Category Archives: Autumn Colours

Spring and Autumn Natural

The great thing about writing is that it forces you to pin down your beliefs and your reasons for them.

Paraphrasing a reader’s question:

I was reading about Bright Springs on your website and I was wondering if you could help me get an outfit visual on what natural means. I understand earthy, but natural is still confusing to me.

You have used natural in this context: True Spring; no bold lines, the blocks are distinct by colour divisions. Not misty, earthy, heavy, bold, geometric. Instead, Spring is energetic, hippie, fun, busy, buoyant, and natural (where natural is not the same as earthy).


What did I mean about Autumn and Spring being natural in their energy? What do they have in common in that way?

Every Season has associations in Nature. Summer is how water feels, of high importance to water-based life forms like us. Even in the depth of winter, Nature is extravagant. Snow on a tree branch is so much to see and think about, but the number of colours is small to the point that even black and white are colours in this context. Because of Summer’s cool haze and Winter’s cold stillness, although natural, the feeling is less animated.

What the two warm Seasons have in common is heat. Warmly coloured people wear a lot of colour well, as does the planet in warmer locations. Complementary colours, that have the ability to energize one another when worn side by side, is effective on everyone. The warmer the colouring, the closer the blocks would approach equal size. A holly bush, good Winter visual, is much more green than red. The red becomes highly effective in that context.

Natural implies that it would be seen usually in the natural world. Natural effects feel more organic, like food and flowers. The end of summer harvest and the Island Paradise depict Nature as home, security, familiar, nurturing, nourishment, warmth, shelter, and support, in ways that diamonds and sapphires do not.

The Bright Seasons wouldn’t make up an entire landscape the way that True Autumn (October harvest) and True Spring (tropical beach) would. In helping these persons understand how to dress, there is no easy landscape or imagery to refer to. A Dark Autumn could Google ‘Moroccan design interiors’ to get the colour effect  (thank you to Rachel for the idea). A Light Spring could look up ‘pastel interior design’, ‘fairy landscapes’, or ‘spring flowers’ and recreate the entire scene. Googling ‘bright colour interior design’ is quite good for ideas but you’d use it selectively to make an overall look.

As the Polyvore below shows, the Bright Seasons are basically pure pigment. Search ‘’ on Polyvore. Lovely palettes. Beautiful, imaginative ideas to maximize the flexibility of your colour swatches.


Design seed palette images


Once Winter appears, colour effects become more synthetic, which feels modern. They feel more forced, cooperating less with what’s around them. The paradox of Winter is to be modern and permanent at once, like a diamond. When Winter overtakes Autumn, in the Dark Winter, the rustic element is pretty well gone. Many of the colours look like candy when worn by an Autumn-coloured person. When Winter is in larger proportion than Spring, in the Bright Winter, well, it gets complicated.

This may explain why this colouring is such confusion to people, and can be a challenging analysis. During our last training course, we met 5 Bright Winters -

  • the Snow White
  • the exotic Indian Princess
  • the I’ve-always-been-told-I’m-a-Summer-but-it-doesn’t-feel-right
  • the blonde-blue-eyed Winter
  • the magic elf

There are a thousand more. Sydney Crosby colouring, for instance, with green-gold eyes. They drape better in Winter but their heat level approaches Bright Spring.

Since I need digressions, I’ll repeat something I said on facebook:

Season isn’t just an issue of how light or dark we look, as you know. There are darker Light Springs and very fair Bright Winters.

How warm or cool, how saturated or heathered, another human might be are very hard or impossible to judge.

So we give their light – dark level too much emphasis when we guess. This is part of why folks have so much trouble wrapping their heads around a light haired BW.

The other reason is that people are still looking for those ‘clear eyes’ that are supposed to jump out at you. BW does have a clear eye, but we can’t pick them out of a crowd because we’re not that good at judging it and they don’t look any more unusual than any other human. If you put their eyes into another Season’s face, you’d pick it up instantly.

There are many, many BW people out there. It’s not rare.

The Bright Spring colouring exists but not quite as often, at least not where I live, though still more common than the True Season colouring. I imagine the colours are occasional even when you’re standing on the Equator. A feather, a beak, in an otherwise colour-quiet body. These colours are extreme, at the limits of what colour could do in a terrestrial life form.

Bright Spring is a little special. The high purity of such plentiful colour tips it nearer man-made or magic. It’s more fantastic, more HDR photography, colour enhancement, the rare, delicate, and exceptional. How do you put such Bright colours in a print? The result is wildly energized, beyond most habitats. Colour-blocking is not natural. In Bright Spring colours, small print elements appear pixilated, also not natural.

Spring and Autumn Natural

Spring is juicy, light, sunny, clear, shiny, wet, and floaty. We should distinguish shiny as in dewy and wet (Spring), shiny as in frosty, hard, and cold (Winter), shiny as pearlescent (Summer), and shiny as in hot and metallic (Autumn). Raindrops, hearts, daisies, stars, starfish, seahorses and all baby and/or magic animals, clover (especially 4-leaf clover), belong to Spring.

Earthy is perfectly at home on Autumn colouring. Earthy to me means muted+orange. Basically, dull+warm. I ask everyone who reads this to remember that no colour is dull under the face with which it harmonizes. Same as there is no such thing as dull/mousy hair unless it’s placed next to unharmonizing colour.

Autumn is earthy, heavier, thicker, rich, drier, 3D, dense colour.  In the orange sweater game below, the natural the other won’t wear is shown. Autumn keeps company with wicker, tortoiseshell, and fossil.

Lava lamps, fireworks, starbursts, and video games, are unpredictable, fun, and random. Like cartoons, Spring’s is a flatter (2D) effect.

A chess board, the regularity of the pattern, the solid figures, the serious and predictable rules, the 3D shapes and movements, feel Autumn.

Horseshoes could go either way, having both good luck charm and equestrian about them.

This is a game I enjoy. Where is the orange sweater better? [Hint: There are as many correct answers as there are tastes and preferences reading this.]

Some fabrics are muting, like wool and tweed, but that doesn’t automatically mean Autumn. Neither Spring nor Autumn are fully saturated. The orange sweater seems Autumn-ish because it’s wool-ish, but it’s also an orange-pineapple ice cream colour. It’s not so bad on the Spring side.

Would changing the wooden buttons to clear, shiny glass matter? Sure. The watch isn’t natural, but it does live in the world of fruit salad. Food is natural. Jello and LifeSavers are less natural, more Bright Spring (as this watch could be, since the numerals are white, not ivory).

Toggles, tassels, and buckles are usually Autumn territory. But really, they belong better as Yang-side symbols of Classic clothing style, prep styles and the fox hunt rather than the Yin-er dinner party. Everyone can adapt anything. Winter makes them platinum. Spring changes them to coloured plastic.

I have said that I do not believe in the existence of a group of natural colouring that blends Spring and Autumn’s colour properties. Nobody drapes equally in True Autumn and True Spring. In fact, the other Season is often the worst choice on these people. They prefer Summer (where Spring is grateful for the lightness) or Winter (where Autumn can make sense of the darkness).

Draping is a time for technical perfection. That is a long way from shopping. If shopping is rigid, you’ll get tired and give up on something too good to pass up. Same as if you stay too hard on your budget, diet, or exercise program, you’ll burst and do something that will have you regretting. Knowing what matters more and making the most of it keeps you making the very best choices in a sustainable purchasing system.


Spring and Autumn Effects


Equal Energy Colour

Wearing Bright Season colours doesn’t mean that you’re a walking flag, just as the idea that Dark Season colouring wears only dark colours is not true. It means that of the 3 dimensions that every colour answers to (warm-cool, light-dark, muted-clear), the one thing about yours that isn’t medium is its purity of pigment.

Your colouring takes a Bright colour and makes it look normal, and you look normal in it. The other choice being, “It is a bit lifeless and you’re lifeless in it.”  A Dark person takes a dark colour and makes it look very normal with lots of colour and without getting shadowed by it. The other choice being “Is that black? Why, no, when it’s off your body, I can see that it’s quite purple. You’re changing it to look darker than it is. And it’s making you look like you’re standing in the shade. Weird.”

Energetically equal: You could lay the Bright Spring Colour Book on a Bright Spring item of clothing and have them be perfectly in balance, neither one dominating or disappearing. Therefore, they are in harmony.

The blue top could be True Spring, it’s not super intense blue, but the jump from light to dark in that outfit is more than you’d see on a True Spring. The white pants are too cool for True Spring. The overall darkness effect is still medium light, good on both True and Bright Spring, where True is a bit lighter.


Balancing Bright Spring


The items in the centre column can be inserted into Bright Spring outfits and the whole thing doesn’t fall apart.

Let’s put them into True Spring now.


Balancing True Spring


I don’t find the items balance so well. The top is too red and too blue. The jewelry is a little too bling. The clutch is hopeless.

Notice in True Spring that there are no bold lines. First, it’s harder to make a bold line when colours are gentle. Second, these colours won’t balance black, the boldest line of them all, in any quantity. The black just takes over. In small areas, Bright Spring can balance black quite easily.

That red leather jacket is interesting. I’m not sure where the real item would work. True Spring does have a red lollipop/fruit punch red. Leather tends to be heavy and thick on Spring, but in certain colours, such as light camel, it can work fine.

Who wears the dress?

Same exercise with dresses.

Animal prints are natural. But we can’t make assumptions about Season. Is the leopard print shiny gold better with the Autumn or Spring selection?  Is there one group where it seems too sparkly, separate, jingly, attention-getting, as Spring colour would on an Autumn person?


Spring and Autumn Colours


Just because the print is floral and fun doesn’t mean it’s Spring. Humans colours can fill in many different lines, so can prints. When we see that orange flowered dress among items that seem very True Spring – does it belong?

Does it matter as long as it provides heat? It does. The person will look quite different, and distinctly better in one.

We can’t stare or think our way to this answer.  You talk yourself into one and then into the other one. How will we figure it out? By measuring it using comparison, of course!!

Unless you have wavelenth-calibrated eyeballs, and I’ve never met anyone like that, you have to compare it. Lie the swatch book on it and see what happens. Put the dress among your Personal Luxury Drape collection.

Force the extremes. Some  of the Autumn dresses below contain black (Dark Autumn), which Spring colour will bounce right off of.


Spring or Autumn Choices


Where do the flowered dress and leopard print go? Not any easier, is it? If the leopard print is Bright Spring, it will be fine with a little black. Ditto the orange dress if it’s Autumn.



A Sharper Classic Soft Autumn

Not entitling this Dramatic Classic because I don’t want to imply that I have any expertise in body line assessment and the fashion choices therefrom. But I have opinions, oh boy. Since I’m a Dramatic Classic myself, I would like your help in adjusting what I could do better before I spend money.

Recently, we showed some softer wardrobe choices for True Winter, for those who don’t feel that making coats out of Dalmatians quite describes them. In the same post, we saw choices for Dark Autumns who identify better with mink than shearling.

We talked about synonyms. For example, in the Light Seasons, light could mean not dark, and also not heavy, not complicated, not aggressive, and good-humoured.  Softness as it applies to True Winter and Dark Autumn would not imply more graying of colour, since that contradicts the colour attributes of those groups to some degree. We looked for synonyms for softness that found the intersection between the word soft and its other possible meanings – perhaps velvety, creamy, rounded, flowing, smooth, supple, decorated, satiny. Soft has many other renditions, in soft tastes, scents, touch, sounds and music, and shape, form, and texture. Today, we’re going to look at all those to find expressions of sharpness.

Classic Soft Autumn 1


Dressing for Sex Appeal and Wealth

This is not the same as Dressing for Sex and Money.

What Is and Is Not Sex Appeal

What does sex appeal look like? Or what looks like sex appeal? I don’t have to have sex or even want sex. The point is about telling the world that you’re fully engaged in life. Sexuality is part of life as a grown-up. The thought of broadcasting sexuality never enters my mind and doesn’t have to. Sex appeal comes across just by looking like me and for every woman when she looks like her real self. When I wear who I am, I am saying, “I trust my gifts.” That’s the seduction.

Everyone woman is extremely beautiful. She doesn’t have any choice. The switch flips to ON when the X’s line up. Female energy was drafted that way in tandem with female anatomy. I’m the guy in the room who never laughs at stand-up comedy, talk show humour, Elf, or any other funny person, Robin Williams only sometimes. If you can get past all the fu** during the movie, The Heat, I had tears running down my face. There’s a point to this story, which I’ll get to here, many digressions I can feel coming on. Sandra Bullock has an athletic Natural body shape, to which has been added lots of drama of a swashbuckling type, rather than a Nature walk type.

With neither she nor we being conscious of it, we see what happens to our perception of her (played out hilariously but accurately by the characters and script) in different clothes. When the story needed her to be boring, the wardrobe folks knew just what to do. Put that body in a suit. It never manages to look right. She looks awkward, just how the story needs her to be.

As when wearing someone else’s colours, there is no wrong or bad or ugly. Every woman overflows with beauty, sex appeal, and femininity. But there are better choices for those to come across. Sandra, gorgeous woman and a gorgeous suit, combine to create no excitement whatsoever. Something gut-busting happens to the suit and whaddaya know, she starts looking great. Eventually, she appears in battle gear. Now we get why the movie is called The Heat. We feel relieved, relaxed, and suddenly very interested in her. She’s available to us in every way. In the suit, her presence, drawing power, and magnetism came in around negative 20. The army gear was closest to her brand of sensuality. Wearing it, she looked most feminine.

However your colours and body type were intended to seduce is irrelevant. It goes on autopilot when you stay true to them. Bubble gum and cherries perfume can be fantastic on some women, and be confusing at best on another who could have been so much more elevated, expressed, and attractive simply by changing to a casbah patchouli event. A forest makes no sense smelling like apple pie, right? Projecting authenticity comes across as sex appeal, as “I’m in the game. I know what looks good on me.”, “If you throw me the ball, I’ll know what to do with it.” Which extends to, “I am  capable. You can trust me with responsibility, decisions, and money.”

Confusing sex appeal with media-sexy has women of all ages giving it away, forcing it away. That’s not sex appeal, it’s despair, but many women compare themselves to it. Trust me, the pushiness has nothing to do with attraction. It’s capitalizing on assets. Men are built to know the difference.

All I’m saying is you’re lovely as you are. You are enough as you are. I’m a little disappointed if you still wear orange when you’re a Soft Summer. It’s not peaceful. I’m very OK with you wearing it if you know it doesn’t look good but you love wearing it anyhow. That’s peaceful in a different way.

Many women, especially the 18 to 30 group, cannot tune out ridiculous sexualizing of women.  I’m not saying to ignore it, that’s hardly realistic. We all know it’s there. We all know that 90% of advertising involving women’s bodies is drastically altered. A mediator might say it can be there, it can matter, and you’re still enough, and what we can do about it to help you find a better peace.

How I find peace:

1. Meditate. My favourite is from Deepak Chopra. Listen to it with earpods if you can, now that is a trip. In meditation, you’ll find optimism. Joined with the forces that create worlds, how can you ever be alone?

We’re programmed for action. It’s intoxicating to to have 20 new Likes and 30 new emails to answer and a new diet and a new resolution and to be doing all the time. Sitting still is not intoxicating by exhilaration, it’s intoxication by nurturing. Like eating spinach. Except, we are programmed for instant gratification. Not the week after you ate the spicach,  let alone 20 days or 20 years later.

Our brain is always in fight or flight. It always sees things it thinks it has to protect us from. As Dr. Changizi explains so fantastically well in The Vision Revolution, our brain has evolved brilliant ways of keeping us safe. The larger problem is that in fight or flight, the brain is incapable of learning. It can be a stressor with a toxicity of its own. Neuroscience tells us that the sustained stress actually shrinks the hippocampus (cognitive function, adaptation, learning). Like an over-protective parent, we need to find some freedom to spread our wings. The brain thing is rooted so far in that we’ll not dig clear of it. The only way is by quieting it. With stillness, maturity, and accountabiltiy, we can see clarity.

2. Move. Bloodflow is an important pat of neuroplasticity. Brain, body, spirit, what happens to one happens to all. And it puts a better frame around your life.

3. Laugh at it. Fear-based illusions, such as comparing to media-women, can’t stand up to being laughed at. They can’t find the toe hold they need to anchor in. I meet women and we’re divided in two camps. Those where media got into their head and those where it doesn’t. Doesn’t matter where we live, what we do, our age. Is the difference how much we need/want/care about the company of men? I don’t know but if I can help one woman be free of the you-are-not-good-enough chatter in her head, I want to be there. Read Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman.

4. Make a space  for what’s wrong about sexualizing women’s bodies in the pursuit of money. An important friend shared this link  (Pinterest, Don’t Compare Yourself) with me. I sent it to my daughters, son, nieces, nephews, sister women instantly.  Girls, boys, and young women and men need to talk openly about it. There is nothing wrong with us. Not one single thing. We. Are. Perfect. I. Am. Perfect. You. Are. Perfect. They just convinced us there were  things that needed fixing to sell us stuff, and damn but we bought into it like crazy. If everyone woman I see is perfect in herself, how can that not apply to me as well?

Why It’s Good to Look Like Wealth

Not …Look Like Money. Different thing.

What looks like wealth? Similar discussion. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Certain bodies automatically make certain lines look richer. Sandra’s body will make a banker’s suit look cheaper than it is. Looking like wealth is not related our bank account, money per se, or equating success with money. They’re only loosely related in my book. Not about where we shop or comparison to others. Those backfire by setting up too many more-than and less-than relationships that block the multiple and powerful ways in which outside influences can help us.

It’s about wealth as synonymous with maximal happiness, because isn’t that what wealth is? That, in turn, is synonymous with success. Maximum happiness (success) is maximum peace. A particular style on a certain body conveys abundance, which speaks to creation, fulfillment, sharing, and enough. The connection and belonging says, “These two things are extensions of each other. They share something real.” To us the viewers, it feels peaceful to look at.

Wearing the same jacket everyone else is wearing says, “I follow. I obey. I am willing to negotiate myself, instead of celebrating myself, to accommodate a magazine, a friend, a man, a job.” Or  maybe it says, “I am imposing this effort on myself to get something.” That sets up struggle, and in turn resistance, and winds up pushing what we want even further away. Not peaceful to be or to look at.

Telling the world (and yourself) that you live an enriched, independent, expanding, self-directed life will happen by choosing a different jacket. In the black T and cargo pants, we felt Sandra tell us about being unconstrained, unbridled, and without inhibitions. That’s the truth of her particular energy. It isn’t the truth of mine. When we find our own, we all express autonomy, individuality, liberty. A free human. Now that’s a beautiful thing.

When body and line, or body and colour, are the same, they connect. There were meant to be together like silver and moonlight, like forest sounds and forest smells. We like it. We want to engage. Tension flows away. We want to stay longer and keep the good feelings coming. Colour Analysis, like Line Analysis, is the Theory of Relativity. When it feels good, time goes by faster. You’ve discovered your brand of wealth. You are closer to your peace.



Classic Soft Autumn 2


The Season – Your Natural Colours

In 12 Season personal colour analysis, Soft Autumn is the Neutral Season (meaning a group of natural colouring that is a blend of a warm and a cool source Season) that is mostly Autumn with some influence from Summer’s colour properties.

Autumn overall implies golden heat, muted colour, and darkness. Summer’s colours suggest blued coolness, muted colour again, and a lighter colour selection.  Since both are muted, their combined Season is very soft, softer than either Autumn or Summer’s already soft starting place. As opposed to the type of softness we were seeking in the Softer True Winter article linked above (where soft did not mean muting of colour), here, soft really does mean muting or graying of colour. With soft colour (muted) and Summer’s presence (soft as in traditional ideas of femininity) in Soft Autumn, how do we create a wardrobe for a person with sharper lines?

We can’t do sharpness of colour, since muted colour is a prerequisite of Soft Autumn. We can’t do sharp as darkness either. Soft Autumn colours are very soft, quite warm, and medium light to medium dark. It’s the lightest Autumn. You can easily read without turning on a lamp. Because it’s on the sunny side of Autumn, the colours feel bathed in late afternoon light. Not candlelight, that’s Dark Autumn magic.

We need some other expression of sharpness, the same one that the body itself expresses. That’s when our clothes make sense, when their lines and colours are the same as the body they go on.


Classic Soft Autumn 3


The Line

Dramatic Classic is familiar to us recently as one of the 13 Image Identities in David Kibbes’ 1987 book,  Metamorphosis. The terms have been used in other style contexts and seem to have a similar meaning.

There are bodyline experts with the skill to join any of the 12 Season palettes with each of the 10 to 12 body types. Watching them work is quite fascinating. Their results are transforming, startlingly so. My worldview is jolted forward every time I see it happen. I am not one of those body type experts. I’ll defer to their greater knowledge every time.

My Polyvores are not textbook perfect.  Someone you hire as a line expert is expected to adhere to the highest potential of knowledge and practice, as I do in a personal colour consultation. Here, I’m doing an adaptation. Fashion that doesn’t work in my life doesn’t work period. It’s here to do me the favour, not the other way around. Sure, the shoes below should be more pointed in the toe, but my feet will hurt the day his do.

Classic always seems to me very medium. Nothing is extreme or irregular, in body size or facial features. The lines and angles are on the sharp side of medium, like Jacqueline Onassis, as opposed to a person whose lines and angles are on the rounder side of medium, like Grace Kelly.

As with the 12 Seasons of natural colouring, there are very few averages in the real world. To know for sure, you should ask someone who understands the entire scope of the subject. I’m a Classic but I’m told my eyes are big in my face, though C types usually have features that are pretty even. I guess my big teeth even out my big eyes, though my lips don’t. I’m shorter than usual for a DC but my body parts are evenly distributed.

My taste is conventional. When I wear unique or creative items, I get “?????” looks. When I think I’m stretching the limits, my kids tell me I look plain – because they can compare me to the full range of how people look. I can only compare me to me, which is one more reason why self-colour-analysis and self-line-analysis tends not to work.

An interesting question: Are women good at picking out clothing for their body lines? I don’t know. If it’s like colour, they run 50% in terms of how many people have a sense of their colouring and how many of their best colours they could choose. I had absolutely no sense of body line, like zero. I’d wear whatever I saw around me. Life and shopping are so much better now. How I’m treated and how I treat myself are so much better. Like colour, you don’t have to be perfect. Being halfway better improves appearance by three quarters. If you would like to learn from someone who really dose understand how to make the very best of body line, follow the wild papillon at Polyvore. You’ll find clothing choices explained and many collections of Seasons and styles, including a few different Soft Autumns.

Interesting that no Polyvore collection comes together any faster than any other, even the Soft Classic Summers. We may feel that all this knowledge will make shopping truly impossible, but that’s not what happens. With a little practice, we get better at seeing ourselves and knowing our stores.


Classic Soft Autumn 4


The Meeting Place

Where’s the meeting place of Soft Autumn’s colour language and a sharp classic line?

Autumn does Business Chic incredibly well. The drama part escalates the picture to High Stakes Executive. Makes me think of the projection of Ivanka Trump. She is not medium enough to be a classic, has some fullness in her features, and who knows what Season she is, but her professional clothing style is close to DC at times. Maybe Julianne Moore could be DC. The whole Bulova type brands, you know? Lord&Taylor has all sorts of nice Ivanka wear for classics, sharp and soft.

What might be an issue?

Autumn texture. Texture is too broken up. Ivanka is sleek, tight, clean, and organized, not earthy and natural. I also doubt she’s an Autumn. Julianne has much more texture (freckles, hair) and she may have some Autumn, though I doubt it’s as much as is often suggested. I believe in wearing what you are, so Julianne would add a little texture (snakeskin or metallic, not fluffy or chunky wool).

Animal prints could go either way depending on the item.

A suede belt? Probably too natural for a Classic. A suede skirt? Not sure so I tried it, picking the least adorned one I could find.

Leather jacket (leather pants should be worn by nobody, but then I’m a Classic)? I think so.

Plastic, because it’s really smooth? I don’t see it as natural enough for any Autumn.

Be careful with hair highlights. They can look random, which translates to a little messy and uncontrolled on a very organized and controlled woman and her wardrobe. This is a nice colour, though many Soft Autumns are significantly darker of hair colour.  The hair style and the person seem a bit natural, but it’s a good colour without looking obviously processed or busy.

We can associate Summer with flowy fabric. Not all of them. Don’t apply the Season stereotype to anyone, about any aspect of colour, line, or shape. Soft drape won’t stand up on this body, it risks looking limp. Limp doesn’t express sex appeal and wealth.

How else can we interpret flow? From,

  • continuity: as in gradual colour transitions, great on Soft Seasons
  • series: so maybe a monochromatic outfit, which can look expensive because it’s not irregular
  • connections: as repetitions, very good on sharpened classics.

Summer circles? The person is way way more classic than they are dramatic. If the shape is sleek and a little sharp, could be fine. Clean and organized work for sure.


Classic Soft Autumn 5


10 Rules of Dramatic Classic According to Me

I’m a DC Dark Winter. What I think applies to most sharp-side classics is:

1. Smooth, especially around the face. If it’s not, we’ll push each other further in opposite directions as opposite things do.I’ll look flat and 2D while the item looks like a bathmat.

2. No mess, all organizers welcome. Even ruching is an issue but a little low down on the side is ok. Scarves are complicated but a simple one that lies flat and is arranged a little dramatically could be good on a Summer blend. I doubt traditional lace will work, she’ll drain energy like a dripping tap, but there is a version of everything for every body. I just haven’t seen lace for all the body types yet. You can build natural looks wtih lower budgets. This look is harder because there’s nowhere to hide. Goodness knows, I still try every day.

3. Little or no explicit decoration. No ruffles, peplums, bows, lace, fuss. Even prettiness can start looking frumpish on this body when you’re not paying attention. No open toe shoes but sandals ok, slingbacks excellent.

4. Not cute or young. Cap sleeves, borders, a hint of bunny ears, kitten heels, they just look silly, not cute or young.

5. Nothing weird. It’s a medium and symmetrical body. How wide could the tolerance for weird be? Where would weird find a home? No pink briefcases, patchwork raincoats. Your Natural teenage daughter might say your clothes are plain, old, and boring when she sees pictures of them, just like she’ll say the colours are dull if she’s a Winter (she won’t recognize them as plain or dull when they’re on your body, under your face).

6. I never know why I feel so negative for crew necks since they’re so classic. Boat necks are worse on me, I think. The neck has to slice up or slice down, and slice narrow, to keep the voltage high, which is what I really want in this life. A crewneck might be OK if there were a collar necklace and the rest of the top were great  or had a superb dramatic print. Cowlneck could work well on this colouring but I’d need to be shown how . Asymmetry or sharp pleats on one shoulder could make a crewneck better.

7. A certain amount of busy-ness in a print is fine but there’s limits. Damn straight I’m a good DC with helmet hair to prove it. Same with a purse, which should have plenty of organizers inside. If they’re on the outside, all those zippers and snaps look busy and messy and feel annoying and complicated.

8. About stripes: diagonal and vertical good, horizontal trickier, ok if thin and regular.

9. For purses: nothing squishy, fairly square, and not real big or real small. Picture the purse version of a banker suit. Now, we’re in low gear, giving it gas, and we’re towing.

10. No visible logos even if it says Armani, which is a super good DC brand and seldom (ever?) has visible logos. Hugo Boss is right up there too (Bloomingdales has some great items).


Classic Soft Autumn 6


What I Don’t Know About Sharp Classic Autumn

1. Length of jackets. I think it’s tight as a cropped style at the waist or long just after the break of the hip but not further. This may depend on height. I’m not tall (5’4″).

2. Plaid is usually good on Autumn but I can’t quite imagine what it looks like for Summer + Classic + sharp.

3. Pearls on a Summer blend could be fine. This whole topic interests me a lot, how much the different Seasons actually could express the style stereotypes inside the style types, like their own dialects.

For instance, those equestrian boots in 6 – equestrian anything is automatic wealth of a classic sort. Ski anything is wealth of a dramatic and natural sort.

The link bracelets in 3 and 5. Links are good on Autumn. They can run a little biker on me. I know a DC Bright Winter, they’d be even more biker on her.

Natural elements are good on Autumn – the leaf necklace in 4. I don’t see it on Winters. This is almost astonishing to me. Like seeing it all in a new way. Paraphrasing from The Polar Express, “It doesn’t matter where the train is going. What matters is whether you decide to get on.” I’m on all the way to wherever the Destination is. I hope to see you there.

Is a sharp classic from the Summer colouring groups less sharp than a Winter? Kate Middleton seems to me a sharpish classic. Wearing those styles is when she looks great. I don’t see Diana’s big outward natural energy. Diana always looks big in photos, even thumbnails. Kate looks smaller despite her height, and more contained. I did wonder about a Natural energy but she has so much symmetry.

Symmetry feels formal, I would guess, which is where the Winter stereotype of “formal, ceremonial” must have come from since so  many Winters have symmetric features. Most certainly, not all Winters have them. Asymmetry feels informal, which feels livelier (warmer?) and works so well on many Springs. Many Springs have that cheerleader/BFF feeling of Natural body types, but there are plenty of Classic, Romantic, and Gamine Springs. Anyhow, everyone will have a worthy opinion about Kate. Kate is softer than Mrs. Onassis, the image of DC. She wears that hairstyle well. Is it just because she’s young? Michelle Pfeiffer is quite sharp and she’d be a Summer. I really wonder how much Season would influence line within a given body type.

I would also like to know if women have different degrees or tolerances within a group, as they have with colour. Inside our 12 Seasons, we find our best individual expression. Body type must be the same, since we can’t divide all humanity in 10-13 groups within which the advice will apply to each person equally. Every woman expresses her Season her own way, even with the same body type. Like the 12 Seasons, it’s not so much a rigid gospel as a way of bringing some kind of measurable, teachable, reproducible objectivity to our native lines.

Body type analysis is a guide for my Light Summer Soft Natural sister to not default back to her True Autumn Gamine styles, for which we are all grateful. My Dark Autumn Gamine friend finds affirmation and confidence to wear her knit red dress with yellow footprints (I’m not making this up) in her small farm town. Suddenly people see, expect, and love her snapping wit, instead of expecting a TV Mom when she wears more conventional outfits and taking offence at a style of humour that was so big, it took them by surprise.

Back to the clothes, some of these outfits would work for Kate and some may be too masculine. She needs more decoration. Again, is it because she’s young? Softer in the range of DCs? Not Classic at all? Because we’re used to seeing her items that cost 10 times the amounts that I controlled above?

4. How much asymmetry? Not a lot but some is fine. To me, the softer Classic is much more symmetric than this one. I really like the neck and flat pleats of the pinkish dress in 4.

5. How much flare? Bootcut is ok if you can’t find straight leg. The coat up there in 6 is good in the top and in that it flares but doesn’t flounce in the skirt. Worn by a classic body, would it look like two styles fused into one garment? Not sure. Maybe better for a softer classic.

6. If you find black soles on boots – you gotta know when to fold ‘em. Soft Autumn has pretty good darkness and the contrast from boot to sole may increase the overall sharpness.

7. Gray is great on Summers and Autumns, and good at becoming what’s around it. I put in that jacket in the lower L of 6 because the style is good. The gray is too sharp though, better for Dark Autumn or Dark Winter. The color necklace is too soft, too colourful, and too irregular is my guess. It doesn’t belong. I was trying to use colours to take attention away from an imperfect gray. I don’t think this outfit would really work on a Soft  Autumn but I wanted to try it. So many good things about Polyvore, the ultimate in comparison shopping and no-limit outfit trial runs.

8. Set 6 is where I experimented. The top R group is probably Soft Summer but I’d try it in a store. A cool Soft Autumn might wear the colours. Is the dress too irregular? IDK but I’d try it for that too; it’s smooth around the face.

How much saturation could Soft Autumn wear? That aqua dress just to the R of the numeral 6, I’d certainly lay the palette on it and see what happens.

The crystal pleat coppery skirt? Again, IDK if it would be wrong on DC, but I like it a lot. A line expert could probably tell you how to wear  it.


What watches? There’s a lot of watches? The batteries ran out long ago. Don’t replace them, save money and buy perfume.



True Winter Sans Drama and A Gentle Dark Autumn

A couple of things on my mind lately.

First, body lines and how they matter as much as colour (or almost :)) in a final image.

I send out a newsletter to my clients containing items from the retail world that show the colours of that Season, with talk of how it beautifies that particular group of natural colouring. With every new issue, I worry that women will see it as an endorsement of every item for every person. I feel responsible when I see a tall, stiff body dressed in draping clothes that just look floppy and clingy. I’m thinking that I need a new format. Body line is taken into big consideration when I shop for me. So should it be when I shop for you.

Second thing bugging me a bit. I wrote RTYNC 2 years ago (blue book, right column). There, I began understanding the language of the 12 Seasons (Seasons means types of colouring that humans can be organized into), and how all five senses are invoked in our perception of colour. The problem became that folks tried to fit themselves into those categories instead relying more on a complete and thorough draping process. If you’re a dramatic, intense Light Spring, then you are.

I’d hear, “I was draped as a True Winter but I’m not dramatic, so should I wear Summer colours? Maybe I’m not a Winter?” If you’re a Winter dressing as Summer, you look weak. Many Summers can take a fair bit of saturation, beyond the swatch books probably, but they are not Winters and nor are Winters Summers.


Softer True Winter

For example,

I guess my question is, how in the world can one come to terms with feeling, being and acting more like an autumn, but being draped as a True Winter??  I don’t feel like the dramatic that I am supposed to be as a winter.  I also have salt & pepper hair, so I feel like I am softer somehow and really wish there was a “soft winter” category. I do feel like with my graying hair, I have a softer look to me and am worried that I will look harsh with stronger make up.  What can you suggest for someone like me?  Is there anyway to wear softer winter colors without looking completely off?  I do wish there were more examples of gray haired winters out there.

Elizabeth Taylor (probably a Bright Winter).

Stacy London (probably True Winter).

Or Google “gray hair women” and see the many fantastic Pinterest collections, like this one.

The minute I or anyone else writes something about the Seasons, it becomes a pigeonhole that gets propagated all over the place. If you find your whole person as you know her, or as anyone else knows her, inside a book, you’re among the rare.

The drama with True Winter is a typecast. I have never seen one where it’s absent, but it’s not obvious. Some are fiercely loyal, will take the car to drive their friend to Emerg if her brother takes sick, stay up all night with the family, and create lots of conflict when you suggest that someone needed that car to get to work. They live in a body like Pink’s and wear off-the-shoulder sweaters and leggings and carry gym bags instead of purses, though they have a penchant for chandelier earrings.

Some are intensely dedicated promoters, requesting that you mail them boxes of your business cards because they’re giving them out like candy. They’re 65 and not interested in theater of any sort, prefer practical clothes and a little gloss and blush only, but they know what they like and don’t mind saying what a person might not want to hear. Winter is very brave. This one has the body of TV Mom. The face looks casual and kind, though the eyes look at things with intensity. She wears pearls and traditional femininity; nice classic suits for the office, small dangle earrings. Black, white, and red together are too bold for her taste.

Some can be very harsh except about their own needs, extreme, and a little revenge oriented. They will do a Beyonce lemon juice fast for a week and eat a whole ice cream cake on Saturday. Their drama is to exaggerate their social behaviour with friends as much as the intensity of their alone time, feeling pulled apart without both. Outward drama is expressed as No Limit eyeliner one day, and no makeup the next. Not interested in jewelry, it’s confining and fussy. Tall, lean, not a single cuddly element, they’re in running shorts or skintight jeans and muscle tanks with a black leather jacket. Wouldn’t wear pink of any sort, might consider purple (which is a type of drama in itself).

Drama gets grouped with flamboyance, exaggeration, and excess, creating fashion synonyms and crossovers that weren’t intended and will only apply to a few people. The word drama can take many forms. For many True Winters, their drama is of distance and silence. The meaning is more about the tension of extremes and absolutes. The drama is the simplicity, rather than turmoil, tragedy, tension, and crisis. Those are more hot-blooded. There may be scenes but they’re quick. When it’s over, it’s over.

Until we have some grasp of body line distinct from body colour, it is very easy to flow them into one another. A Natural True Winter and a Romantic True Winter will both feel uncomfortable with the cold, dramatic stereotype of their Season. Once they understand their best shapes in clothing and accessories quite independently of the colours, they easily accept the colours.


Winter Sans Drama 1


Many are not as dramatic looking as the Season has been made out to be. They are not very dark. True Winter is often very medium in appearance, average, regular, everyday faces. Once the drapes go on, their drama is in how absolute the skin’s reactions are to colour. For others, the drama will happen once everyone sees that strong fuchsia-violet lips and cheeks look completely at home and the face is suddenly not plain at all. It’s strong and clean. This is a hard face to describe because it won’t stand out at the mall. Liz Taylor, with the eye colour and delicacy in the face, was more likely a Bright Winter, a colouring that looks more exceptional out and about.

This is where the crossover into Autumn happens, especially in the old days. Dark eyes and hair, and you were a Winter. In both, words like strong, bold, practical, and determined, could apply, so personality quizzes got mixed up. Both can be passive-aggressive. Autumn usually has more compassion and less intensity, but not always. Too much history goes into shaping personality to figure out Season by character.

There is no Soft True Winter in the colour system that I practice. That just basically means True Summer. However, True Winter is not fully saturated. Next to Bright Winter, it looks quite soft, like True Summer in many colours. What this skin cares about more than saturation is coolness.

We need some clarity about the softness you’re looking for. Perhaps the colours are fine and we haven’t quite nailed down the problem yet. Softness can mean many things. In colour, it means dusty. That will set you back. Maybe you need True Winter colour with softer lines, textures, and prints – romance – Angora, cashmere, florals, swirls, and so on. Maybe you need to choose lighter colour and less darkness from the True Winter palette, especially once hair silvers. This is a lovely time to wear the icy lights. True Winter that’s not wearing those is not really being True Winter. They’re being a Dark Something.

Think of the drama more as colour minimalism, which your Autumn-y sensibility will appreciate. You already don’t buy pastels as a was-Autumn. You probably also like style simplicity without much decoration. That said, there are women of every Season who absolutely need high level adornment just to look normal, and so are there women who look better in sleek functionality in every Season.

With silver hair, I would think of wearing more grays than black. Aim for a lighter overall effect. Wear sheer cosmetics and the bold colours away from your face as purses and nail polish. Feel free to drop the saturation a bit but don’t wear pastels, whatever you do. Note that for many women, they wear black as well with silver hair, if not better than when the hair had colour. Iron gray looks gorgeous with black attire.

The floral cardi and pants are allover too dark. Add a light element near the face where it has more impact. Doesn’t have to be equal surface area, we still get it.

Keep distance between colours. Lights next to darks. Avoid too matchy (black shoes with berry dress feels better than all berry).


True Winter Sans Drama 2


What feels safe?

Don’t make too many noises about looking great in black and white while out in public. Wear them a lot and add only one other colour. If you look at everyone else, you’ll see that this is plenty dramatic.

Wear lots of gray.


What feels unsafe?

Colour in general? Keep it small and away from the body, like a purse. We still see it as part of you.

Icy colour? Buy a pyjama.

Fuchsia? Buy the next closest colour that feels better.

Metallic and shine? Ditto colour in general (above) or bypass them altogether.

Avant-garde style? Wear traditional. If you like pearls, just be very sure they’re not creamy if they go anywhere near your teeth.


A Gentle Dark Autumn

Writing about this Season thus far has seen words like tribal, equestrian, military, strong, menswear, business. True for some body types.

Here are some more:

Delicious fire, Aztec Chocolate Truffle brown, dark cocoa dusting, melt in your mouth center,

Plush velvet curtain red, you crush it in your hands over and over because it pushes back, sumptuous feeling,

Teal satin, liquid metals dripping off curves, sensual looking,

Whites of liqueurs, Bailey’s Irish Cream,

Cognac and Benedictine yellows and browns, opulent, expensive, reserved for the few,

Dark, hot Espresso, the heart beats faster, involuntary,

Nothing you can do, once it takes hold of your senses, Dark Autumn stimulates,

Until you’re damp, you don’t know Dark Autumn, whose power lies in overwhelming arousal.

Are you panting?

In life, always move towards the heat. Maybe it’s a little scary, but this heat tastes yummy and it feels gooooood. Rich fudge syrup, liquid gold and bronze, the glorious heat of Autumn…

With a bite. Winter’s darkness is less comfy. Chartreuse gets noticed. Chili and diamonds are an uncommon match.

There is nothing dilute about our relationship with these colours. They are not a gentle caress. We love them with intention.

We are most afraid of our light.

You don’t have to be perfect.

A little Soft Autumn (ruffle blouse lower R) will do no harm. It’s still warm-neutral of the right kind of heat (Autumn’s). If people could get their heat level right, that alone makes a gigantic difference in appearance.


A Gentler Dark Autumn 1



A Gentler Dark Autumn 2


Below, not giving up your white pearls? Why should you? You have enough Winter to wear them. Just do the same thing as you do to black -warm it up with the other things you add.  If the pearls are creamy, antique, or chocolate, even better.

Wear red (we feel red as warm).I know I’m pushing my luck with the  mixed prints in the center. I pick clothes that would impress me all to pieces if they walked in the room.

The gray boot too cool and blue? Sure is. Wear it around the city for a few days, it’ll be fine. If you find a colour nearer to elephant or asphalt gray, excellent. The shoes the model is wearing are fine too.


A Gentler Dark Autumn 3


These Polyvores are not body type specific. It’s not my specialty, and as with colour, even if you’re moderately closer to yourself, you are unbelievably better to look at. Compared to military or tribal, these fabrics drape more, lines are rounder, legs taper (softness and bootcut look odd together to me), and styles are more classic. Still Dark Autumn.

The point is that to create a beautiful, connected, rational, intelligent image with apparel, the lines take their shape from whatever yours are. Just like the colours.

Coming soon, by request, a more dramatic, yet still classic Soft Autumn. Autumn without texture? Summer without softness? Sure.



Autumn’s Children

When I wrote the articles about True Season children two years ago for a previous blog, there was no Autumn article because I didn’t know any Autumn kids to watch. I still don’t know many. I know many Autumn grownups these days. They’re so levelheaded, so reasonable, that it’s hard to think of those elaborate parts of their character that can be quirky or funny. To them, what is, is. Not more, not less.

They’re like everything that’s great about trees and home baking. Not fancy or fussy, I love their company so much for the WYSIWYG, sound, comfortable, real-world advice they offer. Their constancy and durability give us a feeling of people who are extremely trustworthy, reliable, and rock-steady. There’s no zigging and zagging.

Photo: gersondj

gentle eyes, a soft face, perhaps some Summer; she could even be a Soft Summer but the eyes look too orange

Autumn Children

Capable. This is the kid you want yours to be with if they go horseback riding. If yours falls off and is having wrist issues, the Autumn child can catch both horses, lead them home, find a grownup or a phone, call the parents, and get the right kind of help.

Life goes smoother if the other kids could just agree with them. There may be no physical attacks but there will be direct words spoken and order imposed. She’s doing the talking at the lemonade stand. Not bossy, not show-off, just doing the job.

Least likely to be picked on. Assertive from an early age.

Photo: the_franz

dark but somehow soft (muted actually) ; the strong facial lines, smile lines

True and Soft are social, not solitary. Dark may isolate himself more and talk to dolphins while all the other kids are trying to tip the raft. Winter needs time apart.

Might be stocky or sturdy, especially the boys, and boy, can they eat. Regardless, boy or girl, these children are strong and willing to use their strength. They are powerful athletes and real survivors. Their stamina and endurance stays with them into adulthood as 50 year olds who can still outskate all the kids in pond hockey.

Photo: redvisualg

someone was smart when they put him in orange; notice the orange tones in the hair and a very strong face, even for a baby

When the Soft Autumn child tells a story, the emotions involved will be inflated higher than anyone else’s version because their Summer-ness felt them so deeply. The Dark Autumn child will have more worries about the events in the story and their meanings and repercussions. The Winter in him will keep him worrying about it for days. The True just tells it like it is. The most exaggerated thing about this person is that they have no exaggerations.

Need time to process surprises and really wishes you would not. His Spring sister’s idea of euphoria would be a surprise a minute.

Photo: BrachAnam9

building, digging, stacking, carrying, exotic eyes

They must have their own experience of something to change their mind. They are the original can’t-tell-them-anything kids.


Photo: kami_cze

strong and striking, Autumn and Winter ; not romantic or cute (Summer and Spring)

The Autumn child is straight up. He doesn’t conceal, cannot deceive. He’s not a jokester and is never devious. His Spring brother, who takes life less seriously and has a big imp streak, has figured out that when Mom’s on the phone, he can climb out a window, double back around the house to the kitchen, and sneak his fifth Popsicle of the afternoon. The Autumn child might walk very quietly into the kitchen, but if noticed and asked, would be compelled to admit 5.

Spring fills us with the wonder of the moment. It is immediate. Summer is the cradle that keeps us safe while pushing us to meet our highest potential.Wi nter symbolizes mental capacity, to reason, to rationalize. Autumn is the work we do on Earth, to enrich, to build, to create, to leave something better than we found. Autumn completes our wholeness as the power of the physical body, inseparable from emotion (Summer), spirit (Spring), and logic (Winter).

Without the balance between them, we cannot heal ourselves because each one is assaulted when the other feels injury. We also cannot fulfill our human potential. We cannot have been put on Earth with the abilities we have to live as cavemen. We must be here to live up to a higher ideal. The pendulum between the four powers sways but our answers are not behind us. Once we learn our center as a humanity by respecting all four energies equally, we will find a sustainable way of living and the answers to longevity.

Autumn Grownups

Sensible, practical, no-nonsense, peaceful. Harrison Ford. Martin Sheen. Their steadiness makes them shoe-ins for feel-good TV presidents. The Summer contribution of do-the-right thing to Autumn’s save-the-day strength.

The Dark Autumn boy will explain, indeed expound, actually expostulate, on his topic, with no awareness that nobody has had a chance to speak for 20 minutes. The Dark Autumn man is not very different, but he speaks more slowly so he has time to formulate his thoughts. He is the professor to Dark Winter’s philosopher.

Photo: AD-Passion

strong and capable at every age

What happens when a Summer and Autumn live together? Felix&Oscar.

Soft Autumn’s husband asks that you not tell her that a family member is in personal crisis or he’ll be sent back to the Farmer’s Market. The rest of his morning will be spent making ham sandwiches. He already delivers an asparagus quiche to the Art Gallery once a week. She combines Summer’s love and upstanding decency and Autumn’s foot on the gas to nurture the entire world.

True and Dark Autumn will be on time. Let’s get to it. Then we go on to the next job, though we tell ourselves we are going to rest. We can chat after, but I won’t be late for my next appointment or make you late for yours.

If a client has all her children colour analyzed, she could be a True Autumn. She sees the sense and the savings, and is completely open to change. Light Spring will do the same, a mix of her Summer desire to make her family happy and her Spring enthusiasm when she spots a good thing. They will adopt their new palettes very quickly, without Winter’s tendency to contest or Summer’s to resist.

Photo: Annalog85

hazy eyes, hushed skin, a future Soft Autumn

If it is a plain and honest opinion you want, go shopping with an Autumn. Summer’s deep streak of kindness will embellish with the compliment, any compliment. If you’re ok with the cold-blooded comment, a Winter can tell you that your suit is fine if you don’t mind looking like a birthday cake.

And then you say to them, Now, how would you feel if someone spoke to you that way? And they say Fine. I wouldn’t care. They’re telling the truth. They are thick-skinned (so they balance matte and opaque cosmetics), while Summer is thinner-skinned, as sensitivity of skin and emotion, as wearing a softer, lesser pigment deposit (so tinted moisturizers), as being more touchy of feeling internally and of texture externally, as tactile, with highly developed brain-hand connections and sense of touch. Summer skin is soft matte. Spring’s looks best dewy. Just as everyone’s busy is different, everyone’s Golden Rule comes out different but it’s still the same rule. Winters should shop with other Winters. Buy them the book Getting To Yes for Christmas. It will help them in life. The kindness of Summer and sweetness of Spring might see this Winter, meaning me and only me, as having the heart of that first cockroach that crawls out of a nuclear accident zone. On the other hand, I won’t tell you 3 months later that I really didn’t love you as a blonde but didn’t want to hurt your feelings, knowing what that hair cost you and all.

Dark Autumn brings in Winter flash. Whether Gamine, Classic, or Natural, words like Dramatic and Flamboyant will apply. Getting out of the car, she will not come across as medium. Something is extraordinary and exaggerated – height, hair thickness, texture, and length, snap in her character, or embers for eyes. Julia Roberts may be Dark Autumn, Bianca Jagger, Dark Winter, perhaps both Flamboyant Naturals. The Dark Autumn will reveal or release much more of herself, while the Winter will keep larger parts of herself locked down.

The three Autumn groups look rightest in brown eyeshadow and liner because brown is dark orange and orange, gold, rust, etc. are cornerstones of Autumn. The only other great one for brown eyeshadow is True Spring. Everyone else is better in their grays.

Photo: doriana_s

Autumn’s face (left) speaks to us of resilience, bravery, and grit, in colours that are darker and more muted than the lighter, brighter skin on the right; Summer on the right is dreamy and swoopy. On both girls, gorgeous base hair colours for Soft/True Autumn and Light Summer

Will promote what she believes in gladly. A Soft Autumn looks great wearing Autumn colours in Summer’s way (analogous, flowing, floral, soft). Dark wears her palette in the Winter way (bold, more contrast). So integrate your smaller contributing Season by wearing their style in jewelry with clothing and makeup in the colours and style of your own Season.



Photo: alesia17

Strong Beauty

Makeup Colours

Soft Autumn, try out Lancome RIL 230M and 240M, your natural lipcolour is one of these or in between. Also NARS Mayflower lips, Body Shop 11 and 07 lipstick, and MUFE RAI 19 (for TA too) lipstick.

On Dark Autumn, NARS Pigalle, MUFE HD8 blush, Lauder Maple Sugar and Rich Currant lips. A good, dark,warm, barely muted blue eyeliner is Revlon Colorstay pencil in Navy. Dark Winter could wear this very well too as they have warm tones in hair and eyes.

True Autumn : MUFE HD10 blush, Givenchy Gold Brown lips (really nice, this lipstick, but sample it at Sephora first, big $$).



Between Soft and Dark Autumn

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it when someone asks specific questions. It helps me focus. The article comes together faster. Pinpointing your gaps helps you use your Season palette better so that you own and love your entire closet.

PCA absolutely has to be grounded in sound theory or we’re in a mess. But financial theory and getting your RRSP in order are not the same. I might never be the first guy, but I can try to be the second one. If other analysts have comments to add or just plain disagree with me, I always deeply appreciate correction and much prefer if it’s public, in the Comments section, so everyone can learn.

Sabira has my respect for verbalizing what she doesn’t yet know. That takes time, effort, and organizing the files in your head. She asked some great questions. I fear that my answers can’t be as cut and dry as we might hope, always beginning with , It depends.

I am not posting palettes because Sabira added a link to the eleablake (the makeup company that creates astoundingly good 12 Season cosmetics) Pinterest pages where you can see all 12 layouts.


I would ask what I should rely more when finding my coloring. For example my eyes are rather muted, I would say dark teal green or pine, but my skin is not so grayed, so some of the most grayed colors of a SA palette work with my eyes, but don’t work with my skin giving it unhealthy glow. DA palette works better with my skin. Does that mean that I should rely more on my skin tone, than on other factors?

Look at the skin foremost. You just can’t be going around with an unhealthy glow. What would be the point of that? When the skin is right, the hair, eyes, everything else, are automatically right.

Skin and eyes will always accord in the end but eyes are tougher to call because blue eyes will make a connection with a blue turtleneck from any of the 4 Seasons. How do you pick the true connection? It’s not easy for women to do on their own or with friends who don’t quite know what to look for. I often am sent photos of a woman in clothing from what she assumes is say, True Summer, but the colour is actually from another palette.

Don’t look only at what intensifies eye colour. Look at how crisp the outer edge of the iris is. If the eye edge is fuzzy, so are the other features smudged into the face. The natural topography is dulled and blunted.


I would ask if there exist some colors that can help distinguish between the two seasons. I mean if there are colors of the SA palette that a DA can’t tolerate and vice versa.

A funny, in fact almost frightening, thing happens when Dark Autumn spiced peach is put beside Soft Autumn skin. It sucks all the life and colour out of it. Then when SA soft coral replaces it, the flush of health and vitality returns like a whoosh, from the drape up to the hairline.

Same thing happens when Light Spring wears Bright Spring iced pink. Though B Sp’s seems a lighter shade of pink, it drains the life out of L Sp skin. Put the L Sp coral on the person, and you can see glowing alive colour suffuse the skin.

Dark Autumn’s lighter colours are very particular and hard to find. To choose between 2 Seasons, you have to get extreme. Try DA’s strong burnt orange, dark rust, and dark tobacco, against SA’s light flowerpot terracotta, latte, and willow green. There’s no point using grey – DA’s battleship, TA’s elephant, SA’s dark putty, the odds of finding them in your closet is next to nil.


I am not also sure, whether black is a part of a DA palette or no. Because as for me, I can wear black, but it is not my best choice, I need to wear something golden or beige with it to make it work. When I wear black only I can’t look my best.

Sounds about right for DA. It is not in their palette but they can balance the darkness so well that they can cheat it in if it’s warmed up. What’s even better than black are those colours that are so dark that even in pretty good lighting, you think, Is that black? When you move it around, you see that’s it is darkest navy, eggplant, brown, and grey.

Put a SA in pure pitch black, all you see is the black and an older looking SA.


Question about contrast – if a soft season can have medium-high contrast between skin, eyes and hair, or it doesn’t matter.

Let’s be sure we’re comparing apples to apples. It sounds like Sabira is meaning contrast as distance between lightest and darkest, what is most often meant.

There is a wide variation in hair darkness in Soft Seasons (and all the others), so there will be different degrees of contrast (hair-skin-eye differences in darkness level). Although the most perfect skin tone, colour, and texture, and the overall harmony are achieved with the same palette regardless of hair colour in a given Season, and hair colour isn’t used to choose Season, there’s no doubt that it plays a role in how others see us.

What I think looks right, an opinion from not-a-fashion-expert, is to repeat what you look like. Try to use the same distances between lights and darks in clothes that you see in your face, always within your correct palette.

The more I see of this, the more I think that spending too much time on contrast just complicates your life. Your entire colouring is inherently set to be in agreement in the exact same way as your 12 Season (12 Tone) colour palette. Your own personal hue/value/saturation all shift consistently and together even if you got darker than or warmer eyes than the average for the Season. The thinking is already done for you. The Sci\ART palettes are so genius because they make it hard to get it wrong, to achieve very high contrast where it doesn’t belong. In Soft Autumn, where you have eggshell and medium-dark putty grey for lightest and darkest, you can’t really create a too-high contrast. So, contrast is something to think about briefly but I’d move around my palette with freedom and imagination knowing every colour there looks great on you, and I’d spend my time figuring out my body’s geometry.


What do you think about the concept of flowing seasons – can it be so that a person can take some colors from the neighbour palette. And can it be so, that a Soft Autumn can be closer to the DA than a SSu.

This is the order of the Seasons in my head, as taught to me during my Sci\ART training (my diagram, not an official Sci\ART publication):

The Season Circle

So SA and DA just wouldn’t share colours because they’d have to pass through TA. They are totally different. Perhaps one of DA’s browned coffee beiges could work pretty well, but most of DA is just too aggressive (too saturated, too red, too dark) to flatter a SA or work with the rest of her outfit.

To my knowledge, the flow concept comes from Color Me Beautiful. I’m not familiar with its full meaning or implications, so I’ll talk about sharing colours.

Any two immediate neighbours could maybe share some colours if:

1. Those two Seasons were very close when choosing the final and correct Season.

2. You respect TMIT. A Dark Winter and Dark Autumn could share their darker colours much better than their lighter ones. Light colours on Dark Seasons are less forgiving, so they’re either exactly right or completely wrong.

A True Summer and a Light Summer would share maybe the coolest colours of Light Summer. Maybe. I find True Seasons very absolute, and quite low in their tolerance of neighbour Season colours because the neighbours have warmth, the one thing with which True Seasons cannot harmonize. The sharing works better with Neutral Seasons. Still it takes caution and is often done too freely. Your best palette was chosen for a reason. Strive to stay within it.


I’ve always thought that I am SA flowing to Ssu, but when I saw these – I realized that those colors I thought to be a Ssu blue-greens are really DW blue greens and some of the colors I thought to be of a Soft Autumn are more of the DA palette. I know that it depends on the monitor, but I have never thought that the soft seasons are SO grayed. I think I had the wrong concept of what is really soft. Is it so?

The Soft Season palettes are probably the hardest to figure out on your own, Soft Summer likely hardest. The colours are losing some saturation in the photos and monitors. They appear brighter than this in the swatch books. It’s not your concept of Soft that is wrong. It’s the concept of how Soft, or how Soft in this Season compared to that Season. Dark Winter is softer than Bright Winter.

People don’t look at your clothing colours on a screen or a white background. They look at them ON YOU. On a Soft Summer, those soft colours look connected to her. She looks healthy, vibrant, and defined instead of disappeared. It feels comfortable and right to look at those colours when SHE wears them.

On a billboard, we might choose other colours, but we don’t see other people as two-dimensional blocks of isolated colour. We see them as a total image, like an organic hologram, not separate from what they wear. We are more beautiful when the colours we wear are an extension of ourselves and have a logical reason to be placed next to our body.


I am still confused with the terms soft and muted. What is the difference?

For our purposes, there isn’t one. They mean desaturated, closer to the pot of gray paint you started with before you began adding colour pigment. If the colour appears dusty, heathered, grayed, then it is called muted or soft.

Most important to always remember, colour is relative. Closer to gray compared to what? Wedgewood blue or electric sapphire? Compared to Bright Spring, True Spring is soft, but we don’t call True Spring colour low in saturation or muted.


I started to think whether I can be a DA, because my worst colors are pure white and summer light pastels. Light pastels give me either yellow or grey unhealthy glow for my skin.

Sounds right for DA. The skin looks like concrete in Summer pastels.


I also appreciate this post very much

But it makes things for me much more complicated :

As for a DA the 2nd and the 3rd are my best colors indeed, but I am not sure about the fist blue-purple. As for a Soft Autumn – I look good in brown and soft warm yellow, but the medium green is not my best choice – it is too light and too grey. As for neighbour seasons – I can wear Dark winter grey and maybe red, but I am not so happy with red – my better red is definitely warmer. Yet it is an ok color. I can wear SSu pine green – it works with my eye color, and so does TA teal, but other shades of a Soft Summer are not my best choice usually, and True autumn is too warm for me.

Like 19 people out of 20, you’re finding confusion in interpreting colour. How do you put it all together? I’m afraid that only a small minority can get it right, even from photos sent to an analyst. Plainly said, it just comes out incorrect too often. That’s not the analyst’s fault, it’s the medium.

When you saw the colours above, error #1 came in because the screen didn’t show them right. That error will carry forward just like in algebra, in every calculation to follow. Then you tried to match them with what you had, error #2 because that was off a little. If it were easy to find right colours, we’d have drape sets by the truckload to sell you. Now we have error #3, where you decided what works on you, but I bet that for some of your choices, I might come to a different answer. And on it goes.

Between any 2 Seasons, you’re always juggling 3 parameters of colour – warmth level, darkness level, and saturation. So maybe the saturation of Dark Winter works well, but not the warmth level. Maybe the coolness of S Su is what works, it’s kind of like DW’s coolness level after all, but its darkness level is way off and its saturation is off by a tiny bit. And on that goes.


I also tried to compare how different greens intensify my eye color – there was no clue also, my eyes are not so dark (but I am not quite sure how dark can be blue-green eyes, I would describe my eye color as pine green in general) and change color that is why I can’t wave goodbye to soft seasons. I tried blue green and olive – but they work both I think, because my eyes have blue green background with an olive sun around the pupil, so when I wear olive they are warm green, when I wear pine they are pine green, when I wear teal they are teal green. I know that every season can have every eye color, but with different shades. So I have a question can that be that a DA can have pine green eyes or pine is more a soft color?

Right, so you may find blue, green, or brown eyes in any Season but they won’t be same version of those colours in terms of warmth/darkness/saturation. Some are less common, like blue-eyed Dark Autumns, but it can happen, perhaps as a dark teal that appears blue.

And yes, if you have green in the eye, it seems to connect with any green you wear to some degree.

When you say pine green, we probably have a different colour in our heads. Even if you sent me the colour, I doubt that it would be the real colour of your eye. We usually don’t know our true eye colour till it is placed adjacent to our most harmonious palette. To go from eye colour to a Season decision will lead you wrong. To go from Season to, Wow, who knew I had those colours in my eyes? happens all the time when a woman is correctly draped.



The Romantic True Autumn Part 2

These articles about wearing your own colouring and your own body lines borrow their colour palettes from the 12 Tones or Seasons of colour collections by Sci\ART founder Kathryn Kalisz, more accurate than any other I know, and the body line categories from David Kibbe’s fascinating and brilliant book, Metamorphosis.

In Part 1, we talked about who the Romantic woman is inside. It is that essence that we want to project as faithfully as possible because therein lies true beauty. We met Roseanna, our very beautiful model, in the previous article, with sincere thanks to Maytee Garza for the Sci\ART colour analysis.

In trying to get a sense of the body to choose clothes for, because Dolly Parton was too extreme, I thought of Linda Ronstadt as an example of this very sensuous hourglass figure. She always seemed lush on film, especially as her career and body matured. But I was in error. Look at this fantastic collage Paisley made:

When I opened this, suddenly all I could see was Yang straightness and angularity except for the huge eyes (and she’s 5’2″), like a little spider. I so didn’t get this before. This combination of extreme Yin (huge eyes, small body size) and Yang describes a Gamine. Smart women whose understanding of body type are light years beyond mine suggest that Linda is a Soft Gamine – so a Gamine first, with a trace of Romantic. Happy to hear I got the R part right.

When Kibbe said hourglass, he meant hourglass. He meant tip-to-toe luscious. Carrie suggested Christina Hendricks, no doubt a perfect choice. I can see that Roseanna is closer to Christina, with fuller lips that balance the size of her eyes better, where Linda’s mouth is smaller. She gives a more womanly impression than Linda’s ethereal, waif-like proportions.
Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks Pictures

Suddenly from these photos, who these women are inside comes clearer. Colour and Kibbe are the same. It’s all in the comparisons. What you can’t see about a garment, a swatch, a lipstick, or a body’s lines can be sweet-talked into revealing its truths by placing it besides something else, anything else. The closer in colour or line the two things are, the more their particular dialects are divulged. It works both ways. Seeing beauty as how close you can line up to the 19 year old blonde model seems to really just emphasize the differences. What’s the point in being her? That’s cookie cutter stuff. You are who the world wants to see.

Getting carried away again. Let’s look at some clothes. Costume museums would have many of these outfits, the teal suit on the stand in Poly 4 being an stiffer exaggeration. Frothy fabrics, even florals, felt out of place, better placed in Theatrical Romantic.

Here is Poly 3:


Romantic True Autumn 3


Framing the face matters greatly when a choice is being made among details, but the hourglass is essential. Simpler necklines like the grey cardi-T top need a necklace or a hat or some accent around the face.

Flowing means not stiff, tight, clingy, or straight – because one could think of curve emphasis as tight but this Yinnest of people is indirect so I avoided anything that felt remotely overtly revealing or even provocative. Perhaps the grey cardi-T needs more draping or something worn over it.

Poly 4: 


Romantic True Autumn 4


These clothes remind me of the power that comes from suggestion, like a hypnosis rather than grabbing. An old-fashioned attraction rather than the modern version of seduction, the line between come-hither sparkle and the modern version, glitter, needed to be addressed. When I looked for R clothes, I held a face and body without a single masculine element. TR is similar, only more pointed, and glitter works better there, I felt. TR feels also a little more girly, girl being more Yang than woman (who is R) in that way of tomboy and still undefined sexuality (maybe why ruffles seem better there too). Could you agree? Glitter feels Yang to me and belongs with the Flamboyants and Dramatics.

Patterns appeared to distract, distort, or just get in the way of a bone structure as delicate as Roseanna’s. The 3 colours at a time Colour Equation (this comes from the blue book, RTY Natural Colours, just in the right column on this page) depends on the woman and the print. If one of the colours is from the hair, the eyes, a neutral colour, or a colour elsewhere in the outfit, any of those would reduce the colour busy-ness and perhaps allow the majesty of this face and body to take center stage where they belong.

Waist definition means a physical tie or belt. Using a print to create an hourglass (like the long dress in Poly 5 below) or just having some ruching bunch up at the side waist seam isn’t enough unless there’s an actual waistband. An interesting thing I learned from Susan is that a horizontal colour block at the waistline can exaggerate a waist. The swirling antique skirt at lower left Poly 4 is an attempt, with a cardi to the left of it (not TA colours) to show where I was going. I wondered if the sweater floating around, with the waist definition from the tank, could look suitably allusive to the hourglass , but maybe it looks sloppy. He said short/tight/clingy so I guess that’s my answer.

The purple dress, how I love bronzed purple on Autumns, has the curved neck, the hourglass, and the flow without flop in the skirt that allows the curves of hip and bust. I had some Oscar de la Renta feelings but he can be too light and airy. This is looking more John Galliano for the simple abandon to ultimate curves.

And Poly 5:


Romantic True Autumn 5


My Kibbes are Reader Beware. These are my best guess as to what he meant, and me a person with zero fashion knowledge. Please help me with those dresses 1 to 5.

Does off the shoulder work, as 5?

Must a skirt be swirly as 4, so is the skirt of 5 too straight?

What about the V-neck on 3? are rounded necklines much better than V?

Does 2 need more draping?

Is 1 too busy? at some point, all those swirls in the skirt form a multitude of vertical lines that gives a Grecian column effect? would you agree or no?

The brown skirt below, is it too flat at the waist and too floppy in how it falls? I haven’t quite understood the line between Skater Pouf and droopy looking without some gathering at the waist.

Hiding this body under a trench felt very Mata Hari in a good way, a draping classic camel. The power of suggestion is who this woman portrays.


I told you about Angie, my beyond wonderful facialist. I feel she’s a Natural with much Romantic. Here is her face. (She is about 5’3″.)

As you see, Angie is so beautiful, it’s almost distracting. Our conversations are more productive because I’m lying down with my eyes closed. She wears multi-stranded short necklaces with huge pearls all swirled around each other and looks fabulous. Her saturated darkness brings much intensity to her very curvy body, like a union of opposites. In our existence, there really is no right and wrong, no good or bad, no beautiful or ugly. Everything flows into, through, and out of everything else. Though we hold beliefs (very limiting beliefs) about these based in many life experiences, we are equally Yin and Yang. Conceptually, Angie seems to me that individual that closes the circle between the Yang Dramatic and Yin Romantic positions at the far ends of the Kibbe scale. That her many gifts would be placed in a body that resides at one extremity of colour and the opposite pole of line feels somehow rational or obvious.

As Susan showed us (on facebook), women of dark colouring can seem more dramatic than they are. They still look better if they dress in line for their body type. The drama of their colouring is expressed simply by wearing the palette, or Season, that holds their natural colours. This would feel very complete to be and to look at.

In the last two years, as we took the Colour Ride together, we learned this: It takes scrutiny that gets uncomfortably close to home. It takes many photos, conversations, and walking on shaky ground. It means taking the lid off your pot and examining what you most want to avoid, the beliefs you have about what looks good and looks bad and the value you’ve attached to these. Your hot spots and trigger points will try to stuff the lid back on. Talk yourself out of that or you’ll still be in the role of victim, a weak position that doesn’t tell the truth about the strength you know you have, the strength it took just to ask the Who Am I? questions.

I have said and strongly believe that we are Beings of Light. I mean that as much literally as figuratively. See yourself that way. Keep moving towards the hottest, most intense part of your light, even when the waters feel roughest. Don’t let yourself turn back on what you started. Take the time to be grateful for the clarity you will find at more levels of you than you ever expected. Notice that your pain, physical and psychological, has lessened. When you love your so-called good equally with your so-called bad without conditions on that love, you find the confidence to just love you.



The Romantic True Autumn Part 1

You can tell I’m really warming to this Kibbe topic when the length of my posts are no longer under my control.

The best part of this one was reading his description of the person. I have the world’s most wonderful facialist, say Angie. We do Guided Facials (my term). I see her often, so incredibly cognitive is she of what I need to hear and practice to keep ascending. She is not telepathic. What she hears for me from her own voices aren’t in my head to begin with. As Mr. Kibbe says about Romantics, she has an ability to see my higher self and show me very clearly and practically what to strengthen and how to release to attain the next height. It’s as amazing as it sounds. I read the words describing this type several times, so accurate were they, like I couldn’t believe the print was on the page and I wasn’t placing the words there as I read. She is a Winter, probably True. Not floaty, ethereal, or dreamy. She’s quite philosophical, fairly blunt, and not a bit sweet, probably a Natural with many Romantic (Yin) features.

Like the situations in life that you can’t think your way through, very much where I find myself at this time, the Romantic embodies that which can only be received and never held, let alone taken. True to their position at the highest physical Yin type, the Romantic lives life in the Yin way that gathers energy slowly, rather than Yang’s fast&hard. She lives in faith, trust, and love, more than the Yang’s impulse and industry. Romanticism is an extreme form of sophistication, that word meaning to become more complex and less straightforward. Romance is about suggestion and attraction. She’ll be alluring beyond words but you still have to come to all the way to her, as the bumblebee to the bloom. She settles and allows, living the truth that in giving, and perhaps only in giving, do we know what it means to receive.

As we try on various Kibbetypes to test their fit, I find this one a little easier to see in a person than some of the others, probably because one shape is predominant in bone and body and face. The Yang aspect of a Romantic type doesn’t make its visual presence felt. There is no traditional masculine or dramatic element, no straightness of brow, no density of bone, no bluntness of nose.

I bet I would have mistyped Lisa, the R model in the book, especially before her transformation. I probably would have said SC except that the Before outfit looks aging. Today, we are so fortunate in having a real woman to imagine, one who epitomizes the very Yin features to perfection. We’ll call her Roseanna. I am grateful to her for use of the photos and to Sci\ART analyst Maytee Garza of Reveal Style Consultancy in New Jersey who draped Roseanna a True Autumn.

Every time I see Roseanna’s face, I’m reminded of a Persian Linda Rondstadt (don’t assume Linda is a Kibbe certified R, she just looks like one to me).

Here’s some time travel for you to see how an R body looks as it moves. Indeed, look at the bodies of all three women. Fascinating what you see when you look.


Which Linda has found herself? To me, not the one in jeans and a shirt, not the one you sometimes see in Mama Cass dresses. It’s this one:



Note: The great women of our Facebook group, whose generous advice I have such respect for, have helped me to see that Linda is actually a Soft Gamine, so a Gamine with a Romantic drift. I’ll show you some pictures of why and a better body model in Part 2.

Autumn and Romantic

A priceless part of these Polyvore exercises is having let go of every attachment I have regarding preconceived Season shapes, textures, or persons, while only holding the colours and this particular shape. These collections come together like an act of faith, like driving directions that make you wonder why you’re going through this neighbourhood and exactly where you’ll get at the end. I now approach my own shopping that way, just buy everything DC DW and put it together after because it works in Polyvoreland. The styles mix and match automatically just as well as Sci\ART based colour palettes do.

In my head was ultra-ultra feminine with a round shoulder. I set out to dress a modern day Marie Antoinette meets Pin Up Girl. No, too corseted. Victorian meets PinUp Girl worked till Victorian became floppy. Once it pulled together, I had more feeling of luxe boudoir, almost a sultanah effect at times, a lot to do with the colour palette.

But also, what should she wear to work? What would Roseanna pull on for a casual day? If she has two children and a job, she doesn’t carry a tiny round purse to the grocery store, so bigger purses got hourglass shapes. We all get closer to Natural on our days off. Keeping one frilly fancy item, a shoe, a bracelet, sets the tone for the whole oufit.

How to combine a Season of natural/earthy/textured/functional/square with a body line of soft delicacy?

Find the common ground:

  • plush, ornate, lavish, antique
  • belts, boots, leather, suede
  • luxurious colours named for foods, antique, knits (for the fluffy/clingy/drape)
  • pale neutrals, Autumn has many neutrals
  • jewels
  • hair around the face (good on Autumn)
  • colourful makeup with bit of sparkle (metallic good on Autumn)
  • “you have to touch it to know it” – this beautiful quote from a reader says it all

Romantic Design

Whether it’s a shoe, a party dress, a sofa, or a living room,

  • round, circles, flow, swirl, curve, fluid
  • hourglass waist definition
  • fold/drape/sash/gathers/ draping to hug those curves a little
  • detail intricate
  • sparkle and pearl
  • clingy/fluffy/short if it’s a sweater
  • prints large floral/feathery
  • the shoes you’d slide on Cinderella’s foot

Why They Were Not R

In knowing where we went wrong, we learn. Here are some close calls. This would be Poly 1 because I forgot to number it, of course.


Not Quite Romantic True Autumn


Clockwise from upper L:

The belted gold sleeveless – that V neckline, is it severe when the face is rounded? All edges should be rounded so V seemed not the best neckline, perhaps better for the Modigliani faces among the Dramatics. Might it also be too blousy and not respect the hourglass enough? Still, I find beautiful fluidity of line when I’m trying for no straight lines.

The bow shoes – the bow is good but edges are sharp – perhaps an Soft Dramatic or Theatrical Romantic shoe.

The wood circle earrings – shape and shiny hanging center piece good but too chunky.

Brown shoes – good strappiness and tapered toe but heel too solid, should be slender and tapered.

The pink dress says baby doll to me. I felt that tiers of ruffles is not what he meant and better for TR, though that is how he dressed the R model. The right ruffle for R looks like the petals of an iris, deeper, rounder.

Maybe for the same reason as the ruffles, I couldn’t deal with bows of any size, like the gold Ferretti top.

The red feather dress would not work if it were straight across the top, but this neckline is good. The skirt is too stiff and the feather effect feels flamboyant, seeming better to balance a Yanger body.

Green dress: neckline too plain, sleeves too straight, the shirtdress hem looks sloppy on the Roseanna in my imagination.

The brown Valenti dress -many variations of this dress exist. Is it a problem when the top is neither draped or softened? Would this be just too fitted and not hug the curves with Yin’s grace and ease?

The brown empire waist – I learned from Zandra’s very useful commentary on the D TSu to think about where a garment waist would sit on a body. This would miss the best part of the woman and look heavy, like if you hung it on half of a butterfly, you’d have no idea what the shape underneath was.

Antique gold Marni dress on L side – skirt not swirly enough, needs more waist emphasis. Sleeves could work.


The R Choices
Poly 2:

Romantic True Autumn 2


There are two more Polys to show you! Are these purses too heavy?

I am all over that nail polish.



Dressing The Essence of…Claire Danes

Here is an actress I greatly admire. Although she was a beautiful Juliet Capulet opposite diCaprio’s Romeo, when I really took notice and have loved her since was in Stage Beauty.

I have also come to understand that we express more than colour. We express line, pattern, and motion. You can’t just wear your colours, though no others on Earth could flatter you better. If the style does not respect your lines, patterns, and movements, harmony continues to elude.

That Dramatic True Summer was very worryingly difficult, so I’m trying an easier combination today, the Soft Autumn Natural. It came back to me that colour felt worryingly difficult in the beginning too. Having a real woman in mind gave me an endpoint I could envision and taught me how the Season colours work together to make a picture. With each woman whose colours I analyzed, I could write the articles and start seeing the similarities. I’ll have to learn Kibbe that way too. By holding Claire in my head, the need for length past the hip in a jacket becomes clear.

The Kibbe book is the only personal style book that I can get to work on me and others. Indulging my love of an adjective, it is comfortably organized, ergonomically specific, and reliably stratified. And reproducible! Using his system, five people should come up with the same style answer for a given person. Kibbe’s translation of a very abstract thought system is linear and logical.

I am an utter and untrained beginner. Follow none of my style advice or images. I am practicing.

I need to start with easy pictures and lists. If we set out discussing tempering chocolate, I will never produce a chocolate cake. If the idiosyncrasies of different analysts’ tastes come into the picture too early, I’ll get confused because I won’t be able to tell them apart from the basic truths that really do apply to me.

I also think his 13 types is complete and enough. It just takes time to figure out what he means by certain terms and descriptions and to get a sense of the relative differences between the groups. Like, what exactly is a straight skirt? Of the 3 types with small rounded facial bones, whose are the most small and round?

Soft Autumn Is

In 12 Season personal colour analysis, Season describes a type of natural colouring. In a Soft Autumn, all the colours that make up the body, skin, hair, eyes, maybe veins, teeth, inner lips and cheeks, and internal organs for all I know, are:

- muted, soft, heathery, so slightly calmed by a murmur of grey

- warmed quite a lot, as every colour appears in a late afternoon sun on a day with a little overcast

- fairly light to medium dark, no extremes like black and white

Looking at the person, you see the colours all at once like when the swatch book is fanned out. The feeling is affectionate, safe, restrained, sensitive, mellow, supple, and sympathetic. Words like strident belong somewhere else.

Kibbe’s Natural is the BFF, the buddy you hang out with and eat popcorn.

He also has a Flamboyant Natural, the modern version of Carly Simon. Miley Cyrus could be FN. With her bigger body, broader facial bones, smaller eyes, I wonder also about Andie McDowell (not a Soft Autumn).

And there is a Soft Natural category, smaller and often with adorable qualities. The Olsen twins?


- soft and round edged geometric shapes ; slight oversize/unstructured

- earthy materials, slightly chunky

- outline relaxed, straight, narrow, loose, soft tailored

- textured fabrics; glitz at night

- detail minimal, simple neckline, open neck, soft shoulder

- mostly separates, mixing pattern texture colour

- color pizzazz, break the rules mix n match, neutrals with texture


- circle, swirl, ornate, sharp, severe, fiddly

- sheer, clingy, flimsy, restrictive

- cropped, monochromatic

SA N Separates


Soft Autumn Natural Separates

Soft Autumn Natural Separates by christinems featuring a fringe skirt


SA Dresses



Double check:

- relaxed straight lines? yes, pretty good

- bold and direct? I think so, enough anyway.

The hard part: keeping colour zippy and colour combinations energized. I even consulted Kobayashi Color, Image, Scale, best colour combinations ever, and did not have much luck getting pink beige into any snappy colour combinations without losing my Soft Autumn vibe.

Like: that it feels tight in style, not just colour. I do not look at any item and think, Why in the world would that be there? These could all live in one woman’s closet.

The Hair Style

I quite like chin length hair on Claire. If the bob were not severe, keeping to the idea of rounded edges that are a little fluffed, perhaps this?

The Hair Colour

Highlights, bleach, or any kind of processing that is obvious will feel forced instead of being true to the feeling of naturalness that an N emanates.

Though Hollywood advice to Soft Autumns appears to be that blonde is necessary, it is never the best choice for the skin, whether she’s an N or not. The natural colour is usually medium-dark warm-ash brown. Very medium in colour. If the texture is also without body or definition, the hair feels left behind once the woman is dressed and made up. Consider a colour that is one shade lighter and a fair bit warmer than the natural colour.

JLo Lite, like what’s at the ends of the hair. Golden Blonde before anyone would call it red. (J Lo is probably a Dark Autumn.)
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez Pictures

SA N Makeup

Natural means the no-makeup look, which can still require a good bit of makeup to achieve. The movie makeup and hair artists in the poster at the top did a pretty good job.

Try these and let us know what you think:

Bronzer: Urban Decay Baked

Blush: Mercier Rose Bloom

Eyeliner: Urban Decay Stash

Eyeshadows: NARS Portobello, Key Largo, Blondie

Lipstick: Givenchy gloss Delectable Brown

Which brings up the interesting question of what a SA Dramatic would wear.

Other SA Kibbegories

C. had a lovely idea, comparisons. Katrina did just that with a SA Romantic and it’s brilliantly good.


Soft Autumn Romantic



Here is Jen’s Romantic Soft Autumn. We know with colour that two women of the same Season will interpret their palettes very differently in the items they choose to buy, how they colour their hair, or wear their makeup. The same applies to Kibbegories. We still retain every bit of our individuality. Our creativity is simply more focused and our visual voice is so much more beautifully coherent.

Soft Autumn Romantic Style

If you did a Polyvore of another Kibbegory, please post links in the Comments. We’d love to see it.



Dark Autumn CE and Apparel

The previous post was Dark Autumn Landscapes. In 12 Season colour analysis, the Dark Autumn group has a natural colouring that is mostly defined by the properties of the Autumn colours (dark, warm, muted), and importantly influenced by a smaller Winter effect to darken more, warm less, and mute less.

The Look

Winter does more than that. It inflicts intensity and complications (which is different from Autumn complexity) on a warm, natural, functional, undemanding (Autumn) group of colours. I said a lot last time about choosing dark colours that are still fathomable and knowable, glowing and rich as Autumn is, instead of black which is too Winter in every way. Black should be occasional from head to toe. Even in footwear, the dark bay Hanoverian horse is better than black. The shadows are black but where the light strikes, it’s brown. If black is necessary, matte is better.

Photo: Brunatka

The dressage photo above says a lot to me about the intersecting line between Dark Autumn and Dark Winter. Animals tie us back to our own earth origins and many are necessarily Autumn. The horse is Autumn. The rider’s outfit cost thousands but if you stood beside her, she’d be dusty and smell of hay. The white bandages, saddle blanket, and breeches are Winter’s but the picture is about the horse. The animal is not black. He is darkest brown.

Winter does not only mean verbs like inflict. It really never graces, embroiders, or enhances, and it barely embellishes. It bejewels. Winter can be tough and mean, and endlessly brave and loyal. The rich texture of True Autumn becomes luxurious texture. As Nana said about all Autumn, you must feel it to know it – fur, suede, velvet, raw silks. The photos in the previous post were chosen because they had texture – tapestry, fur, roughness, or the scaly skin of the cobra in the music of the bellydance. Texture expresses heat just as colour does. Absence of texture feels colder.

Autumn is close enough to touch while Winter has receded out of arm’s reach. Winter can feel more modern, like a 21st (or 23rd) Century city. Dark Autumn speaks of old luxe, dignified though not monastic. Vintage-antique (the Chanel cardi with handsewn silk flowers and bronze piping) works better than vintage-kooky (the daisy skirt).

As they bridge rural and urban, old world and new, tradition and Winter’s yet unwritten edge, estate and city streets, their scope of looks is enormous. Buckles, zippers, chains, jackets with metal buttons. Riding boots (with breeches, suede knee patches and all), cowboy boots, cowboy hats, tough chic, biker, army. As long as the message expresses strong, work, utilitarian, muscular to some degree – because that’s what the colours say. Then add in Winter’s majestic and serious. Pouffy, polka, bows, round collars, to me, makes no sense. The colours are of Nature matured. It looks inconsistent and scrambled if styles are the opposite, as if the colours, the cut, and the person are all moving in different directions at once. Unstable.

Autumn is honest so keep to the natural look of things. No pink leather or leopard shearling is what I’m saying. This is the Marlboro guy (actually, he’s True Autumn to Indiana Jones’ Soft Autumn). They borrow better from the guys (RayBans, neckties) than from the theater (cat eyes, glitter gloves). Brown is the color of work, countryside, and common sense. A very difficult colour to get right but so worthwhile since it is Autumn black.


Halle Berry
Halle Berry Pictures

See how his white shirt and the white wall are greying her face and lips? Do you get the feeling that if those were replaced with cappucino brown, she’d go all five-star dark golden?

Down below…now we’re talking. Pageant Queen makeup has no place here. Pink isn’t right regardless of complexion depth.

Halle Berry
Halle Berry Pictures

Strong flavours. Mustard, spice, vinegar. There is nothing nothing wishy-washy here. A T-shirt and pants? I hope they were free. This is the legging and the dark cognac equestrian boot, the tribal or animal print scarf and ethnic earring, the leather vest, the heavy medallion necklace and the oversize belt, the bronzed burgundy suit jacket. Like a wine cellar, it’s a Season that acquires itself over time. You should hear the drums, taste the wine that fills your whole head, and feel the heat of the forge.

Fabrics don’t have to be completely stiff or lines utterly straight. We’re dressing womens’ bodies after all. Drape is better when it’s not overdone and the fabric has some depth, like heavy velvet curtains.

Wear prints like stained glass. Patterns are pronounced, definitions between colour blocks are quite distinct and strong, and colours are prominent. A Rubik’s cube geometric is too repetitive. An element of antique, abstract, indigenous, or unrestrained is good.

Colour Equations

This section is taken from the Dark Autumn chapter of the book, Return To Your Natural Colours.

  • One very light colour + one medium-dark to dark colour + one medium to dark colour as accent
  • Two medium-dark to dark colours (or neutral colours) that are different
  • One light, medium, or dark neutral + one dark, medium, or light neutral + one colour as accent
  • One medium-dark to dark colour + one light, medium, or dark colour + one colour as accent
  • Little use of complementary colours, in small areas only
  • Overall medium-dark to dark effect


What that looked like in my head:


Translated into clothing:Dark Autumn casual

Dark Autumn casual by christinems featuring wide leg pants

Dark and cool recede. Here, with dark and warm, a push/pull visual effect is created that adds tension (Winter’s complications) and interest.

If you think about it, you can see some clearing and cooling. Previous fluidity is beginning to set and stiffen. We have to add in the person, her warm chestnut to warm black hair, perhaps her faint red highlights, her bronzer and flesh-tone eyeshadow surrounding her dark chocolate eyes, spiced peach lips, deeply coloured stones in warm, golden settings, the purse and shoes, to fully appreciate the dark warmth. The viewer has a lot of colour to integrate.

Icy, cold colours make sense frosted. Muted colours don’t. Muted colours are gentle and calm, not metallic. Dark Autumn colours are barely muted, so gentle gets replaced with assertive and maybe even a little pushy. Sometimes, we worry that dark=power and light=weak, which may be true in dictionaries but it’s not how others see us. What others see is probably dark=force and light=ease (but not pushover). Dark Autumn colours wears metallic well in their warmest clothing and cosmetic colours since they convey the heat that smelts metal from ore. Metallics in their colder range are less successful.

Was your first thought when you saw the Polyvore, I was expecting tribal and spicy. This looks pretty normal? It has to be normal enough to wear to the office. Try putting it on a light, sunny blonde and suddenly, if it’s not spicy, it’s at least truly weird. She’d look like she decided to wrap herself in a Bedouin tent. Your personal power is among the wonders of this world but it only works for you, and hers for her. Power fizzles like a wet match when you try on someone else’s.

So, you know your Season, you’ve been buying the right colours in clothes, is there another step? Always. Combining your colours in absolutely stunning combinations is another level. I am thankful to Stephanie, source of so many awareness expanders, for introducing me to Shigenobu Kobayashi’s books. In his Color, Image, Scale, he takes a big selection of colours and shows you twelve truly gorgeous 3-colour combinations with each one. Isn’t it interesting how 3 and 4 in the graphic above feel very different, beyond just temperature, simply from the change in accessory colour?

Whatever your Season, unless you’re incredibly creative, I doubt you’d come up with some of Kobayashi’s pairings on your own. I assure you that I wouldn’t. For Dark Autumn’s most striking use of complementary colours, insert a complement between two similiar rich colours in your palette. It looks fantastically good. The split complementary colour scheme is worth getting to know too. You pick three similar colours (analogous, colour wheel neighbors) and then add the complement of the middle one. It is worth scanning your colour analysis swatch book into a computer, or a photo of it, and using a computer program (Google it, there are many) to give you the complements, finding them in your Book, and writing the pairs on the back. Getting the complements exactly right sets up much more vibration than guessing and only being close.

Many Dark Autumns are darker than Halle Berry. How about this woman, wearing Dark Autumn’s version of white? From the clean whites in her face, you’d swear she must be wearing white, but white will grey her. It takes this colour to do what white does on a Winter face. How cool is that?

Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba Pictures

A straight body, straight across the shoulders, they walk stiff and straight, not Summer’s rolling walk or Spring’s sashay. Rectangular body, linear. Similar lines in the clothes.

Comfort colours, which are often food colours, are staying in True Autumn. Dark Autumn is wild and hot and passionate > red, of course. All the reds and oranges work. Complements also raise energy, with great opportunity to use them in dark and mysterious ways, as dark olive and burnt orange/red orange/browns (dark orange).

Something about dark grey can be very warm – as Bobbi Brown was thinking when she named her eyeshadow Hot Stone. MAC Copperplate eyeshadow is a heavy good grey for Dark Autumn. I used a dark grey blouse to cool the leopard skirt. A big thick grey block can be too heavy and stuck. Add a necklace, a jacket, the coolest bag and watch, maybe the leopard skirt. Give the eye somewhere else to go. Take care with animal prints. Buy the suitcase set or the wallet. Animal prints are like leather pants, they can work against you all too easily.

Jeans are good. Keep them dark without a whole lot of orange stitching.

Dark Autumn dress

Dark Autumn dress by christinems featuring a cowl neck dress

Winter brings red and more black. Some of its blue is cooling the colours but you’re not seeing it as blueness yet.

The colour of Eva’s dress isn’t dark per se. For a light colour, it’s dark though. It has weight, substance, density, and naturalness. Maybe the colour is a little warmish and would suit a True Autumn more perfectly, but I give it to her anyhow for daring to be different so successfully. See how Alba’s above is a little cooler, a little glitzier, perhaps less burlap? The whites of Eva’s eyes aren’t quite as clear. Who cares, Eva took a step towards Eva and away from cookie cutter.
Eva Longoria
Eva Longoria Pictures


Facebook Family

Colour is one half of a most beautiful appearance. Style is the other half. In the late 80s, David Kibbe wrote a book called Metamorphosis. He outlines 13 body types and goes into great detail about every aspect of appearance pertaining to that body type. Like Sci\ART’s 12 Tone Season system, Kibbe’s is a logic system that works for me without being overwhelming or impractical. Yes, it takes time to understand and implement but when it’s right, the result is incredible. Geometry comes out of the features of your face like colours do when your palette is right. The book is so good that we talk about it a lot in our Facebook group. The next section may seem confusing without having read it.

The Dark Autumns I have met have been some type of N, C, and interestingly twice, G. They look like they have black in the way that they look like they have drama but they are more square than angular and sharp. The clothes and fabrics above are all structured because I have those women in my head when I select clothes.

I ask myself, what does a Theatrical Romantic Dark Autumn wear? I searched and searched and found one I liked. Those who read RTYNC know that for me, certain colours make sense in shapes that evoke feelings and patterns we are familiar with from Nature. Of course, there are as many versions as there are women. We all own more than one cookbook. None of us owns a cookbook from which we make every recipe, even from the very rare book where we tried them all. All I’m saying is that colour is more than just colour, the same colour on me and on you looks and feels totally different to the audience, and we all have a different idea of what looks good.

I looked at that dress (off shoulder, center, bottom row) for a long time wondering if something so filmy makes sense in a food and earth colour. How do you feel about it?

Einstein said, Imagination is better than Knowledge. Turns out it takes a lot more imagination to be yourself than to be someone else. I love about Kib and colour that both only want you to stay true to who you were meant to be because you’re already her. You really can’t not be her, ever. Your roots grew a tree that is perfect and like no other. Forget cookie-cutter. Forget, I must be blonde or size 6. If you’re clinging to those, you’re probably neither and people can see that. Why force your opposites to fit you? Knowledge of your colours and the essence of your body type is where you start. Trust the process of finding them. From there, imagination lets you interpret what hangs from your branches infinitely, always holding the truth of your tree. Renata chose the very adept words emotionally grounded to describe how knowing your colours and your style feels. So right.



Dark Autumn Landscapes

In 2 parts because Dark Autumns are among the most fascinating persons on the planet. As you’ll see, I can talk about this Season for a long time. Today, the colours, the landscape, the person. Next, the clothes and the Colour Equations.

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, the Dark Autumn Season holds those persons whose natural colouring is:

- Dark, the TMIT, but richly dark, luxuriantly, glowingly dark. We are given robust red wines, lustrous deep olives, and ornately reddened browns and purples. This is the aspect of colours that they are first and most. Darkness before heat.

Photo: Varga 77

- Neutral to warm. In this context, Neutral means colours that have both some coolness (blueness) and some warmth (gold), as opposed to lower-case-n-neutral that can mean flesh-toned makeup or gray/taupe clothing. Sophia Loren feels much more toasty than she does black. Black feels uninteresting and thoughtless next to the hot, spicy fire she embodies. Always plug in the comparison. There are no absolutes with colour. I once called Winter skin rubbery and Summer papery. Kathy needed a moment to get past that. If her Winter skin were compared to rubber OR paper, well, my Dark Winter skin is for sure not papery or any woven substance. Focus on each separately: how does Sophia feel next to black AND how does black make you feel help up next to Sophia?

- Barely muted, not enough to notice. Dark, thick taupes, as hippo grey, not pigeon. Balsamic vinegar and tomato paste are dusty compared to Turkish coffee and dragon blood (I meant oxblood but dragon blood was more fun to type). Dark Autumn is very colour concentrated. There is so little dusty here, it’s hardly noticeable unless you held up the colour next to the 99% pure Bright Season colours.

The Darkness (Is Not Black)

Dark Autumn means darkness releases the magic – heavy, hard, deep, strong darkness. It enriches the eye, attains the skin tone’s perfection, and infuses the appearance with a vital force that will set you back in your tracks. You unlock this mystery of Autumn’s blazing heat entwined with the coming Winter quiet with luminous, full, rich darks. Spring and Summer have darks that are without the density of oil paint. Dark Autumn colours are thick and meaty.

Colour may be settling with the approach of Winter cold but the octane level remains very high. Black’s feeling of weight is certainly here, yes, but its more distinct voice of deepest, most sacred sleep, of stark outlines and a spare sensibility, are not yet in reach. Black can feel a bit leaden on those who do not contain it by Nature’s hand. Keep Dark Autumn darks penetrable and interesting. Choose the almost-black purples, blues, browns, and greens. In daylight, you should see colour. Almost black colours often look metallic like that finish on cars, and it’s never the cheap cars.

Once a woman hears that she can wear black, she wears it with a vengeance. On Dark Autumn, it’s not great or very good or good. It is acceptable in small blocks with a lot of heat added in. Solid black is forbidding. It’s a wall, a very boring wall unless you are primarily Winter because it has no translation on any other body. Two entities that can’t find a communication place are not intelligible to one another (thanks to Sharon for the great analogy). Black is still a foreign language on many a Dark Autumn body, though there are a few phrases to pull out in emergencies. To the viewer, the person and the black have no unifying element. They remain a little separate, the clothes from the person, as if there’s a blank space between them with nothing it it.

Black is their toughest temptation but it looks far colder, harder, and heavier than they do. Wearing it looks a bit disappointing relative to what could have been in rich, hot, bronzed reds and browns. Play up the heat and to look spectacular. If she can’t get with tribal, then do military, urban chic, or nerd chic, but don’t default to black. Do touches of black, in belts, shoes, a small part of a print. Avoid big, black blocks. No black with silver jewelry which is even colder. Even in pants, the near-blacks are leap years better than black. The viewer sees you from head to toe in one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand seconds. You register others in that time, at least to make a first impression. The deep maroon pants got noticed with more pleasure than one more black bottom half.

Photo: hirekatsu

Autumn is too comfortable and knowable, familiar and natural, for black. Invited into a home for coffee and cake is not black. The midnight fire dance or glass of brandy contain some black, but with the firelight flickering, surfaces are so much more red and orange and green than black.

Black keeps the world a little farther away, which is about where Winter likes it. Black (and Winter) is involuted. Autumn is not primarily that way. Winter disengages from anything they don’t want to acknowledge or pay attention to. Like it’s not even there. Like all the stuff in the house that needs dusting. Autumn isn’t that way. They are engaged. They’re sanding furniture, baking and sharing, attending charity functions, going to obedience class with their Bernese Mountain Dog, starting projects in time for Christmas, showing up for a friend’s three wedding showers with a gift every time, always trying to figure a better way of doing something. And dusting.

Dark Autumn can balance the weight of black. Therefore, they will not appear to gain weight when wearing it. So, it’s not completely random on this person but next to such a powerful force, on a spirit this strong, black looks colourless. Almost lifeless in an onerous, inorganic way. Cold-blooded on a hot-blooded soul.

The Lightness

There is no pure white until Winter is firmly in place so that tendency it has to brighten everything (like a Dark Winter face but not a Dark Autumn face) won’t be seen during the draping. This face will appear greyer, without vitality, and more lined. Stay far from white. It’s an instant 10 years, a truly unattractive choice. Learn Summer’s pastels too so you never buy them accidentally. See that blue book way up at the very top right of the page? It can help you with this.

These are the darkest light colours of the 12 Seasons. Even they have darkness, a scorched quality. Colours appear slightly aged, in the way that paper can be sponged with tea or coffee to be antiqued. The lights are substantial colours that can drain out any other kind of skin, like the sturdy colours of grains, brown rice, quinoa, that overlay of brownness but not blackness.

Photo: bosela

The light colours are distinctly browned, like vinegars and preserves. Browned spiced peach, chamois, November grass, and dark willow. Winter’s blue is coming in, neutralizing Autumn gold to some extent. What should strike home is brown as a dark warm taupe overlay, as brown rose and brown coral. Think of the dried apple, peach, and fig, compared to the originals. Spring is raw, Soft Autumn is cooked, True Autumn is flambe, and DA is what’s in the pan when the flame subsides. Dark Autumn’s lights are the colour of the bread or the sauce that got left too long in the heat.

Light colours are either right on or way off. Because darkness is very forgiving (meaning colours are more likely to look gorgeous just by being dark), it follows that light colour is the opposite. This applies equally to clothing as hair. The Dark Seasons are the most awkward blondes (remembering that hair averages don’t exist in the Seasons) unless Nature gave them light coloured hair. Don’t let someone tell you that women need lighter hair as they get older. To the person looking at you, it feels uncomfortable to see light streaks because they are so very far from who you are inside that it can’t be counterfeited in. Up floats the question, What was so wrong with who you were that you felt you had to be everyone else? I liked you fine before. Now, you’re making me wonder. Plus, I feel kind of embarrassed and cramped and I don’t know why.

The Heat

Still big smoke coming off it. An overcooked type of heat, where a carbonized trace is cooling the colour’s original heat. Moroccan colours. Darker than Bollywood colours. Persian carpets, Aladdin colours.

The reds look browned, as bricks, russets, bittersweets. That almost burnt quality is important. Burnt oranges and reds make beautiful lip and blush colours. Red is almost automatically a warm colour in that even when it’s cool, its message is hot. These lip/blush shades are not hard to find, certainly not in makeup. Dior Rouge Blossom lipstick is a beauty, as are Clinique lip in Chianti and NARS pot gloss in Medea. Wear sheer, but wear your red-browns. Look at Chanel Glossimer 64 in Sunset Gold (toasted apricot), Revlon Lip Butter in Fig Jam (sheer brown), and Lancome Hotspell (sheer bronze). They look incredibly good.

The Coldness

Just cool enough for a diamond to form, the hardness Winter brings. Nothing is flimsy. Soft on someone else looks flimsy here.

Temperatures are dropping. The fire is dying down, only embers left. If this is the picture I chose for the coldness, imagine what the heat looks like! Greys provide a cooling effect, situating the Neutrality of the Season.

Photo: rolve

Winter can have a bigger influence on character than its minority role in this palette should account for. This person can be more cool and formal or more passionate and dynamic, but forcefulness is always there. Move towards that heat. It looks good. The distinguished professor and the head of state are as Dark Autumn as the painted warrior. Reserved and serious are worn extremely well too, but there is a sense of might, as mighty, as Madeline Albright, as Indira Gandhi.

Google Scan their Images. The power of this person is awesome. As they age, Dark Autumn women become more formidable every day. Don’t reduce that by being one more blonde. I’m never fond of purple/dark magenta/burgundy hair trendiness either, which are only distraction on a very focused person, though these colours are stunningly good in clothing. Claim the power in the faces above, those of Cleopatra and Melinda Gates. Rise up to being who you are. In the beginning, right colour can feel like a disguise. In no time, the colours will have convinced you of your truth when nobody else could.

Dark Autumn can tap an infinite pool of strength. It is not in Autumn’s nature to be entitled (it can be Winter, of being outside the rules). They don’t make special concessions for themselves, they just get on with the work. Few can match Dark Autumn for taking on the big roles and getting stuff done. They have Winter’s enormity of scale built-in so the huge task doesn’t daunt them for a second. They are the strongest people in the world because they are not self-indulgent. And they could care less if their husband dresses better than they do. Allow the drama of grey in hair, a strong testament to your Neutral Season colouring where the warm skin/cool hair play together so well, or choose the rich, dark browns you were blessed with in hair colour.

Cute lipstick looks gray, both makeup and skin. Blonde hair looks grey, both hair and skin. They look weak. Dark Autumn must protect herself against trend at all costs.

The Feeling

The energy is still natural – though less than True or Soft Autumn, barely rustic or earthy anymore – which is why flesh-tones in makeup look better here than on a Winter face. Drama and the right costume can look very right too. Soft Autumn is pie crust, Autumn is whole wheat, and Dark Autumn is dark rye bread to dark walnut and mahogany wood, because among the feeling of its colours is hardness. By comparison, Spring is puff pastry and lots of sugar. Summer is petit fours. The Lights are meringue. Winter? I’m sure they have sweetness, .. I was asked what car a Soft Summer drives, it just came into my head, a Volvo wagon!…back to what is Winter’s sweetness…it’ll be hard and controversial, meaning many will not like it …edible flowers? rosewater candy?….. flourless black chocolate torte with a raspberry coulis.

With maturity, and these colours are Spring matured, come deeper waters, more complex patterns, more density of substance. Spring candor and innocence are much more about simplicity. Winter isolation speaks of a different type of simplicity, one of extremes of the cleanest surface fused with a most elaborately difficult interior.

Autumn has a steady rhythm. You can always hear the faraway sound of a drum. In Soft Autumn, it’s hushed as if under Summer water. The Softs are the Seasons of natural elegance. Their unifying grey feels steady and calm, more than cool or warm. Autumn’s complexity exists in all three Autumns, so the combinations of their colours look better to me than any one alone (and in this, I include Soft Summer), as warm dull apricot or browned rose with warm pewter, limitless possibility. In those Seasons, layers work well to give sense of pattern (as texture, complexity, and creativity, like the handmade harvest display on the front porch), and depth, both of which have an inherent rhythmic progression.

In Autumn, we march to a steady beat from colour to colour to colour, feeling the connections, the reasons for being together. At Dark Autumn, words are more loaded, as luxury and control, almost ready for Winter’s power. Dark Autumn’s rhythm is insistent, unbridled, tribal. The greys look more like powder keg than soothing. Colours stand alone more, though layers still work quite well here, less well on Dark Winter. Autumn is questioning and curious. Winter is oblivious and listens to its own GPS. The Autumn outfit should feel stimulating and absorbing, like a pulse, moving from piece to piece. Winter is pulling away, its large empty voids depicted in stark and solitary use of colour and jewelry, and of course, black.

For Dark Autumn, it’s the tribal-as-in-undomesticated goddess, the wild horse. The untethered freedom. Your own hoofbeats pounding in your ears. The driving intention. The uncaring about reactions. Can we go back and emphasize the word wild. Native. Savage. Unchecked. Untamed. All it takes is one scarf, one bronzed lipstick, one leopard print-backed glove, and the viewer just felt it in their chest (but couldn’t say exactly what they felt).

Photo: CalCent

Autumn is good at dressing what is. Once they see the system work, they move on. They tend not to be conflicted about what suits them and letting go of other colours and styles but they need to see it themselves. This is not the what do you think? group. They have to think it. And with colour, of course, they have to see it. When they look away from their face in the mirror in the white drape, I know I’m golden. Until they do, they look at you like, Yeah, colour, whatever. Let’s go buy boots.

For many Dark Autumns who feel better as neighbourly and unpretentious, well ok. Your True Autumn origin is strong and doesn’t often care for theater. The tolerance for it can be close to zero. Everyone looking at you is waiting for you to pull out a shot of excitement, but we’re all our own biggest obstacle. You’re not alone in that. We all could look instantly more magnificent if we could unleash our inner somebody. Figuring out who that is is a little hard, but even after knowing, getting her decked out and let loose is another animal altogether. For me, it’s the navy pinstripe suit with the iced violet or dark rose shirt. I own neither item, but in my own defense, I have been trying on suits. None of this is easy or automatic for anybody. If you believe one thing, make it, When one door closes,…  Knowing the colours that are in you puts your hand on the doorknob. Are you going to do something with it?

If tribal feels nuts, even that one necklace, you might try giving your Winter side bigger air time. Dark Autumn is equally superb in classy suits, jackets, borrowing from elite sports like horse (English better than Western depending on the item) and ski, jet set safari and archeological digs. Like Winters, you look better when you’re done up dressier than anyone around you than when you opt for the True Autumn associations of everyday twills, denim, corduroy, and chunky wools. Dark Autumn is that wickedly good Season that looks good classic and good fired up.

The music can be monastic hymn. But then there’s this…the serpent, the danger. Feel the tension? True Autumn was a cheerleading camp  compared to this.


Slithering along, now more alone in the dark, the knot in your belly gets tighter, now just on Dark Winter’s doorstep:


We’ve set the scene, dimmed the lights. Next, we’ll think about clothes.