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Hot Weather Colour for Dark Winter

Hot Weather Colour for Dark Winter

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The lighter and brighter colours for Dark Winter are presented today, along with combinations for warm weather.

For Dark and True Winter, light colours may be icy and very light. The light versions of the other palette colours are not very light and begin near the middle of a full white to black scale.

By comparison, Dark Autumn has vintage pale colours, like lemongrass and antique coral, in place of icy colours. Like Dark Winter, their other light colours have a fairly dark starting point relative to other palettes.

Dark Autum, Dark Winter, and True Winter colours


Why is it called Dark Season?

Dark, Bright, Light, etc, are historical terms in the PCA industry, dating back to I know not when or whom.

A Dark Season draws its colours from a darker part of the cloud of all possible colours.

Darkness is the aspect of the colouring that is not medium. It goes to or very near black. Meanwhile, warmth, coolness, brightness, and softness have some room to move and hover near the middle of their scales.

The overall darkness level of outfits looks best to me when it is also medium to dark.


A Dark Autumn asked,
I seem to always wear the colours from the light to center sections of  my fan. I don’t understand why the darkest of the Dark Autumn colors, especially the purples, seem to drain me.
  1. The darker colours being chosen are too cool and blue.
  2. The darker colours are too soft.
  3. Lightness and clarity can appear to add some lift in many women, which is why so many of them get put into Spring. An untrained eye might see this and forget to take into account all the other factors.
  4. The colours from the center of the fan are easiest to be aware of.
  5. If your eyes are used to seeing you in these, they may have trouble making an objective assessment of darker colours. Likewise, if you have always worn a lot of black, you may feel it looks good when it is only familiar.
Light colours for a Dark Autumn

A Dark Winter asked,
I would love to see a post on using the cool, heavy, regal colors in a climate that’s melting with heat and humidity.
Dark Winter is like True Winter but a little warmer and duller, but not as much as if it were done in newsprint. To me, it looks more warmer than duller, but I’m no better at judging these little increments than anyone else.

There are a lot of neutrals in these Polyvores, because I like them on this colouring. I find them great in summer and to offset the ‘colour colours’, and far more interesting against summer backgrounds than winter backgrounds. The contrast between summertime and the “heavy and regal” is more pronounced, which feels a little exciting.

Light colours for a Dark Winter


Remember that we haven’t accessorized anything yet. Shoes, bags, jewelry can all add as much or as little colour as you like.

When we train a colour analyst, the student learns to look at the image in the mirror in terms of 3 distinct dimensions. You could try this too. Don’t compare an person and their clothing and think in terms of Seasons. It’s way too convoluted. Think, “Would I adjust the darkness?”, “Does the warmth level feel like a match?”, and “How do I feel about the clarity?” as 3 separate questions.

The navy and dark brown in the 12-Tone palette are near black, fine colours but not a first choice in high humidity. I’m very partial to the dark tobacco colour as a neutral, even in hot weather, maybe because it’s jungly. Love it with yellow as the dress and the skort/tank set in 4 below.

Dark Winter skorts and tanktops


Dark Winter dresses and skirts


Dark winter outfits


Dark winter women's outfits



16 Thoughts on Hot Weather Colour for Dark Winter

  • Corinne

    Hooray! I love it. I hope everyone, analysts included, who still maintains the belief that a person must look dark to be a dark season will read this and ‘get it’.

  • Jane

    So it has to follow, doesn’t it, that you don’t need to look light to be a light season, soft to be a soft season, or clear/bright to be a bright season, warm to be a true warm or cool to be a true cool. Or neutral, to be a neutral! There is absolutely no clue whatsoever, at all, 100 percent non-existent, in a persons appearance as to what their colour setting levels might be. Is that correct?

  • Hilary

    Thank you Christine! This is fabulous. So inspiring and I love the side-by-side comparisons with TW and DA. I love the dark hot pink especially, I would love to find something in that colour.

  • Denise

    Curious – what is the reasoning behind your “there are no medium-medium-medium people?”

    The polyvores are great. I’d love to see the same thing done for soft summer 🙂

  • Lena

    Jane, that is correct. You can only be 100% certain if you get a PCA; unless, of course, that PCA is wrong. Then you can get another PCA – or a dozen more, in a dozen different systems – and hope for the best.


  • Lisa

    Denise, my understanding of what Christine is saying is that on those three colour parameters (dark/light, warm/cool, soft/bright), the Sci-Art PCA system has it that everybody is an extreme for ONE of the three, while being “middle of the scale” for the other two, ie medium. So in that way, nobody is “medium- medium – medium”.

    The adjective part of the season name – eg Bright Winter, Soft Autmun – tells you which of those three parameters is the extreme for that person, and also which end they are at (again, in terms of skin reaction, not to look at). The full season name tells you something about the rest, once you know the “clockface” with the 12 seasons: eg for the 8 neutrals, tells whether warm-neutral or cool-neutral, and whether on the sun or shadow side of the parent.

    Yes, love C’s polvyores! : )

  • Tara

    Yay!! Thank you thank you thank you for covering this. As a DW I have such a hard time dressing in the summer. I often look at the lighter and brighter swatches in the pallet and think “well, i should absolutely be able to wear any combination of these colors that suits my personality. I shouldn’t have to be all dark all the time; just darkER than other seasons.” thank you so much for this post!

    • Christine Scaman

      100% is a tough level to reach in the real world. For me, though, the clues are not what folks think they are or want them to be. We really cannot judge a person’s colour settings. Or any colour’s settings. If I put a colour in front of you and say “How dark is it?” or “Is it warm, cool, or neutral?”, there truly is only one correct answer: “Compared to what?”
      However, there can be signals like the relative intensity of the eyes in the face that can help suggest one of the 4 True Seasons. I look at people and wonder all the time, but the closest I ever try to get is “Which of the 4 Trues do they probably fall into?” And even then, I’m right about half the time. How skin will react to colour is very unpredictable. Colour analysts are surprised all the time during a draping. And so they should be.
      You’re right as well that you don’t need to look light to be Light, etc. People get too caught up in those words and attach too many meanings and rules to them.

      Good Q. I ask it to myself. I have no proof of it, but I’ve never seen one. I see True Summers who can handle a bit more saturation. I see fabric with True Spring heat and BW saturation, unknown if that would happen in a human. But in everyone, there is some setting that is medium, medium high, or medium low. The skin of every person seems to have some dimension where it will not compromise, and others where it will. I do believe that the Munsell colour representation is pretty accurate for human colouring and colour perception. We probably are coloured according to how we perceive colour, just as animals are. So a M-M-M person would have a very limited range of colours in their palette, and therefore in their body – but that doesn’t happen.

      Yup. And hopefully be brought closer to the truth every time. These are the folks who are generally very good at choosing correct colour for themselves, better than the folks who just got an answer the first time and never had to develop a sense of the others where they share some common ground.

      Only draping can pick it up. Which may be why all the real Winters who took the test from books always came out with some other answer. Nobody ever saw what their skin could really balance.

      Every palette is about 1/3 of each dark, light, and medium colours. How you wear them is up to you. If you’re very dark to look at, then all light choices (which are icy) doesn’t seem quite grounded or solid. An icy and a medium? Sure, especially in summer.

  • Ally

    Oh, very timely. You brushed against two questions that have been bouncing around in my head for a bit:
    One: Okay, Trues are extreme in their hues, warm or cool. Is an Autumn who can handle any more coolness than the TA fan automatically a neutral Autumn, or are there Trues who are *less* extreme in their hues? I guess you could apply this to any dimension – soft*er* Brights? Lights who can handle more darkness?

    Two: Does each palette occupy a unique hue range? Like, SSu and DW are both cool-neutrals. Is one warmer than the other? I know I got to see a comparison of LSu and BW fans recently, and I was surprised at how warm LSu looked. Does muting tend to warmth?

    • Christine Scaman

      Ally – great Q. Answering only from my own experience,

      – I have not seen True Seasons who can negotiate even slightly on the warm/cool scale
      – this appears to apply equally to the Softs, Lights, etc. in that their ranges are less limited; I don’t know if it’s harder to pin down precisely what will be included in these ranges than in warm and cool; when I think about the various hues in the Munsell charts, how does one decide which are considered 100% cool? Or is it all relative to every other colour in the system? I wish I knew these answers, they’re certainly good questions.
      – yes, muted colour seems warmer, it’s closer to the other side of the colour circle where the hues of opposite heat level live; this may be why T Su behaves warmer than TW, and also that to darken a colour, we could add blue or black, both of which cool as they darken

  • Jane

    Hi Christine, thank you for replying to my question. I understand what you’re saying about qualities being comparative. But I think there must be a balance somewhere between the “how dark is your hair”, “how warm is your hair”, “you’re an autumn” approach, and the “there are no generalities” approach. I do understand that the analyst has to clear their mind of prejudices before draping a client, but I would also think that if you find yourself winding up with a light spring in front of you whose eyes are darkest brown, as is her (natural) hair, you might be tempted to double check because her hair and eyes are not going to be reflected in the general palette. That’s what I would think. I’m not the analyst. But some of the results you see in various places on line seem “highly irregular”.

    • Christine Scaman

      Jane, I would think you’re exactly right.

  • Ben Gates

    Could you tell me where there is a color analyst in either Shreveport , LA or Dallas (for men)? Thanks.

    • Christine Scaman

      I don’t think so, Ben. You’d need to look in the Analyst Directory tab. There are analysts in Southern TX if that helps.

  • Mary Lauer

    @Christine, the first person to come up with the 12 season system which includes the deep chart was Doris Pooser in Always In Style with Color Me Beautiful, 1985. The book is probably in your public library and is for sale on Amazon.

    • Christine Scaman

      Yes, I’ve read her work, thank you, Mary. I have so much respect for the people of vision, artistry, and insight that have given us all deeper understanding of colour.

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