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Please No Colours for Autumns

Please No Colours for Autumns

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Having your colouring analyzed is easy. You sit in a chair and I pass fabrics in different colours under your face. I’ll explain how to decide what is really working. We’ll decide together. We will follow a map, we’ll have a plan, and in about 2 hours, we will have the answer. The person you will have found at the end is you.

You won’t believe all the different ways you can look, and probably do look. You will leave knowing what to never buy again. You will know why not. For your next shopping trip, you go in armed with a list of Better Than choices. Who cares if this yellow blouse or that purple jacket is showing the world a less-than-best you? I’ll give you 20 better options to look for.

The first post in this series was Please No Colours for Summers. The comments to that post were excellent. There and here too, the colours in the diagram are those that I see often where I live. They’re not intended to be the worst possible or second best or follow any ranking system. For instance, the yellow in the True Autumn row below. Autumns tend to be comfortable in yellow but not being sure what to buy, they figure yellow is yellow and end up with something that looks wimpy instead of their Santa Fe sunset look.

First, because you know I have to talk about colour if I see an opening, some thoughts about compliments, one of my favourite reverse psychologies where, “I love your shirt.” means, “I think your shirt would look great on me.”

And photographs, which is a question I am asked often. Funny , my accountant keeps asking the same question, “Are you quite sure you can’t do this from pictures???” One reader asked if I see any browns as worse for True Autumn than black. That’s kind of a challenge, like telling a massage therapist nothing hurts today 🙂 Spring has some light beiges that are flat on True Autumn. The pink browns of the Summers do nothing that helps this person in any way. Black isn’t so impossible on True Autumn because it’s dark. They can manage it in a leopard spot or a piping.

Black is a lot tougher on Soft Autumn, in fact it could have gone into the grid below. The person is shorter, heavier, and boxier. That’s just the way it is. But nobody is ever stuck. If a place or occasion demands black, a warmed soft black is not that hard to find. Nobody will know the difference, though you might be asked if you got taller.


Does and Donts for Autumn Colours


The Colours

Soft Autumn
  1. Royal blue or sapphire:  Dominant to the point that the wearer could be a mannequin.
  2. True or Light Summer pink, powder pink, icy pink, pastel pink: None of them look like the woman’s own clothing. The sense is of attire borrowed from a teenager.
  3. Winter fuchsia: Too much red for a softy yellow and green person. Just picture it with the light brick lipstick that actually does look gorgeous.
Beauty colour: Soft medium-dark turquoise. Stunning. Stunning. Repeats the colours in those who have similar blue-greens in the eyes to Soft Summer.


True Autumn
  1. True Spring daffodil yellow: Warm Seasons should wear yellow, among their best appearance. But not this yellow.
  2. True Summer muted cool blue: Add 15 years presto. It’s a crazy thing to see but it never fails to happen.
  3. Spring lime: The viewer has no idea where to look. We sometimes see ourselves as very medium and figure that wearing something bright will brighten up the whole picture but the item only brightens itself. We can only become more bland by comparison to a colour much brighter than our own.
Beauty colour: Spicy brown with a shimmer. A screen that you never want to change.


Dark Autumn
  1. White: Add age, subtract health. There in no way to wear this, just as there is no way to adapt black for Light Spring.
  2. Bright Season fuchsia: I don’t know why. Better than on Soft Autumn, but looks like candy.
  3. Summer pastels: the complexion goes grey and flat. The lightest of the Dark Autumn colours might resemble pastels but nobody would put them together in an outfit.
Beauty colour: That rich amazing red. Many have dark red in the eyes, which is amazing. For others, this colour complements the green. Own the lipstick or the tie. You may not know how great you look but the rest of us do.



40 Thoughts on Please No Colours for Autumns

  • Tanja

    Very interesting article! Can’t wait for the winter edition aboutthe “Please no” colors. 🙂 Thankx for your amazing work! Best regards

  • Melina

    Finally the Autumns 🙂 Even though I’m about 98% sure I’m a True Autumn, both True and Dark suit me here (and it’s even further confirmation that I’m not Soft, if any was needed). In fact the “please do” red for Darks is one of my best colours, but I assume it’s a great one for TA’s, too? Anyway, especially the blues to avoid are spot on for me – “skin like cement”, yes! 😉

    As to black, I used to LOVE it, often wore all-black, but now that I know what the right colours can do to me, it doesn’t seem so attractive anymore…

  • Melina

    Oh, and what or who is Cassanrda in RTYNC…?

  • Melina

    Typo, Cassandra I meant 😉

  • Cate

    HAHAHAHAHA. Oh Christine. So accurate. I literally had a closet full of the please no colors for my season, with the dash of the cobalt blue in the SA row. You definitely have my pre-PCA number.

  • ruby

    Interesting choices, and thanks for doing an autumn post in this series, you kind of had to, really, to get me & Melina off your back :-). Also, thanks for answering my question about black, what I had in mind really was those occasions, that seem to occur most often in the world of shoes or bags, when the choice is say a spring or winter darkish-but-clear brown, or a black. I have tended to go for the brown as being better on me and with my wardrobe than the black, and what you have said seems to confirm this probably is the better choice in the absence of an autumn option.

    I’m self analysed as TA (lack of analysts in my area necessitating this less than ideal situation) but even prior to that was avoiding the TA ‘no’ colours , though how much of that was instinct and how much just luck of my taste coinciding with my colouring I don’t know. I’ve never liked blue, really, & never thought I suited yellow, possibly explained by what have since come to think, that I have little tolerance for wrong yellows (as opposed to, say, wrong purples). Used to wear a lot of the hot pink you put as a no for DA, and black, and I suspect probably looked aged and boring in them. Nowadays love love LOVE the TA russet-brown in the ‘yes’ column which makes me look like I could achieve anything I put my mind to.

  • Melina

    Oh, Ruby, I do sincerely hope I haven’t been on Christine’s back here 😉

    As to the hot pink, I admit I used to wear it a lot too, along with black, I really did think they were great colours for me… But now I know what truly great looks like 🙂 And I did truly think I was a Bright Spring for a long time – I guess it seemed close enough, and if you think black & hot pink are great for you & you’re a warm or warm-neutral, it’s the logical result to arrive to 😉

  • Corinna

    Ooooh, yes! That horrid hot pink… before my analysis I thought that hot pink was one of my best colours… Bwahahaha!

    But I do have a theory as to why DAs might often think they are BSp. When my analysis was over, I was handed my shiny new colour fan and I was utterly surprised to see so many colours. Actual colours, I mean. Reds and blues and greens and those fabulous purples! I had thought that all the autumns were basically boring browns and beiges with drab olives and pumpkin as “fun” alternatives. Definitely not my best colours. Seriously, Neutrals and me… just no. I knew I needed colours – actual colours – and strong ones at that. And where can you find strong fabulous colours? Right, over there in Spring land! But then it turned out, that DA is not a “stereotypical” Autumn, and tbh I’ve always felt that the DA palette looks rather like a dark spring. 😉

    Oh, and I truly love this compilation. There are a couple of colours, that I had been instinctively avoiding , that turned out to be my worst nightmare. But those colours above are the ones, that are not the worst, the horror isn’t as obvious as, say, soft lavender *shudder*. You are spot on with the white. It is supposed to look so clean, so powerfully minimalist, and it is so available. In every wardrobe advice list you are told to buy a white blouse or tshirt, because apparently everyone looks so classy in it…

  • Jen

    This is very interesting. Thank you, Christine! I’m curious… I know it’s not on the fan, but that soft autumn no no color, the one like a bruise? What about it makes it so problematic? It’s muted, deep of course, and warm. I realize soft Autumn purples and plums are very limited and specific, but I’m wondering if you can speak to the element of this color that makes it so disharmonious to a soft autumn.

  • Melina

    Jen, I’m obviously not Christine, but to me that “bruise” color looks very cool, not warm… (Though it might be a monitor issue, too.)


    My Gosh!! you are so incredibly bang On!!… I pictured Autumns in the ‘Don’t’ column and your phrases fit perfectly =Awful!!..then I imagined an Autumn waring gowns and garments in the ‘do column and it was Magnificent!!


    @Melina and Jen: yes, Jen – I was about to write ‘not Christine, but this plum colour is to ‘clear’ and cool…not muddied enough…maybe if it had a bit more ‘bruising’/brown it would work…..

  • Monica

    These posts provide valuable information. Would it be possible to also type the colour’s name? Everyone’s computer screen may show the colour block slightly differently. Looking forward to reading about Spring.

    • Christine Scaman

      Melina – Cassandra was a character in Return to Your Natural Seasons. She was a client whose hand happened to linger over a True Summer drape. The aging and reddening of her hand so shocked her that she pulled it away, almost afraid of what she’d seen. She was a True Autumn.

      I can try to think of names, Monica. The only thing is that these colours came from my imagination and if I say ‘royal blue’, everyone might picture different colours so we’re not much further ahead. I could add the intention of the colour maybe, or what Season of origin I had in mind?

      Soft Autumn: TW royal blue, cool powder pink somewhere in the LSu, TSu, or TW vicinity, I only thought about variations of what I see often, didn’t compare them to anything in particular, and a cool red purple in the TW range. Red based blue is cool-side (yellow -blue is warmer) and looks very blue on SA and with the wardrobe.
      True Autumn: TSp yellow, greener and lighter than TA’s , TSu medium blue, and BSp lime
      Dark Autumn: white, Winter fuchsia, and True Summer eucalyptus

      I hope I’ve answered everyone’s questions. Please say if not.

  • inge

    I wonder if this is true, but it seems to me that there is another
    way to detect an unharmonious colours. When looking in the mirror, one sees not an older face, not something horrid, yet there is the uncanny feeling that one cannot see one’s whole face at once. I might be wrong, of course, and just needing some better eyeglasses.

    A Happy New Year to all the readers, and especially to our gracious hostess Christine, with many thanks for her work.

  • Melina

    Thanks, Christine, that’s fascinating! I haven’t noticed my hands changing colour when next to a wrong one, although my face does… (I even dug up my draping cards again just to make sure ;)) For me, Light Summer blue is worse than the TSu, for some reason.

    (I even googled RTYNC and only very strange stuff came up, so I had no idea what it was 😉 Such a pity your work isn’t more generally known! E.g. the only colour analysis books you can find in public libraries here are of the Colour Me Beautiful or “dominant trait” variety, alas…)

    And knowing the seasons for the colours was helpful; I had e.g. imagined the green in TA column to be a TSp green, so good to know it’s actually a BSp one.

    My question above was quite an indirect one, so I’ll ask again in a clearer way 😉 – is the red in DA “please do” column a great colour for TA’s, too? As that’s among my best colours.

    (Although, based on this article and a few other things I’m now reconsidering DA for myself; but I’ll eat my hat if it isn’t one of those two, DA or TA! ;-))

    • Christine Scaman

      The DA red in real life is getting to have lot of red, meaning it’s bluer than a TA ‘red’, and it is quite dark. That said, there are about a million worse colours a TA could wear!

  • Kate MacDonald

    I am loving this series so much! I haven’t been able to get properly analyzed, but I’m pretty sure that I’m a Bright Winter, with Bright Spring also a possibility, so I’m looking forward to the next instalments!

  • FrancaB

    Thanks for this post! It is fun and interesting. As a dark autumn, I can vouch for the deadly effects of white (many true winter colors age me, but white, as all the light colors do-DA lights excepted- makes my eyes look feverish and wild!!! So white= old, feverish, crazy). But between white and pastels, it is difficult to choose the worst… so I would never come close to the third color in the “DA don’t” row. It has a pastel feel to it, whatever it is. Hot pink, however, is a compromise I often make… when I buy sportswear, I find hot pink is the only neon color I can pull off somehow. Of course, I could never wear a lipstick in that color, but I don’t mind it as a t-shirt or sweater. I know it’s not great. It’s not good either… but it is not bad. I suppose that is your point: it is a color with which a DA compromises, but shouldn’t?
    In any case, for what is worth, my two cents on black and brown. Even though I naturally navigate towards brown, to me the wrong brown is worst than black. Black ages me, and is a bit uniteresting, but a TA or TS reddish brown would kill me. I would look like a Simpson – yellow. Black has the advantage of lending itself to very very flattering pairings. Black and oxblood. Black and khaki-green. Black and sand-beige. Black and bronze. These combos look great on DAs I think…
    Plus, I think that the fabric texture is almost as important as the color. I cannot wear black in a shiny silk buttoned up shirt. I would look so tired. But a rich black velvet fitted top, with a bit of cleavage… works like if black belonged to me! Texture is less important if I stick to my palette, but still – my colors in soft wools or velvet make me look like a queen. The shiny stuff I love on the racks? Not so much under my face… :/

  • Melina

    Ok, good to know 🙂 Also the bluer red suits me though, which might point to DA rather than TA…

    FrancaB, you make interesting observations! As for the black, today I wore a black dress again after a long time (as I tried to steer away from black), and what do I know, it actually evened out my skin (in the morning when I was very tired and in a hurry, so that’s quite a feat)…! Granted, the dress/tunic had a very open neckline (has to be for me, my style ID is Romantic-Ethereal-Ingenue), but still, surely if it wasn’t a great colour for me, the skin-evening effect wouldn’t surely have worked…? I just don’t really know what to make of this…

  • inge

    Melina, I have never had a PCA : The closest analyst is at 1360 km away. First I tried to figure out my season by myself, and became more and more frustrated. In the end, I gave up, and now I just enjoy reading Christine’s blog. It helps to keep my eyes open, so to say, to try to really see colours and their effect on us. I cannot wear very warm colours, that much is certain, but I did find an yellow blouse that does not look bad on me- well, a few people, including myself, think so. It certainly does not look like a summer yellow. It could be like this
    Now, it could be a True Spring yellow, or a True Autumn one, or is the fabric of the blouse that works, or the things I wear the blouse with, or me and the others just like the colour – I have no idea… I guess it is difficult because we cannot see ourselves objectively.

  • ruby

    Glad you identified the colours, Christine. On my screen the yellow in the TA row looks very like a tee shirt I have that I think suits me, but my tee shirt is definitely autumn not spring, much more dahl than dahlia.

    Interesting observation about hot pink being the least worst bright colour for DA. That’s definitely been my observation for me as a relatively dark TA. No way would I leave the house in the bright royal blue on the SA row, or the lime green in the TA one, or even most shades of bright red. But a hot pink is at least bearable. It wouldn’t turn heads, but nor would people have to turn their heads AWAY because it was so awful.

  • Melina

    Inge, I haven’t had a PCA either, but I actually enjoy figuring out my season myself 😉 And as I’m by now (after a long & winding road) pretty sure I’m either DA or TA, it’s just a matter of details now 😉 My recent renewed experiences with black (above) do seem to point to DA though.

    In the link you posted there were many different yellows though (in coats, mostly), so I’m not sure which one you meant?

  • inge

    Melina, it the first yellow coat. I took it from one of Christine’s boards. It is probably not very relevant, anyway.

    I wish you good luck with finding your precise season, Autumn’s colours are quite inspiring. I know somebody who is certainly a True Autumn, and does much better is her grays than in black. She has a sort of very kind face usually,. But when she wears black, all the kindness seems to be gone. As somebody said in the latest TS post, she looks very present, but you wish she wasn’t. 🙂 Maybe you are right about DA.

  • E

    I am a DA and I have a button down top that’s a summer eucalyptus but a tiny bit more olive (still the same color and softness as the one showed above) and for some odd reason it makes my eyes and hair look lighter and browner. It brings the red tones out in both (even though my hair is a black-brown and looks black in most clothing and lighting)… this is the only color that I’ve seen do this to me besides the DA purpose which I love. I’ve had this shirt for years even before I discovered my season. I love how it brings out the reddish tones in my coloring. It brings more attention to my hair and eyes but it makes my skin look a bit dry. Other summer cockles just make me look grey and sick but this seems to be the best summer color for DA out of the summer colors. I don’t understand it lol

  • bradley

    hi christine, i’m new to commenting but i’ve been reading for awhile now! i love your posts, and the way you talk about color.

    i was wondering, is it common for people to think their worst colors are actually their best colors before color analysis? i’ve seen a couple of comments on the site saying it, and it’s true for me as well, as a self-diagnosed soft autumn who used to think the cobalt blue above was my best color.

    part of my problem was that i thought i had a cool skin tone, thanks to being extremely pale and having rosacea, and not realizing that the pink from rosacea is an overtone and not an undertone. i couldn’t understand why i couldn’t find a season that fit me, since i have dark blonde, golden toned hair naturally, and medium hazel eyes which of course made no sense with my supposed cool skin tone! recently i’ve realized that my skin is actually neutral, which explains why if i’m ever lucky enough to find a foundation that’s pale enough for me, it’s always too pink or too orange, never just right.

    that blue made my skin look almost electric, which i thought was a good thing. now i’m seeing that it really just looks kind of uncomfortable and intense, like staring at the sun. i don’t mind, because i actually never loved that blue shade, i just thought it looked good on me! should have trusted my instincts i guess, since i naturally gravitate to the soft autumn shades.

    • Christine Scaman

      People seem indifferent to their best colours quite often. They don’t have any extreme relationship with them. They’re just there maybe in the way we are so used to ourselves that we forget to factor ourselves in or see that we are where the magic actually starts. Cobalt and SA are fairly common.Looking at the sun is a great analogy.

  • Shawna

    Great post! I’m another one of those struggling to do this on her own because of no access to an analyst and can’t afford to travel to one. I’m not a professional so I can’t justify the cost even if I had the money but oh how I’d love a PCA by a sci-art analyst. Anyhow, after many mistakes and not seeing myself properly because I was taking photos with incorrect white balance on my camera, I have landed in True Autumn land. I was one of those people who had tried a few yellows which were awful and so concluded all yellow would be bad. I’ve always known brights and pastels were my worst look so I don’t make those mistakes but probably sometimes don’t get my colours warm enough. I’m still learning and have been shifting from Soft Summer, through Soft Autumn and now into True Autumn. I am happiest in burnt oranges, rust, golds and burnt peach, warm mossy greens and brown like the one in your Please Do column. At some point in my life I’ve probably tried every one of those Please Don’t colours.

  • Melina

    I do wonder about the cobalt… Obviously it’s very bad for SA, but how about DA? DW cobalt to be exact, not TW (too bright). As I’ve noticed it’s a surprisingly great colour for me, like nearly all DW blues, it has the same kind of magic as e.g. warm olive, curry yellow and pumpkin.. So I guess it’s really possible for a DA to ‘borrow’ from a neighbour palette, and it seems to me it goes both ways (from DW and TA)… Maybe that’s one reason it’s been so difficult to pinpoint my exact season; for a while now I’ve just been happy to place myself somewhere in the TA-DW spectrum, though from that, DA of course looks most likely, being in the middle of it.

  • Meredith

    So disappointing that Autumns got so little descriptive merit. The summers had a lot of description for their colours, winters and springs too… autumn just got a quick blurb about browns. Can we have a bit more description to give these spicy ladies something to love.

    I personally think that years of makeup trials can tell you who you are and who you are not. Eg: only an autumn can wear spicy colours well.

    • Christine Scaman

      I can certainly add more detail, Meredith.

  • Meredith

    Its a simple test really.

  • Melina

    Nice to have more detail for Autumns, thank you!

    Meredith, I agree with you, though it also depends on what you mean by “spicy” (in makeup) 😉 And I would also extend that to clothes, i.e. only Autumns can wear colours like olive/moss, pumpkin and curry (to my understanding); that’s how I’m fairly convinced by now that I am indeed an Autumn, the only question is *which* one 🙂 But probably DA, as i.e. black and cobalt flatter me…

  • katherine

    I have a question on white, actually.

    I haven’t been typed but I suspect Dark Autumn, mostly because white looks like death on me, always has. (I’ve had Winter suggested and I probably err that way in shopping, but the sticking point for me is always white.)

    In one of the 3 Best Colors posts a fairly light off-white was recommended for DA. Where’s the line where things start to get questionable? True Winter white is pretty easy to tell, so is pale yellow, but in between it’s often really hard to tell in stores and especially online, where you never really know what you’re going to get with “off-white.”

    • Christine Scaman

      So hard to describe white verbally, or any colour, Katherine. I could say that DA white is the darkest of the whites. It has a red tinge compared to all the other whites. I often think of grains like barley, or regular white in candlelight.

  • Z

    My hubby and son are both autumns. Not easy for formal attire. Men are expected to wear blues and whites and grays. Which make my guys look sick. 🙁 Not a great look for a job interview. Hubby settled on a warm gray suit and a beige shirt (best “white”). The store clerk tried to sell us on white and blue shirts, as they are more conservative than beige, but hubby is so warm even he could tell those colors made him look washed out.

  • AK

    I think I’m a dark autumn unfortunately as opposed to being a much luckier dark winter. I do look good wearing rich red and rich red lipstick does look very good on me. But I hate wearing orange, peach, coral and salmon and I can’t stand the 70s boho palette of orange, brown and avocado green. I like white but I can live without wearing white easily but I’ve always loved pink and I love the bright spring fuchsia shade. I’m holding on to that shade especially when it comes to lipstick.

    I love jewel tones. The thing is is that my mother told me that I look great in black and royal blue or cobalt blue but she didn’t like the look of turquoise on me. I also have a neon yellow dress that many like the look of on me. When it comes to foundation, concealer and powder I need them to have yellow undertones with a very slight touch of blue. It needs to be yellow based with a little bit of olive especially during the winter or whenever I’m not out in the sun.

    • Christine Scaman

      For those of us who love colour, it would be a great thing if every colour loved us back equally. Sadly, the world isn’t built that way. And parents, well, speaking as one myself, we’re designed to see our children as every age they have ever been and protect them at all costs. I’m trying to recall if I’ve ever know a mother able to choose her adult child’s colours perfectly. I haven’t actually, but have noticed that they’re excellent at watching the colour analysis and making the best choices. I like the option of surrounding myself with colours I love in my home and wearing those that are coloured like me as clothing, which I don’t really look at once I’m wearing them 🙂

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