Across the UK, the weather so far this new year has hardly been welcoming but sometimes, having a little colour in your life can brighten up your mood. Do you recall the scene in Bridget Jones before her mum has a mid-life crisis and goes off with the television host, where Bridget's mother is off "getting her colours done" in some department store? Colour seasons were popular in the 1980s and discovering your colour season can be an automatic way to make your complexion look brighter and healthier; however, as with anything, that doesn't mean that if you discover you're a "bright summer" you're stuck with turquoise, raspberry, and teal forever and you can never wear purple again. Let's have a quick look at what colour seasons are and the psychology of colour in fashion: how can your outfit choices reflect your mood and make you look and feel better?
How do I find my colour season?
Colour seasons are a way to harmonise your natural features with colour analysis with the main colour seasons corresponding to the weather seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Some colour theorists just go with the four seasons and others break it into "bright" and "dark" seasons as well, giving eight variations and others go as far as twelve variations: deep, cool, and bright winters; bright, warm, and light springs; deep, warm, and soft autumns; and soft, cool, and light summers.
YouTuber and style consultant Ellie Jean Royden has a quick beginner's guide video to finding your colour season.
She also discusses a more complex way to dress for your "body shape" called the Kibbe Body Types, which are a move away from the traditional pear, apple, and triangle shapes of yesteryear.
Your colour season will align with your skin's undertones, your natural hair colour, and your eye colour. Summers have cool, muted colours like soft blues and lavender. Autumns look best in earthy tones like warm browns and deep oranges. Winters have a bold contrast and can embrace jewel tones and stark neutrals.
How can I incorporate my colour season into my wardrobe?
Fashion can communicate your mood, personality, and emotions.
- Warm tones: Warm tones like reds, oranges, and yellows are often associated with energy, passion, and optimism. Wearing a bold red dress or a sunny yellow top can convey confidence and a zest for life. These warm hues have the power to elevate mood and draw attention, making them popular choices for social occasions where a lively and dynamic presence is desired.
Here's another video that clearly explains the different seasons.
- Cool tones: On the flip side, cool tones such as blues and greens evoke a sense of tranquillity, calmness, and stability. Choosing a serene blue outfit or a lush green ensemble can communicate a composed and collected demeanour. These colours are often favoured in professional settings, conveying reliability and a level-headed approach to the tasks at hand.
- Earth tones: Earth tones, including browns and muted greens, bring a sense of groundedness and connection to nature. Earthy hues are associated with stability and reliability, making them suitable for both casual and professional settings. Wearing earth-toned clothing can create a harmonious and balanced appearance, reflecting a down-to-earth and approachable personality.
- Pastels: Pastels, such as soft pinks, lavenders, and baby blues, exude a delicate and gentle charm. These colours are often chosen to convey a sense of innocence, sweetness, and femininity. Pastel outfits are popular choices for romantic occasions or when aiming to project an air of grace and subtlety.
- Black and grayscale: Black, white, and grayscale tones hold a special place in the colour psychology of fashion. Black is often associated with sophistication, power, and a sense of mystery. A little black dress or a well-tailored black suit can make a bold statement, projecting confidence and timeless elegance.
- White: White, on the other hand, symbolises purity, simplicity, and openness. It is often chosen for its clean and crisp aesthetic, reflecting a desire for clarity and simplicity in one's mood or style.
Once you have your colour season analysed, you can often find variations of the colours that suit you. For example, most colours have warm or cool variations, so you can find a shade that suits you best, which means you can still wear your favourite colours.
You can enjoy colour season theory or take it with a pinch of salt but you may just find that discovering your colour season (a la your mother in the 80s) can help bring your face to life this winter.Don't forget to check out our post on the first day of winter and how to embrace hygge.