Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Colour Seasons

Rhonda asked about the colour diagnosis's I've had.
I self diagnosed from the early CMB books as a Winter in about 1990. This seemed to be the only matching category for mid brown hair, green eyes and light skin. I wore Winter colours for years and can't have looked all that great, though I favoured red and teal by the face.
Then in about 2000 I got into a now defunct message board which looked at the indviduals colouring. Here I worked out I was definitely one of the Warm undertoned categories though not one of the obvious ones ie not a classic original Autumn or Spring. I concluded I was a Soft Autumn (which is Autumn with a Summer influence) and sent off for a swatch packet from an online site which sold them. This was a little disappointing and whilst it contained some great colours it also had loads I could not wear near the face.
3 or 4 years ago I decided to pay to get my colours done with UK Colour Me Beautiful andwent to see a lovely consultant who declared me to me Clear and Warm (ie Clear Spring, or Contrasting Brunette Spring). I wore my contact lenses for this session, and I'm sure the fact that my eyes are large and green was one of the indicators for her. (I also wear glasses, and as I am very short sighted, this makes my eyes seem much smaller behind the strong lenses, so the overall effect of the green eyes is diminished somewhat, anyway I digress).
I took my 'Clear and Warm' swatch booklet home, though as ever becuase its a generic and only partly personalised palette it doesn't work 100 percent for me.
The Clear Palette which is half Winter/half Spring is used as the basis of the swatches for the Clear and Warm and the Clear and Cool. They then add in extra strips from the secondary areas, in my case one of Warm and one of Light I think. The consultant then marks the colours which are your best ones.
I discovered for instance that I can wear some really quite warm colours which are not in the C&W palette (its deliberately fairly neutral), and have got a little leaning towards Autumn - ie a little bit of that soft/rich. Its obviously not the main factor though as the consultant dismissed this as an option when I suggested it, and I agreed that the Clear and Warm drapes were better than the Soft and Warm.

I also colour my hair with semi permanent rinses in various shades of medium warm browns. Sometimes these are more auburn and the cooler colours are less good. Other times I've picked a slightly darker plainer brown (no red undertones) which is closer to my natural haircolour and then the slightly cooler colours work better, as do the higher contrast options.

I carry both the old Soft Autumn and the new Clear Spring palettes with me, and try to see if something has both the warmth, richness, contrast and clarity that somehow blends with both.
Perhaps I should be a little creative and destroy both palettes and just take the best swatches from both.... or somehow try to create my own custom palette, but for the moment this works well enough and I'm happy getting dressed in the morning.

Opinion varies a lot as to whether you colour palette changes with age, and I can see that as your hair colour changes with greying and/or whatever colouring you do with your hair this has to impact your best colours. I suspect you stay broadly in the same category since you skin vs eyes contrast will remain similar but you need to soften and maybe cool your colours slightly, and I should think look at what is your 'Key Neutral' as this is based on your hair, or lowlights within your hair.
I knew a bright ginger haired lady who had then gained creamy white hairs as she aged until she was a variegated caramel blonde, she was still warm, but the strength of the colours that suited her had changed to those with less strong pigments. She had a natural understanding of her best colours and tweaked accordingly and always looked lovely.

On another note I bought myself another cardigan and blouse following some of Nancy's recent advice.
The cardigan is the same style as the cream one, though this time in a Warm Navy, a new colour for me, but one which I think will work well with my darker navy separates.
And this print blouse which I think would be a GREAT linking pieces. It contains rust, cream, navy and several shades of brown in the mini squares pattern and I think will be very versatile.


Rhoto said...

Ruthie, you are SEW nice!! More of an answer than I had hoped for. Thank you soooo much!!
I looked again at the Color Me Beautiful British books... Didn't find the "typical" Brit there :/
You're a nice friend.

Rose said...

I find the "Colour Seasons" fascinating. As with basic clothing styles, I think there is a basic type that needs to be combined with individuality. I'm still working on this and probably will be for the rest of my life. You did a good job of explaining your experience with color analysis.

Ginger said...

I'll have to go back through and read your post carefully because we sound like we have a lot of the same coloring... I have green eyes, dark ash brown hair (when it's not colored) and light skin and I can wear some autumn and some spring colors. I too was 'diagnosed' as a winter but those colors wash me out (and I love a dusty pumpkin color).

Anyway -- beautiful blouse print -- SO in line with the "rules" of a capsule print!

Jenni said...

Both garments are lovely. The cardigan in particular (but then I do love a good navy blue item)

Ladyslipper said...

I have been following Nancy's newsletter but I really appreciate seeing the advice interpreted in a real wardrobe. I love both of your new purchases.

Julie Lanteri said...

that's a lovely blouse Ruthie. the print subtly mixes the right colours. perfect!