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Green and Purple for Dark Winter

Green and Purple for Dark Winter

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Thank you to my dear friends Linda for the topic and Susan for the beautiful tulips that look like the Canadian maple leaf.


In the sequence of the 12 Seasons, Dark Winter is the colouring group that is mostly Winter with a smaller influence from Autumn.

With Winter, the Season shares:

– a white white, that most people would call white without qualifiers,

– a black black, and many other very dark colours

– pure colour in jewel tones, that gives certain colours a candy or plastic/synthetic quality

– extremes of lightness in icy light colours, meaning colour that is almost white with a drop of pure pigment

With Autumn, Dark Winter shares:

– muted colour, which gives some colours a feeling of weight, like velvet

– optical agreement when colours meet a certain darkness level

– a log cabin quality so that certain colours may feel a bit rustic or military, especially in matte textiles

Matching and Harmonizing

When looking for any colour in any Season, begin by looking for colours in the palette. That’s a fine place to start, and to stay if it feels right to you. Many colours could fit into various palettes very well. The other colours in the outfit will find what they have in common and allow you and the colour to shine.

For those who enjoy more detail or precision as they apply their Season to their shopping choices, the fact that many colours interact with various palettes feels unsatisfying. They ask, “Can’t every colour fit best into one single Season?”

The answer is, “Yes, it can.” To choose that best palette, the colour agreement between all the colours in the palette is evaluated, in addition to the best apparent match. After all, every colour in you will be wearing your clothing. We don’t see only your greens when you wear a green blouse. We see all your colours.

With the palette spread out, a lot of information is coming your way. If the overall looks pleasing but you are not sure about the decision, look at one colour family, such as blue, or one strip, at a time.

For Dark Winter, the garment colour should work well with the rustic and the candy sides of the Season. The strip with white should look about how it does on a neutral gray background, not divided or distorted. The entire strip from lightest to darkest should be equally energized.

If the lightest colours disappear or look muted, this will happen to the facial colours too. People share with me the most inspired analogies. A recent student whom I loved welcoming into our community recently described this as the arms of the palette suddenly looking shorter.

Five Tableaux
  1. Warm Greens
Dark winter warm green clothing and accessories

In the row across the top:

1 is too muted and warm. It loses ground next to the candy colours of the palette.

2 is getting there but I would prefer something more jungle or palm green, like the darker colours that Bright Spring might wear. I would hope it is at least this saturated IRL, or a bit more.

3 looks right, on the high side depending on how much your monitor saturates colour.

4 may be too pigmented because the palette colours lose energy next to it, and may be better for Bright Spring.

If you expand 5, the yellow reflection is strong, and maybe a little wrong, making little sense with the purples. Not the worst choice, since Dark Winter contains Winter yellow, which is quite pigmented. I might buy it if I loved the top otherwise.

6: Between two Seasons, a game to help you decide is, “Which is worse?” It hinges on the concept that they will be separated by their differences. If I place or imagine it next to the warm mustards of Dark Autumn or the icy colours of Dark Winter, I prefer it with Dark Autumn. But the colour is dark and appears to be of neutral warmth, which Dark Winter can work with. Wear it with the warmer colours of the Season. If these colours exist in the eyes or in a print worn in the same outfit, even better. I would buy this if I love the item and the price.

The notes for 9 are similar to those for 6, though I find it more Autumn. If the person is very saturated or Winter-like (near black hair and eyes) in natural colouring, it might appear too muted. What’s good is that next to the palette colours, the attention remains about even between them, the energy remains good in each, and neither is changing the other.

10 is a colour that appears, or seems to appear, in many palettes. Another technique for deciding is to hide the strip that has the apparently matching colour. How well does the garment work now? It doesn’t. Nothing in the palette, ie: person, improves next to this colour.

11 appears to contain the same colour as 10 but is different enough to flatter the person better. I like this item.

12 is like 5 but more so. The yellow reflection is too bright. The colour is just too happy to stay calm under a Dark Winter face. The appearance doesn’t settle. The eye keeps going back to the dress. Wouldn’t buy it.

  1. Cool Greens
Dark winter cool green outfits

1 is fine.

2 may be too saturated, meaning that it is greener than the palette greens are green or blues are blue. Combine that with the sense of a strong yellow component and we may be getting into True or Bright Winter. The same could apply to 5.

3 is a little cool and soft but Dark Winter shines in these dark blue-greens. At this saturation (or pigment concentration), I would have to love the item to buy it. A little more feeling of ink would be good.  It could work for True Summer as well. The quality of the yellow or the reflection seems too light compared to the Dark Winter palette. The garment and the warmer neutral tone strip of the Dark Winter palette seem to be pushing each other apart. OTOH, they are not changing one another, which is always a good sign.

4 and 9 are close enough colours.  The quality of the yellow is not continuous with the palette colours but they still share a lot. Dark Winter would not wear a colour much lighter, except in the icy colours. The reflectivity of 4 seems a little light in weight.

6 is the marker in this group to which I compare the others. It’s too cool and probably too clear (bright) for Dark Winter. If the woman tests very near True Winter, and with the item being dark, and this colour being one that Dark Winter adapts the way Summer adapts blue, it will work fine for some Dark Winters. As we try things in our Season, we learn ourselves better and better until we are very fine tuned in our understanding of our own colouring.

8 is great.

10 seems fine.

  1. Prints with Green
Dark winter green prints


The lime green in 1 is challenging to find on its own, and because the colour is bright, it can be more noticed when the colour is not quite right. Here, the other greens make sense of the lime, and it won’t matter if it is slightly out of Season. Love that blouse.

The cool, dark olive for this Season is important. Cooler than dark tobacco, it is excellent with the eye colours. 2 and 3 are examples of how it might look.

4 has a lot of warmth. Depending on the palette and interpretation, and the pigmentation of the woman, the black, the ability of the textile to saturate, and its shine all help Dark Winter.

5 may be technically a Dark Autumn blouse.  The pale pinks in the flowers, the corals in the flowers, the cool-associated colours of green and blue, and the darkness improve its potential for Dark Winter.

The white in 6 is warm for Dark Winter but it looks good with the lipsticks and the other colours. Love this sweater.

The white in 7 has a pinkish quality that I associate with Dark Autumn white. With the whites away from the face and a green this good, if the dress were a great fit and price, I would still buy it.

The metallic quality of 8 is great. An industrial look that looks terrific next this colouring.

9 may be too bright and candy but it’s a nice accessory.

10 is bright but it’s an emerald green that Winters can work with. Jewel tones make sense. The mesh-mosaic texture, animal print, beiges, and darkness level are all great.

  1. Blue Purple
Dark winter blue purple outfits

1 is one of those peculiar colours that I am still learning. Although this one has enough muscle for Winter and a dullness one might associate with Autumn influence, it also contains a lot of red. I considered it for True Winter but I think it’s too heavy and smoky for True Winter’s lighter, clearer look.

2 is great. I seriously love this on Dark Winter.

3 is a more wearable version of 1. Colour is entirely what you do with it. We have all seen a colour we might overlook in a palette become the most breathtaking garment.

4 is good.

5 is in the ballpark but it hard to read in the image. If the blouse were whiter and the model’s hair less clashing with the sweater, it might be quite workable.

6 is on the candy side but I like candy accessories sometimes. It will still work with the wardrobe without requiring any change in the outfit or cosmetics.

7 is kind of fascinating. One gets a sense of lilac and softly curved lines but the associations between those and Summer are in the past, or in my past.  It is as light as Dark Winter would get in a head to toe colour.

8, 9, and 10 are quite ok.

11 may be True Winter, but shoes, like purses, are some distance from the face. These will still cooperate with Dark Winter because they share so much.


5. Medium Purple

Dark winter medium purple outfits and accessories


It doesn’t take much before red-purple lands you in True Winter. 1 may be too red but it is not dulling the palette colours. 4 does seem to drain energy from the palette colours. The other suggestion that these are not right is that it’s hard to find a great lipstick. The warm lip colours in the palette go from great red rusts to absolute spaghetti sauce…and sadly, that is exactly what they will do on the face if they are worn next to this dress. With a cooler lipstick, might work fine but honestly, I’m doubtful.

Love 2. True and Dark Winter would be fine. They make sense of dark purple.

3 is fine.

The stones in the straps of 5 are a little lightweight for the gravitas of Dark Winter, but they are small in size, the chain is good, and they convey a jewel tone to some degree. Shells would be less than ideal.

6 may be cool and saturated but it would look great on many Dark Winter, particularly the dark of hair, eye, or skin, and those who enjoy cosmetics.

7 is a fun accessory colour. Winters look good in purple, adapt it easily, and should wear a lot of it. The handle and belt are fine. Nobody’s Season changes in the summer months, tanned or not, but many of us enjoy brighter and lighter colour choices during the warm, sunny months, and perhaps more whimsical choices than we might otherwise wear. With a white top and dark jeans or casual lower half of ensemble, very nice.

  1. Red Purple
Dark winter red purple colour outfits


What happens, as shown in 4, is that the red gets high, the candy level increases, and tips the item into True Winter.  The T-shirt fabric helps mute the colour. It’s not nearly as bright as it would be if the fabric were smooth and shiny. Dark Winters should try this on and then decide. With white or iron grey hair, or a cool bandanna, or great earrings, absolutely.

7 is similar in that the suede helps but the colour is probably too red and better for True Winter. However, on the feet, with a black dress, I would gladly stare at them all evening.

1, 2, 5, and 8 are a little browner, more plum and less grape. Excellent colours. For a larger area near the face, or on a woman who looks Autumn, or a woman who prefers natural or less saturated looks, this colour will be better. For the Dark Winter who tests so close to True Winter that it took 15 minutes to decide on the Season, and whose eyes are crisp and black-brown (rather than full of lovely warm rusty browns and mossy greens), any of these colours will be fine and so much more amazing than what she might have bought pre-PCA.

3 is an example of a cooler white compared to item 6 in tableau 3. The texture gives it a little dullness but anyone would call it white. True Winter would wear this just as well (if not better) because the white looks almost blue.


12 Thoughts on Green and Purple for Dark Winter

  • "; ?> Rachel

    This was so helpful!!! Thanks, Christine! Always enjoy reading your posts.

    As someone who seems to be DW, I’m trying to figure out why I much prefer the cooler DW greens over the warmer ones, but then prefer the warm red purples over the cooler ones? Maybe it’s just a strange personal preference? lol! Or could it be because the warmer greens are near the DA end of the palette and the cooler red purples are near the TW end?

    With the lighter blue purples and medium purples, do you find that it’s easy to get too “powdery”? Almost *gasp* PASTEL? Haha, so scary to me! 🙂

    Also, yellow is so gorgeous, but so hard to find the right kind, the one that just snaps into place and “connects”! Seems that by the time it’s dark enough and has enough “presence” to hold the head up, it has become a DA yellow that turns me waxy.

    Anyway, thanks again for a great post!!

  • "; ?> Rachel

    …about the yellow, is it maybe one of those lighter colours that a DW would only wear in a print or part of a shirt, not dark and strong enough on its own as an entire shirt?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Preference is most certainly a personal taste situation. It can also come from not having seen the right version of the colour. I am often told that a person looks a certain way in DW coral, but that is one rare colour, at least where I live. DW warm green is (to me) more like True Spring dark green, just a bit smokier. Yes to getting powdery in light blue and med. purple. These are also uncommon because like all DW, they have weight and brightness at the same time. And yes, yellow is challenging. Perhaps those nearer Autumn would wear larger blocks (I sure would), or depending on pigmentation (yellows in eyes, freckles)?

  • "; ?> Melina

    This is surely helpful for Dark Winters, but to be honest, I find those slight differences in a particular shade of colour so small that I don’t know how most people could tell them apart 😉 As nearly all those colours look very DW territory to me, and yet the article distinguishes several ones that aren’t.

    Intriguingly enough, I have an old scarf of the colour 6 in the cool greens group, or very close (I guess it’s called “pine green”); and trying it on the other day just for fun, I thought it will of course be way too cool and dark for me, but to my surprise it wasn’t, in some strange way it even improved my look… And I’ve long seen myself as a warm or warm-neutral season. Hmmm…

  • "; ?> Jessica

    This is an incredible in depth post, and is incredibly helpful! Thank you for sharing it. Much to think about and slowly take in.

  • "; ?> Bee

    Comparison is such a good way to learn! I feel like I finally got what´s the difference in Bright Spring and Dark Winter jewel tones. It´s like the latter absorbs the light that the former shines out.
    It would be so helpful to so something like this with Bright Spring reds and violets. And berries. Its so difficult to find a “sun-infused” berry purple.

  • "; ?> Linda

    Thank you so much for this post. I read it quickly just before I was on my way out the door. Now I have to sit and take it all in. Love your work!

  • "; ?> ruby

    This series is great, it’s so helpful to get a sense of where the season boundaries are and its really useful to have the images to compare a range of similar colours. I look forward to similar posts for more seasons. Especially TA, hint hint!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I’m happy that you find value in these posts. I can certainly do more, and it helps if the requests are very specific. Which Season, which colour in particular? It keeps me focused 😉

  • "; ?> Joan

    Greens, reds and teals for True Summer would certainly be fantastic. Autumn blues would also be a good one. I have an oddly hard time differentiating between Autumn and Summer blues.

  • "; ?> Sylvie

    This is really helpful. I like this in depth focused attention that ties in other seasons. Love the practical exploration too and as someone else mentioned getting a clearer sense of boundaries within the world of personal colours. Thank you!

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