I’ve always hated clothes shopping for one reason or another. Every time I would decide it’s time for new clothes I would dread it because nothing fit me the way I wanted. I even would go as far as buying everything the model was wearing and most times I still hated the way it looked on me. When the outfit wore as planned it resulted in me buying a lot of the same items. That worked for a while…until it didn’t. I kept ending up with “nothing to wear” and feeling like I needed more clothes.
After realizing how wasteful and unsuccessful that process was I decided to take a new approach and really figure out my personal style. Like most functioning adults do when they want to know an answer to something, I went to Reddit. I came across a thread where the poster questioned how to pick clothes that wear well and they expressed some of the same frustrations that I mentioned above. Someone suggested that they should find out what their color season is and that’s when I started going down the rabbit hole.
Color Season Definition
According to Infoplease.com, your color season “is based on skin tone, eye, and hair color. To simplify, hair color is either light or dark, and skin is either warm (blue/pink) or cool (yellow). After establishing tones, each person falls into one of four seasonal categories: winter, summer, spring, or autumn.” I liked this explanation but it left out neutral tones. Upon further research I came across The Concept Wardrobe (TCW). They offer detailed explanations on which palette is most flattering based on your color season as well as what shades, patterns, and prints to avoid.
The website doesn’t provide a lot of examples for those of us with deeper skin tones, but it is a good place to start. So I took the test (twice!) to figure out what category I fell into and I’m a Soft Autumn which is a combination of muted and warm. Per TCW this color season does best with colors “in low- to medium-contrast combinations.” Soft shades like cream, camel, sage, and peach as well as neutrals like walnut, olive, and softer grays will complement my skin tone much better than brights or cooler darks.This part wasn’t new to me as I often gravitate towards neutrals. But now I know the science behind why I feel the most comfortable wearing certain colors. For example I’ve always thought color blocking like wearing bright pants, like hot pink or Kelly green, with a white shirt looked good on others. I would wear different styles of shirts with the same bright pants attempting to look the same and it still looked funny. After reading about the Soft Autumn color season, I now know that those colors are too harsh against my skin and drown me out.
…now I know the science behind why I feel the most comfortable wearing certain colors.
With this new information I went through my wardrobe and pulled out everything that didn’t fall into this category. All the bright colored dresses, sweaters, shirts, and pants had to go. It was also the perfect time to pull out anything that I hadn’t worn in 2+ years. I do this every 6 months or so anyway, I didn’t have as many items as I thought I would. To no one’s surprise but mine, the items that didn’t fall into the Soft Autumn color palette were items I didn’t wear anyway. I ended up giving most to my cousin and donated the rest.
I want to point out that you do not have to purge your wardrobe in the same manner. Before doing so I budgeted for buying new clothes about 2 weeks beforehand. It felt good to get rid of items that didn’t fit for one reason or another but I planned it. Please do not start getting rid of clothes without analyzing your own wardrobe.
It’s Not Just For Clothes…
Applying this analysis for my makeup also made a lot of sense. I would describe my undertone as neutral so I always look for that description in my foundations and concealers. Out of the many eyeshadow palettes I own, only 2 or 3 have bright rainbow shades. The rest have muted tones with most leaning warm. I’m not getting rid of them but I definitely won’t buy anymore palettes like them. With lipsticks, I only have 1 bright pink lipstick that I’ll probably give away. While it’s a pretty color I never wear it because it doesn’t look the best on me.
I think it’s important to note that you don’t have to stick to the color palette suggested; you can wear whatever you want. The goal is to help you make better wardrobe choices so you feel your best in everything that you wear.
Despite this not being a new concept, it’s new to me. I feel like I unlocked a secret to building a decent wardrobe and makeup collection. If you’re having trouble figuring out your personal color palette I hope this post helps you. Comment below if you take the test and what your color season is. If you already know your color season, do you feel that it helped you with buying clothes and/or makeup?
Leaves Hang on Rope [Online image]. (2020). Pexels. https://www.pexels.com/photo/leaves-hang-on-rope-1389460/
Soft Autumn color palette [Online image]. (2020). the concept wardrobe. https://theconceptwardrobe.com/colour-analysis-comprehensive-guides/soft-autumn-a-comprehensive-guide