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Comparing Light and Bright Spring

Comparing Light and Bright Spring

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These Seasons have the important similarity of neutral to warm temperature. They are also Spring Seasons, based in yellow.

Bright Spring is darker and brighter. Light Spring contains more white and visible gray, giving a creamy and misty impression.

In terms of borrowing colours, the lighter of Bright Spring’s palette might cross into Light Spring nicely. The cooler, darker side of Light Spring could also be fine. The decision is made one garment at at time. If the items appear balanced, with the attention equally divided between them, that’s a good sign.

Say you’re the woman shopping. Working through the compromises of the retail world might ask you to weigh in on a few more questions,
  • Is close enough good enough? What is  my feeling on this subject?
  • How quickly do I need to buy this item?
  • Am I spending $50 or $500?
  • Are the lines of the item so flattering that I should be wearing it?
  • If I were the painter of this outfit, would the colour look great in the composition?
  • Where is the item to be worn? Small area, lower half, accessory?

 Mostly Light Spring

Light spring outfits

The green handbag just right of centre may be Bright Spring. If this woman were carrying this bag, what would be your opinion?


Mostly Bright Spring 

Mostly bright spring colour outfits
bright spring colour outfits

Some colours matter more than others. The peach coat (lower image) might be a little weak but it’s workable. Gray is good at becoming what’s around it. Jeans adapt pretty well if their darkness level is the same as the overall for that Season and they’re just blue.

Red and green are less cooperative. Sometimes, it depends on the viewer. Some people are very sensitive to yellow, as I am to orange.

Bright spring outfits

Black is useful in the Bright Spring wardrobe:
  • to crisp edges of colour blocks, as the earrings with the mint blouse in 4,
  • to outline shapes in a thin black line, as in a print or colourblock, which gives a cartoon appearance that is so right on Gamine body shapes,
  • to darken the overall effect selectively without dulling, cooling, or darkening the colour blocks themselves,
  • to add Winter’s formality,
  • to slim this woman who can balance black, as the mint top and black skirt in 4, the colours are getting along fine, the black is a little strong but it doesn’t appear visually larger

16 Thoughts on Comparing Light and Bright Spring

  • "; ?> Francine

    I love the Shopping for your Season & Style board and have started following, to learn more about colors, but could you point us to a hint about what all this Yin, Yang, style categorization is about? Frustrating to read the pins and not have a clue.

  • "; ?> Tina

    Very interesting…..I feel the same great information applies to Bright Winter and Light Summer…..maybe even more so. I think that women in particular are so accustomed to finding variety in the stores, they desire that variety in their own closets. This being the case, cheating on a palette with another one becomes a major temptation. I am so glad you took the time to really explain in detail how leading yourself astray with a chroma and value that is “not you” in spite of the hue being correct, NEVER works. You gotta have all 3 components in place! like fitting a plug into an outlet.

  • "; ?> Laura

    Christine, what a great post to read on the one year anniversary of my colour analysis. You may remember that I tested as BSp.

    Comparing clothes for BSp and LSp is very helpful, I like to see the difference as well as read about it. Your new Pinterest board is super – I plan to check back regularly. And your characterization of the two seasons in #2 above was pretty funny. I recognized myself, maybe not quite as extreme:-) Agreed with your take on grey and beige as neutrals…blah. I tried grey but just didn’t like it so I’ve decided on navy and brown/black (bsp 3.2). Loved your real-world shopping comments, very helpful to a perfectionist like me.

    After thinking about this today I wanted to add a couple of other factors at play in getting colour right – age and season. Just turning 60, I find that some of the brighter colours, combined with the sheen suggested for BSp, can ‘feel’ too young, too hard edged. This can be true of lipstick as well as clothing. And large amounts of shiny bright colour don’t always feel right in fall and winter. Fabric makes a difference as well. I use a lot of linen in hot weather and wool in cold weather. Neither fabric lends itself to the sheen and saturation of BSp. So my challenge is (1) how to use my colours in a way that flatters my older face and body and (2) how to use my preferred fabrics while maintaining the colour saturation of BSp.

    Any comments?

  • "; ?> Linda

    Wow, I used to think I was some kind of spring, but now that I suspect Soft Autumn and my eyes have been busy learning to differentiate all the Autumns from each other to keep from getting too hot, too light or too dark, even the Light Spring looks super bright to me! And I used to wear many of those colors. Now I hold up anything that looks faded and try to decide if it is flattering me.

    BTW, I appreciated the Sharper SA post recently and am still contemplating it.

    A question I want to ask in the future, if you have time to answer it, is how other types (light, bright, dark) look in soft colors. I see many people trying them because the colors read as soft, feminine and refined, and I can’t tell when they are flattered and when not. When a Soft wears the right soft colors, do her eyes sparkle and her skin glow? Or is she supposed to look soft all over?

  • "; ?> Linda

    I think you partly answered my question just above on your pinterest Commentary Booth. You talk about Spring [I knew it!!] Kaley Cuoco and how her awards dress, an antique soft pink, wasn’t as good as the bright clothes she wore in the laundry room. I had just watched this interview: where she is wearing a soft pink sweatshirt. I thought she looked powdery and tired.

    The only think is, that powdery look she has in the video reminds me of the look I have in some SA colors, and I just don’t know. Now I’m tempted, for the umpteenth time since the 80’s, to wonder if I COULD be a Spring after all… I’ve bought quite a few taupe things that I love, but maybe I need to think about Light Spring for a while.

  • "; ?> Kate

    What a fantastic article! Thanks so much for doing this one – very helpful information. I love the polyvores too, and incidentally, I recently bought a pink coat very similar to the one listed – it’s one of my best colours and the lines are great too. I’m really interested in the differences between lsp and bsp, as whilst bsp won out in the draping, lsp was also very good. I’m coming to realise what a difference getting the heat level right makes, and think I can “cheat” quite a few lsp colours fairly reasonably if need be.

    It’s interesting what you say about black. As an artist given the task of mixing the value range of my hair, I would say closer to that end of the grayscale than lighter. However, I recently saw some photos of myself wearing black patent pumps at an event, and they were way way darker – hair looks beige in comparison – black pumps don’t turn out to repeat the value of the hair at all, despite it’s apparent “darkness” at first glance. Interesting how colour and tone are so relative.

    So much food for thought in this article – think I’ll be re- reading many times!

  • "; ?> ZaftigWendy

    I love seeing the differences in the video that Linda linked. I was branded a Summer back in the early 80s when there were only 4 seasons, and I’m convinced that the reason is that my analyst then used only 2 drapes to determine warm or cool – a bright, clear Fuschia vs. a very muted rusty orange. Well, for me, as a BrSpring, the muted orange took all my color away, so they said “cool season” and then when the dark clarets and true blues of winter didn’t fit, they said “summer.”

    But I look just as bad in dusty pink as in dusty orange. I look like Kaley Cuoco in that video. It’s like my light got shut off.

    For me, the difference between BrSpr and LSpr shows up most in lipstick. I picked up one a few weeks ago that I thought would work because it seemed like a bright enough coral; though it was on the light side, it seemed pretty saturated. Well, when I put it on, it was just too light. It had seemed saturated IN THE TUBE, but it wasn’t ON MY FACE, so it just sat on top of my lips very uncomfortably. I found another saturated coral that looked the same in the tube, but when I put it on, it sank into my face and looked like part of me – it was actually far more saturated.

    By the way, I’ve found some of the best lipsticks by shopping the makeup lines intended for women of color, even though my skin is so light that I’ve never met anyone lighter than me. The makeup for WOC is more saturated and sits better within my BrSpr contrast and saturation needs.

  • "; ?> Ellie

    I can ‘cheat’ iced pink, iced lavender and iced aqua from BSpr if I accept that I’m going to look slightly washed out and they are lovely colours to wear in the summer. If I’m going to cheat out of the LSpr palette then those colours are going to be the best of a bad lot from the other 11 – but iced blue is a step too far and makes me look like I have hypothermia. Likewise hot pink is much too hard. I can also cheat some of the gentlest yellows and pinks from the Warm Spring palette if I’m careful. But the make up is the giveaway. If I put on any of the other Spring lipsticks they just don’t work, and that’s despite being a strong, relatively dark LSpr who doesn’t to first glance look light at all.

    It took a long time to learn to use my LSpr palette in the way the two stronger spring groups use theirs, with more colour and contrast because I have quite a lot of contrast. If I choose an outfit that’s too neutral or too pale or subtle I end up looking like a dark lollipop head on a pale stick and that’s one of the reasons it took time to learn how to use my palette and know it was the right one. But I need to use the LSpr palette colours to do it. There aren’t any other palettes that are going to do it better. Plus it took time to learn that the Spring colours might as well be fun or what’s the point? My job involves presenting to large groups: in my most subtle colours my energy really does get drained. I feel better and livelier and more myself in bright yellows and aquas and pinks. It was the fun of using my own colours in the right way for me that I had to learn how to do, instead of assuming that because it wasn’t immediately right I needed to look to another palette group that gave stronger or brighter. I do still struggle to find good LSpr lipsticks that aren’t a tad tepid on me, Clarins Coral Tulip is probably the most used one I own at the moment.

    The LSpr polyvore is lovely, it’s so nice to see a LSpr group that shows how lively the palette is, there’s nothing watery about any part of the Spring palette. It’s light in comparison to the other palettes, but it isn’t pale. My general guide now when buying clothes is to think more ‘gentle spring’ rather than ‘light’ in terms of pale: look for Spring first and then look for the gentler shades of it. And also ‘if I’d ice a cupcake with it, then it will probably turn out to be LSpr when I test it’. That one works well!

  • "; ?> Linda

    Christine (and Rachel) – this isn’t in the right place, but I hope you’ll see it here. Would you do a post explaining the difference between YinClassic, YangClassic, and all the other types? I know I feel best in Classic, but I can’t figure out the difference between Ying and Yang from your Pinterest. Googling the terms brings up nothing further. Thanks loads!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Hi, Laura 🙂 – happy anniversary to us! Your Q…Your points are all well made. I agree that shine needs a little caution in the mature years. As the skin APPEARS to mute (though it doesn’t really alter its colours, as we know), too much wet shine (Spring) or frost (Winter) can feel artificial. But, interestingly, in terms of the colours themselves, I find many women need additional brightness or intensity to give them that lift. That may be why so many women are mistakenly placed in Spring, because it brightens things up. Problem is that the analyst was only noticing that and not the other 20 or 30 markers. The analyst forgot to ask herself, “Spring is making this face brighten but AT THE EXPENSE OF WHAT?” Also as you know, cosmetic preference is decided one woman at a time. A Natural woman who loves texture won’t feel comfortable in Dramatic makeup looks.

      Following with this, and answering the Q about where to learn about the Style Types…Autumn colouring looks good in texture. But not every woman equally. A Dramatic body will wear smoother fabrics than a Natural. Similar in Spring, a Natural woman will wear more texture than a Classic. The fascinating intersections and overlaps between body types and colouring is something we will spend this year, and I hope many more, exploring. As to resources for learning about it, stick around. They’re coming. Should be about 2 months. What Google brings up is half outdated and half not, just like PCA.

      And Laura, where to find the textures you love in the saturation you need, practice (cashmere comes in tons of colours and saturated well), compromise (linen? wear it if you love it! so what if it’s not quite enough), stretching your borders (knits), and as I so often tell myself, learning to sew/knit.

  • "; ?> Kate

    I’ve been looking at that red dress trying to see why it doesn’t work. I’ve got tripped up buying similar bright red items, which have ended up being “off” somehow. I wonder if the red of the dress has too much complement in it? It looks to be de-saturated, possibly with green. Could just be my monitor, but it looks dulled, seems to be absorbing rather than reflecting light, and receding in space. The edges also look fuzzy, especially when viewed within the context of the other items. It also seems to contain a different type of heat?

  • "; ?> Kate

    Oh yes, I was also just wondering Christine – is Bsp black a chromatic black? How does it differ from the winters’? Also, do BSP “colour” colours include a small amount of black pigment in the mix? Hope my ramblings make sense! Thanks 🙂

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Good eyes on the red dress, Kate – and good ability to isolate the various observations as separate entities. That’s a big part of draping a person, seeing an overall and then the details, because not every feature changes together in the same way. B Sp black – IDK what ‘chromatic black’ means in your Q? In B Sp, the darkest colour is not fully black, it’s a very dark coal. Looks better shiny or shimmery, lightens and lifts the density of the darkness a bit more. Also, IDK if B Sp contains some black in the pigments. I would guess that some colours do and some don’t, since black darkens fast and also mutes. With black’s tendency to desaturate, I wonder if B Sp uses blue to darken and keep sat high (since blue is highest sat when it’s lowest value) and yellow for Sp – that yellow lightens but also desat, which is why BW seems to me higher sat than B Sp.

  • "; ?> Kate

    Thanks Christine, that’s interesting, plenty of food for thought. I suppose by “chromatic black” I mean a black (or “optical” black) that is created through the mixture of compliments. I remember you saying True Winter grey was just black and white, whereas I can imagine bsp greys (and black possibly too) having more “colour” in the mix, although maybe not necessarily… It’s interesting what you say about yellow and blue. I have to say I was very intrigued by the puzzle of the red dress colour as I have been painting a lot of roses recently!

  • "; ?> Sara

    Very interesting Christine,
    I m Sara and Ive been draped as lsp, but I dont feel like it suits me.
    I ve got clear/bright blue eyes (bright turquoise or bright bluegreen ) darkblonde (light golden now) hair and an ivory with a slightly peach/pink undertone on my cheeks. My natural hair are darkashblonde with a subtle red reflex at the sun. I dont think I look good with light spring colors, theyre too light and wash me out, I look horrible with light orange lipsticks or light or dusty pinks…but my best choise are hotpink and berry lipsticks…I m a little confused, I started to think I could be another season….what do you think?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I wish I could know, Sara. The truth is that you could write me 10 pages about your appearance and send me every picture of you that’s ever been taken and I still wouldn’t know. PCA has very little to do with what you look like and everything to do with how your skin reacts to colours placed next to it. I have been sent numerous pictures, the woman said what Season she feels pretty certain of, all sounded good, picture looked reasonable, and I did what I should NEVER do, which is to give advice because not everyone can get to an analyst. A few months later, she sees an analyst from our group and sends me a picture in a correct analysis environment. First, I don’t even recognize her. Second, I think, “You cannot be serious. She looks NOTHING like what I thought.” And of course, third, she is nowhere near the Season she thought. What I think is that a visit to an analyst is in order.

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