Monday, 14 November 2016

Blue Part One

You will be really relieved to know that I had a longer post and accidentally deleted half of it when in the process of dividing it into Parts One and Two.  It had lots of photos of Warm Autumn celebrities wearing all the right blues and my thoughts on this but there is no way I am going to re-create it.

Unless I turn Part Two into Part One and then spend some time later working on this one.....

That didn't happen.

Here is a picture of me with my "I kill people with these eyes" face.  I happen to be accidentally wearing a good blue for Warm Autumn.  Let's pretend I was clever enough to do that on purpose.

There is no way I looked at this shirt and said to myself, oh there is a blue that has some yellow in it.  However, technically that is what makes this a warmer blue.  Keep adding yellow or gold to blue until you get green and everything that came before green is a warm blue.  Often we call it teal.  Teal is a wonderful colour because there are versions of it that look great on everyone, especially if you add turquoise to the definition of teal.

Colour names mean different things to different people so they aren't always helpful but blues that are likely to be suitable for Warm Autumn are often called teal, turquoise, light navy blue, air-force blue, cadet blue, and peacock blue.  Not every colour with these names will be right though.  That's the problem with colour names, but they can get you going in the right direction.  Steel blue, which I've always thought of as a cool colour, is actually a warm blue as well.  In Part Two I explore colour theory more.  Part Two is for those who are colour nerds like me but in both posts I keep mentioning that colour names are tricky.

You can find, if you look, lists of colour names to go with each colour palette (seasonal or tonal, 12 or 16 or more). Some of them are even written on coloured graphics but since we are dealing with colours as represented on a computer screen that's not terribly accurate.  What I have noticed with the colour name lists is that the same names show up in more than one season/palette so really that is not helpful.  Sure, more than one palette contains a colour we might all call medium salmon pink but they will still be different in ways that a colour name doesn't show you.  What comes to mind when you see the word teal?  There are many, many options.  Teal is fairly forgiving and everyone can wear some versions of it but we will all have our best versions.  The same thing happens with colours named after flowers.  Violets come in more than one variety of purple.  What colour is rose pink?  I could go on, and you know that I could.

Back to Blue...

I mentioned that I'd been using pictures of Warm Autumn celebrities wearing blue, but I want to clarify that I didn't determine that the blue was the right kind because a Warm Autumn celebrity was wearing it.  Photos of celebrities are edited to look good no matter what they wear.  Some celebrities are more aware of their best colours than others are and of course if you have the benefit of a makeup artist, good lighting and photo shop it matters less if your colours reflect well on your face.  Costume designers use colour choices to manipulate how we see a character, not just the mood that the colour creates but how healthy or vibrant or powerful the actor looks in them based on the actor's own colouring.

 No matter how warm it is, blue still suggests coolness to people psychologically, so often the best way for a warm-toned person to wear it is in combination with other warm colours, especially creating a complimentary effect with warm golds and oranges.    This will repeat the effect of the blue seen against the golden skin.   I have an appropriately blue coloured spring/early autumn coat which I love paired with a gold scarf and a gold cardigan I love paired with a blue dress. 

Come Spring, I will be looking for something in a lighter, warm and muted version of turquoise as my warm weather blue.  Knowing the right blue doesn't mean I will find it in the shops every season though.  My shopping habits are changing, and now instead of going into it thinking that I want a red shirt or blue skirt, I just look at the clothing and look for colours that are warm.  Following the Warm Autumn palette they will all look right with each other so it's easier to shop.  If I need a summer blouse, I will get the blouse that I like in whichever of the Warm Autumn colours it comes in, knowing it will go with everything else I would want to wear it with.  If the trendy blue of 2017 is a Spring blue or a Winter blue, I won't be buying any blue.  I would much rather do it that way than buy blues that don't flatter me or work with the rest of my clothing.


  1. Today I'm wearing a blue silk dress that is pretty neutral but in some lights leads towards warm. I paired it with a pair of true red pants and a scarf with red, peaches, black and white (zebras!), with tan shoes, belt and brown tweed hat. Sounds weird but it all came together. What I'm saying is I was doing what you suggest here to make my blue silk(!) dress work.
    I feel sad to miss the second part. You are teasing us with its non-existance :-)
    Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. Fear not, Part Two exists but the laws of parts dictate that it could not be published until after Part One! Part One is the one I accidentally deleted and had to re-do but re-did it differently. Got it? Your outfit sounds lovely and vibrantly you! I am endlessly fascinated with the concept of making the warm colours cool and the cool colours warm. It's all a relative thing! Now that I think I've got blue sorted I am working on purple. xoxo


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