As a fashion fanatic, I’m always drawn to the new colours of each season: the oxblood and bottle greens of Autumn, Gothic shades of Winter, ice-cream pastels of Spring and tropical hues of Summer. I’m generally willing to throw myself into each sartorial season with renewed excitement, whether it’s lusting after pastel midi dresses or wrapping myself in dark, grungy knitwear. Are you the same?
I’d always known some colours suited me better than others; I always got a lot of compliments in blues, and I never felt my best in browns or super-bright neons (but then again, who really looks good in florescence?). I’m sure we all have some colours we refuse to touch, and certain colours which fuel our wardrobes, but is there a hard and fast way to determine exactly which colours we should be buying and which we should be avoiding?
My Google search led me to Seasonal Colour Analysis.
How does it work?
If you’ve watched enough slightly retro TV, I’m sure you’ll have come across someone referring to themselves as a “Spring” or a “Summer”. That’s Seasonal Colour Analysis. It was huge in the 1980s and I wouldn’t be surprised if it resurfaced as The Next Big Thing in the near future.
It works by categorising people into seasons according to their skin tone, hair and eye colour. Simple, in theory! Cool toned individuals (with blue or pink undertones to their skin) will either be a Summer or a Winter; warm toned individuals (with golden, peachy or yellow undertones) will either be an Autumn or a Spring. Winters and Autumns are “high contrast”, with a vivid difference in hair, skin and eye colour (think Anne Hathaway), whereas Springs and Summers are “low contrast” in colouring (think Cate Blanchett).
Within each season are three further sub-categories, but I think it’s easier to leave the explanation at the four seasons for now! For a full description of the theory behind Colour Analysis, head over to The Chic Fashionista’s page.
You might be reading this thinking ‘I’m clearly this season!’, and it’s very easy for some people – Anne Hathaway is almost the epitome of Winter; Cate Blanchett is clearly a Summer, and so forth. However, some people are harder to categorise – and I definitely considered myself as one of these people!
I’m pale, and my hair is medium-dark – so would that make me a winter? I also have freckles, and my hair can turn a little warmed toned summer – would that then make me an Autumn, Spring or a Summer? I thought potentially I was a Cool Summer, but I was by no means confident in that diagnosis.
Feeling incredibly curious, I spoke to 30 Something Urban Girl, who was kind enough to explain which season I really fall under.
What she said: I think your original hair colour could be dark-medium brown. You’ve got beautiful and clear blue eyes and light fair skin tone with freckles. Freckles indicate you have some warm colouring and you also have contrast on your face like Winters have.
According to your colours, you are probably a Winter (cool colours) woman who flows into Spring (warm colours).
The explanation: I think the Warm Spring and Warm Autumn colours are too warm for you. The Clear Spring palette isn’t bad but I think coral (one of the power colour of Spring) doesn’t fit you so well. The Soft Summer palette is too muted, while the Cool Summer is too cool. I think the Cool Winter palette is a bit too cool as well.
This is me with Clear Winter colours.
This is me with Warm Autumn colours, which is almost the opposite of a Clear Winter. Notice how my skin seems washed out and my eyes look duller when compared with the top picture? This has definitely cemented my distaste for the warmer colours!
These are Soft Summer colours. They’re certainly an improvement on Warm Autumn, but they’re so muted they make me look a little washed out.
These are Warm Spring colours, the warmth isn’t really doing me many favours and they’re a bit too light. I feel like these bring out the imperfections in my skin.
These are Cool Summer colours. Interestingly, I thought I could be a Cool Summer when I was doing my research on Seasonal Colour Analysis. They don’t look awful by any means, but they’re a little cold on me.
And finally, Cool Winter colours, which, as the coldest palette, are too cool.
Colours can be quite subjective and I think there is a tendancy to project your own colour preferences onto other people, but I think it’s pretty clear to see that cool colours in moderation bring out the best in my complexion. Isn’t amazing how much difference colour can make? Perhaps you have your own opinion, and think I dazzle in a different palette (do leave a comment!).
I can see the full range of colours that suit me on 30 Something Urban Girl’s Clear Winter page (there’s a page for every season). My Clear Winter buddies include Zooey Deschanel (yippee!), Alexis Bledel, Katy Perry and Miranda Kerr, so I’m in good company!
This has left me with plenty to think about – for one, I’ll be trying out the colour yellow – this is one of my colours, yet I own approximately zero yellow items. It would be awesome to find a new colour that looks nice on me! I’m also toying with the idea of dying my hair darker, in line with my Winter colouring. What do you think?
Why are the right colours important?
I think my analysis goes to show that wearing the right colours can make your complexion appear brighter and radiant, reduce dark circles and skin imperfections, make your eye colour pop and bring out the best tones in your hair colour. For situations like job interviews, or events where you’ll be photographed, wearing your seasonal colours will ensure you’re maximising your best qualities and will make you feel more confident too! Plus, with a wardrobe of co-ordinating colours, picking an outfit will never be easier!
So, there’s only one question left to ask: which season are you?
Find out now with 30 Something Urban Girl!