Thanks to another thread I got wrapped up trying to understand seasonal colour analysis. I’ve looked into this before, but been disheartened by the reports of analysts getting it so wrong. But there’s merit in trying to understand what colours work when dissecting your style, so I gave it another go.

I started out with contrast, something that doesn’t get talked about much in SCA. I found some very useful posts on the menswear blogs:

From this I determined that my colouring is medium to high contrast.

Then I found out about how the 12 sub-seasons relate to one another on a continuum of warm and cool, dark and light, soft and clear, shown here as a wheel:

I learned from 12 blueprints that your season is decided by The Most Important Thing, which will be one of the parameters of SCA that correspond to the three basic colour components:

  • Hue - warm or cool
  • Value - light or deep
  • Saturation - soft or clear

All of this makes some kind of sense from a colour theory perspective. I decided it was easier to do this by figuring out what I’m not as well as what I am.

  • I’m neither light nor dark. My natural hair colour is dark ash, my eyes dark blue green with flecks of gold. I have very fair, almost translucent skin with a pink undertone.
  • I skew cool. My veins are blue. I look better in hot pink than I do in orange. That means I’m somewhere in Winter or Summer.
  • But there’s warmth. I have freckles. I usually wear silver jewellery but gold looks OK too. After years of experimenting, I’ve decided my best hair colour is red. This rules out True Winter or True Summer.
  • I've come to think I look quite striking in black, which would make me a Winter. I’m unlikely to be Dark Winter, although I can’t rule it out. That leaves Bright Winter, which would mean my Most Important Thing is contrast and saturation.

If this is correct, it explains a lot about my preferences. Black works best accented with optic white or brights, which is why the Bad Boyfriend is such a roaring success. Softer colours can work but they need a lot of help to keep them from falling flat. Warm brights can also work in moderation. Most of my current wardrobe falls within in the Winter palette, with a few brights from Bright Spring, some darks from Deep Autumn and some cools from Summer.

I feel like I’ve just discovered a superpower, which I can use for good or evil. Bright Winter seems like my natural home but it scares me too, because while colour and contrast make me feel like my best self, they can also make me look quite intense. Intimidating even. Perhaps that’s how I’m supposed to look.

All in all, this is an incredibly useful piece of information. Moving forward, I’m going to test the hypothesis and challenge myself to dress more like Bright Winter. I’m also going to update my glasses. But I’m not going to ditch colours outside the palette. Instead, I’m going to use it to learn how to colour outside the lines more effectively. Soft colours in support of cool brights, warm brights by cool deep neutrals. It might just work.

What about you? Have you self-diagnosed your colour season? Are you happy with it? How do you extend outside it?