Dark Winter in Hot Weather

I am Canadian. Summer is from May to September. In some parts of our country, we seem to have two Seasons, July and Winter.

V is a Dark Winter who lives in the Northern US. She spent some weeks in Florida in July. She made these observations:

I must have seen about a dozen women (ages 40 – 80) during that 3 week time frame who were wearing all-white  outfits.These were just women who were out shopping, dining, whatever…not dressed up for anything special that would otherwise dictate wearing white.Some wore dresses, some wore loose tops with loose pants, etc.They all looked cool and appropriate. I didn’t have time to study what season they might have been. I simply thought they looked cool and refreshing.

V was attracted to the head-to-toe light colours but wondered if a dark person would look great in all white. My first thought was, wear the clothes. Why not? It’s just clothes. Enjoy the holiday by changing everything about how you normally live.

If I think of Jacqui Onassis in all white or white&navy, I pick the white and navy. If you take in the totality of any person, all white is never enough. In the totality of an appearance, there exists much more than just clothes, like eyes and hair. Maybe by wearing all white, our heads become a little more colourful, and that’s not bad. Little things can go a long way. Lipstick and mascara count.Throw on a great belt, a superb watch, a gorgeous head scarf, or important earrings. As ever, taste is always right, but to me, all white isn’t much more interesting than all black. Those outfits succeed based entirely on what’s added to them.


Light and Location

V. did some research and came up with this excellent article.

The author is on to something. Equatorial light is more direct (straight overhead) so more short (blue) wavelengths must reach there more often, possibly causing colours to appear cooler.

And then there are cultural differences, like if everyone around you is a blonde, how long do you stay brunette before you start feeling like an outsider? When we bring ourselves to a new place, do we change our apparel colours to suit the place, the light there, or the fashion there? What’s in the stores is different. We buy stuff when we travel that we’d never buy at home, but it just felt right for the place and the time as a way to recognize the many ways in which the new place influences us consciously and physiologically.


Dark Winter About Town in July

Any woman who knows her best colours will find some times of year easier to shop in than others. The next article will show some off-season collections. For today’s palette, buying dark saturated colour in May isn’t easy, it’s true. Like everything, you get better at it. You learn to buy your summer clothes in November. Colour analyzed women have the confidence to buy apparel whenever they find it. The colour will be just as good in six months as it is today.



Dark Winter July About Town


Exciting Colour Combinations

V asked,

I’ve had enough time living with my Dark Winter palette to now have a closet full of DW clothes. And the colors do all go together, as one would expect. The question I have is…as so many of the DW colors are darker (and on the less-vibrant side, due to their ‘drop of chocolate’ or ‘slight film of soot’), when I pair 2 colors …for example a cobalt blue dress with a lightweight purple flyaway cardigan over it….to me, the color combination just looks blah. And I see this over and over with combining my DW clothes. The individual pieces are fine, but I can’t just easily mix and match. This is particularly obvious when I travel. I may have suitcase full of Dark Winter clothes but many of the combinations just don’t have much eye appeal. I’m obviously missing something that will add the ‘jazzy spark’. What am I missing?


I wondered about

1. Are the colours being worn truly saturated? This is something Winters have to grow into. As a Winter, colours are bold, strong, almost shocking. A person who doesn’t have the True Winter palette there for comparison might think many of your blues and greens are True Winter’s. These colours are so not blah that wearing too many at once can get parrotty.

2. Some women much more flamboyance and/or drama in their geometry or their preferences than others. They need styles of clothing that convey that. Design and style require that both colour and line to be right for the individual. Are the cuts too conservative/classic/careful for a person who needs more flair? All of those will come across as frumpy-ish if you are Yanger than the clothes, no matter what colour they are. Flamboyant people wear more colour all the time.

3. Clothes alone, like makeup alone or hair colour alone, don’t convey the whole image. Accessories add many layers of expression. When we buy ourselves a present, it’s often a cosmetic – affordable and fun. We own enough cosmetics and they’re repetitive. We should be buying accessories. On Winter, they also are bold, noticeable, with big presence. The hard metallic element is very much part of the image.

4. Your own taste. My suggestions can only take you so far. If they were complete and applied equally to all women, that would mean that there are 12 kinds of women. Study how other image systems put colour together. Your answers are not in any one of them but in the places where they all intersect.


Dark Winter Staying Cool

Dark colours are also very warm. Any suggestions on how to look good dressed as a Dark Winter and stay cool too?

My eye likes a Dark Season person (in the 12-Tone personal colour analysis system, that’s Dark Autumn and Dark Winter) to give an overall medium to very dark impression. Don’t forget that you are already a dark block all by yourself. We tend to look at outfits, like the all white top and pants, and forget the person they’re hanging on, the block that makes the biggest contribution of all. Picture outfits from the top of your head down, not your neck. That’s how they look to the rest of us.

Sheer or floaty textiles and lots of skin can cool even if it’s dark. I find black much more interesting in hot weather. Icy colours are an automatic fix here too. It’s Winter that gets close to white in their lightest-darkest range and takes advantage of these colours in hot weather. Summer folks may have more choice in the stores in July, but their pastels are quite far from white.


Dark Winter Summer Skirts and Tops


Our appearance doesn’t begin or end with clothes. It begins with the person and ends with the entire composition. Dark nail polish, jewelry, lipstick, or a purse isn’t hotter to wear but absolutely affects the whole picture. Jacquie O. was fine in her white pants, white headscarf, and white&navy tee, but it was the huge dark glasses that balanced the image. Those were what we identified her with most.

I can’t think of a website that gives real women better advice, usable and beautiful, than Imogen’s. I see she’s done some work on the site and now has an e-book that you could get free. Here, Imogen shows colours for different seasons.


Dark Winter on Vacation

What might we wear that’s more interesting than all white and still relaxed?


Dark Winter on Vacation




2 thoughts on “Dark Winter in Hot Weather”

  1. When she says that Dark Winter is “very warm” perhaps she is confusing warmth with saturation?

    Even though it does have ‘some’ warmth it is still more cool that warm. I’d pop some of that darkness with the beautiful Emerald Green so prevalent because it is THE COLOR OF THE YEAR for 2013..

    Have fun with it and ‘why not’…??

    Great Observations

  2. Karen, as someone who lives where 3-4 weeks of the year the high temps can be over 100F, I think she means is that dark colors absorb the heat from the sun and atmosphere, and can be *very* uncomfortable to wear.

    I’m post-menopausal, and whether or not I look good in a dark color, I’m not going to wear it out when summer temps are that high (actually, any thing above about 92F is questionable!) It’s stifling!

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