There are various ways to get your look to go from average to awesome, and I’ve been posting a lot about the fit and proportions of garments so far. But another (really enjoyable) way of making your outfits truly pop is to pay attention to your own colourings, and how your clothes accentuate them.
The theory on colourings is by no means new – if you do a google search of ‘colour analysis’ you’ll find a million articles teaching you how to decipher what ‘season’ you are. There is plenty of advice out there for choosing to wear the right colours, and since learning about this I’ve grown used to picking out outfits that really suit me.
I’m going to very briefly explain what the colour analysis theory is, and point you to some excellent resources for finding your colours and sticking with them. I myself am a soft summer colouring, which means cool-based tones generally, but with some ability to wear, for example, warm corals and some oranges and yellows. No idea why.
Whilst colour theory has gotten more complex over the years, the basic premise was that there are four ‘seasons’ of colour palettes, corresponding to the real seasons. The undertone of our skin, be it warm (yellow/olive based) or cool (pink/translucent), and the shade of our eyes and hair are the key components that decide which ‘season’ we fit into.
Summer and Winter are for those of us who suit ‘cool’ tones. The colour palettes you should wear include blue-based reds, pinks, purples and of course, blues. The yellows and greens you should wear tend to have no ‘warmth’ to them – so quite icy yellow or turquoise blue rather than yellow ochre and grass green.
Spring and Autumn seasons have lots of warm shades, like burnt orange, khaki, deep gold yellows, browns and greens. You tend to suit these colours more if you have less of the ‘cool’ tones to your features, and more warm tones – like golden or red tint to your hair, skin with warmth to it.
There are also many nuances to the seasons which have updated/developed the colour analysis theory and allowed it to explain why some of us don’t fit into any of the four groups fully. Hence, soft summer, the palette I have the most experience with, tends to represent a subgroup of the cool-toned summer colouring, where there is low contrast between the tones of our colourings (say, yellowish skin and yellow hair; and we lack the sharp contrast of say, Katy Perry who has very cool skin and bright blue eyes). The ‘soft’ subset tends to suit quite muted colours, with a hint of grey to them – think mauve lilac, dusky pink, duck egg blue instead of pastel lilac, baby pink and turquoise.
For further reading, the best of the best is Color Me Beautiful – they have a Kindle book of the same name (which looks a bit out-of-date now but the theory remains. The website, The Chic Fashionista has an excellent article with a link to more information here.
Pretty Your World has an interesting explanation of why there are further categories beyond the standard four seasons, touching on how a pure tone can be altered by it’s tint, shade and tone. There is also links down the side bar to DIY colour analysis.
So here are just some starter resources to look into the subject of personal colour analysis. You will hopefully see me following these rules a lot of the time in my choice of outfits on the blog (it’s become a bit second nature after learning this years ago, and moreover trying on bajillions of different colours in store changing rooms and going ‘ewwww’ when I get it wrong!). You will also see me breaking the rules at times just because I have an odd penchant for what I can’t have (hence this entire blog) and for some reason I adore the warm, spring/autumn colours like nothing else. One of the outfits I’m hoping to find and try at some point (these things hover around in the back of my head for a while usually) is an orange dress in a similar colour to this one on Kirsty Fleming (another of my fave instagrammers)…I’ll leave the cut of that dress to Kirsty though to be honest xD but I fell in love with the styling in that photoshoot of her, simply stunning.
Hope this has been a helpful pointer towards building outfits that suit your body as well as your colourings. I’ll be back with more soon ❤