Many have said,
“I was draped as a True Winter but I’m not dramatic, so should I wear Summer colours? Maybe I’m not a Winter?”
If you’re a Winter dressing as Summer, you look weak. Many Summers can take a fair bit of saturation, depending on their natural pigmentation, but they are not Winters, and nor are Winters Summers.
The answer to the question may be in three parts:
- Winter colours viewed together can seem bold and intense, but they are not worn that way. The showcase that looks terrific is large areas of neutral colours with one or two bold accents. The more pigment in the colours, the less in the neutrals. This type of opposition balances and excites at the same time.
- Winter, and every Season, has a range of brightnesses. For Winters and Springs, the saturation is in the high ranges. For Summers and Autumn, it is in the lower ranges.
- In your mind, keep your colours and lines separate. There are dramatic, statuesque, angular body types in every Season, just as there are athletic, curvy, small scale, and every other type.
Drama Expressions in True Winter
I guess my question is, how in the world can one come to terms with feeling, being and acting more like an autumn, but being draped as a True Winter?? I don’t feel like the dramatic that I am supposed to be as a winter. I also have salt & pepper hair, so I feel like I am softer somehow and really wish there was a “soft winter” category. I do feel like with my graying hair, I have a softer look to me and am worried that I will look harsh with stronger make up. What can you suggest for someone like me? Is there anyway to wear softer winter colors without looking completely off? I do wish there were more examples of gray haired winters out there.
Elizabeth Taylor (probably a Bright Winter).
Stacy London (probably True Winter).
Or Google “gray hair women” and see the many fantastic Pinterest collections, like this one.
The minute I or anyone else writes something about the Seasons, it becomes a pigeonhole that gets propagated all over the place. If you find your entire person inside a single system, you’re among the rare, unless that system allows and educates for the flexibility (as our colour analysts do).
The drama with True Winter is a typecast. I have never seen one where it’s absent, but it’s not obvious in body type. Some are fiercely loyal, jump in the car and stay up all night with the family in crisis, and create lots of conflict when someone suggests that the car was needed to get to work. They live in a body like Pink’s, wear off-the-shoulder sweaters and leggings, and carry gym bags instead of purses, though they have a penchant for chandelier earrings.
Some are intensely dedicated promoters, requesting that you mail them boxes of your business cards because they’re giving them out like candy. They’re 65 and not interested in theater of any sort, prefer practical clothes and a little gloss and blush only, but they know what they like and don’t mind saying what a person might not want to hear. She has the body of TV Mom and a face that looks casual and kind, though the eyes observe with intensity. She wears pearls and traditional femininity; nice classic suits for the office, small dangle earrings. Black, white, and red together are too bold for her taste.
Some can be very harsh except about their own needs, extreme, and a little revenge oriented. They will do a Beyonce lemon juice fast for a week and eat a whole ice cream cake on Saturday. Their drama is to exaggerate their social behaviour with friends as much as the intensity of their alone time, feeling pulled apart without both. Outward drama is expressed as No Limit eyeliner one day, and no makeup the next. Not interested in jewelry, it’s confining and fussy. Tall, lean, not a single cuddly element, they’re in running shorts or skintight jeans and muscle tanks with a black leather jacket. Wouldn’t wear pink of any sort, might consider purple (which is a type of drama in itself).
Drama gets grouped with flamboyance, exaggeration, and excess, creating fashion synonyms and crossovers that weren’t intended and will only apply to a few people. The single items and composition above don’t feel like any of those descriptions.
The word drama can take many forms. For many True Winters, their drama is of distance and silence. The meaning is more about the tension of extremes and absolutes. The drama is the simplicity, rather than turmoil or tragedy. There may be scenes but they’re quick. When it’s over, it’s over.
Softer True Winter
Softer as in softer lines, shapes, fabrics, and perhaps colours too.
Until we have some grasp of body line distinct from body colour, it is very easy to flow them into one another. Once we understand their best shapes in clothing and accessories independent of colour, the colours become easy to accept.
Many are not as dramatic looking as the Season has been made out to be. They are not very dark. True Winter is often very medium in appearance, average, regular, everyday faces. Once the drapes go on, their drama is in how absolute the skin’s reactions are to colour. For others, the drama will happen once everyone sees that strong fuchsia-violet lips and cheeks look completely at home and the face is suddenly not plain at all. It’s strong and clean.
This is where the crossover into Autumn happens, especially in the old days. Dark eyes and hair, and you were a Winter. In both, words like strong, bold, practical, and determined, could apply, so personality quizzes got mixed up. Both can be passive-aggressive. Autumn usually has more compassion and less intensity, but not always. Too much history goes into shaping personality to figure out Season by character.
There is no Soft True Winter in the colour system that I practice. That just basically means True Summer. However, True Winter is not fully saturated. Next to Bright Winter, it is softer. What this skin cares about more than saturation is coolness.
Softness can mean many things.
- Soft colour means visible gray, or dusty. Don’t make this choice.
- Softer lines, textures, and prints, such as Angora, cashmere, florals, swirls, and so on.
- Softer impressions, choosing more neutrals or a lighter overall effect.
Drama might simply be colour (or style) minimalism. Women exist in every Season who benefit from intricate adornment just to look normal, and so are there women who look better in sleek functionality in every Season.
Black is not automatic on Winter at any age. You might replace it with black-brown, navy blue, or black-purple.
With silver hair, try wearing more grays than black, and cosmetics to avoid a gray circle effect.
Feel free to drop the saturation a bit but don’t wear pastels. Note that for many women, they wear black as well with silver hair, if not better than when the hair had colour. Iron gray looks gorgeous with black attire.
Keep distance between colours. Lights next to darks. Avoid too matchy (black shoes with purple dress feels better than all purple).
A Gentle Dark Autumn
Writing about this Season thus far has seen words like tribal, equestrian, military, strong, menswear, business. True for some body types.
Here are other ideas:
Delicious fire, Aztec Chocolate Truffle, dark cocoa dusting, melt in your mouth center,
Plush red velvet curtains, you crush it in your hands over and over because it pushes back, a sumptuous feeling,
Teal satin, liquid metals dripping off curves, sensual looking,
Whites of liqueurs, Bailey’s Irish Cream,
Cognac and Benedictine yellows and browns, opulent, expensive, reserved for the few,
Dark, hot Espresso, the heart beats faster, involuntary,
Nothing you can do, once it takes hold of your senses, Dark Autumn stimulates,
Until you’re damp, you don’t know Dark Autumn, whose power lies in overwhelming arousal.
There is nothing dilute about our relationship with these colours. They are not a gentle caress. We love them with intention.
We are most afraid of our light.
You don’t have to be perfect.
A little Soft Autumn (ruffle blouse lower R) will do no harm. It’s still warm-neutral of the right kind of heat (Autumn’s). If people could get their heat level right, that alone makes a gigantic difference in appearance.
Below, not giving up your white pearls? Why should you? You have enough Winter to wear them. Just do the same thing as you do to black, warm it up with the other things you add. If the pearls are creamy, antique, or chocolate, even better.
A couple of thoughts about white that is cooler than yours, worn near the face:
- teeth may look yellow
- how well white looks next to your other colours is open to opinion, mine being that I’d switch to creamier pearls if possible
Wear red (we feel red as warm).I know I’m pushing my luck with the mixed prints in the center. I pick clothes that would impress me all to pieces if they walked in the room.
The gray boot too cool and blue? Sure is. Wear it around the city for a few days, it’ll be fine. If you find a colour nearer to elephant or asphalt gray, excellent. The shoes the model is wearing are fine too.
These panels are not body type specific. It’s not my specialty, and as with colour, even if you’re moderately closer to yourself, you are unbelievably better to look at. Compared to military or tribal, these fabrics drape more, lines are rounder, legs taper (softness and bootcut look odd together to me), and styles are more classic. Still Dark Autumn.
The point is that to create a beautiful, connected, rational, intelligent image with apparel, the lines take their shape from whatever yours are. Just like the colours.