. K talks about bold and dramatic colour combinations. Great. Use your palette and go wild. Don’t compare your bold and dramatic to how Mr. Spock would get there.
Contrast levels are high here. First, it increases the drama and boldness. Second, I’ve rethought this whole contrast thing – 3! videos coming up about that in another post.
- Head to Toe.
- T with rounded edges, always the vertical and horizontal lines.
- Luxe and glamour.
- Colour repetition works well to give flow and continue a vertical line.
- Not stiff, tight, shapeless, sharp of drape.
- Lots of length. Strong geometrics with soft edges.
- If you don’t like the muted purples, don’t wear them as clothes. But they make darn good eyeshadow.
- Wear your hair colour on your feet.
Enlarged the jewelry to be big. With her size and the very generous amount of Yang, jewelry needs to be scaled way up or she’ll dial it down into a dime store trinket.
For the day of the week you go to the office, not the opera, there are shoes here that won’t punish your back and feet. The guys wouldn’t put up with that. Why should we?
Soft Summer Hair Colour
This came up on facebook but this is a good place to insert it. Whatever your Kibbe or Season,
When do highlights in the hair look right? When the distance between the lightest and darkest approximates that in the rest of the colouring (except if you’re a Winter (where contrast rules are unique and addressed in those 3! videos)). That’s how the hair can be a realistic extension of the head.
Summer’s light colours are pastels, more ‘colourful’ than Winter’s icy colours. Also, their darks don’t get extremely dark. So there is not a big distance between the lightest and darkest colours. Soft Summer begins from a darker base colour position than the other Summers. Applying the pastel concept, their highlight will be darker than the other Summers too. Message for colourist: don’t overbleach or add back toners that are too light.
Use a taupe highlight, like medium mushroon, for a tone on tone look. The colour is in your swatches. It is cooler than it is warm. But be careful. Someone sees warmth in the eye and the very neutrality of the skin and overestimates the warmth. Soft Summer is often getting coloured way too light and yellow so the face goes oily and yellow. This is not a butterscotch light, it’s taupe.
Also be careful again. That dusty quality in the hair is essential to bring the roses out of the skin. I mean, essential. Don’t stare at your hair colour and not see the whole like we do. Don’t compare your hair to anyone except other perfect Soft Summer hair, like Princess Kate. Would she look better with saturated hair? No way. Highlights? Absolutely not to me.
Start with a colour a couple of shades lighter than the base, usually a medium ash brown And be careful once again. Chemical colour is often very saturated and looks darker than expected, like saturated cosmetics do. So you might even go a few shades lighter than the base to compensate.
If you can keep 80% of the hair as totally unprocessed, much better to give the skin harmony and perfecting potential that chemistry so skillfully removes with chemical pigments. Make highlights filaments, not chunks.
How about this? Look at the before. Cooler than warm but not pure ash cool silvery brown. The highlights on the right side of your screen (not the model) are pretty good in the lower half of the hair. On the other side, the eye can get caught up on the too-light strands. Soft Summer’s total expression is Summer colours in shade. Still, those too light strands are at least cool beige, not platinum, not yellow or orange. The base is pretty darn good for a Soft Summer. I like it. (IDK if this model is a Soft Summer, it’s just about the hair).
The body types being referred to below come from David Kibbe’s excellent book on the subject, Metamorphosis (1987). For me this is the book that works, IF you can find yourself. It’s harder than you’d think. I am asked to offer it as part of PCA appts, which I’d gladly do if it could be objectified. As long as it’s just my opinion or Mr. Kibbe calls me to train with him, the client won’t get her ROI (return on investment).
Searching for the Soft Dramatic Body
She has a lush, exotic quality to her features. Angelina Jolie? Maybe if her head were on Sharon Stone’s body. This is where it becomes anyone’s opinion, but to me, her body is too small and compact, her expression is very open and giving and the features are too Yin. She’s not physcially big enough to embody Diva. Height does matter somewhat. This is an imposing physical presence that seems bigger than it is at any height. An SD woman commands her space.
If Phyllisha Rashad is Dramatic Classic (DC), SD is more physically Yang than that. Even a DC could drown in all the fabric draping of SD, or look that way even with the draping scaled down to her size, as if she’s wearing curtains.
I wonder if IRL, Angelina’s proportions would have that Hollywood quality of large head/small body that photograpshs well. JAniston has that too. Whitney Houston would be very close to SD and often dressed that way.
SD and Flamboyant Natural (FN) are close in my head. What separates them is the FN’s ability to still wear sweats and eat popcorn. The SD is not nearly as accessible or approachable. She has a more formal energy all the time. She doesn’t own sweats and can barely force herself into yoga wear, but she’s easy to imagine with a tennis racket, on a skateboard, running on the beach at 6am without makeup. Movement is key for the Naturals.
Naomi Campbell? Perhaps, but she seems very slender.
Linda Evangelista? Very possible.
Someone smart suggested Kate Winslet as a Soft Dramatic (and very possibly Soft Summer). That’s a great choice. Big body. Lush, large features with a lot of overall Yang energy, too much to assign her curviness to the Romantic or Soft Classic group.
Visual Processing and The Soft Summer Palette
Neurochemical information travels millions of pathways from retina to various centers in the brain. That’s just the beginning of how an image forms. Neuropsychology kicks in and modifies the retinal data to adjust for lighting, experience, and assumptions as the brain strives to make sense of what it sees, and of course, of surrounding colours.
We appreciate that seasonal or 12 Season colour analysis is based on simultaneous contrast, the fact that two colours side-by-side change one another in our perception. Soft Summer is a most spectacular Season but we can too easily focus on “those colours are dull” instead of what that very ‘dullness’ makes them capable of that no other can do.
For all three Summers, the ability of adjacent versions of the same hue but differing values to appear 3D, to advance and recede, is central to (my) understanding (of) those Seasons. On Summer colouring, monochromatic colour schemes lose their flatness and give the illusion of a rounded, touchable image. Why the Summers? Because they’re cool-colour (blue-based) colours, so when their value is made darker by adding dark grey or black, they remain blue and they do so across the light/dark band. They don’t turn green or purple. This works especially well with the True and Soft whose colours are muted, which our brains interpret as ‘far’, establishing a depth relationship.
Because of how edges are discerned at the level of the retina, we have more difficulty understanding edges. Monochromatics are even more challenging for discerning edges. They seem to move. They come and go and float around. With even the slight influence of Autumn in this Neutral Season Soft Summer colour collection, this 3D effect from contiguous monochromatics moves to a whole new level.
Over the Autumn palette’s span, which has influence in five different groups of natural colouring, the theme is dimensionality. It’s been called texture, strength, rope, weave, all expressing a similar notion of how this colour language speaks most clearly. Soft Summer steps up from the early 3D effect above that works so well on True Summer, to the phenomenon of the hologram. Still shimmery, more 3D.
With no good evidence, I’ve always seen the Soft Summer composition as lost edges, a figment of the imagination, impressions of depth that might just be apparitions, uncertainty about what is real, like the ghosts of shapes that move in and out of each other, whispered suggestion, signals you’re not sure you heard or saw, phantoms moving in and out of your perception. The colours made sense tome that way. Finally someone smarter than I am explained it to me: equiluminance.
Luminance means the intensity of emitted light from a surface. That’s not exactly the same as light/dark levels or value because the trunk of a birch tree in shade and one of its leaves in sun may emit similar light at that moment, but in some ways, our brain sees luminance as value. Equiluminance means equal value or light/dark level.
The brain uses its luminance pathways (gray scale, black to white, value) to inform us about position (Where). The chromatic pathways (colour) tells us what things are, their forms and shapes (What). Take away colour and we can’t discern what things are quite as well.
Without colour, the painting looks 2D by the loss of detail in depth. The examples above come from this great website where you’ll find many more great examples.
When colour transitions are gradual because they are of similar value, our colour perceptive brain pathways (or chromatic pathways) are activated but our luminance pathways are not. We feel a little unsure of shape, position, and motion. We have trouble placing forms and objects. In Soft Summer, where saturation is low and values are medium, the colour combinations are exquisite to the point of being supernatural because shapes seem less stable.
The Sci\ART palettes make all this that I talk about happen automatically. Those palettes put these visions in my head, not the other way around. You don’t have to do much other than wear your colours.
Apparel in Part 2. Next article, I promise.
Nirmala left a comment after the last article on 12B that really sums it up. Kind of paraphrasing here, but as she says, we can’t see ourselves, that’s Problem 1. Though we search for our truths, there’s no easy road. They are quite cleverly concealed, maybe as protection from us, for if any way were revealed too soon, we would probably misuse them like any information we get when we’re not ready.
A clothing system won’t be the as-the-crow-flies route to inner truth. The most it could do would be to open a window. The opinions of others, even professionals, are subjective, variable, relating taste and opinion more than anything else. Compliments are of no value to me, they just drag me off center for a week or two. Though the 12 Seasons of personal colour analysis may not have every answer, it is at least measurable as long as the compass is calibrated right.
The Sci\ART drapes are calibrated into measured increments. That’s what a Sci\ART colour analysis gets you that is so incredibly special. The line between one group and the next is clearly divided in coherent, defined, steady intervals. Connect the dots is way easier when the dots are numbered. Sci\ART has human colouring classified right. Doesn’t mean that analysts who do colour by eye are wrong. I’m a huge believer in humans as little electrical towers and perhaps some people can feel our emissions of light energy as our colours. I’d lose faith if two such analysts came up with really different answers though.
Dark Winter Type 1
Maybe Sally Field looking (not so sure she’s DW). Or Mario Tuttle, though with that nose shape, he’s more likely a Bright.
For Type 1, I went with light, young, fun, random, playful, upward, hearts and triangles, freedom of movement, sprays, fountains. Detail and eye catchers are placed high on the body, so no black outfits with yellow shoes. Some bold is ok, this is Winter, but nothing serious, sharp, or rigidly repeating. Got to get light, bright, warm, fun, and alive into this. And fairly contrasting.
Tunics could be great here. And prints.
Lots of jewelry that doesn’t necessarily match. “Life of its own”, not floppy and not stiff, Perkily crisp.
I like the zigzag of the sleeves on the two tops at the top.
Clothes can feel light without being light coloured. Taylore Sinclair’s totality of radiance actually comes in here, where fabric, design, and texture all contribute to a person’s movement.
Chose heavy heart lockets that wouldn’t get lost in the contrast and weight of the colour. Torn between the 2 lockets.
Black can’t be chunky or serious or this girl will grind to a halt and look glued to the ground.
Shoes are light. Even a wedge is too blocky.
Dressing Your Truth: What I Liked
About the Dressing Your Truth course, my friend asked “What do you like about it?”
- I like Carol. Makes no difference to me how she promotes herself, whether she’s licensed, whether women can or can’t find their Type, or how many websites she owns.
- I recognized my drive for standardization (of colour analysis systems), my obsession with being able to duplicate results (between colour analysts or it’s all useless to the client), and my need to promote it – all as Type 4 traits.
- I learned about the most dominant types of lines in my face. I follow them to apply eyeliner and blush. Our movement path could be drawn on paper as we negotiate tasks big and small, through problems towards solutions. The lines tend to be consistent with other lines, like those in our face. Fascinated me. I really like the part about how we move forward and how we get stuck. I’ve watched people who seem unable to end one interaction or activity and move on to the next. The nearer you get to an ending, the more they’re compelled to drag it out in a thousand ways. Since I almost erase the past as I’m living it, watching this deliberate delaying left me saying “Just make a move. Don’t worry if it’s wrong or right!” Now I get why that was not helpful for them.
It was fun to actually draw makeup with those same lines. I see that if you draw a line across my eyes from outer corner> inner corner> inner corner other eye> outer corner other eye, the line is straight. So now I extend eyeliner out straight a little ways. My kids have not said I look nuts, which they are well trained to do given even a smidgen of provocation.
- The psychology that goes with the lines structures is great. I see now why True and Soft Summer have more issues with their palettes than everyone else put together…because it’s her (Type 2, Summer, whatever) nature to examine every single option over and over, like she can never have enough evidence to make a choice. And why I shoot off like a rocket and ignore all the fine print.
And why my Light Summer sister can get so deeply hurt over words or actions that I wouldn’t even notice. Her weakness isn’t her huge sensitivity; it is her strength because it’s her truth and because the world needs so much of what she has to offer. Telling her “Stop letting every little thing get to you!” is disrespectful and confusing to her. Now, I will hold her in higher esteem for it. Learning to honour others better has been the greatest reward of DYT. So much has fallen into place -why I’ve stood at makeup counters with Summers watching they energy test eyeliners.
Figured out why I have been sent so many more True and Soft Summer clients than any other. We relive the same experience over and over till we learn its lessons. I finally see that I need that character to balance me, to model certain behaviours I will need in my own future. I am grateful they came to see me.
- Picked up a few good clues on clothing to add to my Season and Kibbe, but this was far from the main selling point. As a matter of taste, Carol and I don’t share a belief of what looks good, let alone true. As a matter of statistics, it’s unlikely there are only 4 style Types in the world, even if you could prove that there are 4 main movement types. The diversity of genetics makes the probability too low unless the types are so broad that few can tell where they fit, especially if they contain some of each, which means most of us. And it’s been proven across populations that 4 main colour types won’t work. This energy system won’t be any different. Still, would I take the course again? I would in a heartbeat.
- Learned a lot more that I can apply as a better spouse/parent/workplace than as any kind of fashion star. But then, I came into it exposed to a lot of info about Winters, Dramatic dressing, etc. A newcomer might pick up some great advice or a good intro to thinking about how clothes are cut. I did buy some jewelry and I like it. For all 4 Types, the jewelry is nice for the price at the Store. Mine is about 2-4 times larger than it looks on the site.
IDK the DYT rules for the 4 Types. I’m just extrapolating the energy of the person, like I did with how the colours felt to me in RTYNC (the blue book over in the right column). Doesn’t mean it’s the only way, just my way. DYT is a natural expression we feel as movement. Same with seeing those lines anywhere, a book plot, a mechanical device, a wind pattern. What Carol has tuned into and translated is four different movement types and how their energy feels interpreted with clothing to create a visual image. For instance, when we see parallel lines, they look like a mirror. With that, we associate reflectivity and stillness. Reminding of the 4 True Seasons? Absolutely, but a new spin in many ways.
There’s no reason you can’t be true to your colouring and your movement type even if they don’t coincide. Neither takes precedence because they’re describing different things. Your Sci\ART Season knows your colours. Your Type offers an opinion about your shape as expressed by your style of movement. The whole silver gold thing for Types, I pretend I never heard it.
True Spring Type 2
Type 2 is the Summer “stereotype”, awful word but it serves. So, connections – tops with bottoms, repeating colours, interlocking shapes. Gentle flow and drape. Less delicious and vivacious than the “stereotype” True Spring, more of a Summer analogous colour scheme. Wavy lines.
I know two of these women. They’re certainly True Spring, they look like T1, but they lead in movement with T2, at least when I met with them.
Beauty Sixth Sense
Do I agree that women have a “Sixth Sense” about their own beauty, as Carol claims in the Dressing Your Truth course? Not for a second. I know for sure they don’t. I had to be in my 50s to come close to recognizing me. Others can’t always tell either. I have a True Winter daughter whose Kibbe or Type I cannot figure out. I wish women wouldn’t feel so devastated and to blame when they can’t find their answers. I wish they weren’t so willing, eager even, to believe every word of it all. I read it all like a novel rather than non-fiction, let it come at me like one person’s story, like one person’s travel diary. Your journal to the same place would read different. I read it like a recipe book. I find one I might try out, and 20 that I would never use but I don’t burn the book. Why give someone’s opinion more importance than that?
Anyone’s an expert if they say they are. One quick look at logic trees with 4 only branches (4 Seasons, 4 Types) can tell you they will only apply to each person superficially at best. If you saw a 4-branch tree to cover all disease in the world, how much attention would you give it to find your own aches? Not more than a glance.
Kibbe used the Yin Yang metaphor to describe variations of shape of bone and flesh. He also brings in the very important issue of scale, not just what it is but how certain bodies make it look (the Yang-er you are, the taller you appear and the smaller you make jewelry look). If you can find yourself in his book, he’s the guy who got human body geometry sorted most ergonomically. He makes a point of keeping the colour talk very general. It surprises me how dogmatic DYT gets on this point given that it’s not their emphasis. They could do the whole thing as well, indeed far better, if they just left colour out of it, but fine marketer that Carol is, she realizes that if she’s not 100% convinced, nobody else will be either.
Bright Winter Type 3
boxy practical functional big textured simple natural regular strong corners
a very Yang person, pants have a fly and a worn with a belt
not so straightforward to express work instead of fun with these colours
heavily accessorized…now that works with BW and T3, glad I found someplace these 2 come together,
though come to think of it, a BW usually has some big Yang elements of character and colour
every one of these Seasons/Kibbes/Types have their intersections; it’s when you find them that the fun starts.
the slightest whiff of Spring and turquoise and purple should appear (Autumn? teal and burgundy)
not too confined at the neck so she can move towards you, as it is her movement to do
I deleted several comments to this website aimed at exposing Ms. Tuttle and her sources. Find them on Amazon if you like. Truly, I just don’t care. Anybody can pick up the similarities in wording and philosophies between various colour systems. So what? Ballet, yoga, and Pilates have similarities that stem back to their common origins. However similar the language, DYT seems to have applied the knowledge in a different way so that’s fair.
Why does DYT create such intense emotion when it doesn’t work for a person? In any discipline, there will be those who can deliver and those who can’t. The consumer decides for themselves, just like which vet to take their pet to. We’re not saving lives here. It’s clothes. So Tuttle’s explanation doesn’t work for you. Another one will. Where does our perspective go? The words of others only have as much power on our path as we choose to give them. These days, I’m picking up the pieces and moving on about everything.
In an email, I was advised to examine my own reactions carefully as to why I removed those accusatory comments and blame-filled reviews that were deemed “heart-wrenching”. My contemplation came up with this: I didn’t find it heart-wrenching at all that some clothing system didn’t work for one person. Probably did for many and didn’t for many. The expectation was unrealistic to begin with. Call me a heartless Type 4 but I couldn’t get bogged down in something so full of holes and hope to see me come into focus somewhere out of the haze. That’s looking for love in all the wrong places and we’re back to the Kingdom of Heaven being within, but it takes a heck of a lot more self-work to get to it.
Everyone finds their true self, the deepest soul that their body incarnates, in different ways. Colour has been a metaphor for many revelations but it doesn’t bring me to my knees. Where I go to get myself right, where I finally understood what it means to say “Love is free”, learned the true purpose of prayer, figured out what the Chakras/sacraments really represent (abundance, health, humility, love, truth, wisdom, and grace in that order, my opinion only), and met my best and worst selves in a way I could work on them, was in Carolyn Myss’s book Entering the Castle. It’s the Bible that I read and practice each day.
Although your colours hold true as part of your energy spectrum at every level of your being, they’re also part of the physical world and part of the five senses. The special and specific grace that you came here to share comes from deeper than that, or any tip-of-the-iceberg colour, image, or clothing system. Your truths are far more encompassing and more connected to the energy of Divinity. We’re a long way from understanding that but we can approach it and we can feel it.
Soft Autumn Type 4
All the usual True Winter adjectives – bold, simple, symmetric, long straight lines.
Structured for sure. I keep my jewelry in fishing tackle boxes. $4.46 at Walmart now that you ask.
The lower R corner outfit would be secondary T2, with S straps on shoes and teardrops or earrings.
This one was by far the most difficult. In my mind, I can see these colours looking fine for this person (though not how I see their best), but finding the clothes is another thing.
Long ago in our lives, shopping began as an exercise in acquisition. It suddenly made a lot more sense when you learned your right colours and shapes, becoming something you could fully control. Then a few more levels of refinement opened up. Now, it’s a game of hide and seek.
When Tina first learned she was a True Summer, she encountered the same roadblock that can stump most, probably all, newly identified True Summers. How do I know this colour is Summer, not Winter?
Today will be about the True Seasons, but most of it could apply to any of the related Summer – Winter groups, so Light Summer with Bright Winter and Soft Summer with Dark Winter. If you’re thinking “How are those related?”
>>Light Summer and Bright Winter both start from a pure cool colour palette, Summer and Winter, respectively. Then they move over one position in the same direction, towards Spring. To look at the colours, the same amount of the same kind of heat gets added to each one.
>>Soft Summer and Dark Winter move from their pure cool True Seasons by adding the same amount of the same kind of heat, that is, Autumn’s.
The blue book in the right sidebar, RTYNC, explains this in more detail. It also includes the map below. Like on a colour wheel, relationships exist beside and across.
For the True Summer and Winter, we’re working with colours where you cannot see one bit of heat. Not vanilla, watery sun, pale dust, white gold, certainly no beige, no tan, no orange, and yellow under certain conditions (coolness). True Summer’s is skim milk white. Its light colours seem more colorful than Winter’s because Winter’s lights have so little pigment, to create the ‘icy’ look. Summer’s lights are pastels, by definition meaning they contain more colour pigment and are softened by being grayed. There is no such thing as an icy pastel that I know.
True Summer has a pretty big range of darkness. It would not reach to black or white but can get quite close in ghost and dark grey.
Tina’s Sportswear for True Summer
Tina has a fine understanding of True Summer. My favorite feeling about this Season is its freshness. If I start getting a sensation of weight or thickness, my own interpretation of the Season doesn’t jive. I love the green and pink hoodies bottom right, the blue bag and sleeveless top, the pink shorts, the long dress. All really good.
The turquoise racerback tank might be a little bright (saturated) and a good example of what adding just a little Spring yellow does – so, I’d put that guy in Light Summer. But does it bother my eye in this collection? Not at all.
When you think about adding water to colour, you appreciate that it can become diluted and less saturated without losing its clean feeling? True Summer is like that. There isn’t so much gray that it looks like it got put in the dark wash. It does have some bluish-greying, but not enough to take the colour down very far. So for me, the pink hoodie top L, the Nike logo Tshirt and sweatshirt, the grey-mauve shirt and jeans all feel heavy – could that be fabric, pattern, texture, and shape? Sure, they all influence how we perceive colour. If your opinion is different from mine, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Tina broke down her early trouble spots into four great questions. She also took the bigger and better learning step of making her own Polyvores that we can talk about. I want her know how much we appreciate her willingness to just listen to any comment, agree or disagree. Easy to say, not easy to do.
1) In a previous color system, I was analyzed a Winter (this happened to me!) How will I know if a color is just too much for me to handle?
Others will see the colour before they see you. And their eye will keep being dragged back to the colour. At first, you or your shopping friends may not be able to know they’re seeing this. In the mirror, consider if your head really matches your body. Is one darker, thicker, heavier, blockier than the other or does there seem to be an easy rapport between them, like they belong together? When we look at outfits we often stare at the fit of the clothes and totally ignore the head attached to the top. Many hairstylists are masterful at this. They stand back and look at the hair creation and have blurred out the face in the center.
You may feel overpowered, as if you look smaller or weaker. You may feel tired. If you’re used to going about in Winter colours, you’ve accommodated this and learned to compensate. It won’t be something you can feel immediately on the road back.
Look for repeats of the colours of the item in your face, eyes, lips, or hair. This is hard to do and can be very ambiguous, but there are women who can sense this. Makes no difference in the world if you can’t.
True Summer’s natural colouring, features, and expression tend to have a gentleness. When they greet someone, they put them at ease. Winter colours won’t give you the feeling of relaxing.
True Summer can look ok in Winter’s light colours. Why not? They’re light and cool, that’s two things Summer does well with. But the iciness of Winter will positively glare on the Summer, while her face seems grayer (and her teeth too – whatever happens to the skin happens to the teeth and whites of the eyes), like her head is 2 feet back behind her body.
Your face will seem pale or tired, perhaps even bruised under the eyes, what you’d see if you suddenly put on a way too dark wig.
The shadows along the sides of the nose look darker in Winter colour, especially the dark colours. That shadow extends up to the inner corner of the eye. Darkness, as you know, recedes, making the inner corner of the eye seem collapsed backward. I believe that our eyes are the focal point of our entire being. Nothing should ever interfere with the other person’s ability to reach them.
When you shop, bring or wear a colour that you know works, a scarf maybe. If there’s a colour you’re not sure of, float your hand over the good colour about an inch. Relax your eyes and just let them take in the youth of the hand, the texture of the skin, the prominence of veins, the redness or wrinkles over knuckles. Hold the gaze for 10 or 15 seconds. Now switch your hand over the fabric you’re testing. Don’t over-analyze. Just ask yourself “step forward or step back?”. Which is the younger, fresher, cleaner, plumper, prettier shaped hand?
Black is a comparison thing just like other colours are, but when you’re seeing true black you know it, as “OK, now this is definitely black.” If you’re sure, it’s Winter. If you’re not sure, it could be Summer’s darkest gray. Summer doesn’t go quite that dark really, but if you need to buy pants, a little too dark but not black would get you through the day.
In Nature, even the darkest shadow doesn’t go to black in the daytime. (For those who have RTYNC, Summer is like noontime light, right?) It’s because of the amount of light, for one thing. True Summer landscapes are always backlit a bit from the sky overhead, despite the sun being hidden behind clouds, or from light filtering in from around or behind the image itself.
Also, maybe shadows don’t go to black because so many colours go into making a shadow. If you held a card painted with a pitch black X inside a True Summer grey shadow, you could still make out the X.
By fanning out your True Summer swatches and moving a pure black shape over it, your eye will pick out why black doesn’t fit. Eyes seem very good at picking out even close saturation differences, which is why black mascara never quite belongs on any Summer face. The viewer sees the eyelashes and then the face, perhaps the goal for believers in magazine ads.
Tina’s Evening Wear for True Summer
This is beautiful. There are light, medium, and dark options. In the purse top R, I usually look for a pink, blue, or mauve tone in True Summer grey, but this one would work fine. The delicate crafstmanship and attention to detail is Summer all over. The long purple in the center is good too, not over-saturated when you enlarge it (because it has a trace of heather, Winter would have none). The white dress on the model lower R, I’m not sure. Polyvore often loses colour and detail on light items. As it is, I think of Winter white because the background is True Summer and see how the dress glares? Couldn’t find a better example of what Winter white does on a True Summer face. The green feathery dress in the center gives me Soft Summer feelings of over-grayness, but again, it’s a fabric issue too.
2) What is the difference between too saturated and not saturated enough?
I’ll let Tina’s Polyvore below show you that. Colour is all about comparison and this is so well done. Winter colours look like straight pigment. You couldn’t talk yourself into dustiness if you tried. Ask yourself “Do I feel like a sheet of this colour could stop me from moving through it or even push me backwards?”
“Not saturated enough” is a really good point. Where do you tip into Soft Summer? I can’t explain the saturation cut-off verbally. You need your Colour Book swatches. More useful for me is that colour gets warmer in Soft Summer, not just softer. You can see the slightest overlay of taupe over all the colours, even the blues and greens. True Summer may look coolly grayed but you don’t sense heat. That heat feels heavy, like chocolate milk compared to skim.
Remember that it’s not just a saturation question between True Summer and True Winter. Winter contains a lot more red.
Tina’s True Summer vs. True Winter
3) Even when I was diagnosed a Winter before, I loved the colors, but whenever I saw a whole garment those shades, I always shied away from it and picked something “quieter”. Am I right to always trust that instinct?
The vet in me finds the word ‘diagnosed’ very original in this context, like something you wouldn’t want to have. Is this the subconscious at work?
About trusting the instinct: Yes! Understanding that True Summer is too often thought of as lavender and Wedgewood blue and not much else. True Summer is never in your face, even its darker versions.
Putting more than two Winter colours together could look like colour shock. Putting True Summer colours together looks lovely, like a place you’d want to stay awhile.
And understanding that too much quieter could take you into Soft Summer’s cooler palette, if you see greyness as quiet. I do, and I also see it as thicker. True Summer isn’t syrupy. It’s Jello. It’s silky cool, like perfume evaporating on your skin, like walking into air conditioning when it’s hot out, like feeling cool lemonade slip down your throat after an hour of gardening. It’s comfortable coolness.
Winter is much more serious. It’s more likely to interrupt. Summer colours will listen to you and offer caring advice. Winter may have learned the patience for that, key word, learned, but they still sidestep the emotion. A heart-to-heart on the porch swing don’t fit into its colour scene.
If you’re wearing your Summer items to shop and you try on something Winter, the rest of your outfit will seem drab and dishwater, when it looked elegant and perfect before. When two things don’t belong together, they drive each other further apart. Which is why I can’t see why we’re told to wear eyeglasses that oppose our face shape to “balance” us. Reese in John Lennon glasses? IDK. What was so bad about our face shape to start with that we need to cancel it out?
4) Some of the makeup selections for True Summer feel and look “dull” to me. What is the best way to overcome this?
Perception – easily among my top favorite topics! I feel the floodgates letting go.
As with all things colour, everything is comparative. Dull next to what? Next to the parrot colours at the counter? Next to Winter colours? Well, you know, so does a True Summer person look softer (no way I’m saying dull, no human being ever looks dull, every colour story is equally spellbinding – do you find Winter people more interesting beings? NO. Nor are their looks.) On a Winter colouring, that makeup would look uninspired. But ON THE SUMMER FACE, they look as balanced and natural and healthy and vital and vibrant as the Winter woman’s do on her. Trust me. I never lie, whatever the cost.
There are too many negative colour associations in the world. Black is slimmer. Dark is stronger. Bold is more passionate. Vibrant is healthier. We even believe some of this. Well, they’re not. Colour doesn’t judge bold or indecisive. It just is. Clouds are not less beautiful than sunsets. They’re just clouds and sunsets and that’s how we appreciate them. We don’t walk in a forest saying “This tree is more beautiful than that tree. We don’t say “A tree in summer is more beautiful because the swaying of the leaves look so inviting compared to the simple shape of the wintertime tree.” They’re all special for the way they grew, the way they are, just because they’re there. People too. Colours too.
Consider it from the opposite side. True Winter’s makeup will look inflated, even bigger and even darker and even redder, on a Summer face. Parrot feathers on a dove does not look good. It’s not ugly. There is no ugly. What it looks like is forever separate. They can’t mesh. By putting them together, both the dove and the feathers are reduced. They can’t penetrate each other and become one and the same, that sensation women experience so deeply when they see themselves in their most beautiful colours, as if releasing the drape at that moment would lose contact with some long-lost part of themselves they’ve only just found.
By adding to yourself more of what you already are, it’s like using you to support you even more. That’s where real strength comes from, right? It is not out there somewhere. Only you elevate and strengthen the very uniqueness and specialness of you.
Tina’s Personal Picks for True Summer
I have nothing to say that could add to this. All I mean by “a place you’d want to stay awhile”.
Colours, Kibbes, and Types
Many of us have been exposed to various colour and style paradigms by now, Kibbe, Carol Tuttle, Jennifer Butler, and so many other artists and thinkers. We look for one colour or image system to have all the answers, but not one of them is all right or all wrong. Each one lets us gather a few new clues our identity. Types, Seasons, Essences, unless the system has 7 billion of them, not every word in any of them will fit any one person. Lines, colours, conscience, thoughts, shapes all feed into our final what? Voltage? Altitude? Energy is a good word but overuse had blunted its meaning. We are energetic beings, each a unique force field emitting one synchronous wavelength, like walking radio towers, receivers and transmitters. And resistors and capacitors, come to think of it. We are beginning to understand what this means and we’re drawn to it like bugs to light.
The Types come from Carol’s Dressing Your Truth system. I love this woman, what she stands for, her face and energy profiling. I’m still waiting to find the video called “What if My Facial Design and Energy Type Don’t Match” – not that I’ve seen that IRL (unless a person is confusing their primary and secondary type), but then I’m a believer that our lines, colours, and personality/character/movement are related, a lot more than I’d say in most company. If I taught colour analysis, I wouldn’t even bring it up. Carol’s DYT has 4 Types.
I may be severing any friendship we might ever have by saying that they correlate fairly well with the broad 4 Season associations that Suzanne Caygill saw, so Types 1, 2, 3, and 4 would remind you a lot of Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The difference is that any colouring can exist within any of the energy Types. Do I agree? No. We moved past 4 palettes because they didn’t represent most people’s colouring faithfully enough. Besides, a Dark Autumn with blonde highlights is not dressing her truth, no matter her Type. Nor is a Type 4 True Spring in wide horizontal B&W stripes. Whatever (probably a keyword for my Type 4). I can get over it for the bigger payoff.
Kate Middleton is a Soft Summer Type 4. Seems paradoxical. Does that mean that either her Season or her Dressing Your Truth Type is wrong? Not at all. It means we don’t yet have all the answers about colour, line, and character in humans. Kate still can find new ways of refining herself and adjusting how she wears her palette. As a Type 4, perhaps within her Soft Summer colours, she is relatively high contrast and would wear straighter lines because they are found in her body and face, the lines into which her colours were painted. We can be too literal in our interpretations of all these systems when none of them excludes any of the others. They all build on some part of our wholeness.
Gwyneth Paltrow is a Type 4 Light or True Summer (probably). Regal, statuesque, still. Blunt sharp haircuts suit her, especially that chin length razor bob she had awhile back. Her solid wall of yellow hair is probably better on her than the randomness of highlights. Very straightened hair works on her because of the sleek, smooth, stylized Type 4 energy. Straight hair could feel forced and stiff on the True Summer Type 2 whose energy is much more sliding, like drifting in a rowboat trailing one hand in the water. All our answers won’t be together in one place. Each has pieces for the puzzle. We feel our way into whether they fit.
The best thing about what I do is the privilege of being taught by people the world over who share their questions and answers with me. I am truly and deeply humbled by that honesty and generosity. I love talking to my friend, Darren. He’s so sensible and smart, and he has experienced most systems you can name. He can pull together the details and the big picture into real world advice. He said,
What I see is different artists’ take on the same subject and from different angles. Everyone has their spin. Personally, I don’t have the time or the money to try to include every color in every palette that I have so for the moment I’m sticking with Jennifer Butler’s, if not just for the sake of self discipline and to see how creative and far I can stretch myself within those parameters. In the end my goal is that everything will eventually fall away and I will learn to trust my own eyes and my own inner guidance completely. I mean think about it. We both [all] artists in our own right with our own way of seeing the world. [Butler, Kitchener, Taylore Sinclair, Suzanne Caygill, Bernice Kentner, Irenee Riter, ]and on and on… they are just people like anyone else.
So I guess what I’m saying is that these people are great at pointing the way but they can’t take the journey for us. We all have to do that ourselves. In the end we have to do what it takes to make ourselves into who we would like to see, lose our own weight, and accept our own limitations, and be OK with it. At some point we have to accept that we know enough to relax and just be. Who wants to spend all their time trying to figure out what to wear so they can go shopping.
I wrote RTYNC, the book pictured on the right side. I get told “I doubt my PCA because my personality is off from what you wrote.” Don’t do that!!
I get told “Wearing my colours as exotic or tribal feels all wrong on me. Does that mean I’m not Dark Autumn?” NO!!! Trust the analysis. I painted word pictures that feel right to me but they cannot possibly apply to every Dark Autumn, all 7 billion divided by 12 of them.
I see women asking ” How can I have dark hair and be Light Summer?” But it’s relative. Your hair isn’t dark compared to 95% of Winters, it’s just darker than many Light Summers. We know our hair colours aren’t necessarily in our swatch book. Doesn’t mean it’s suddenly inconsistent or that your analysis was wrong.
In our truths lie our strengths. What is true about you is what is strong about you. That’s why it feels so important to look for it. In our untruths lie our weaknesses. Which is why looking unnatural, like you could never have happened that way without really interfering with Nature’s plan, communicates to me as scattered energy. Real and right looks grounded and therefore strong. If it ‘s true that allowing ourselves to behave with false words and actions makes us weak, and it is, how does it not follow about our appearance?
So, do dark Summers look good in black? Not to me because black communicates absolutely nothing that is true about them. Not unattractive. You are never ever that. Besides, it will make the rest of your clothes in the colours that actually look beautiful on you suddenly appear old, tired, and sort of defeated, as will the skin tone. And will your dearest friends or salespeople tell you this? No, my sister, they won’t. The purpose of a compliment is to make you feel better, not to share truth. Wait 6 months and show them a photo of you in black and you in bluewater grey, they won’t pick the black.
Below, a YouTube DYT video on how the 4 Types wear red lipstick. It’s a beautiful comparison of these two women, mother and daughter, both embracing their individuality, with a “I’d have you no other way than as you are.” connection that you wouldn’t find among many adult mothers and daughters – and I bet these two wouldn’t have found, had Carol not developed her energy profiling. I believe 100% that every mother should read Discover Your Beauty Profile and It’s Just My Nature so her children can live acceptance in their home and know how to live it out in the world. How we should all live, all the time, not just with family.
Also, if you’re a Summer, watch more videos with Anne. She dresses beautifully for a Summer, mostly True. See the flower, the crystal in the necklace, the great great base hair colour (this is lighter than many a True Summer, Anne may be a Light, but it has the essential ash tone needed for the skin to bloom and look young). She talks about how Type 2 does dramatic lipstick right. The background would actually be a good lip on True/Soft Summer. See how Anne feels part of it while Carol looks Cut&Pasted in?
Unlearning is harder than learning. There was a time when we didn’t hold ourselves up to any standard but our own. And then the fight went out of us, media got too big in our minds, but we can remember the simplicity of those days. We see it in our children. It’s time to go back there.
My Summer friends tell me they want more ooomph, they feel so blended. Tina brought up a great point about yellow in hair. Unless you came by it on your own, not only is it too yellow against your skin, it’s too light. The dewy deep pink blush goes out of your cheeks and you live in a NoRightColourLand between True and Light Summer. Once the hair is back to its natural darkness, the makeup intensity can go up to balance that, right to where it should be. Your colours have all the ooomph they should have on your face. In a hairstyle that looks loose and released, you bring your lovely grace to a room with no soldier overtones to mix us up. Fundamental to Carol’s teaching is “I can love me enough to be me, and I can love you when you give yourself the same permission.”
I’m not always a very good friend. Not good at making calls, making time. Not even a very good wife. My husband and I both married the strong, silent type. True Summers number the highest among my best friends and trusted counselors. There is something in that character that I need, that we all need. The higher tuning of their heart brings balance to the higher tuning of my head. They’re like the bed of roses I can fall into, finally exhale, and feel safe. Please don’t disguise yourselves. We’ll still see you but won’t understand why you’re retracting your gift. You are everything that the word Grace means on Earth, one of the most powerful words in any language.
We communicate so much more by our appearance than our words. What others sense is how synchronous our cumulative energy is. Call that energy whatever term pleases you, it represents everything about a lifeforce that is more than just a body. We all agree that we can feel something bigger in ourselves and others than the space we take up. We are the size of the space that we have presence and influence in, the meaning of expanded consciousness. The Sci\ART colour analysis is an accurate measuring tool that taps into one of that realms. Your perfect lipstick is only the beginning. Who could feel the door to their best self open and not be speechlessly drawn forward?
Colour analysis is interior decoration of the soul. If we could extract our soul from our body and stand it beside us, would the two be the same? How beautiful is it when the things we wear are like a window that lets others see to our ocean floor from high up on their own mountain road.
So Bright Spring. Here we go. This Season…this ode to the magnificence of colour so beautiful, a heart aches.
The knockout that is Bright Spring, this woman often looks formal and dark. Once she recognizes you, her smile lights her face and she exudes warmth and charm. She looks much more complicated than she is. You expect her to stand on ceremony and convention but not at all. Her personality is quite informal. The simpler things in life make her truly happy and she knows how to pause and recognize them.
In 12 Season personal colour analysis, the Bright Spring is the person whose natural colouring is based in Spring’s spunky, sunny colours. Winter added a bit of its blue and red, but her inborn colours are not nearly as dark and detached as you guessed.
Like the fox, the seahorse, and the swallow, she’s busy when she’s standing still. She is sharp, delicate, and quite sweet, like spearmint. The yellows, oranges, and browns in her eyes (and Bright Winter’s) are the glowing, pure, peachy red-browns of the animal below, which we’ll see later in dark carrot pants and clear topaz stones. There is no sense of weight, darkness, or toughness. Quite the opposite, she reminds us that the most generously coloured life forms and ecosystems are the most fragile.
Thanks to Heidi for helping set the stage for us. It looks like Winter but it so is not. It’s young, modern, energized, over the top, waiting to dance, exaggerated, and it never stops moving.
If you live in the US, access this version.
Bright Spring Colour Equations
In the book Return to Your Natural Colours that you can see pictured in the right column above Recent Posts, a chapter is devoted to each Season’s persona, natural setting, relationship with the other Seasons, best styles, textiles, cosmetics, hair colour, and jewelry. There is also a section called Colour Equations (CE), a conceptual bridge between the Colour Book of swatches that you take to the store and how to translate into colour combinations. The CEs are helped by some illustrating.
Cheat Black In
No point pretending it won’t happen. And why not, but go easy. This isn’t a green light…and don’t accelerate for the yellow, it’s about to turn red.
Use the smallest real estate possible for the black and not right under the chin. Open necks are better. Just let black bring the picture into focus.
Break it up with a lively print.
Add animation as shine, details, and accessories.
Give the eye distractions. Use pure, juicy, colour so delicious that it can’t get bogged down in the black and keeps moving along.
If there’s black in the top, consider not wearing it in the bottom too – as the triangles top with the light pants. At its best, this look isn’t overall dark. Still, black and beige just can’t pick up any speed and on this woman. Compared to her, the clothes seem to be moving in reverse. The look is not creamy or gradual, because the woman never is.
Few Bright Springs probably guessed their Season right. They’ve lived as Winters for years, or some kind of Summer. Darker outfits (blue purse outfit on R) can look quite fine but serious and Wintery, where light is being pulled in. Take the same top and add light in everything else, white pants, yellow shoes, transparency in earrings instead of density – I think it’s better. Spring emits light.
The two models lower L – the blonde girl (perhaps a Light Spring) shows a dull way to wear black. It’s trying to own her. We lose interest in the girl and seem consumed with negotiating the black block. The woman to the R, very possibly a Bright Spring, wears similar colours in clothes with less weight and more movement. Bright Spring is not a heavy look, it’s like aluminum foil.
Like her Dark Autumn look-alike, Bright Spring is much better in black and cream (DA’s being a far darker browner cream) than in B&W.
If you wear black, choose warmth in your other colours and accessories. Silver looks more Winter and a little dry.
Green dress/yellow purse in the center – this print is quite random for a Winter person. This could feel unbalanced or zingy on some Bright Winters, and just perfect for the show biz energy of others.
Darks with darks can look too dark. Build an office look with greys. Add interest and entertainment, like the pink purse at the top.
Even Grey Should Be Fun
Light and energy must come out of it. Vivacity is always present in the face, the eyes, and the movements. They are quick and neat.
Textures and edges are smooth and shiny because the person is. The control of their Winter side won’t let them appear shaggy, haphazard, or erratic. They do look unpredictable and spontaneous. The song “Shiny Happy People” was inspired by Bright Spring. The cardi at top L is Lurex and you can still add colour and fun with the beads.
Every woman works out her best use of contrast on her own, it seems. A general rule for this group is to keep it high and clean. Outfits in various versions of the same colour don’t usually make sense (unless contrast is very high and/or edges very sharp), meaning distance between colour types and darkness levels is quite high. If she is older, the coolest looking lady at church with her white hair, dark brows, and turquoise eyes, she’ll bring these closer together to repeat what she looks like.
There is no true red. Here, we have clearest orange, many pure lipstick pinks, fuchsia pinks, and purple pinks. Red only appears in the Winters but you can cheat that in too. That red pants outfit, lower L – cover the silver watch and look at it. Then cover the gold watch. Isn’t that intriguing, that shift in what the eye notices?
Notice that the beiges are very very pale light, barely yellowed, not earthy browned. Rather like ‘icy beiges’.
A full grey dress (middle top) needs to be jazzed up with more colour. Sunglasses like those are small but they’ll get noticed and will hold the viewer’s gaze and attention.
Gold is good. Not too hot (yellow), very shiny.
If you look inside your eyes, many will see those dark carrot pants. So will many Bright Winters.
At the center of the lower band, see the girl in the grey blazer, two-tone shoe? Let your eye travel from the earrings to her face and across to the tank top. See all the repeats?
Watermelon and moon slices, outfit R side : On a person who looks polished and streamlined (your weight has nothing to do with it), pick jeans that are the same. Next to you, faded can look like a rag. Too dark is better than dusty, wrinkled, or patchy. Keep them ultra smooth and classy. And if you want to wear leopard stilettos (or flats), please don’t let me get in your way. It looks better than most other things.
Detail + Innovation + Restraint = Originality (Sp) + Discipline (W)
As you overview the collection, can you feel Winter’s presence? It causes Bright Spring to have a much tighter way of moving the body than the relaxed and unconfined True Spring.
Mixing silver, gold, and other shiny metals is fine.
If you wear black, taupe, and beige, make the print electrified and the cut, cough, distracting, as the dress in the top R.
Black and white have tipped over to Bright Winter, perhaps more so in the colorblock print at lower R, regardless of how hot the other colours are. Try to avoid pure black and white together. If you wear one, don’t wear the other. B&W only really looks good on True and Bright Winter. Even the Dark Winter could think twice unless she is very cool in her colouring.
Pure stark white pants are one of those items most of us must think about carefully. To me, they look right on the True Winter, Bright Winter, Bright Spring, and that’s about it. Take pictures of yourself and look at them yourself. You can see oh, so right and oh, so wrong within seconds. Light shoes are pretty good despite having dark hair if contrasting with the clothes. Not white pants and white shoes.
Don’t get too matchy. You can be as Classic-symmetric or Gamine-irregular as you body’s lines dictate, but keep the humour good, free-spirited, and lighthearted. Even at a meeting, as outfit L side, keep shine and design interest in a grey jacket, wear a pink but simple watch, add dangle and sparkle in the earring.
Bright Spring = Lighting the Darkness
The icy blues and greens dress at top R – yes, it could be sunnier. Maybe this is cheating white. Wear pale gold earrings so as not to cool it further with silver. It could be more contrasting but that bit of black looks more at home on Bright Spring than anyone else. The print could be less watercoloured. Whatever. The dress is beautiful. Imagine seeing that woman on the dance floor. This is heart-stopping beauty that no other natural colouring could wear so well. Don’t take my suggestions too literally. They can’t apply equally to thousands of women. Make it work for you. The dress is also an example of high saturation light colours (Spring), without being so close to white as to be icy (Winter). We often hear “high saturation” and our imagination shoots right up to dark sapphire. High sat means not softened with gray.
Our red is a wardrobe neutral too, more out there than taupe but equally versatile. For the three Springs, traditional neutrals (grey, beige, taupe) can be too monotonous, like a dial tone voiced over a wind chime or a water cascade. No match found. Wear your colours a lot.
Consider making the clothing coloured and the accessories grey/beige/taupe.
Details are good. Orange starfish (with diamonds), not orange balls. A shiny cap on a toe. A star shower, not a single star.
Could Miu Miu be the designer? Something about this colouring is so very young that anything remotely kiddish accentuates a feature that already comes across very strong and you might not want at the office. I’d leave ribbons, little animals, peace signs, and hearts for after work or to the Seasons who could use some de-formalizing, especially if they work with the public. On any Bright Sring, the Winter aspect lends a seriousness and maturity that may not suit very young additions perfectly, but they wouldn’t be as out of place as on Dark Winter.
Springs have known all along that life really is this much fun.