Wardrobe neutral colours include the whites, beiges, grays, taupes, and browns. These frame our appearance, creating a background structure for the colours and details that will be added. We look at flowers more than stems, but flowers must be connected to their world, rather than floating in space. Colour needs context to communicate. Meaningful, confident beauty requires the right foundation.
A set of neutral colours in your Season acts as a reference for adding these essential building block colours to your wardrobe. Decisions are quick and confident with these in hand.
In the envelope
The set includes 12 pieces of fabric measuring approximately 9×4 inches = 23×10 cm. The darkness (value) range spans the Season’s white to black, and warmer to cooler range if it applies. At least one example of dark brown and navy are included, as well as a more pigmented colour or one that is unusual or challenging to find. Examples of these are Dark Winter red rust, True Winter red, Light Summer medium blue, and Light Spring shell pink or khaki.
The role of neutral colours
Your Season includes thousands of colours and Colour Analysis (PCA) gives you the toolkit to select them. However, because they contain so little pigment, neutrals may be the most challenging to choose.
Neutral colours register in a subconscious way, as settings should, adding depth and realism to the plot and enriching the script. When neutrals and colours have a reason to be together, both perform to their full potential. The colours you buy need not match your colour palette or Neutrals Set (NS) precisely. The aim is that they look attractive, balanced, and rational together.
Begin by placing several of the fabrics on garments and consider whether your attention feels evenly divided. The overall effect should be agreeable, united, and settled. Look for a sense of the colours having a common undercurrent or looking great together, as if lit by the same sun.
A mildly displeasing combination is not an automatic exclusion. Especially for Neutral Seasons, colours have a warm to cool range. You might wear the warmer colours together, or your taste may enjoy matching warm with cool. Season narrows down the field to a place where there are many rights and very few wrongs, or none, although individual preferences within the Season vary.
While each colour in your NS is unique to the Season, many are adaptable, as neutral colours often are. Don’t worry about being perfect. You are so much more intentional and successful with your colours than before your PCA that these small variations are unimportant. The colours will find their shared territory and enhance one another elegantly.
Take your NS shopping to compare fabrics under the same lighting conditions. Holding them inside your field of vision while you browse in shops allows your eyes to find similar colours without requiring effort on your part.
Some clients prefer the pieces to remain separate, which is how they are packaged in the envelope. Others prefer them to be joined and have sewn them together along the top corner or keep them together with a paper clip or clamp.
Learning more from your NS
If colour is available, it occupies our awareness. By excluding it, neutrals teach us about our Season in a different way. Below is a list of more examples detailing specific information that can be gained from your NS:
Value range. Notice the distance between lightest and darkest colours. This range applies to every colour you add, from apparel to highlights in hair to your eyeshadow design. How near and far are the lightest and darkest colours from pure black and white? Notice if the colours have warmth and whether the darkest colours retain a soft or dusty impression, or if they seem ink-dark. Try describing your white and black in your own words, which may be helpful for you and store staff when shopping. How you combine your lights and darks is your choice. Some days, wear your lightest and darkest for a crisp or formal look. Other days, combine your midtones and bring in more colour.
Colour balance. The garment being tested and the NS fabrics should maintain their colour strength when placed together. If either colour seems to dominate, which may happen as colour naturally moves forward, ask yourself if they are able hold each other up. If one colours loses energy, fades, look tired, is sinking into the other, borders are hard to see, or edges seem to be fuzzy or moving instead of crisp and supported, the choice may be not be the best.
Undertone. The colour that is shared within a Season palette may be easier to see when overall pigment is reduced. You may notice smoky lavender in Soft Summer and yellow in True Spring. Neutral colours may appear to have blue, red, or green tones, offering different types of colour relationships in ensembles. Notice also the amount of colour pigment in the neutral tones. Is the colour component easy to see or does the colour appear mostly gray, with slight but strong yellow, green, red, or blue appearing only when the fabric is held next to another neutral, as is the case for many Winter neutrals?
Eye makeup. The more ways in which we see colour, the better we understand it and fabric is a terrific way to learn your eyeshadow colours. Cosmetics may be easier to harmonize with fabrics than with the ink on canvas of the palette. Keep eyeliner in mind as well, an item that may be most sophisticated when it’s under the viewer’s radar.
Basics. Neutrals are excellent colour choices for suiting and items that need wardrobe versatility such as coats and eyeglass frames. They provide the backdrop and stillness to feature the livelier colours. They also indirectly represent many of the colours in skin, so if an item is causing them to appear distorted (greener, yellower, grayer), so will that item cause these distortions in the skin.
Shine. With the textile variety, gain a sense of your Season’s natural reflectivity, which may be extended to jewelry. Among the fabrics, you will find a variety of textures, weights, opacities, and degrees of luster. Are they mostly matte? Textured or smooth? Sheer, flowing, structured, opaque? How would you describe the finish? Metallic, cotton, paper, pearlescent, frosted, or satin? If the shine in a fabric feels sharp, seems to approach pure white, or is much lighter than the base colour, the reflectivity may be overpowering for some Seasons. Fabrics that are both dusty in colour and muting in texture, such as flannel, may create an earthy sensation that is a perfect extension of your own colouring.
Jewelry. The colours of metals that will be most attractive next to your skin and clothing are often included in the collection. If not, place the jewelry item on the fabrics to determine how well they look together. The energy should be equal, beautiful and belonging together.
Possibilities. Don’t underestimate the importance of your unique imagination. Keep practicing ways to broaden your vision. Any colour in your palette may be worn as you wish, as a large block item, a watchstrap, the leather in belts and shoes, the stone in an earring, the texture of a hair accessory, the colour of the lens in sunglasses, the metal in a zipper, the colour of a wedding gown, or the elements in a print. Try to be very fluid when you visualize the part that each colour might play in your wardrobe.
Your Neutrals Collection will help you harmonize colours with more ease and confidence. It will be faster and easier to create your sophisticated, weekend, professional, and evening combinations, as well as discerning whether items coming into your wardrobe, including jewelry and cosmetics, will be your most flattering choices.