Wearing The True Autumn Landscape
October 28, 2011 by Christine Scaman
In 12 Season personal colour analysis, there are 4 main Seasons, or True Seasons, named after the 4 natural seasons. True Autumn is the homeland for the most flattering colours of the person whose natural pigmentation is made of colours that are:
- absolutely warm; even the colours we think of as cool have been warmed by comparison to their appearance in the cooler Seasons; like True Summer, True Autumn is more saturated than people think. Most folks’ ideas of True Autumn and True Summer live in the Soft Autumn and Soft Summer palettes.
- muted, but not nearly as much as the Soft Autumn; yes, True Autumn’s salsa and curry are muted compared to True Spring’s fruit punch and citrus, but we don’t think of them as grey ; we do think of Soft Autumn’s cactus as greyed; True Aututmn’s entire palette viewed at once looks like a hot glow, well beyond rosy blush; to emanate that kind of heat, we are moving away from pink and into red
- medium to dark in value; most colours are medium, few are very light, and none darken all the way to black ; the overall look needs some darkness to give the feeling of richness and depth, too much lightness looking too powdery
This series of landscape articles (True Summer, Soft Autumn, True and Bright Winter , and Bright Spring have been posted) serves as an opportunity to see ourselves with objectivity. Unless we transfer colour and clothing decision outside of ourselves, objectivity is too far to far reach for most of us, certainly for me. We are far too invested in our complexities to have any idea how we look to others.
The world is full of odd psychology, a common one being to inadvertently reward ourselves, our kids, our pets, for the very behaviour we’d like to be rid of. We want to look like our friends or like celebrities, but what if we’re imitating them and not really loving how they look? Buy a magazine aimed at your demographic and mark the pages of the women you would love to look like. How many have complicated hair? sparkly eyeliner? sparkly purple eyeliner? frosty pale lips? Is their hair and makeup like yours?
It’s also interesting that in trying to look like our friends, we end up looking less like them and more like us. All those blonde highlights out there accentuate the differences between us rather than making us more similar, which only works in your favour if yellow in hair is flattering to your skin. If you put a room full of women in the same red dress and really looked at the women and not the dress, the differences between them, meaning who looks good in that red and who doesn’t, become easy to see. What looks good on our friends doesn’t help us know what enhances us.
Finding people of similar colouring to ours to try clothes, makeup, or hair on can be very useful if that person can be found but there’s such variation of appearance among members of the same Season that our counterparts are not always available. Or, the celebrities look like the average for the Season and we don’t. Still, some retain enough of themselves to have good real world comparison value.
Keri Russell could be a True Autumn.
So could Susan Sarandon. You can see that their overall colour effect feels toasty, medium on a darkness scale, and glowy. Their natural coppery heat just looks better surrounded by warm, muted, medium dark colour. Scan their Images and decide how dark their best hair is to flatter the face. It’s fairly dark. Many True Autumns wear their hair too light (Kathie Lee Gifford) and the glow be long gone. Red hair is by no means a necessity but these women are very seldom beautiful as blondes or in ash hair tones.
We belong to our planet home at such an organic, elemental level. We each hold wondrous beauty and the divine unknown within us. We each represent a painting of a scene that we know, love, and trust, but we can’t always see the resemblance with ourselves. Like music, colour is a language that tells us information about the world we live in. Like technology or medicine, the value of the language is so much broader when we can use it to live better, happier, freer, stronger, and more connected to the people that matter to us. Oh, and live cheaper, let’s not forget that.
What’s the world feel like for the very timely True Autumn Season? In Canada now, we are given these:
Melinda feels it this way, from this photo:
I love the traditional pictures of fall leaves and sun shining softly through a canopy of colors, but for some reason these pictures just stir up something else in me that I feel so connected to.The first set of pictures, the rocks and bronze river, reach into some deep emotions for me. Warmth, intensity, passion, strength, and solidarity all come to mind. Such a range of emotions that are rooted deep in my soul.
The pictures below speak to my surface, if that makes sense. The bright vibrant trees and the gentle softness of the sun echoes an almost tangible warmth, comfort, coziness, and welcome that you just want to walk into. The leaves add a crispness that just makes you feel like dancing. Joy lives there and you can feel it.
What they all have in common:
- warmth: well, yes, we know this, but replace the word with passionate heat for this article; if your mind says greyed before it says richly glowingly warm, hand the item over to Soft Autumn.
- darkness: it’s getting darker; daylight hours are shorter; in the overall effect of an outfit, there’s still enough light to read by.
- dryness: cooler air holds less water; the grass is browner, the harvest is dry enough to bring in ; not very shiny or reflective, no sparkles.
- dustiness: the Earth is busy and dry.
- productivity, we know there’s cold on the way and we need to get our house in order, but the sun can still warm our back and make colours and faces glow.
- a sense of depth, which you’ll recreate with layers, darkness levels, and patterns
- the overriding presence of brown in every colour we see; a petunia would stick out like orange pop at a coffee shop ; Autumn is Spring, oxidized, the wine and the nectar, not the fresh-squeezed juice.
- there are no cool blued colours; the reds are not direct red, but indirectly lit as rust, muted red-orange, and browned reds; even the light seems indirect, as though it’s coming from lower down in the sky, which of course, it is.
- texture: Melinda loves several photos that are stone based and I see True Autumn that way too; the glint of metal is not here yet, not till Dark Autumn arrives, which is still not very flashy, but it’s ramping up, and ramping up more in the Dark Winter, the least flashy of the Winters, and then more as it gets colder; True Autumn can work in small metallic elements well because they look metallic but too much is too hard on a person who really isn’t.
True Autumn Clothes
- never met one who likes clingy fabric, possibly related to age
- that blue cardi in the center may be too muted, may be Soft Autumn, not warm enough for True Autumn, but I like it and I could adapt it here because of the darkness; shopping ain’t perfect; you might love an item that’s close enough; there are swatches that can look pretty similar between unrelated palettes; at the mall, make the very best match you can and know that the rest of the outfit will situate the colour into your Season; makeup may be a bit less forgiving because it’s painted right on the face
- if Winter’s fabric extreme is the scuba suit, True Autumn’s is burlap, the ultimately brown colour, the utilitarian feel
- the camel is really oranged; I like the way a turtleneck frames the face and hair and even better if it’s a great colour that distinguishes it
- coloured and textured and opaque tights should be worn, they’re good
- not quite cute enough to be cozy to me, though many people do get that feeling from these colours. I find them too hot to be that benign, but the colour heat is still comfortable, not reckless. You can touch it without being burned. In fact you can hold it as long as you want.
- about white, remember how it didn’t really fit well into Soft Autumn’s landscape? , it will add yet another 5 years here
- about black, it’s too cold to harmonize with anything, and many colours don’t get that close to black, so I hope that skirt to the left of the amber beads is chocolate; the overall darkness effect should leave enough light to read by; having said that, concessions will make shopping more fun ; if you found a perfect faux leopard short jacket and it happened to have black buttons that were not enormous and the overall effect was of rich caramel, gold, and chocolate brown, and if your hair were medium dark or more, that coat might be absolutely lovely
- red is by nature a warm colour and I love a red coat, it gets noticed and manifests the very strong lifeforce of these persons; seemingly low key, they have some of the strongest moorings I know, levelheaded and reliable as the stone we saw earlier, absolutely nothing darting, fleeting, sporadic, or flighty ; I love neutrals (black ,white, grays, beiges and greiges in the U.K. ) a lot, but on both True Warm Seasons, I absolutely love lots of colour, personifying people that are so alive, busy and loving their life, not fussing, just getting on with it
- not the military style that suits Dark Autumn better, who is a much more straightened out, direct, vertical person, approaching Winter’s stationary vertical line (Bright Winter’s line will shift to the diagonal, Spring’s is becoming horizontal, explaining why horizontal stripes look so good to me on a Spring, and in my head, Summer’s line is horizontal wavy, like a ruffle) ; this character isn’t so “with intention” as the Dark blends, who lock onto a target; that rigidity is muted in True Autumn, as the colours are, so you have a straightforward person no doubt, but not shot out of a cannon
- what’s the theme song? It’s a steady beat, not as threatening as the Jaws movie theme, a Winter gets that, more defined contrasts and all, Dark Winter, I’m guessing. I’m looking for a steady drum, maybe Adele Rolling In The Deep? Close, but not hot enough…The Circle Of Life, maybe… heat makes molecules agitate and move faster. Thinking. Not Spring’s reggae. Hotter, darker, tribal, smoked light, uncontrolled heat (this is the part where the True Autumns say “Who me?”) Hotter than Soft Autumn’s Hot August Night. This is pretty hot,
Once Dark Autumn arrives, Winter will put the cold clamps on and there will be heat but it won’t be on such display.
- what do they drive? A Dodge Ram 1500? Too truck. Classier? Cadillac Escalade? Too flaunty. A Navigator? Better. A Jeep Wrangler Rubicon? Feels about right. Dark Autumn drives a Jag XJ. Dark Winter drives an Audi A6 Avant after they trade in their 2010 Nissan Maxima, having found an Audi that comes in Batmobile black. True Winter? Black Porsche. Bright Winter? Lamborghini with the doors that flip up. Bright Spring? A Merc E Class convertible in a smart and snappy colour. Back to our topic.
- I like the bow in the jacket at the mid-top, it’s not too ribbony, it’s solid and square in a very browned neutral; strength and femininity together are curiously magnetic, I feel
- no real pinks present; mix pink with pumpkin puree and that’s True Autumn pink, looking much better in clothes than makeup where browned colours are better unless the pink is very golden
- no pinkish reds; if you take tan leather and dye it red, that’s the cool red, maybe like a red Frye boot ; that’s the red lipstick too, like paprika, not as dark as chili powder ; I like a browner day lipstick – if Soft Autumn’s was the rosy cinnamon stick floating in the warming pot of apple cider, then True Autumn is the cider itself, and Dark Autumn is the clove
- Spring thought about peach, blossom, and candy; Autumn thinks of the jars of preserves, not the raw salad (Spring); Autumn thinks about strong, heavy, straighter now that Summer has gone, mead and liqueur, Bailey’s, Kahlua, a duller finish but lots of touch information (fur, flannel, corduroy, tweed, leather), nectar (colour is getting thicker, more opacity), the hive, the honeycomb (repetition, industry, work = functional (Spring=fun, Winter=flash, Summer=feminine); the bumblebees of the world, going about their business, these are the builders; think of blocks, bricks, order, structure, steps, strength, progress
- colours start at medium, not light; only the beiges get very light and they’re still browned, like vanilla whipped into cream, like brown buff, light wheat, light brown peach; cottage cheese is too light and mozzarella too yellow
- I find it harder to know if I have lots of golden heat when I assess a possible True Autumn colour vs. Spring, where I can always tell max yellow heat. What I look for is a bronzed brown glowing feeling, like hot copper overlay, which how the person’s skin tone looks. I want to sense abundant sultry heat, not greyness, not lukewarm, not summery, though still very hospitable, nothing hostile.
- very little blue, just one bronzed colour; the blues are quite greened because the yellow contribution harmonizes better in warm coloured outfits while cool blues don’t; I love purple with the warm hair tones, it’s unexpected and not very red because Winter isn’t here yet
- there are warmer and cooler greens; the cooler greens really are green, not teal or avocado, and a little dull, like Green Bay Packers green
- as more distance between colours on the wheel are fabulous when combined, we get a very rich cornucopia effect; profusion was Spring’s word, abundance is Autumn’s
- animal prints in small surface area supports the lifeforce without looking swallowed; Dark Autumn can balance a whole item better and same with metallics as Winter’s hardware orientation arrives; this woman isn’t that decorative and feels overdone in glitz, she’s got 1000 cookies to bake for the Cookie Exchange, is hauling the boat out of the water by herself, wants to fit a bike ride in this day, has a pie crust to roll out, and would love to hear about how you’re doing once she’s finished what she set out to do; she sure looks gorgeous with a metallic thread in a scarf, a copper glint to her lipstick, a gold or brass buckle on a belt or purse, or stripe in a shirt
- using matte and dull finishes makes the odds of getting the colour right higher automatically by creating some muting, as some of the shoes below; the green heeled sandal at the top of the Polyvore below may be too emerald but in sueded fabric, it could look like dull teal and fit into this painting
Here are the shoes, the belt, the bag, the HAIR!! (See also True Autumn’s Best Hair Colour). Warm, rich, lustrous, and brown. There is nothing faded about this palette.
She wears a purposeful watch, maybe a menswear style,
to go with solid functional bag, square like a briefcase or at least not completely slouchy,
shoes you can live a real life in,
and a necklace with weight.
Supremely business stylish, this lady is up-to-the-minute, resourceful, and lives in the present. Autumn is grown-up, self-sufficient, and mature. Her male counterpart is Indiana Jones, though they dress him as a Soft. U2′s Bono sans glasses seems True Autumnish.
Think about the quiet light and stony strength of the pyramids, not the blinding jackpot glare of El Dorado. Marketers have a much better handle on what young women want and how to sell it to them. If True Autumn has trouble finding clothes, it’s because the styles in shops are too young and her colours are often limited to brown and green. Imagination belongs everywhere.
The pieces have some weight and bulk, not Spring’s hearts and lucky charms, not Summer’s lacy water, or Winter’s hardest-substance-on-Earth jewels. To add interest, touches could be Egyptian, Bollywood, hot stone-lava, old coins, wood, jade, brass, enamel and ceramic which remind of firing and heat, and natural semi-precious stone. Even stones should be noticeably browned down. Leather looks great, strong without being hard, in Southern Comfort colours.
She can accessorize endlessly, with items from many categories at once. Scarves were made for this woman because they look textured and warm and give the impression of depth. What she does best isn’t really to accessorize, like Bright Winter who can wear jewelry on her neck, ears, and wrists, all at once. True Autumn layers.
It’s easy enough not to stumble into Dark Autumn, just keep black out. Colour can go pretty dark but you should be able to see that it’s not black in all but the dimmest lighting, and this applies equally to shoes and eyeliner.
Reptile can work if it’s quiet, not too cold and slithery. True Autumn is more plain-spoken. Dark and oily don’t belong in this brew, they look like a black panther marching up the forest path in the photo above. Panthers don’t march, they prowl. She might do crocodile, though Dark Autumn better. Snakeskin is best on Winter, but if the colour is very gentle, even a Soft Autumn can look great. The texture offering is good, it just needs adapting because of the message the wrong version can send.
Periwinkle is supposed to be an Autumn classic but it doesn’t send thrills through me. I do love the Soft Autumn in their version.
Going back through this to pick out random keywords that could define this colouring: abundant, deep as in plush, deep as in layers, medium-dark, texture, strong but not maximally hard, work, build, structure, browned, coppery, golden, matte, small to medium metallic or fur or animal element, functional, opaque, molten, rich hot glow.
Spring may be excited, but more than any other, oooee, baby, True Autumn is exciting.