Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Warm or cool colours - does it matter?

Many of us have tried colour analysis in the past and been defined as either a warm or cool season. In my case I was described as a Winter, which apparently was because I had cool, deep colouring. Maybe I did when I was in my late 30s - though none of the icy colours suited me - but I certainly don't have now!

Things have moved on since then and I recently decided to try Dressing my Truth, which is based on your energy type and your nature rather than the colour of your skin, hair and eyes. I am a type one bright, animated woman, which means that I look better in light tints rather than deep tones. I don't have a colour swatch to match up with clothes like I did with colour analysis, just a colour card to hold up against any items that I am considering buying to see if they 'pop'.

What I've noticed is that both warm and cool tints are included on my card (the main absentee is black!) so I thought I would carry out an experiment. Do you think that I look better in the cool tints or the warmer ones, or do you agree that both groups suit me equally?

The above are cooler shades, though I think the second green top has a warmer look to it than the green and navy striped top - and the orange scarf is obviously the odd man out.

The second group of photos shows me wearing tops in the warmer shades, with blue or navy trousers and a turquoise scarf as contrast.

As I have already mentioned Dressing Your Truth, I should point out that the third photo in each group, counting from the left, is of an outfit that I bought from the DYT type one store. Both the purple top and orange scarf in the top row are right for my type, plus the coral top in the second group. Unlike seasonal colour analysis, dressing your truth is more that just wearing the right colours: design lines, texture, fabrication and pattern are also important. At the end of the day though, if you follow your own instincts, you will hopefully choose the right colours and garments to suit you as an individual.


  1. Hi Sue,

    This is an issue I think about way too much! I am (or was) a Winter, with dark hair and dark eyes, but very fair skin. Definite pink undertones.

    Until my late 40s, my best color was raspberry-fushia. I wore it often and never failed to get compliments. Other great colors were deep royal purple, royal blue, blood red, and even some of the "icy" shades. Also stark white and black.

    Now that I am approaching 60, and for the past several years, I've noticed that many of those strong colors do not flatter me much anymore. I am wearing, for the first time ever, what I call "China blue" (or cornflower blue). Even better is periwinkle. I've always loved gray and still wear that a lot. I adore turquoise in all its many shades, and wear it a lot, but suspect it isn't doing me any favors! But I love it.

    I still wear a lot of purples, all shades except deep royal purple---or lavender. I avoid pastels; look terrible in any of them. Stark white or a soft cool winter white---NOT ivory---is good. I wear a lot of black and still like it.

    I am going to investigate Dressing Your Truth; never heard of it & it sounds intriguing.

    In the meantime, I made your various photos as large as I could on my monitor, and studied them. I think overall that you are able to wear a wide variety of shades very well indeed. The only one of these 8 photos that jumps out is the contrast to the other tops, it doesn't seem to bring out your pretty skin tones and natural vibrancy. Could just be the lighting in the photo, or the fact that it is so pale compared to the other colors.

    Interestingly, my two favorites are the Dressing Your Truth outfits. I love scarves....but aside from those, the outfits also seem to suit you so well in every way. Next favorite is the left top photo, striped long sleeve tee; could be because of the deep scooped neckline...however I think the intensity of color suits you, not sure if it's because it is cool vs. warm.

    All of the corals (which are of course all warm) do look very nice on you, too.

    So to answer your question, Yes, I think overall that most of these suit you equally well!

    Now----off to investigate Dressing Your Truth!

  2. I'll cast a dissenting vote. The brighter the color, the more it draws my attention away from your face. I really think you look best in warm colors (soft autumn in some systems...warm, lower chroma and lower contrast in other systems). I'm not a DYT fan, though, as I think you can express your personality in any color, but your personal color is what it is. That photo you posted a few weeks back where you were dressed up to go out--you looked stunning. I mean, pulled-together, I-wanna-be-her stunning.

  3. Thank you both for your comments.

    Anonymous, if you want to take a look at Dressing Your Truth, they do have some free resources: You can try that and see if it resonates with you or not.

    Robin, I will be writing a post about my experiences as a type one in DYT. I agree with you that any system has its drawbacks, and we have to find what colours suit us best as individuals, rather then being prescribed our "best" colours. Was the photo you mentioned the one where I was wearing a brown dress with "lots of bling"? I wore that outfit for my 60th birthday party - the theme was "bring on the bling" but I still enjoy wearing it nearly six years later!

    I actually used a "personal shopper" in one of the London stores to try and find a birthday outfit and she persuaded me to try it on, as it's not something I would have automatically chosen for myself.

  4. I think you can wear either cool or warm colours equally well, though I thought you wore the warm colours and the cool colours had a slight tendency to wear you. I think the DYT were the best. I've been studying colour for quite some time and personally think everyone can wear almost any colour (except black-replace with gray). It is the quality of the colours that matter. How light, how dark, how clear, how muted are the most important.


  5. Sue

    Yes, that's the one. You owe that personal shopper a big hug for that suggestion. I'd love to look that amazing in a special-events dress.