Four season theory and What colours suit you?

On Friday, Leisa talked about different fabric for the jacket and lining. So following on from that, I thought I would tackle the basics of colour and body shape. Not only are these subjects interesting for the sew-along, but any woman should be conscious of them when dressing day-to-day.


In this post, I'll talk about colour and the Four Season colour division. My next post will be dedicated to different body shapes.


To start with, a reminder of some basic notions of colours. The primary colours - yellow, blue and red - are a set of colours which can be combined to produce secondary colours but cannot be created through a mix of other colours.


Secondary colours are created by mixing the primary colours:


yellow + blue = green
blue+red = purple
yellow + red = orange


Complementary colours are those which produce  a neutral colour (white, grey or black) when combined in the right proportion. They also create the strongest contrast when placed next to each other, so they are opposite each other on the colour wheel.



Now you have probably asked yourselves a million times: which colours suit me? Whilst researching this post, I came to an interesting conclusion: any colour suits anybody, but you have to find the right hue.


When I studied in ESMOD two years ago, a few extracurricular lessons were dedicated to the colour theory. In one of the lessons, our teacher presented the Four Season approach to colour which I'd like to share with you.


The division by four seasons does not relate to your birth date, or temperature of each season but is based on a natural palette of each 'classical' calendar season. To go ahead with this test place yourself in front of the mirror using natural lighting and no make-up on. If you hair is dyed please cover it with a scarf of a neutral colour.

The winter type has either very light, pale or dark skin with olive skin with olive hue. No freckles. The eye colour is very rich, black deep-blue, bright-green, grey-blue, dark-brown, amber or emerald. Hair tends to be from black to dark brown. Your eyes and eyebrows are black or very dark brown. Lips are usually a cold pink colour. You tan easily and when you do, your skin becomes olive.


If you feel like this description matches your complexion, you can double-check your compatibility. To do so, take a piece of black fabric and hold it close to your face. If your eyes become more distinguished, your skin colour does not look faded and, looking at yourself in the mirror, your initial gaze is attracted to your face and not to the black fabric, then you are likely to be a winter type.

The spring type had very fair skin with an ivory, pink or bronze tone with a hint of gold. The eyes are usually bright: blue-turquoise, green or honey. Hair colour ranges from blond to dark-brown with some silver tint. The eyebrows and eyelashes are fair. Lips tend to be a bright pink colour. If you have freckles then they are golden rather than grey.You tan easily and your tan is usually golden-carrot tone.

To double check whether you are a spring type, hold a piece of apricot colour fabric near your face. If your skin looks fresh, your eyes brighten and you see that your cheeks are slightly blushed, then you are definitely a spring type.

The summer type as pink, transparent, sometimes almost blue skin. Eye colour is from hazel to grey, including blue-grey or green-grey.Your hair is golden to copper to ginger to dark-brown with an orange tint. The lips are very pale pink. If you have freckles, they are usually an ash-grey colour. You tend to tan easily and your skin becomes olive, without any ginger undertone.


To double-check your type, hold a piece of bright orange or very pale pink fabric. If one of the two makes your face and eyes stand out more then you are a summer type.

The autumn type's skin is pale-golden to bronze with a yellowish hue. The eyes are a deep, bright colour from coffee to intense blue. Hair is copper, honey to chestnut. Your lips are a salmon to coral colour. You don't usually tan well and burn very easily. The eyebrows and eyelashes are bright and very dense. You have many freckles and they are dark-golden to golden-brown.
To check whether you are an autumn type, hold a piece of red-brown (rust_ colour fabric next o your face. If you notice that your skin becomes more fresh and your freckles look "healthier" then you are an autumn type.

And now, the hues that suit your season
Winter


Spring


Summer

Autumn


What season are you?


Comments

  1. I always wondered how people worked out which colours suit them and now I know! This is really useful and I'm very happy to see that all my colours (Winter maybe?) are bright and jolly!

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  2. Yay thanks for this! I have JUST been thinking about this today, agonizing over which colourway to choose in a Liberty print. In the end I went with both because they were just so beautiful. I think I fit into the Autumn one - especially the bit about not tanning well!

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  3. OH, I am Winter too ;)

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  4. OH, I hear you! It happens to me to buy fabric because the colours are so beautiful just to realize that they don't suit me at all. I've printed my colour palette out and now try to check for "my colours" before any impulsive purchase :)

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  5. These things have always confused me to no end... If I read this I would be a spring type that tans like an autumn with autumn lips and summer eyes, but the colour palette that looks best on me is the winter one, a type I have nothing in common with. Yay, genetics!

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  6. hehe :) Well, the least I wanted to achieve with this post is to confuse my reader :) But apparently, I failed :( As any general test it does not have to be 100% accurate, but if you hit 75-80% accuracy for any type, it should be your type. Also, there's a chance that you are in between two types. But if you wanted to determine your personal color palette which corresponds you to the perfection, you can book an appointment with a real stylist. I know some people who've done this and they were pretty happy with the result.

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  7. I've been analysed by two different stylists on separate occasions. One gave me a spring palette, the other a summer one. I looked at both and turned it around: what colours from these palettes look good on me? Turned out I can wear the midtone colours from both palettes. Not too bright, not too dark or too light. Perhaps this works for other in between types too?

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  8. Thank you for replying! These days I can easily tell what colours and patterns work for me, but I used to get so confused by things like this!

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  9. I think I also know most of the colours that suit me, but when purchasing fabric I often fall into the trap of momentary fascination and start imagining that it would suit me. Talking about my situation, I'd like to be more aware of the colour palette and more realistic about what colours looks good on me.

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  10. Great thing for those in between types is that they have a larger palette to explore. I love pastel colors, but never wear them! This should be my next colour challenge :)

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  11. Great post. Summer best describes me but Winter is not far off as well. I probably tend to wear more in the Winter palette and the more brighter colours of Summer - the more insipid colours of summer, like beige, I tend to steer away from as they seem to wash me out. Good to know I'm on the right track!

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  12. definitely automn ;)
    et juste au vue des couleurs, sans lire la description, j'aurais dit winter pour toi ;)

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  13. Tu pourrais devenir un pro de stylisme! Reflechis-y!

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  14. I am still a bit confused about my paletter. I never wore lots of blues and greens but apparently, I should. That's the next step!

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  15. ouh la, n'exagère pas non plus ;)

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  16. I'm going to have to spend time on this I think. I might be spring because of the light brows and eyelashes... Did you enjoy ESMOD?

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  17. I'd take more into account skin/eyes/hair. ESMOD was fun, but difficult because everything was in Japanese. So I did lots of self-study. My teacher from the first year was great, but from the second - a real bitch. So, despite being a well renown school, it all depended on the teacher

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  18. I'm really not sure... I kept putting different fabrics against my face and I cannot decide. All I know is that yellow close to my face does something horrible to my complexion, I cannot wear pure yellow blouses, I'm suddenly greyish green... I like the Winter's palette of colours, I always opted for the strong hues and wore blues and violets/pinks, pastels are so not me! *^o^*

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  19. I don't have any orange fabric to check but I'm pretty sure I'm summer from your description. Lipstick with an orange undertone look best on me, and eggplant purple is the color I get most compliments on if I wear it, which is one of the colours featured in the summer palette.
    Thanks for this informative post. It will help me choose other colours from now on.

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  20. Well, this is just a very basic and generic test! Don't worry if it does not match YOU ;)

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  21. Awww I am glad you found something for you in this post. Same as you, I will try to wear some "new" colours

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  22. Well, you look very good wearing strong colours for sure! I've never had anything in pastel, but I am very keen to try. Or maybe combining pastel with something very bright...

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  23. I think that your Summer and Spring palettes may be switched--Spring is the "warmer" of the two palettes.

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  24. From what I've collected for this post from various sources, Summer colours are warmer because the Summer type is generally more dim and subdued and thus requires warmer colours to balance their natural palette.

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  25. I had my colours done back in the 80's and was told I was an Autumn. I rebelled against this for years, but have finally come to accept it; now I love my colours. But, I don't have freckles!

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  26. :) I hear you! According to this test, I am Winter. But I did not want to be Winter so I re-took this test five or six times trying to fit features of other types into my own. Now I've made piece with Winter and not very unhappy about it :)

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  27. I mean the images, not the descriptions, though. I only say this because I am a Summer, and what's labelled as Spring looks Summery, and vice versa.
    Summer Palette: http://www.thechicfashionista.com/summer-color-analysis.html
    Spring Palette: http://www.thechicfashionista.com/spring-color-analysis.html


    All this being said, I do want to thank you for the post--it's not many sewing types who post about Color Theory, and with such a big project coming up! Why invest so many hours on a jacket that might clash with one's coloring?

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  28. Ooops! You are completely right! My apologies! p(´⌒`。q) This should be OK now!


    And thank you for the kind words! Not only this information can be useful for this sew-along but can be applicable to the way we dress in general. Since in a couple of months I'll move from Japan, I donated probably 50% of my clothes. So now, building a new wardrobe, I try to pay more attention to things like colour, shape, style vs personality, lifestyle etc. I'll try to develop most of these before we kick off the sew-along.

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  29. How funny I just spent several weeks figuring out my colors. I used several color theories, including Zyla and the four season method. I am a winter. I made a polyvore set of my best colors. You can look at it here http://www.polyvore.com/my_best_colors/set?id=94890043. A fun subject and great to have for wardobe planning.

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  30. Your Polyvore board looks great! Thanks for sharing :)

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  31. Ha, I have to laugh because as a child my mom was a Mary Kay beauty consultant and I would repeatedly ask her what Mary Kay season I was so I would "know what to wear." Haven't thought about his for years, but as I look at your colors and description I am definitely an autumn and those are the colors my wardrobe. Thanks!

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  32. Carolyn also mentioned that she rebelled her "season" but had to accept it at the end. I think it gives us an interesting insight on your inner selves :)

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  33. What a great post! I always wondered about what colours are supposed to look good on you (I mean, I know the ones I like and kind of look good) but this kind of information is precious. So I'm a summer, which is funny as I would have thought summer-type to be all tanned but no! And the summer colours are exactly the kind of tones I go to, who would have thought?

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  34. Anna Dorthea Aasbjerg6 October 2013 at 18:53

    Fantastic post - but unfortunately I still have no clue what season I am. Would really love some help! I always end up wearing black/white/grey.

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  35. "The winter type has either very light, pale or dark skin with olive skin with olive hue."
    I don't understand what that means. This classification system has been wide criticized for either ignoring people of color or lumping them altogether.

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  36. This theory is not directly linked to what we expect all seasons to be, right? :)

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  37. Sorry if this was not clear enough. As I said, this was a test in my fashion school. But even for the classification here, you don't have to match 100% to one type. If the majority of your personal features correspond to a season you are more likely to be this type.

    If this still does not help, I am sure there are more detailed testes out there which will guide you to identify your type.

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