Soft Autumn with Silver Hair Part 1



Today, Evangeline is concerned. She has chosen to release hair colour from her life and is faced with unexpected decisions. To overcome the feeling of a fading appearance, she wears dark colours and more makeup and wonders if she is doing one to balance the other.

Experiments with darker colours led to the concern that she has been a Dark Autumn all along. Where is the balance? Are darker clothes and makeup both helping or not, since so many people have commented in a positive way?

When she had her PCA, she thought that she had been given the Forever key. That was it, colour was settled. Check. We love those moments: I found my winter coat, electrician, workout schedule, smoothie recipe. JOB DONE.

She didn’t expect to feel back at the beginning with her appearance ever again. She asked, “Do other women go through these continuous transition stages? Why do I feel so lost again?”

But we change. Not our Season. Us and the world around us.

Today, I’ll show you some pictures that I could imagine for several women of Soft Autumn colouring. They are journeying through various life stages, have many tastes, budgets, and aspirations in terms of appearance and everything else, just like in the real world.  With the education of their Season, they’re making choices inside of a year that they couldn’t have made in 10 years before, when they were on their own.

Green for green eyes

Evangeline is not lost at all. She is only in need of a small repositioning, both in seeing herself in a new way and revisiting how she will wear her Season. From the picture she sent, Soft Autumn looked perfectly right.

My favourite thing about silvering hair, besides looking like the height of sophistication, is how the face becomes all about the eyes. They take on intensity and meaning when there are no distractions, and they sing, like beautiful jewelry in a beautiful face.

To make the eyes-as-jewelry effect even better, wear gray green a lot. Even the gray is quite green and it makes a fantastic neutral.

Wear warm greens if your eyes have avocado green. For Evangeline, wear blue green near your eyes.

There’s a warm to cool shift from left to right in the panel below. Some items might be a bit warm or cool, but attention is divided pretty evenly.

The suede jacket seems a bit heavy, and it may be too warm or simply the influence of textile on colour. On a woman with natural texture, darkness, or fairly high warmth, it could be great.

Every Season progresses into the next, including the True Seasons. We know this from the natural world, where springtime slides into Summer. The vocabulary of leaning into Seasons, which may have begun with me, may place attention in the wrong place, but as the ship sails from one group to the next, it picks up certain characteristics.  My message these days is, “Wear your Season. Your entire Season. Rely on your colour analyst to help with fine-tuning.”


Soft Autumn. Warmer and cooler greens.




We are all a story inside of our Seasons. Our colours hear and respect it, and provide whatever kind of frame we need, today and through our tomorrows.

The woman who would wear the fur coat (No Real Fur in my posts or my life) will not fuss overly much. Maybe the purse is darkish, but more about it works than doesn’t. It was from before her PCA and she loves it and the colour analyst said, “Don’t discard the things you love. Le’ts find ways for them to work.” She wears her Grandma’s wedding ring, never takes it off, but that’s it. She won’t even wear sunscreen. To pull out mascara and eyeliner, the occasion has to be big, and yes, she is wearing the black dress. It’s comfortable and the colour analyst thinks, “At least it isn’t white. Black in a muting fabric, I can work with.” The colour analyst mentioned that the purse is a bit too dark, at which point the client gave her a look of gentle pity and, nodding reassuringly, said, “You know Hogwart’s isn’t real, right?”, which is how she feels about shopping  malls. She used to be fed up to the back teeth with shopping in general and preferred discovering new bistros, but once she gained control over her shopping and she chose the boundaries, she felt better about the experience. And surprising even herself, felt better about her appearance as well.

The woman in the green dress might have tried on 20 dresses and this one worked best with her palette. She loves the decision-making process and practicing the technique the colour analyst demonstrated, and allows small deviations if they feel good. She has an anniversary dinner with her husband who took her palette and came back with these earrings. She loves them and will wear them on all their dates to express her gratitude that he is in her life. She wanted to design an outfit around them. She knows the clutch may be a bit too red but she feels that it works, though she wouldn’t choose this colour in a blouse or scarf and keeps the metal of jewelry within the yellows of the palette. She knows metallics look great on Autumn colouring and loves bling as long as the style is simple.

The woman in the chevron print dress has X amount of time. Yes, she is wearing those shoes, and the image analyst thinks, “At least they’re not sneakers.”

The woman in the off white turtleneck is running the kids around.  This beats the black yoga outfit she used to wear to the  moon and back.

The woman in the animal print skirt and black boots is more receptive to her friend’s advice than her colour analyst’s, and for sure more than her mother’s. Looking like her friends matters to her as a form of mutual support. When she was young, sparkly pink was her favourite colour, but her Mom is a Soft Autumn too and this young woman is reality-based. She knows that sparkly candy pink is not Mom’s power look so he chose this blouse. The colour analyst left a Like when she saw the photo on Instagram.


Soft Autumn. Sets and stories.




Your Season palette is a formula that always works and it can be applied in many ways. To find yours, you try some things, just as we have we everything else in life. We know the tastes and scents we love because the experience of those that we didn’t love as much provided us with the necessary contrast to make a choice.

The women below didn’t love today’s outfit so much. Doesn’t  matter because they knew what to ignore in their experimenting and they now know how to improve tomorrow’s combinations.

The first woman, on the left, is being driven bananas by that bracelet. She much prefers the blouse and clutch, they have the same calm energy that she does. Someone in the morning coffee lineup said how much they love the spontaneity of the look so she’ll wear it for the day. Then, it’s back to the cuff bracelet.

The second woman loved the way the neckline of the yellow blouse looked under that jacket and how the fabric is flowy in a Summer way. She read that Autumns look terrific when they mix textures but this didn’t quite manage the day. She switched the top for a crewneck sweater in the same colour, and congratulated herself on the jacket and glasses.

Woman 3 feels pretty good. She loves how the jacket looks like an adult’s jean jacket. Nobody except her might know that the dots in the top are the same colour but it gives her a lift when the meeting babbles on.  She is happy to have gotten red, darkness, and gradual colour transitions into one outfit. No way she could have come close to this pre-PCA.

The fourth woman is feeling really good. Some of the colours in the bag might be bright but she sees how much of it works. The top might be a bit cool but the strength of the reds in the bag tip the balance to a warmer overall impression and the top didn’t lose energy next to it. She sees the bracelets as grounding and just right for today’s schedule of flea market > farmer’s market > beach.



Soft Autumn. Improv stories.



In Part 2

Autumn needs darkness to appear. For the face to have a frame and a shape, some level of darkness matters, possibly even more across-the-board than it does for Winters as a group. It  makes sense that Evangeline is experimenting with darkness.  Next time, we’ll add some items that might be more belonging to Dark Autumn and see what happens. We will also address a few more of her questions and solutions

Colour analysis is here to make your present day better. Once the future arrives and becomes reality, our answers are still nearby in our Season home.

My sincere thank you to Susan for sharing her beautiful photographs with us, including the fall leaves after the rain image that frames the title.



Introducing Colour Analyst Florentina Mossou (The Netherlands)

Floortje is intelligent and articulate. You will meet a good explainer with great flexibility in helping you to apply your Season palette to your individual pigmentation, body type, and desired presentation. She also has great common sense (we had a joke that this was the Dutch coming out in her), the ability to prioritize those times when details matter, and an open-mind to visualize many beautiful interpretations of a Season.

Floortje’s colour story is a long one, as you might easily imagine when you see her pictures. If you were to test her colouring, you might find that the surprises continue. Perhaps least expected is how similar the colours and patterns in her eyes are to those of many members of her Season, even average or stereotypic, if such words were included in our vocabulary. You will able to read the story on Floortje’s website very soon.

We all understand experiences better when they have been our own. With many Seasons in her past, Floortje has respect for the many ways in which this might happen, and the sensitivity to know how confusing it feels. She also has a clear sense of the strategies that help resolve the questions (and emotions) and continue progressing in your own colour journey.

In Floortje’s own words,


Thank you for welcoming me into the 12Blueprints colour community. My name is Floortje Mossou, but you can call me Florentina if the spelling of my name confuses you. It is with great pleasure that I announce the opening of my business, Calla Studio for colour consulting, in the Netherlands. I am very proud to introduce the 12Blueprints method to Western Europe. Together with my colleagues Annette Henriksen (Denmark), Jorunn Hernes (Norway), Johanna Järvinen (Finland), Hana Haulišová (Czech Republic) and a soon-to-be-announced analyst in Poland, we will be able to introduce many women (and men too, hopefully) in Europe to the science and magic of the 12Blueprints/YND method.

Before I became a colour analyst, I worked in research. I have a Master’s degree in Biology, and all my life I have been fascinated by the natural world. As a scientist, I am mostly interested and the shapes and colours of plants and animals. As a colour analyst, I combine this interest in colour, with a passion for helping you understand your colours.

My colour journey
How did I become a colour analyst? Well, there’s a long story. Image me in the year 2012. I was living in a little shoebox of a student room, halfway up a tall building in the university town. It was rented for the summer months, and I was there to work on my Master’s thesis. But things weren’t going so well. I was struggling to do enough work every day. Why, you might ask?

Well, as a little girl, I was never as big or strong as the other kids. I couldn’t run as fast, or as long. I couldn’t throw a ball as hard as the others. But I moved well, with ease and grace, and I was fine.

Later, as a teenager, moving became less easy. Going to school became a strain, and sports started to get very hard. The changes were slow – and insidious, so I never knew they happened. But eventually, I noticed I was very tired. Really very tired. So tired in fact, that all the simple things I used to do had become impossible.

Maybe you know about someone who has chronic fatigue. Maybe you have had it yourself, or still do. Gosh, I hope not. But if you do, you’ll know that chronic fatigue is no joke. It reduces your life to a personal twilight zone, the past forgotten and the future meaningless. The present becomes a prison, where every second grates at your well being. Even the most mundane tasks, like going to the bathroom or checking your bank account, become insurmountable obstacles that require tremendous effort. During that time, I lost my friends, my hobbies and my plans for the future. I nearly lost my education too. However, with iron will, talent, hard work and the help of a lot of other people, I succeeded. I graduated high school.

The next step was to go to university. What could I do but try? I enrolled in Biology, and for the next four years, by a process I might call ‘creative scheduling’, all went better than I had reason to hope. Until I reached that summer where I worked on my Master’s thesis. The higher workload and added pressure meant a major setback on my delicate health. But with it came an unexpected benefit.

There I was, effectively marooned in that little student room. It had very large, south-facing windows, and the summer heat wave meant I had to keep the curtains closed during the day. The evenings were most comfortable, a quiet time I filled with rest and tea. It was during one of those evenings, that I thought to myself: “if I can’t improve my health, I can at least try to make everything else better.”

But what did that mean? Looking good made life easier, I knew. It was what I was struggling with the most. You have to realize that all the things I couldn’t do (and there were many), people would have to help me with – or forgive me my failures. But trying to ask for help, to talk, to express, to communicate – was so hard. My face felt bloated and heavy, my skin was oily and the teenage acne kept lingering on my cheeks. I had trouble lifting my eyelids enough to look smart, or even awake. I felt so small and vulnerable, it was hard to look people in the eye. My power to connect was gone.

And so, by the golden light of a setting sun, I sat down behind my desk, turned on the computer and went looking for ways to make my life just a little bit easier.

You guessed it already, haven’t you? That evening I found out about Personal Colour Analysis. It was fascinating. Here was a way to make myself look better, healthier. It actually looked doable. For every person. On every budget.

At first, I tried to DIY it. During the following months, I trawled through the house and held every coloured item I could find under my chin. I tried a myriad of makeup looks, including the ‘too-black liner and too-red lipstick’. If it didn’t look too horrible, did it mean I was a Winter?

I guess we’ve all been there. It didn’t work, of course. And so a year later I was on my way towards my colour analysis appointment.

Getting there
But real life is, ya know, real, and no storybook. It took some more years, a couple misses and a lot of frustration, before I saw myself in the right colours. Those tales we’ll save for another time (see my coming website). I sincerely hope that all your colour journeys will be more pleasant and much faster than mine. Still, for an analyst, it was a blessing in disguise. I learned more about colour, and about me, than I would have any other way.

And in the end I did find them. My colours. Bright Winter. – happy sigh –

Next, some small but good things started to happen…

… I started to enjoy shopping. As a kid, I used to hate it with a vengeance. It got better as a teenager. But now. Now I knew exactly what worked for me, and what I could safely ignore…

… and gone was the agonizing over things-that-were-in-fashion-that-I-didn’t-like-but-might-learn-to-like-and-did-that-mean-I-would-miss-out-on-…?-…??? I walked out on those…

… and ended up spending less money with more results. The next thing I knew…

… I became more comfortable spending money on items. Plus…

… I suddenly had an excellent reason to get rid of the portion of clothes in my wardrobe that I didn’t like and didn’t wear. And so…

… getting ready in the morning suddenly got really easy. In fact, it got enjoyable. Very quickly, …

… colours became a secret weapon for the critical moments in my life, whether it were dates or job interviews…

… and I started to feel good about myself. Because of that…

… my fatigue became less of a burden. What happened next…

… I found my confidence. And best of all…

… I started to see my beauty.

Just think about that for a moment. What would it mean for a woman to see her own beauty?

It was a genuine blessing. It helped me to create a way back to myself, my confidence, my femininity and my beauty, and ultimately my health. My fatigue still exists, but it became so much easier to cope.

Where I started out to ‘fix’ my ability to communicate, I ultimately ended up healing it. You see, I think that the way you get treated is just a mirror of how you behave. If I felt not sure about myself, people would treat me dismissively. Why would they do that? Because I was dismissive towards myself. But if I treated myself as genuinely valuable, other people simply did the same.

This is why colour analysis is worth so much. It goes beyond the ‘mere’ aesthetics of our lives – which are major determinants in our relationships – and shows us who we really are. It teaches us self-love and self-acceptance. These were the things that helped me to build up my life again, and to learn to love the adventures that I came across.

I do not mean to say that colour analysis is a miracle cure-all, for the body or the mind. It is not. There were of course, many other things that helped me along the way. Colour analysis is simply a tool. But a powerful tool at that, and it gave me courage and support when I needed it most.

I want you too, to have this tool.

My studio
If you want to come for your personal colour analysis with me, we will take our time to talk about what challenges you’ve been finding with colour, and how you can solve them. It is important to me that you understand your result, and that you know what to do to move forward.

Accuracy is vital in colour analysis. To achieve the highest possible accuracy, my studio has a dedicated area where we’ll measure your colours. It is equipped with modern full-spectrum LED lamps that give the purest white light. The lamps are in softboxes, so we can comfortably look at you in the mirror without getting sore eyes. Placed around your chair, there are three background screens and a carpet in pure neutral grey. These eliminate all possible coloured reflections, including those from furniture. The only coloured items that are allowed in there, are you yourself and the drape that we’ll use to measure you!

It creates an environment that is so neutral, the colour reactions in your face suddenly appear amplified. It’s the neutral grey room taken to the next level. Some people like to call it my ‘blanket fort’. It’s an apt description, actually – it is remarkably soothing to sit in. And to be frank, it’s just a happy accident. I needed a flexible setup that I could move, and I am thrilled to find it works so well.

My studio is currently located in Leiderdorp, but please note that I will move to a different location in the Netherlands in the future. A website is in the works, but if you want to know more in the meantime, you can visit my Facebook page, CallaStudioConsulting, or contact me directly via email,

I look forward to meeting you!


Pantone Greenery for the 3 Winters

Continuing with our series showing Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017 for the 12 Seasons.

Previous posts are here for the 3 Autumns, and here for the 3 Summers.

The three panels below show Greenery in the swatch card in the lower right corner, in the third row-far right sample, along with other colours for 2017. The colour appears to be bright and warm, with some Spring influence. How will a person coloured with Winter pigments use it?

Every item shown might not fit into the Season exactly. I hope it doesn’t, actually, because that might feed a beastie that thinks everything has to be perfect to work. It totally doesn’t. Colour is for everybody and everybody can do this. What I want for you is to learn how to use fashion retail to your advantage with Every. Single. Purchase. Your colour analyst can show you tips and techniques to help make that much easier.

A personal colour analysis (PCA) palette is like a source of renewable energy. Whatever the fashion climate or era, you pull it out of your purse or pocket and it goes to work for your wardrobe. Although every swatch is the same size in a palette, it doesn’t have to be that way in your closet. In your colour territory, wear as much or as little of any colour as you like.

True Winter

In some ways, True Winter is a very yellow Season, but just because it’s yellow doesn’t mean it’s warm. All human colouring contains yellow. The important question is, which yellow?

True Winter’s is very cool and very saturated, so you can see it in many colours and neutrals. Summer yellow is softer and doesn’t register as much. As all non-native yellows can, True Winter yellow can make people with other colouring look yellow in an unhealthy way. Only True Winter looks entirely normal and present, neither over- nor under-defined, not overheated or jaundiced or sallow, just sitting there wondering what everyone is staring at and how they could possibly make use of this colour.

In the panels, you may see a strong yellow in some items and I’ve included various darkness levels to give you a better idea of how it might look. On your screen, it could look different and hopefully the comparisons give you a general idea.

Greenery out of the box contains someone else’s yellow. True Winter will be more magnificent in emerald, if they migrate over to the image of the bamboo stalks for their colours.

Blue-green has overlaps with True Summer. The handbag under and to the left of the word True could be great for them, in part because the yellow is less obvious (on my screen) than in the earrings below it.


Greenery for True Winter



Dark Winter

This Season has a jungle green that we looked at in this post, about Green and Purple for Dark Winter.

The bracelet at the lower left is more jade and could be part of an Autumn wardrobe; the one at the middle right is glassier and appears in the Bright Winter panel. For a Dark Winter woman wearing either one, I’d think, “Great!”

They share more than they differ, are small in area, and  are not right next to her face (colour proximity raises the effect of colour interactions (aka, simultaneous contrast)). Both pieces could participate in ensembles, and better if she removed or replaced the light gold medallion on the jade bracelet with something deeper and shinier.

I’m a big believer in everyone in a Season wearing the entire palette, though how much they wear of each colour and where they use it can have as many interpretations as there are people in the Season. Some have cool-looking skin and warm-looking eyes. Some (like me, depending on who you ask) are the opposite. Whether that is due to undertone or it just is, I don’t know. They all react to colour in the same way.

Cosmetics are applied right on the face, in immediate contact and the closest proximity with natural pigments, so they have to be individualized a bit more. They also interact with skin chemistry. Once you know your Season, this part is easy. You know what not to bother with. You try a few colours with your colour analyst and narrow down to a good place.

The drop earrings and one-shoulder top above it will appear in the post for Springs, which will complete this series. If we asked ourselves about the earrings, “Are they based in yellow or gold?”, they may look more yellow, though somehow they don’t seem candy enough for Spring and have enough of a deep opacity to do interesting things next to yellow green in eyes, which Dark Winters often have.

The top might be also be based in yellow. You might see gold. It’s a little candy and a little jungle. I might see the top better with Dark Winter lipstick, you might love it with Bright Spring neutrals. There are many ways of being right, and when it comes to personal taste, they all count. The other colours in the outfit will find all that they have in common and make sense of them.


Greenery for Dark Winter



Bright Winter

With the Bright Seasons, Greenery is becoming recognizable in its native state. The warm and cool greens in the curled leaf image look about right.

As ever with Winter yellow, it has a sharp quality that makes it hard to call it warm. There is nothing cozy or buttery about it, though in Bright Winter, it is getting slightly sweeter. In the items below, the type of yellow looks more clear and daffodil (Spring, for Bright Winter whose colouring is blend of Winter and Spring) than velvety and gold (an Autumn ingredient, for Dark Winter above, who is coloured with a lot of Winter and a little Autumn).

Neon is neon on everybody. Humans are not made of these kinds of pigments, but the Brights can balance them so that the person and their clothing still appear united. The colour might be used more for accents and accessories than coats and pants. Bright Winter emerald is beautiful on this colouring so I included a few items down the left side. The  multi strand bracelet near the centre has both yellow-green and emerald. I love warm and cool colours together on colouring that has influence from both. The person looks intuitive or tuned-in to themselves in a very cool way.



Greenery for Bright Winter




The green, blue, and white tunic is interesting. It might be Dark Winter but I didn’t care for it with the lipsticks. It might be Bright Spring but those colours faded a bit, though they could certainly use it since the white areas are small. I’ll add it to the Bright Spring panel and we can see what happens.

And it might be Bright Winter; I like it with the white pants.  I always wonder how many of these they sell and to whom. More items might have moved more out the door if the white and periwinkle had been the largest areas, but high five for getting out the box and looking great. PCA is all about that and looking like the original work of art that you are.



Pantone Greenery for the 3 Summers

In this series of posts, we’re looking at how the 12 Seasons of natural colouring apply Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017, Greenery.

If you would like to see the previous post, Greenery for the 3 Autumns, you can find it here.

You can see the original colour  here at Pantone. In each panel below, you can  also see the colour in the lower right corner of the panel, on the right side of the third row, along with other colours for 2017.

Trends are supposed to work for us, but sometimes, the reverse happens. Our mothers had it right when they said that not everyone can be invited to every party. When trends are adapted to the existing space and place, the result can be beautiful. Have a look at this post.The home décor (from Scandinavian Home Staging) is so inspired and I looked at each image for so long that I had to read the post in 3 sessions.

If your colours have been analyzed and you know that you are a Summer, the panels below may give you some ideas. I don’t recommend wearing the original version of Greenery near your own colours. For some reason, Summers are attracted to the colour, Softs especially. Maybe it has a funky-natural quality that appeals to their Autumn side. If anyone knows, please share in the comment and solve this mystery.

True Summer


Greenery for True Summer



Every item might not be exactly in True Summer. Being a little outside the box is a place that I like and find unexpected opportunities. The extremes feel like a disguise, as you may guess to look at me. In these panels, instead of aiming for textbook colours, I include items that find reasons to be in the same Season because they have so much in common, and will make sense (to my eye) in the same closet.

I call that effective shopping, productive spending, having a life outside the mall, and looking a whole lot better as you enjoy that life.

Soft Summer


Greenery for Soft Summer



In the panel above, everything could work depending on your preferences. Across the bottom, with the x and arrow, we may be stretching the limits a bit (they may look warmer depending on your monitor) but I still like them and don’t find them so distracting that they would take over a Soft Summer composition.

The heel of the sandal is black but I don’t find them disrupting. The good outweighs the only less-good, which is the black. Soft Summer is the darker Summer and knows how to manage small areas of black away from the face. The success of the shoe, and of many items, depends on the woman and the rest of the outfit.

I have not yet met a Soft Summer who would wear a smile face so you could remove it from the bracelet if you prefer.

Light Summer


Greenery for Light Summer



Shopping with a reference piece helps. For instance, choosing white in stores is much easier when you shop with a piece of pure white (True Winter) fabric. Above, I use the tank top under the last letters of the word Summer.

Some shoe and purse colours are strong, for example, the purse under the word Light. They are not worn in a place to detract from the face, and the woman could create many outfits without these items suppressing the rest of the ensemble.

The striped tank top on the right side may be too saturated, but I like it, maybe because I enjoy gradient colour effects so much on Summers. Light Summer is the saturated Summer and has some latitude with brightness, again and always depending on the individual and the rest of the outfit.

In the x and arrow column, the items in order seem too sharply white, warm, warm, and bright. They seem to pull my eye. I considered the purse with the gradient, but discounted it because I did not love it with the nail polish colours of Light Summer.


Pantone Greenery for the 3 Autumns

The Pantone Color Institute has announced a Color of the Year since 2000. The colour is intended to capture current trends in popular thought and beliefs, and trends in the social climate.  You can read Pantone’s story and see the colours chosen from 2000 to 2017 on this Wikipedia page.

Greenery is the Color of the Year for 2017. Though it is challenging to know a colour’s dimensions just by looking at it, greenery appears to be a medium-high saturation yellow-green that reminds us of the outdoors. It appears to belong best with one of the Spring palettes.


Pantone Greenery



Colour-analyzed people have a personalized  formula for customizing trends to their advantage, which is the palette of their own colours. Like the fashion advisor that we really want, it always works in our best interest. As beautiful as a colour may be, and as interesting from a social perspective, the colour and its marketing influences may have nothing to do with how we are coloured. We want to be our best version of fashion.

For Autumn-coloured people, the colour shown above risks wearing the person, who will literally appear to be behind their clothing.  The colour looks candy next to the individual, whose appearance is losing  ground in a variety of ways, as is their ability to be taken seriously in their clothing.

Alternatives that  are so attractive are shown in the panels below, along with the Pantone Color Forecast 2017 palette in the lower right corner, which may offer colour choices that are equally current and more flattering. The most attractive and effective appearance decisions will be made by a person who understands themselves within their colour environment. One without the other doesn’t end up in the best possible place, at least not in personal presentation.

Some of the items might colour outside the lines of the Season. That’s fine. Each colouring group will still find a lot of continuity with these items. Make it work for you (instead of the reverse, which might be the engine that fashion feeds from).


Greenery for Soft Autumn



From the Color Forecast card in the panel, Soft Autumn shares more with Niagara (top left), Primrose Yellow (2nd row, left), and Kale (4th row, middle).  By taking the long way around the trend colour, they come out looking like the person.

Greenery for True Autumn



That handbag just left of the Color Forecast panel? When True Autumn  wear that colour next to the face, the skin becomes the incarnation of the word rejuvenated. You can hardly believe that it’s the same person you saw yesterday when they were wearing something that looked tired, and they looked tired, and the whole picture felt tiring to look at. Today, the skin is smooth, plump, and alive with healthy colour.

Greenery for Dark Autumn



Oh, Dark Autumn. Is there any look that they can’t do?  Tailored or not. Quirky or straight-laced. A little warmer, a little cooler. Greenery might be too bright and will not look as expensive as the person and their attire so easily can. but with the warmth and saturation, this Season is getting very close.

I have this belief that textile and cosmetic pigments can reach all sorts of heights that human pigments don’t. For instance, the green coat beneath and to the left of the title, which seems very saturated but too heavy for a Spring person or wardrobe. Dark Winter? Bright Spring? Maybe. I’m having trouble picturing it. We’d just have to try it and then stand back and look.

Many Dark Autumns, especially those of dark complexion and very dark eyes and hair, might be shockingly good in that coat. For others, say, the 65 year old woman who tests very near True Autumn, the jacket/anorak beneath the coat may be plenty and gorgeous.

An excerpt from the second edition of Return to Your Natural Colours, still scheduled with high hopes for October-ish:

Within any Season live millions of people with varied hair and eye colour, body shape and scale, personal taste in presentation, and so on. What they share is their reaction to colour. Each member of a Season adapts the palette to best express his or her individuality. It is always recommended that you wear the entire palette, with guidance that you receive from the colour analyst in managing certain colours and trying out new ones.

In the almost 10 years that I have watched colour analysis grow, and been humbled by its ability to help people become someone that they can recognize and love,  I have also realized how essential the colour analyst is. She (or one day, I hope, he) is the bridge between a rainbow, a person,  a store, and the better clothes and makeup that you wanted in the first place.

Introducing Colour Analyst Hope Turner (Massachusetts)

When I introduce a colour analyst and a person as first class as Hope, I know that I must be on the right path.

Every student teaches me colour analysis through a new set of eyes, which I value tremendously. I like to learn and Hope modeled to me what an exceptional learner looks like. Colour analysis is like following a mind map. There are many ways of arriving at the right answer and many ways of getting off the track. Hope could pause and calmly ask, Why did I think that? She smoothly changed course and moved forward. Teaching a great student is a privilege. The amount of knowledge that they absorb and process during a very intensive 4-day course is astounding. For colour analysts, systems are essential but there’s more. The system has to be applied to a human being.

In the same way that 5-star chefs and the creators of the world’s most beautiful and well-made garments have a process, PCA also needs a process. Today, in many industries, the amount of information floating around exceeds the platforms of structure and method that support it. This can be wonderful for expanding everyone’s perspective, as long as options and decisions can be substantiated. From the beginning, Hope was gifted in the language of the process, with all its details and technicalities, and equally skillful in applying it to real people walking their various roads.

I loved Hope’s gentle ability to draw information from the client’s past that could improve their PCA outcome, welcoming whatever they wish to share, thereby creating a supportive and constructive experience for a client. We had some great talks about how to enrich the client’s (and the colour analyst’s) experience by helping people contemplate and move through change.

Hope Turner



I believe everyone is beautiful. Naturally. As they are. Every single person.

The poem “Saint Francis and the Sow” by Galway Kinnell expresses this beautifully:

“The bud 

stands for all things, 

even for those things that don’t flower, 

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   

though sometimes it is necessary 

to reteach a thing its loveliness, 

to put a hand on its brow 

of the flower 

and retell it in words and in touch 

it is lovely 

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing…”


Have I always believed this? No. But I have been fortunate that various life circumstances, including personal color analysis, have conspired to reteach me my own loveliness and the loveliness of others.

I grew up living in different countries – Pakistan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Venezuela – and traveling extensively with my family. My parents worked as international school teachers. I have immense gratitude for their career choice, as it allowed me to see so many parts of this remarkable world. I have always been drawn to connecting openly with people one-on-one or in small groups.

I decided to get a Master’s in Social Work, and I currently work in a community mental health clinic in the Boston area. I find that social work and color analysis have more similarities than might be expected – both provide opportunities for genuine connection and for affirming the unique loveliness of each one of us.

Knowing my colors has given me the confidence to be more playful, try new things, and take myself less seriously. I also feel freer to express myself authentically, not only in the way I dress, but also in the way I move, speak, and act. I know that I look my best when I wear the colors that harmonize with my natural coloring, and I feel less affected by what others think or what the media tells me I should look like. In short, knowing my colors has helped me feel genuinely happy with the way I look and confident to express myself the way I want without worrying about what others think.

Some of you may be familiar with personal color analysis and the 12 Season color palettes. Maybe you think (or hope) you know which one you are. For those who are worried you will find out your color palette is different than what you think it is or what you want it to be, I hear you. And I encourage you to take the plunge and discover the truth of your beauty.

My journey to discovering my Bright Winter colors was a circuitous one. Finding our true colors isn’t obvious and requires a compassionate, helping hand. It was a gift to find this in Christine, who taught me to see loveliness in new ways and guided me from where I thought I should be to where I truly belonged.

I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

My website is, and you can reach me at

I offer services in English and Spanish. If you live in or travel through the Boston area, I hope you will get in touch and let me help you discover and celebrate your natural beauty.

One of my clients recently said to me, “I feel like I so much better understand myself and the way I want to present myself to the world.”

What will happen when you see yourself in color?




Seasons in Families

We are often asked whether Seasons have inheritance patterns in families. The answer is yes, of course, but they can be unpredictable.

It may be that every child except one is similar to the parents. The children that are the same in Season as the parents may have very different natural colouring. For example, Dad may be Bright Winter with medium brown hair and dark yellow-brown eyes. Child is Bright Winter with very dark brown hair and green-brown eyes.

In a 60-40 or maybe 70-30 ratio, spouses are often very close in Season. In my early days, this used to worry me quite a bit. It doesn’t any more. They might not look alike, and yet they turn out to be a Dark Autumn and a Dark Winter. Or they are a Bright Winter and Bright Spring that look similar and as the story unfolds,  it turns out that they met by being cast as brother and sister in a play.

Family stories are one of my favourite things about being a colour analyst. I love clients in family groups, which I’ve said once or twice. By once or twice, I mean a couple hundred times, to quote Justin Bieber and probably someone else before that. As privileged as I feel to be a colour analysts, sharing the love, history, and support in the room with families is always special.

From various charts I found through Google, brown eyes and dark hair are dominant. Red hair and straight hair are recessive. Freckles are dominant, so is a streak of white hair. As with so much about human pigmentation, there is more to be known. Many genes are involved in the colours of each pigment, different genes becoming more active under certain circumstances. Eight genes are known to participate in the colour of melanin alone, though the total number may be greater than eight.

To organize some of the information and see if patterns emerged, our colour analyst group took a poll of Seasons within our families.

Sarah Frazier is in Bellevue, NE.

Visit Sarah at her website,  Color With A Purpose


Sarah is a Dark Winter.

Father: Bright Winter

Mother: Dark Autumn

Both sisters: Bright Winter

My dad is a BW, my mom DA, I’m DW, and my two sisters are BW’s.

Nadine Laniado is in Oakhurst, NJ.

Meet Nadine through Facebook on the ColorHue Design page.

Nadine and her husband are True Winters.

Her mother: True Winter.

Husband’s mother: Dark Winter

Daughter: Dark Winter

Daughter: Bright Spring

Son: True or Bright Winter (probable, not yet draped)

Sister: Dark Autumn

Nadine and her husband  both have brown hair and eyes with olive skin. Two of the children have blond hair and blue eyes.

Shahna McNally is in Edmonton, Alberta.

Visit Shahna at U in Colour

Shahna: Dark Autumn

Mother: Dark Winter

Father : probable Dark Winter

Husband: Light Summer.

Child: Soft Autumn

Child: Dark Winter

Child: Dark Autumn (unconfirmed)

Cate Linden is located in Louisville, KY, and travels widely in the US to meet people who want to know their colouring.

Meet Cate on her website at Cate Linden Chromatics.

Cate: Dark Autumn

Mother: Dark Winter

Husband (former): True Winter

Daughter: Bright Winter

Son: Bright Winter (unconfirmed)

Cate’s sister: possible Dark Winter

My mom is DW, I’m DA, my ex husband is TW, our daughter is BW. I suspect my son is also a BW. Sister DW probable.

Johanna Jarvinen is our analyst near Helsinki (Espoo), Finland.

Johanna’s website is Flow With Nature.

Johanna: Bright Spring

Mother: Bright Spring

Mother’s sister, brother, and his children: Bright Spring very possible, all bright blondes.

Amanda Brown has a PCA studio in Onalaska, WI.

Meet Amanda on FB at Color Therapy PCA

Amanda: Soft Summer

Mother: Dark Winter

Sister: True Summer

Ksenia Zvyagina is our analyst in Moscow, Russia.

Ksenia’s website can be found at Beauty In Bloom.

Ksenia: Bright Spring

Father: Dark Winter

Mother: Light Spring

Sister: True or Bright Winter (probable)

Dad’s brother and his daughter: Dark Winter

Husband: True Winter

Rachel Nachmias is located in Philadelphia, PA.

Visit Rachel’s website at Best Dressed.

Rachel: Bright Winter

Mother: Dark Autumn

Father: Bright Winter

Brother: Dark winter

Maternal grandmother: Soft Summer (her father and sister possible Dark Autumn)

Courtenay St. John Gibson sees clients  in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Visit Courtenay at her website, Studio St. John

Courtenay: Light Spring

Husband: Light Spring

Mother and Aunt: Bright Winter

Husband’s mother: Light Spring

Husband’s sister: True Spring

Daughter: Bright Winter (with three possibly Bright Winter children)

Christine Scaman is in London, Ontario, Canada.

This is her website.

Christine: Dark Winter

Father: Dark Autumn

Mother: Light Summer

Sister: Light Summer

Brother: Dark Winter

Husband (former): True Winter

Child: Dark Winter

Child: True  Winter

Child: True Summer

Many thanks to Susan for sharing yet another lovely featured image for this post.


Getting Ready To Be A Colour Analyst: Gifts

This is Part 7 of 7.

Previous videos in this series:

Getting Ready to Be A Colour Analyst: Invitation

Getting Ready: Possibility

Getting Ready: Concerns

Getting Ready: Creation

Getting Ready: Decision

Getting Ready: Commitment



Many thanks to Susan for the beautiful and inspiring featured image.




Green and Purple for Dark Winter

Thank you to my dear friends Linda for the topic and Susan for the beautiful tulips that look like the Canadian maple leaf.


In the sequence of the 12 Seasons, Dark Winter is the colouring group that is mostly Winter with a smaller influence from Autumn.

With Winter, the Season shares:

– a white white, that most people would call white without qualifiers,

– a black black, and many other very dark colours

– pure colour in jewel tones, that gives certain colours a candy or plastic/synthetic quality

– extremes of lightness in icy light colours, meaning colour that is almost white with a drop of pure pigment

With Autumn, Dark Winter shares:

– muted colour, which gives some colours a feeling of weight, like velvet

– optical agreement when colours meet a certain darkness level

– a log cabin quality so that certain colours may feel a bit rustic or military, especially in matte textiles

Matching and Harmonizing

When looking for any colour in any Season, begin by looking for colours in the palette. That’s a fine place to start, and to stay if it feels right to you. Many colours could fit into various palettes very well. The other colours in the outfit will find what they have in common and allow you and the colour to shine.

For those who enjoy more detail or precision as they apply their Season to their shopping choices, the fact that many colours interact with various palettes feels unsatisfying. They ask, “Can’t every colour fit best into one single Season?”

The answer is, “Yes, it can.” To choose that best palette, the colour agreement between all the colours in the palette is evaluated, in addition to the best apparent match. After all, every colour in you will be wearing your clothing. We don’t see only your greens when you wear a green blouse. We see all your colours.

With the palette spread out, a lot of information is coming your way. If the overall looks pleasing but you are not sure about the decision, look at one colour family, such as blue, or one strip, at a time.

For Dark Winter, the garment colour should work well with the rustic and the candy sides of the Season. The strip with white should look about how it does on a neutral gray background, not divided or distorted. The entire strip from lightest to darkest should be equally energized.

If the lightest colours disappear or look muted, this will happen to the facial colours too. People share with me the most inspired analogies. A recent student whom I loved welcoming into our community recently described this as the arms of the palette suddenly looking shorter.

Five Tableaux

  1. Warm Greens


Warm Greens for Dark Winter



In the row across the top:

1 is too muted and warm. It loses ground next to the candy colours of the palette.

2 is getting there but I would prefer something more jungle or palm green, like the darker colours that Bright Spring might wear. I would hope it is at least this saturated IRL, or a bit more.

3 looks right, on the high side depending on how much your monitor saturates colour.

4 may be too pigmented because the palette colours lose energy next to it, and may be better for Bright Spring.

If you expand 5, the yellow reflection is strong, and maybe a little wrong, making little sense with the purples. Not the worst choice, since Dark Winter contains Winter yellow, which is quite pigmented. I might buy it if I loved the top otherwise.

6: Between two Seasons, a game to help you decide is, “Which is worse?” It hinges on the concept that they will be separated by their differences. If I place or imagine it next to the warm mustards of Dark Autumn or the icy colours of Dark Winter, I prefer it with Dark Autumn. But the colour is dark and appears to be of neutral warmth, which Dark Winter can work with. Wear it with the warmer colours of the Season. If these colours exist in the eyes or in a print worn in the same outfit, even better. I would buy this if I love the item and the price.

The notes for 9 are similar to those for 6, though I find it more Autumn. If the person is very saturated or Winter-like (near black hair and eyes) in natural colouring, it might appear too muted. What’s good is that next to the palette colours, the attention remains about even between them, the energy remains good in each, and neither is changing the other.

10 is a colour that appears, or seems to appear, in many palettes. Another technique for deciding is to hide the strip that has the apparently matching colour. How well does the garment work now? It doesn’t. Nothing in the palette, ie: person, improves next to this colour.

11 appears to contain the same colour as 10 but is different enough to flatter the person better. I like this item.

12 is like 5 but more so. The yellow reflection is too bright. The colour is just too happy to stay calm under a Dark Winter face. The appearance doesn’t settle. The eye keeps going back to the dress. Wouldn’t buy it.


  1. Cool Greens


Cool Greens for Dark Winter



1 is fine.

2 may be too saturated, meaning that it is greener than the palette greens are green or blues are blue. Combine that with the sense of a strong yellow component and we may be getting into True or Bright Winter. The same could apply to 5.

3 is a little cool and soft but Dark Winter shines in these dark blue-greens. At this saturation (or pigment concentration), I would have to love the item to buy it. A little more feeling of ink would be good.  It could work for True Summer as well. The quality of the yellow or the reflection seems too light compared to the Dark Winter palette. The garment and the warmer neutral tone strip of the Dark Winter palette seem to be pushing each other apart. OTOH, they are not changing one another, which is always a good sign.

4 and 9 are close enough colours.  The quality of the yellow is not continuous with the palette colours but they still share a lot. Dark Winter would not wear a colour much lighter, except in the icy colours. The reflectivity of 4 seems a little light in weight.

6 is the marker in this group to which I compare the others. It’s too cool and probably too clear (bright) for Dark Winter. If the woman tests very near True Winter, and with the item being dark, and this colour being one that Dark Winter adapts the way Summer adapts blue, it will work fine for some Dark Winters. As we try things in our Season, we learn ourselves better and better until we are very fine tuned in our understanding of our own colouring.

8 is great.

10 seems fine.


  1. Prints with Green


Prints with Dark Winter Green



The lime green in 1 is challenging to find on its own, and because the colour is bright, it can be more noticed when the colour is not quite right. Here, the other greens make sense of the lime, and it won’t matter if it is slightly out of Season. Love that blouse.

The cool, dark olive for this Season is important. Cooler than dark tobacco, it is excellent with the eye colours. 2 and 3 are examples of how it might look.

4 has a lot of warmth. Depending on the palette and interpretation, and the pigmentation of the woman, the black, the ability of the textile to saturate, and its shine all help Dark Winter.

5 may be technically a Dark Autumn blouse.  The pale pinks in the flowers, the corals in the flowers, the cool-associated colours of green and blue, and the darkness improve its potential for Dark Winter.

The white in 6 is warm for Dark Winter but it looks good with the lipsticks and the other colours. Love this sweater.

The white in 7 has a pinkish quality that I associate with Dark Autumn white. With the whites away from the face and a green this good, if the dress were a great fit and price, I would still buy it.

The metallic quality of 8 is great. An industrial look that looks terrific next this colouring.

9 may be too bright and candy but it’s a nice accessory.

10 is bright but it’s an emerald green that Winters can work with. Jewel tones make sense. The mesh-mosaic texture, animal print, beiges, and darkness level are all great.


  1. Blue Purple


Blue Purples for Dark Winter



1 is one of those peculiar colours that I am still learning. Although this one has enough muscle for Winter and a dullness one might associate with Autumn influence, it also contains a lot of red. I considered it for True Winter but I think it’s too heavy and smoky for True Winter’s lighter, clearer look.

2 is great. I seriously love this on Dark Winter.

3 is a more wearable version of 1. Colour is entirely what you do with it. We have all seen a colour we might overlook in a palette become the most breathtaking garment.

4 is good.

5 is in the ballpark but it hard to read in the image. If the blouse were whiter and the model’s hair less clashing with the sweater, it might be quite workable.

6 is on the candy side but I like candy accessories sometimes. It will still work with the wardrobe without requiring any change in the outfit or cosmetics.

7 is kind of fascinating. One gets a sense of lilac and softly curved lines but the associations between those and Summer are in the past, or in my past.  It is as light as Dark Winter would get in a head to toe colour.

8, 9, and 10 are quite ok.

11 may be True Winter, but shoes, like purses, are some distance from the face. These will still cooperate with Dark Winter because they share so much.


5. Medium Purple


Medium Purples for Dark Winter



It doesn’t take much before red-purple lands you in True Winter. 1 may be too red but it is not dulling the palette colours. 4 does seem to drain energy from the palette colours. The other suggestion that these are not right is that it’s hard to find a great lipstick. The warm lip colours in the palette go from great red rusts to absolute spaghetti sauce…and sadly, that is exactly what they will do on the face if they are worn next to this dress. With a cooler lipstick, might work fine but honestly, I’m doubtful.

Love 2. True and Dark Winter would be fine. They make sense of dark purple.

3 is fine.

The stones in the straps of 5 are a little lightweight for the gravitas of Dark Winter, but they are small in size, the chain is good, and they convey a jewel tone to some degree. Shells would be less than ideal.

6 may be cool and saturated but it would look great on many Dark Winter, particularly the dark of hair, eye, or skin, and those who enjoy cosmetics.

7 is a fun accessory colour. Winters look good in purple, adapt it easily, and should wear a lot of it. The handle and belt are fine. Nobody’s Season changes in the summer months, tanned or not, but many of us enjoy brighter and lighter colour choices during the warm, sunny months, and perhaps more whimsical choices than we might otherwise wear. With a white top and dark jeans or casual lower half of ensemble, very nice.


  1. Red Purple


Red Purples for Dark Winter



What happens, as shown in 4, is that the red gets high, the candy level increases, and tips the item into True Winter.  The T-shirt fabric helps mute the colour. It’s not nearly as bright as it would be if the fabric were smooth and shiny. Dark Winters should try this on and then decide. With white or iron grey hair, or a cool bandanna, or great earrings, absolutely.

7 is similar in that the suede helps but the colour is probably too red and better for True Winter. However, on the feet, with a black dress, I would gladly stare at them all evening.

1, 2, 5, and 8 are a little browner, more plum and less grape. Excellent colours. For a larger area near the face, or on a woman who looks Autumn, or a woman who prefers natural or less saturated looks, this colour will be better. For the Dark Winter who tests so close to True Winter that it took 15 minutes to decide on the Season, and whose eyes are crisp and black-brown (rather than full of lovely warm rusty browns and mossy greens), any of these colours will be fine and so much more amazing than what she might have bought pre-PCA.

3 is an example of a cooler white compared to item 6 in tableau 3. The texture gives it a little dullness but anyone would call it white. True Winter would wear this just as well (if not better) because the white looks almost blue.



Colour Shopping Online: Light Summer

For the technique of opening the palette to harmonize colours into Seasons, full credit goes to colour analyst and Sci\ART trainer, Terry Wildfong. The method works equally well with fabric, cosmetic, jewelry, and any other item that you want to place into the best colour environment, the one where the palette and the item will bring out the best in each other. The palette stands in for the person of the same natural colouring.

Items purchased online should be easy to return. Expectations of perfect accuracy from pictures on screens may be overreaching. If your preference or the purpose of the garment requires it to be perfectly in Season, shop in person.

The general question when I shop online is, “Does this item share enough in its colour properties to be worn extremely well by a person of this colouring, and will they allow the item to look excellent in return?”

Readers had some questions that we can talk about first.

  1. Do I use special lighting?

For harmonizing colours, I always work between 10AM and 4PM with indirect daylight (no sunlight) on the screen. I use a Macbook Pro that is about 3 years old. Some monitors add a definite colour cast that you’d want to be aware of and perhaps use a different device.

There is a full spectrum lamp on the screen. This is a 23W bulb with a 100W equivalency. It does not emit huge light. I buy mine from LifeLite in Canada. It fits into a standard fixture. The bulbs used for PCA are larger and emit more light.  Full Spectrum Solutions in the USA is a good source, or many others, I would think.

The CRI is 96. The CRT is 5800K. A CRI over 5000 and a CRI over 90 are desirable. Both numbers should be specified on the box.

Many energy saving bulbs emit an oddly coloured light. Many full spec bulbs don’t have the specifications on the box and the light is often too yellow or not balanced. Colour is light. The wavelengths of light entering the object greatly influence those that will come back out.

White is the most difficult colour to place in Seasons, IRL or online, because it reflects so many wavelengths including the lighting itself. Black is also challenging for the similar reason that it reflects so few colours and they can be quite subtle.

  1. Does photography change colours?

Undoubtedly yes. The photographic effects are unpredictable, with no average effect that could be expected from every image within the same store, or across different stores.

For the most part, I evaluate the colour on the screen without assumptions such as, “It’s probably not that warm and goes into this cooler Season.” For every item on every site, I start from the beginning using the image as it is presented. I do compare the colour to as many other things in the image as possible, which we will see later in this post.

Certain sites have a tendency to present colours that are slightly muted relative to what comes in the mail, LLBean and JCrew as possible examples, but it is variable. I have had this experience with Nordstrom and Macy’s also.

No site that presents higher saturation comes to mind but it certainly happens with certain items or textile pigments. I see it in online client images with drapes whose colours I know, or in my own videos, where human, textile, and cosmetic pigments are translated differently.

There may be variability between camera sensors and software. Some seem to average the colours in the image. If the drape is very warm in colour, the rest of the colours are cooled, or vice versa. This seems to happen more with iPhones and some digital cameras, and less (or less noticeably) in fashion photography. I am not sure how to get around it. I have played with white balances till I got tired of getting no satisfactory or predictable result.

Some sites are extremely irregular between thumbnails and larger image, or larger image and video. ASOS is an example. The video often shows an item that is less saturated than the pictures. When picture, video, and thumbnails are all different, it’s impossible to tell. I usually go by the video.

  1. How does shine affect Season or images?

The colour of the highlight is dependent on the light source, often causing the item to appear lighter and warmer.

The smoothness of the shine may contain helpful clues. The smoother the shine, the whiter the highlight, the more likely to move into Winter. If the shine is grainy or pebbled, meaning that the surface is uneven, the highlight tends to be more muted but this is not consistent. If the highlight is grayish or not very different in colour from the textile, the shine is more characteristic of Summer and Autumn- influenced colour.

  1. How do you use colour clues in the model?

Everybody everywhere understands colour by comparing it to something.

A model is helpful. I try to establish relationships and rationality. If her shoes are clearly Autumn, discordant clothing is probably not Autumn. This goes beyond my taste to what humans generally (but not always) agree on. Few people would pair whisky brown with candy pink or dusty grape.

Whether her hair is dyed or not doesn’t matter, it’s just a colour block. Same with lipstick, it’s just a colour block. Yellow hair is more likely Spring-side but many golds are redder, heavier, and actually work better with Autumn. True red lips are probably Winter-influenced. I don’t get more specific than that.

The model is also good for general assumptions. If the model has black eyes and hair, we can be fairly comfortable that she belongs to one of the 5 groups with Winter-influence. I think in terms of more than and less than relationships than her Season. If a model is medium in her colouring and her head is receding while the clothing is coming forward, it is probably brighter than she is.

Plants, furniture, shoes, brick walls, or any other comparison opportunity are useful.

If the item is pictured with nothing else in the image, I go to #5.

  1. Can I make outfits?

Some of our clients desire perfect Season accuracy for every purchase. Others are pleased when they can sidestep unflattering colour purchases, aiming for the general sense of their Season group. I fall in between, looking for colours that can form very good relationships with me and with my wardrobe, cosmetics, and hair colour. I have a thing about clothing and hair colour because so often, they are truly uncomfortable together and nobody ever seems to notice, and I wonder why not.

Holding the palette to the screen, I consider the palette as a whole first. The very moment that the palette is placed up in front of the screen, keep awareness of where your attention goes. Look for roughly equal attention between garment and palette. If you’re ignoring one, or if one feels too insistent, it might be a problem.

Be patient. It takes practice to sense where your attention is. Your subconscious mind knows. You just have to pull the information forward into your conscious awareness.

Sometimes changing what is in front of our eyes shifts the attention but the colours might work well enough. The chemistry of the retina might just feel momentarily shaken up and our decision-making ability is temporarily suspended. This is similar to putting on makeup, especially for Winters. The lipstick or eyeshadow seems like a lot at first. Instead of removing it, it is best to go do something else that does not involve mirrors. When we return, we wonder what the issue was.

As in PCA with a person, if you are not sure about a decision, then you don’t know yet. Both choices remain viable, whether it be both Seasons in an analysis or the garment on the screen with the palette. Keep going.

Spread the arms of the palettes far enough apart to see the garment colour between them. If you can focus on the palette, and then focus on the garment, and think, “OK, this could work. At least they are not pushing each other apart. I can see both at once and find the picture pleasing.”, next, divide the palette into sections. Trying to evaluate an entire palette at once may be like trying to evaluate all the drape colours together at the same time. For me, there is too much information to manage.

First, the neutrals. Are they staying the same? Does the white look fresh and clean? Do grays look about the same as they appeared away from the screen? Can a white shirt/gray pants outfit be easily assembled? If anything takes on a green, yellow, or red cast, so will the face. Could you image the neutral colours as eyeliner and eyeshadow with that garment?

Next, the reds. These are the native reds in cheeks and lips, and the lipstick and blush colours. Could you insert the garment colour into one of the strips and nobody would know the difference? Would you pair the colours in an outfit? Would you wear this blush under those eyes?

Green seems to have two choices in life, to be great or gross. Look at the green strip on its own. This strip may also contain some of the more unique colours to that Season. Is the effect together pleasing or at least convincing?

The yellows. Consider each colour area separately. Has the lightest colour all but disappeared? Is the darkest colour somehow unpleasant? Does one of the middle colours suddenly look as if it doesn’t belong, as if the strip has broken up somehow?


A reader had the good suggestion of using pins on Pinterest. Links to merchandise can be unpredictably here one day, gone the next. For now, I’ll put the pins in the Shopping for Your Season and Style board. If this process works and we do more, I can put the pins in their own board for ease of finding in the future.

For now, as I’m sure you’ve thought of, open the two windows side by side to follow along. If that doesn’t work well, we can do something else next time.

  1. Light aqua dress, mauve background.


The link to the pin is here.

Thought process:

Spring side, no recognizable Autumn.

Light or Bright Seasons possible, both have these types of colours.

The dress is very bright relative to the wall. They are not forming any great relationships or agreements. One might say that the dress is easier to see against the wall but the wall is not enhanced in any way. The wall is Summery, so the dress probably has little or no Summer.

A gain at the expense of another colour in the composition is inconsistent with my idea of harmony. For harmony to be satisfied, the whole must be agreeable. The wall, dress, and shoes from this picture, placed in the same landscape, would be a fantasy, not a solid, capable, believable world. The wall and the dress are not improving one another. It is difficult if not uncomfortable to look at both simultaneously, like a world with the wrong-coloured sky. My conclusion is that the dress and wall are different Seasons.

The shoes are Autumn or Spring or have some of both. They are not doing anything much, neither balancing the head, elongating the leg, or clashing significantly.

Next, I hold the palette to the dress with the arms of the palette spread far enough apart to see the dress through them. If I look at the dress, the Light Summer palette fades. I am almost ignoring it. I can see that certain properties are shared but not enough to feel like they making one another better. The lipsticks have little energy unless she wore only the darker choices, which is a possibility. We would have to see it but I wonder if the lipstick would look weirdly dark or weak or somehow not luscious above this dress.

The longer I look at it, the more the dress is taking on neon characteristics, and this is in dim lighting. The dress is more than most things in the image. I’m starting to think Bright. Worn by a Light Summer woman, the dress will become even brighter and she will become “the woman in that blue dress.”

At this point, I would skip on to the next item.

2. Woman with wavy blonde hair, silver medallion pendant, white distressed jeans, and aqua tunic top.

>Maybe but for sure be able to return it.

The link to the pin is here.

Why the top could be (or work with) Light Summer:

It is more muted than the jeans, which we can be fairly certain are Winter. Therefore the blouse is not likely Winter, or not strongly Winter. Even Dark Winter turquoise would probably balance white better, but she could probably wear it, being the muted Winter. I suspect that Bright Spring would also be too saturated but True Spring is possible.

The yellow component in the top is strong but this may be because of the lighting and time of day, or a Spring colour.  Light Summer has colours like that in the palette and she could wear it well enough but it does seem strong next to the palette colours. I would love to go to the store and find that it is more muted and less yellow than the picture.

It is cooler than the hair colour, which seems Spring like, but dyed  yellow hair can often be difficult in any palette so I don’t use it. The yellow green grass and leaves look Spring coloured, and  the blouse seems reasonable enough.

The model offers me no clues.

I don’t think the neutrals of Light Summer are ideal.

The pendant seems fine but turquoise would allow for cool and warm.

The clutch is somehow not being noticed but that could be the jeans. No conclusion.

The Autumn-like shoes do not seem to share a lot with  the top.

3.  Woman with coral dress with bow at waist and upswept hairstyle.


The link to the pin is here.

I love this colour on Light Summer. My eyes are tuned to look for it.

I do not know her Season but her eyes and eye makeup contain darkness that is causing me to lose the dress. If one thing is enhanced at the expense of the other, something is off. The dress and the woman are not making one another better but neither are they a lot worse. They are just there.

Her head has become mostly eyes, which is taking the idea of eyes as the focal point too far. The idea is not to vanish half the face, or the person’s presence, or spend money on clothing for which the best thing you could say is, “It’s just there.”

Eyes need a face to be anchored in. The building blocks in the image of a person need to stack up: hair, eyes and upper half of face, lower half of face, upper half of body, lower half of body. That is the level-upon-level of positive reinforcement that PCA offers those who have their formula (Season).

The lipstick could be lovely on Light Summer but I’m losing it with these eyes.  A face, head, and person are visually balanced when hair, eyes, and lips have similar impact. (Silver and white hair have plenty of impact). These eyes override the face and garment. The eyeliner and the eyes are competing for my attention and I have trouble moving on.

Not sure about the shoe colour but the bow seems to work. It matches, which is fine although not necessarily what we look for. You could find a similar colour in four or five palettes that looks like it matches. Colour matching is not what PCA is.

No conclusions to be drawn from the hair colour.

The fabric texture is good for Light Summer. They look super in it.

4. Same woman as 3 with more lips and dress. 

>Close call but no.

The link to the pin is here.

This colour for Light Summer may be too heavy but if I were shopping, I’d try it. It may be different off the model. Something is making her skin greener than it probably is and the same may be happening to the dress.

It’s hard to make sense of it with the aquas and greens of the palette, which begin looking frivolous or childish when in truth, they are stunning and vibrant on a Light Summer. Greens are excellent for getting a sense of what could be rational together.

I added this pin to show another version of the previous woman. Although not claiming that this is perfect, and this dress might be Light Summer too, she seems to have more presence than in the previous dress. I can look at her eyes and be aware of what she is wearing. The eyes are supported in a solid face, not a blurred or fluffy-edged face. The lips are doing something. Her hair has richer pigmentation. If it takes darker colour for her to show up, maybe she is a darker Season than Light Summer.

I do not believe for a second that anybody wears only the dark colours in Light Summer, and is still a Light Summer. They might be darker-looking Light Summer compared to some imaginary average but they are the whole Season. The palettes are adjusted for that colouring’s colour ranges and we can mix and match fairly freely within ours. If Light Summer wants to wear her darker green and navy blue, go ahead. It could be great.

Kathryn Kalisz’s Sci\ART palettes are correct. Not rigid, but correct for all person of whatever race, age, or gender. If you can only wear half of one of the palettes to show up, I would be looking for another palette. Other PCA systems will beg to differ on this point and that’s perfectly OK. I welcome all new ideas and ways of seeing things.

5. Long one-shoulder shimmery dark turquoise. 


The link to the pin is here.

With some explanation:


6. So-cute child’s dress with yellow bow at waist.

> Yes.

The link to the pin is here.

The colour is soft but gives no feeling of shade or smoke as Soft Summer would.

A faint peach or buttery quality appears in the bow and skirt which is great on Light Summer, in makeup also. Many in this Season wear the warmth beautifully, right up to the edge of Light Spring.

Looking through the strips of the palette, the colour works nicely. The darker choices are fine and the dress holds up to them. The lighter colours do not become weak. The palette has energy and the dress colour has energy.

Holding up the strip with the yellows, it makes great sense.

The bodice may be a bit cool but it does not have any significant brightness. Maybe it’s a bit lemony but True Summer will have difficulty with the warmth of the waistband. Light Summer will do fine with a bit of brightness.

The white is softened, not stark. The glitter is delicate.

The gray and muted silver of the model form are fine and balance well.

Light Summer could use this item to her advantage. Perhaps other Seasons could as well. The colour analyst may be required to place an item into a single Season. A Light Summer client only needs to know if an item could work in her favour or if she is better leaving it at the store.

















Science, beauty, truth. Transformational results.