Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What are the Colors for each Season?

How to find which colors to wear through the Seasonal Color Theory

Part 6 of the #2 Key The 5 Keys to Dressing Well

The wrong colors can make you look older, heavier, tired and even ill. I think it is just as important to know which colors we should avoid, as which colors we should wear! Seriously! If we learn which colors to avoid we are one big step ahead!

The wrong colors also often compete with you for attention, so that when people see you, they actually see your clothes before they see you.

For me the equation goes like this:

  • Know which colors you like - (just because! they make me you feel good = emotional/psychological meaning)
  • Know which colors compliment your skin, hair and eye color -  (usually you are already wearing some of these colors intuitively, but you can find this out through a color analysis).
  • Know which colors  to avoid, because they can really damage your overall look!. 
Your intuition + personal taste + color analysis = your colors

Where the emotional (your intuition) meets the scientific (professional color anaylisis) you have found your colors!


So here let's look at the Seasonal Color Theory. Because there are so many different people in the world, and we are all unique, image consultants have figured out that in order to come up with an effective system to analyze color, we must look at Nature.

And through nature, the easiest, most obvious way to understand color, is through the seasons. All four seasons have unique and very distinct characteristics, and because of the position of the sun in relation to the earth, colors are seen and perceived differently during each season. Imaging the Sun being a huge, big lamp! and we are being illuminated by it all our lives. Each season is like if we were changing the location of the lamp at home. If we did that, things would look differently, and colors would look very different! So with that in mind. Imagine each season and how that light projects in Nature, and you have the Seasonal Colors.

 Let's take a look at the color characteristics of each season, and how it relates to individuals.

So we will start with the two seasons that have a Cool base. They are Winter, and Summer. Remember the quick test we did to find out if our skin's undertone is warm or cool? Well if you have a cool undertone, it means you are either a Winter or a Summer. And you will see some of the colors that will compliment your own personal coloring below.


seasonal color analysis winter
A winter colored individual has a lot of visual contrast (e.g. dark hair, light eyes, pale skin) therefore can wear very intense, bright, and deep colors. They wear well navy, black, charcoal and bright white as their neutrals.
Winter colors are cool, clear and dark to light intensity. Think of the winter landscape colors. In the low light of winter colors appear darker, but on a bright day with the sun reflecting off snow colors appear pale and icy. Winter is icy, colors are seen in their purest form.


seasonal color analysis summer
Summer colored individuals are like summer breeze, serene and calm. Colors are delicate, their contrast is minimum, their main characteristic is that they are soft, the opposite of Winter in intensity. But they share the same cool-undertone.
Summer colors are muted and medium-light to medium-dark in value. Think of seeing the landscape through the summer heat. These colors are muted, paler versions of Winter’s. The light colors are creamy pastel rather than icy.

Here you can see a chart that compares fabric swatches for both Seasons, you can see that the cool base is shared by both Winter and Summer. With the difference that the Winter colors are darker, brighter and more intense. The summer colors are muted, they have more white added, they are "washed" out and not so clear or bright. Winter and Summer have the same temperature (Cool), but they have different Value (lightness/darkness) and different Chroma (brightness/softness). If you are confused take a look at The Basics of Color.

Now let's start with the two Seasons that share a warmth undertone, they are Autumn and Spring.


 seasonal color analysis autumn 

An autumn colored person has more green tones in their veins. They look great in neutral colors like beige, ecru, warm olive, rich golden browns. The earth tones are perfect and look gorgeous on Autumn individuals.
Autumn colors are warm,

medium-light to medium-dark intensity. Think of the leaves of trees during Autumn, colors of rich burnt oranges, reds, golden yellows and yellowish greens.

Now let's look at Spring!


seasonal color analysis spring

Spring colored individuals have a warm undertone, and bright coloring, usually their eyes are a bright blue or green. They have medium to low contrast. 
Spring colors are also warm, but clear and bright with medium to light intensity. Think of the bright clear colors of spring flowers.

Both Spring and Autumn colors have a Warm undertone, Autumn colors are deeper, richer and have more yellow. Spring colores are brighter, lighter, and although have a warm undertone, they are clear and bright (just like Winter).



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