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Autumn Progressions, Corals and More Prints

This is post 3 of 4 in Autumn Progressions.

Previously, we've looked at Part 1: Basics, and Part 2: Florals. 

The video is here at YouTube.

We’re looking at more prints today. When I chose them, I thought about, “If this walked into a meeting or party, would I notice it for being beautiful and ask someone else if they thought the same?”

In the last video, I thought about what makes beauty and I have more thoughts on that today. Why does Nature keep coming into my conversation? What about purpose, is that just a me thing? 

I also love prints because they help me understand how certain colours in the palette look in real life or in fabrics. I learn from seeing the balancing effect of colours on one another. We’ll talk about how I put a print in a Season. I like to test myself because most prints are not Season-perfect and don’t need to be, and I’ll tell you about my process. 

And we will circle back to, “Is wearing my own colours enough? Is it boring, redundant somehow?”


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Shopping information:

Colours side-by-side

If your eyes see colours side-by-side, be they two blouses, a blouse and jacket, blush and eyeshadow, hair and skin tone, two things will happen.

#1, your mind will decide what the colours are by comparing them.

#2, the colours may appear to change one another. This is least likely when colours are in harmony.

You may be perceiving the upper rows in the image as softer than they are because of what’s below them.

With your hand or a paper in a colour you can ignore, cover the lower two rows. Move the paper up and down, watching the Soft Autumn items. An easier way to do this might be by scrolling; position the True Autumn row at the lower edge of the screen and keep watching the Soft Autumn row as you pull True Autumn off and on the screen. If watching four items at once is a lot, try it with only two items at a time, maybe the second items in the Soft and True Autumn rows. 

Have you a sense of the Soft Autumn items becoming more colourful, filled out, energized, forward, or bigger when True Autumn is off-screen?

With True and Dark Autumn, you may see the same effect, of the softer one (True) being more energized once the brighter one (Dark) is not visible. The same happens with people. When we wear colours brighter than ours, we recede. Replace them with our harmonious colours and we gain presence, energy, vitality, all the good things we want our clothes to do for us.

Don't worry if you can't see it here. These colours are close. The less harmony, the more obvious, which is how a colour analysis begins.

Placing prints in Seasons

The question you want answered is, "Is this for my Season?", rather than which of the 12 groups the item would belong with. The steps might look like this:

Do I find it beautiful? Can I be relaxed and want to continue looking or am I distracted or irritated by something? Is this a puzzle I want to solve?

The woman should wear her clothes and look better, not lose energy to them. Laying the open palette on the fabric should not make it harder to see. The palette should hold its own and improve. As your eye travels around the palette, you may notice some colour combinations that are truly lovely.

Work from the most prominent colour. Often black, white, or bright, or whatever your awareness or the other colours organize themselves around. These can help cancel a few Seasons that will rarely, if ever, cooperate.

Are there colours that are perfect, even iconic, for the Season?

If 90% is your Season, are the rest close enough to be accepted by the group?

How does the print work with the skin tone strips of your palette? All of them, not the single closest match, because all of your skin colours will be seen wearing the print.

Could you slide the main colour(s) into the same colour strip of the palette? 

Are there lipstick options? Makeup or not, reds are the blood tones and humans are hugely sensitive to them, more than we know.

Is there outside-the-box information to consider? I try to imagine what the designer had in mind and look from another perspective.

Below, we look at examples.

The items explained (includes test items)

The image again to minimize scrolling:

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Shopping information:

Soft Autumn

1 The dappled light and curved lines (in the ribbon) of Summer in an colour that could serve as a neutral or a colour in the wardrobe.  The print could be seen as variations of greens as they appear in Nature, with monochromatic (one colour) and analogous (neighbour colours) overtones.

2 One of the test items, it took a moment to decide whether I like the blouse. The longer I looked, the better it got. I felt curious, not irritated. Skin tones and  makeup colours are good. Outfits are possible. The pink might be cool next to the yellow, but the Summer in the colouring would help the pink integrate enough and some might enjoy these colours together. We see clothing on people, not white backgrounds.

3 Some are easy.

4 A test item. Greens resonate so well with Soft Autumn, with the butterscotch tones as examples of iconic colours. Some of the greens may be a little bright but they're not bouncy. I'd imagine the blouse looking more heavy, dull, or dark next to Spring colourings. 

True Autumn

1 The colour appears more committed to warmth than darkness. As with lipstick, sheer colours are accommodating, with skin tone or a cami (nude to coffee) showing through, and great for warm weather when Autumn colours may be less available. The rich yellow gives youth to the skin texture and richness to hair colour. I can slide the colour into the yellow palette strip of this Autumn only.

2 A test item because of the too-easy association of dark with bright, as in, "It's dark, must be Dark Autumn." Light-dark ranges are important however, and this is probably beyond Soft Autumn. The print resonates with True Autumn, and even Soft to a large degree, and would fade away with Dark Autumn lipstick. In the same way that the Soft Autumn row in the panel fell back next to True Autumn, this colour loses energy next to Dark Autumn, despite its darkness.

3 I'd see this work for any Autumn. The texture helps, texture being Autumn's magic trick, as we talked about in Part 1 of this series.

4 The test item I mentioned in the video. The white probably isn't pure white, but it does appear close the background white. In small spots away from face, I found it strategic yet cute, like snow drops, without changing the rest of the outfit. Spontaneous isn’t only Spring and it made me smile, good enough reason. (At URStyle, I saw this as True Autumn; if you thought Soft Autumn, that's fine and the same ideas apply.)

Dark Autumn

1 Prints can improve backgrounds. This print adds warmth and intrigue, life to an item that might be solid or routine in plain black. If this walked into the party, my eyes would be glued to it.

2 A rustic feel with rich, vibrant colours, this woman could find many lipsticks. Some colours might be pastel or icy, but my awareness gets to them last and keeps going. 

3 Coral is easy for Autumn and I'd see a True wearing this well, but there's enough pigment to balance the Dark Autumn row easily. It overpowers True Autumn's palette, certainly the lighter ends of the palette strips. Light or dark, you want to be able to see the entire strip equally well. Dark Autumn's light colours didn't change and the palette could sit on top of the pink, not sink into it (on my screen). 

4 Test item. The prominent colour is the red-orange border. The spots are dark brown. The rest of the colours are soft. The peach-nude sleeves were confusing, but not deal-breakers. The parsnip yellow felt good for Dark Autumn, as did the brighter red, but the spice level is mild and would be fine for a True Autumn wearing a darker pant.


Why do I relate beauty, form, function, and harmony back to it?

#1 Nature invented and solved timelessness.

#2, We evolved to understanding the meaning in her designs.

In the last video, I said that beauty seems to have an internal plan. Beautiful design is not random.

The plan is called harmony.

The parts are related enough to form relationships that mean something.

All people are beautiful in how Nature coloured and shaped them.

All colour groupings are not when we shift Nature out of place.

Natural use of colour feels calm to look at, right, peaceful, and meaningful, instead of holding your breath. 

This is how we want others to look at us. Relaxed and calm, holding our eyes, aware of the others visual elements, happy they’re there, listening to our words, and feeling an integrated experience.

As you watch the video, pretend I’m sitting across from you. Look in my eyes in a relaxed way, the way you’d look at someone in a conversation.

Is the face on the screen is in sync with the words?

Keep looking at my eyes and think about where my facial landmarks are. Can you see my chin? Would it bother you if you couldn’t, if you had little sense of where my face ends and my clothing begins?

Say what you see, always. This is an exercise in isolating colours and thinking about them on their own, then as part of a whole, and projecting other options. Right, wrong, approval, disapproval, may be too global when often, some things work and others don't.

In the ongoing series of experiments that is my life, I try things in each video. This is the darkest brow powder I've ever used, trying to prevent the red/yellow shift that seems to happen. Neutral enough but too light, keeping in mind my hair is not this dark or warm. It's probably the brows that are right.

The lip colour is fairly accurate, Lancome Perfect Fig with Burt's Bees Rhubarb Shimmer in the centre. Good colour, lasts maybe 20-3o min. Always the give and take.

As small picture data, is the lip colour cool-warm enough? Light-dark enough? Too bright, too soft? 

As big picture data, is the lip colour balancing hair and eyes fairly well, or what would you change? 

As context, do you like the lipstick on this face with this clothing? Could you take the person seriously, see them as competent, intelligent, healthy, or is your perception different?

I'm also continuing on my eyeliner solutions journey, as you'll hear Jorunn and I discuss in the podcast at Chrysalis Colour that will air on February 26/2021. This is L'Oréal Super Slim 0.4mm in Gray on the lower lid, black on the upper. The upper line seems too thick, making the upper lid look heavy and aging the eye area. The lower lid liner could be stronger, but like the Soft Autumn row above, the gray liner may be diminished by the colour above. 

As colour analysts, we observe how your colours affect those you wear and vice-versa, we collect data over many comparisons, and we place it into a real-life context that has meaning for you and those you meet.


Nature doesn’t go out of date. It is the ultimate in timeless design, having had some time to connect how things look with how they work. Colour, texture, shape, and function are intricately connected.

Clothing has to do more than look good. Clothing has purpose. 

My clothes are expected to represent me well visually and function as clothing.

Wearing sculptures is like recipes for dishes you can’t cook, fonts you can’t read.

A rug you can’t walk on isn’t a rug.

A dress you can’t eat in, shoes you need help to walk in, these may be beautiful as something but not clothing, not to me.

A house that’s an architectural marvel but you can't live in it? Depends on how you want to live, of course.

Nature’s colours and shapes are timeless because they have served their purpose for centuries.

Black and white are successful for Winters in any era. They have never done good things for anyone else. Ditto classic tailoring and the body type it flatters.

Timeless design fulfills the purpose of clothing, to look terrific and tell your story, now and in all the days ahead.

Is wearing our colours enough?

We have versions of every colour that look amazing on us, better than any others.

Colour analysis tells us what they are.

Although it may seem repetitive to wear what we are, as if they would cancel each other out, what happens is the opposite.

We love to add details. A few eyelashes? This year’s lime? The nude lip that’s blowing up right now?

Too much detail can be a sign of a beginner, a story with too much description, a print that added more colour when it should have stopped, a painting whose meaning is drowning in final touches. 

Too much innovation also takes us out of the story. On an Autumn, this might be glitter or blonde.

Over-simplified is too little information, a story made of bullet points. A Spring wearing head-to-toe grays.

Confidence, experience, and calm come across in knowing what to add and when to stop.

Say what you mean. Be who you are. Trust that a true picture will tell your story and others will understand.


I love fashion, for its beauty, vision, creativity, imagination. Creators raise the bar on what I thought possible.

The voice with which it speaks to us can be fatiguing.

You know how cats don’t like dogs but they like their dog? I don’t like food but I like my food. I don’t love travel, but I love airports. 

With shopping, I don’t discriminate. I enjoy the whole experience, could be blouses or ride-on lawnmowers. I learn things. Never been too tired to keep going except at some of the US outlet malls.

Not sure why I had to tell you this, ….

Just to say that whatever it is, what is it for, can it do what it says, and can it do that for years and years, are what I want to know when I decide what to buy.