My appearance has changed. My figure is changeable. I have a closet full of lovely clothes which I am not coordinating to any great advantage, because I am not at all sure how I want to look at this moment in life. I am in the midst of an enormous experiment, exploring colours and archetypes, sorting out the requirements from the surplus.

Ask not what colors, ask only how to wear them. Seeing my natural hair colour after all this time is a revelation. Composition and proportion are vital, but contrast remains the most important thing.

Which Season Are You? Seasonal Color Analysis

Nominally Deep Winter, with some extra warmth. Not bright enough for Bright Winter, but not too dull either. I am neutral, neither warm nor cool. I can compare silver and gold side by side and honestly I cannot tell the difference. If there were such a thing as a Dark Spring, that would probably be me.

Here’s the kicker: there is a sweet spot. Colors do not need to be warm or cool. They only need to be sufficiently saturated, This means warmer colours can work as long as they’re bright enough.

#1-3: Proving the rule: Black with gold, plum, teal and a load of other colours I should not in theory be wearing. Shades of yellow can be made to play nicely, as long as they are well integrated. This felt bright and sunny for early Autumn. I could bookend with cognac creepers, but the black oxfords create an elongated silhouette.

#4: True red: not a problem. Vermilion, plum, cognac, coral, even bright orange can work in the right context. The problem was never that they were too warm. They were clashing with my hair.

#5-7 The converse of this is that desaturated “fashion” neutrals such as grey, beige or khaki need a lot of help. But they are not off limits. Here they are somewhat rescued by a dramatic silhouette, aided and abetted by a stripy shirt and a shiny necktie.

My last photo is a bit sloppy, but I put a hat on and felt very trendy about town.

The shrug is about ten years old, a rescue from one of my storage containers. I love how the shoulder detail looks under the quilted vest. Need a better photo of that. Still I crave a little more brightness. It could be a key player this winter if I can figure out some more colour hacks.

#8-10: Finally… a failure of colours. Navy blue is theoretically my best neutral. This waxed cotton jacket goes well enough with black and white, but with denim, not so much. I feel there is not quite enough contrast here, or perhaps the look is a little too classic. Proportions just about save it, along with the plaid cotton bomber layered underneath. Bonus hat pin.

Key learnings

  • Colour analysis is not an exact science (duh).
  • I can safely reintegrate shades of red.
  • I can be confident wearing warmer brights.
  • I should proceed with caution around grey and other fashion neutrals.

This last is the most important, not least because I think it may account for quite a few orphans. I would like to rectify this, so grey with brights could be an objective this season. A nice way to liven up winter.

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