I have written before about not wanting to stand out. I feel extremely uncomfortable standing out and although I am capable of performing solo, I don't want to be a solo performance on a constant basis. Bright colours usually make me uncomfortable in part because they are noticeable but also because they have never felt they related to me in any way, not my personality, my mood or my physical appearance. I would wear them as a costume for a performance but that would be exhausting on a regular basis. It's not surprising that a Soft Season Colour Palette would be a comfortable home for me and that colours or colour combinations that look great on others can feel too loud for me. I put my foot in my mouth by telling my sister in law that bright colours feel like shouting to me. She wears and looks great in bright, colours.
Brightness is all relative though and in the seasonal colour palette systems ( or others with non-seasonal names ) some are brighter than others. All of the Autumns are comparatively muted, so although Soft Autumn is very muted, True/Warm Autumn is more muted than most of the other palettes, although darkness can read as mutedness so Soft Summer, Dark Winter and Dark Autumn also read as somewhat muted. Having decided that my personal colour characteristics are warm and muted and happily exploring the Soft Autumn palette, I find myself constantly wondering about True Autumn and after all, standing out and looking my best do not have to be exactly the same thing.
Wondering, Wavering, Rationalising
Nothing is stopping me from exploring that palette too and I suspect I will. But for me it's never good enough to do something because I want to. I don't like beliefs I like facts. So I want to know, objectively, which is my best palette. Not which is my favourite, which do I like, or okay I will just use both. I want to get it right. I do feel pretty certain that my best is one or the other. If I turn out to be a True Autumn it won't match up nicely with where I feel I fit in the Dressing Your Truth system but the more I explore these systems the more I find they don't always work together. They can't because they are not fully objective. Personal Colour analysis done with drapes by a trained and skilled analyst who is looking for the colours that most perfect your skin is about as close as it gets to objectivity. The Sci/Art system is created from colour science and the palettes are not arbitrarily compiled. Style guides based on body size, shape or lines and style guides based on personal energy or the vibe you give off are definitely getting into the real of subjectivity.
There isn't agreement among the experts or the women I know as to whether or not a belt around your middle is a good idea if you don't have much waist definition. Some say it creates a waist to belt it and others say no it just points a big arrow at the waist you don't have.
But the ramble is mainly about colour, so back to those Autumn palettes.....
While I see soft, mutedness in my own colouring, and can easily rule out Springs and Winters because they are too saturated and have recently ruled out Summers because they are too cool and much to my astonishment I have been in denial of my own warmth all these years, the question is not so much, am I an autumn of some type but which autumn type am I? Deep Autumn is fairly easily ruled out because it's colours get to deep and dark for me and I obviously do not have the darkness or depth of colouring required. My colouring does not say dark and warm, it says soft and warm or it says warm and soft. The question is which is more dominant.
The True Autumn palette is a little more saturated than Soft Autumn and slightly warmer, but it is still a palette of mostly muted colours. There are only two colours I can see in the typical palette which I would be uncomfortable wearing. They are bright looking oranges. It is quite possible that objectively they would look good on me, but I would probably feel uncomfortable wearing them unless I were very deliberately dressed elaborately. I might wear an orange-red ball gown because I am going to feel conspicuous in a ball gown anyhow so it may as well be a look at me colour.
Looking at celebrity examples to try and pin down your palette can be quite the rabbit hole. And believe me I have gone down it. Even though I know it's more an exercise in frustration than anything. There is more variety amongst the people who will wear each palette than we ever see in the celebrity examples and most of the time the examples are the stereotypical average for the season. For those who are outside the average it's not very helpful to look at pictures of celebrities for clues. Also, celebrity images are highly manipulated and the celebrities themselves will have makeup, spray-tans and hair dye all masking their natural colouring and making it more difficult to relate to them. There are very few naturally blonde adults but the majority of female celebrities with light to medium-dark brown hair are dyed blonde or heavily highlighted to achieve the look called bronde. Almost every celebrity example of a Soft Autumn is blonde and almost every example of a True Autumn is a redhead but few of them are naturally so. This makes it very misleading.
Trying to decided if your own skin colour is the same as any given celebrities is very difficult but according to some colour analysts this won't work anyhow because it's all about how your particular face reacts to colour placed next to it.
And photos are problematic because accurate colour is a challenge. My own photos and the photos of various celebrities show just how differently coloured people can appear in different lighting, looking cooler or warmer, paler or darker.
In the end all I can do is try wearing colours from the True Autumn palette as well as those from Soft Autumn and try to determine which are more flattering. That will require time and experimentation and I am typically not patient when I want answers. I want to know
Ignoring all of the difficulties that photos present in terms of accuracy, I have taken a couple photos of myself that look fairly accurate, which is to say they are similar to what I see in the mirror depending on how bright the light is, and I have put them in collages with celebrity examples of True/Warm Autumn and Soft Autumn Deep. At the moment the red in my hair is enhanced with a rinse but it is consistent with the natural highlights I have in the sun.
It's tricky, but here are the points I am considering.
* My experiments with makeup are taking me to warmer places all the time. Light versions of true warmth seem to work best. I still have fair skin and I like a subtle natural look so those factors influence my choices but they are still warm and True Autumn type colours.
* I seem to have a little more contrast/be less blended than the Soft Autumn examples.
* Although there are fewer examples very light skin is quite possible in True Autumn and celebs are often tanned or enhanced by lighting to look darker.
*I have warm medium brown hair and pull off red hair better than blonde.
* My eyes are actually warm though that was difficult for me to tell at first. They are somewhere between greyed green and teal with a camel-gold coloured sunburst in the centre and of course warmer than they have sometimes photographed, just as the rest of me is. Note-some true autumn celebs have blue eyes but it's a warmer blue.
* While I do see softness, it may not be my dominant feature but my second one, which is what True autumn is-warm and muted, while Soft Autumn is muted and neutral-warm
* I look much healthier in warm Autumn-type colours but have been lead astray because I don't suit clear, bright warm colours which are Spring. All clear brights are the worst colours for me, warm or cool, and warm brights make me look greenish yellow instead of golden.
* I LOVE the Soft Autumn palette so I may be biased in its favour. Even if I am a True Autumn I would probably mix Soft Autumn and True Autumn.
*Soft Autumn was divided further by some colour systems and I don't find a good fit in either one. Soft Autumn light gets too pastel and Soft Autumn deep gets darker than True Autumn does.
* I still do love many light warm colours such as the pale golds and creams but they exist also in the True Autumn palette.
* Blue is not as good on me as I always assumed and the warmer blues and teals are definitely better.
* The norm for True Autumn is bronzed skin that tans well but some are very fair and don't tan well or burn before they tan. I do tan with some effort but haven't bothered to in the past couple of decades. I tan a very golden colour.
*I once owned some rich orange-red sweaters and looked great in them. I had forgotten this.
* There is a reasonable method of comparing oneself to celebrity photos:
Step 1 gather lots of photos of yourself that show accurate colouring in good light
Step 2 don't worry if X celebrity is or isn't a particular season, just say X photo of the celebrity represents the season.
Step 3 make a collage to aid in comparison.