Sunday, 24 September 2017

Yellow is the Epitome of Spring

An inspection of my current wardrobe seems to indicate that I have bought some True Spring clothing.  While both the True Autumn palette and the True Spring palette are mainly medium in value, they have their range of light-dark under that medium umbrella, and True Spring has an overall lighter impression than True Autumn does.  Autumn gets darker, richer, and Spring has a light feel like sunshine, fruit, flowers, it's juicy whereas Autumn is heavier, drier, velvety and with a golden glow rather than bright Spring light.  I find it helps to keep these words in mind when looking at colours. 

It's not always easy to see the difference between soft/muted and light unless they can be compared next to each other.  Some practice helps and while I am rapidly learning, I still tend to just feel happy to find something purely warm and I'm less fussed about how muted or how clear and light it is.  I tend to aim for perfection but realise it's not a real-world thing.  I take an aim for the stars and reach the moon approach to many things in life and also in finding the best colours.

I am now thinking of myself as a True Spring more than a True Autumn.   The dark end of True Autumn is not great on me.  It's good because it's warm, but it looks a bit heavy and forced. As I've moved away from trying to visually identify the colours and begun to think more about their properties I am gaining knowledge and getting better at finding what works best for me.   I learned in makeup before I learned with clothing that I need a light, sheer, clear effect.  Makeup is easily too heavy and thick looking, darker colours too forced looking. This is a texture issue as much as a colour issue with makeup, and it can be in clothing too although it's also about the visual weight of the colours.

But I am digressing as this post is supposed to be about yellow.  

Colour is always about context and it reads differently on different people, whether applied to the face as makeup or worn next to the body in clothing.  As it reflects onto our faces it either harmonises and flatters or it makes no connection, possibly reflecting unflattering colours onto us.  This is why everyone except True Spring people tend to look yellow in the Spring colours.  The True Spring colours are very yellow based.  This has something to do with undertones and overtones that is a little tricky to understand.  Overtones are what we see and match foundation to but undertone seems to be what matters when we wear clothing.  Many people in the neutral seasons have a yellowish overtone and my understanding is that this gets played up when wearing yellowish colours and it doesn't work out well with the cool undertones of that person.   I could be totally wrong about this.

A person with a warm undertone and overtone suits the two true warm palettes, but Spring is more about pure yellow while Autumn is gold or browned-yellow. 

Anyhow, True Spring is about yellow!

In cool colours I look pale and slightly grey. I used to think this was good because I knew I tended to be yellow looking and thought that was something I wanted to downplay or avoid.  I had not seen myself get a golden glow or look all peaches and cream because I'd not tried the very warm yellow based colours.  I thought pale and grey looked good as long as I could pink it up a bit with some makeup.

And What About a Yellow Personality?

What happens when your personality doesn't quite match your best palette?  I tend to think that logically, what is visually best is the best choice, and personality comes second.  This is why I have troubles with the Dressing Your Truth system which has a really incomplete and inaccurate selection of colours assigned to palettes that are meant to go with your personal energy level.  Nope, I'm not buying it.  I think it's hit and miss or in the ball park good enough.  I don't buy into the personality descriptors attached to the personal colour seasons either but I would agree that each colour palette does have a mood.

Perhaps, as dear Jazzy Jack suggested to me, I am one thing on the outside and another on the inside.  That doesn't sound too crazy.  I often am surprised at how people judge me to be very warm and friendly and bubbly and even sweet.    That is not at all how I see myself, but is anyone all sunshine and happy thoughts all of the time, or could someone who presents that way to others consider herself a more serious and grounded person?  None of us is a caricature.

Someone recently suggested that I remind her of Julie Andrews.  Well, colour me astonished!

The True Spring personality is described as extroverted.  Hah!  I am not, but I do have the ability to fake it.  Spend a short time with me and you might see an extrovert.  I can be bubbly when socialising, I just don't care to socialise much.  This is how people confuse shyness with extroversion.  I am not shy.  I can be quite outgoing and will talk to strangers.
I am more shy with women than men which is something I haven't quite figured out though I have a few theories.

  I am equally optimistic and pessimistic.  I call myself a realist who usually likes to look on the bright side but I also like to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised.  I do not feel like sunshine personified and yet I've had a few people tell me I am,  even that I have a yellow aura or that I conjure up the idea of yellow.   My ex husband used to tell me my skin is yellow, but that seemed less complimentary than the other statements, which were made by gay men if that matters at all.

I am often serious, pedantic, judgemental and have a sarcastic sense of humour.

Spring personalities are  considered to be a bit happy-go-lucky, easy going and go-with-the-flow.  I am generally a planner, a be-prepared-for anything sort of person, someone who is a bit rattled if her plans get ruined at the last minute though I will do my best not to show that and to get over it. 

Does any of this mean anything?  Probably not, but it's all my way of getting at the point that I don't see myself in the described persona of the True Spring type person which may be why subconsciously I didn't connect myself to those colours.

 I Will Try to Get Back to Actual Colours Now...

 While the colours of the True Spring palette are not as bright as some other seasons, they can look bright compared with True Autumn and the Soft Seasons which all have a muted quality.  True Spring colours are clear and warm, so the yellows don't go too far into gold, because the more brown added the more muted the colour gets.

Jim has two yellow tee shirts which I keep trying on.  ( I wore one in a recent post and have photographed myself in the other. )  I have taken several photos attempting to capture what I look like wearing yellow but they are never satisfactorily close enough to reality.  It was in trying to photograph yellow that I realised how often my photos came out cooler than reality. 

I recently purchased this flowered top, a colour that has something similar in both the Autumn and Spring palettes.  It's certainly a gold-yellow but doesn't seem muted like Autumn.  It looks like it belongs in the Bright Spring or Dark Autumn palette according to the photo below but it could be the last yellow on the True Spring strip.  Photo inaccuracy wouldn't allow such certainty.

I could be wrong, but I suspect  yellow might be a colour with a fair bit of leeway for a Spring, like blue is for a Summer.  Yellow doesn't seem to be the best test colour for me to choose between True Spring and Bright Spring, whereas pink is significant.  The Bright Spring palette contains a lot of pinks that are bright and a bit cooler and they just seem to overwhelm me.  

A Yellow Comparison

Further down I've used an image of the Bright Spring test drapes and they seem much brighter than the strip of colour in the image below.  Given that I experience a bleaching out of colour in my own photos quite often, especially of yellow, I don't really expect the image below to be accurate for specific colours but it shows that there is some difference between the palettes that contain a lot of yellow and how yellow gets browner in Autumn.


This tee shirt looks like it could be  Bright Spring and I'm not wearing it as well as the woman below me would but it's not as bad as I would have expected.  Brightness is not likely my dominant requirement though, and I still think pure warmth is. And while I might pull off some of the warmest ( yellowest ) colours in a Bright Spring palette I'm doubtful about all of them.  (There is a post about that coming up.)

And in the realm of 'sort of yellow', I always find beige difficult and knew that while beige is admittedly not an exciting colour on most people except perhaps Soft Autumn whom it is sublimely beautiful on, there would still be a best beige for most pallettes.  It may be more taupe or a greener/khaki colour for some.  For Spring it is quite golden and that will be why beige never worked for me.  I've never tried a golden beige and the beiges I tried, which were too cool, always looked flat.  Some of these would be so close to my actual skin tone they would read as a nude.  Not a good idea for a pair of pants, then!


 Yellow Hair
Spring people often, though not always, suit golden-blonde hair, because that hair colour is essentially a large swath of warm yellow next to their face. 

Michelle Williams looks amazing in golden blonde or red-gold hair, but her natural colour is brown.  Here she is looking fantastic in yellow hair and yellow dress, although it may not be in the True Spring palette, exactly and neither is that bright red lipstick.


Here she is  looking pretty in reddish-brown hair.  This may not be  unenhanced colour, but most True Springs are naturally brunettes, at least as adults.  You might look at this and see an Autumn woman.

In case you want more on Springs with brown hair I will link to this 12 Blueprints article which I found interesting.  There is also this one.  These may both be of interest to anyone like me, with dark hair but fair, warm skin.  If you search the 12 Blueprints blog you will also find a post about a woman with quite dark hair and fair skin who is a Light Spring.  I'd say it's a less predictable and very appealing look compared to the stereotypical dyed-blonde coloured Light Spring.

At the fantastic blog Truth is Beauty, Rachel has a post about the difficulty many Spring women have in recognising they are Springs because the majority of the Spring celebrities are not only dyed blonde, but claiming to be 'natural' blondes with a rather loose definition of natural.*  This complaint is not aimed at the women themselves but at the system they are having to work within.  Hollywood perpetuates a blonde is better attitude and also insists on forcing the myth that many of it's blondes are natural blonde.  I don't even understand why this myth is required, but I suppose it's to perpetuate the idea that these women are just that much better than the rest of us.  I suspect this isn't even something the women of Hollywood are keen on so much as a publicity machine they are trapped in.

Some systems and online personal colour experts would guide you to figuring out your seasonal palette based on the colours of your hair and eyes, which is really not a good system at all.  These are the ones that typically give us celebrity examples to measure ourselves by.  In reality, a Spring might look similar to an Autumn and a Summer might look similar to a Winter and the eight neutral season types often do not even look obviously cool or warm so you can't tell what they are until you put colours next to their faces in real life and see how that colour makes the skin react.

Here is a typical example of what the internet has to offer people wondering if they are a Spring.


 It takes some digging to learn that you could definitely be a Spring even if you are a brunette and your eyes are not nearly that bright or monochromatic.  The only truly useful thing about this sort of graphic is the colour palette shown, at which you could look and then ask yourself, 'do I look good in these colours?'

*This reminds me of the other popular myth,  that celebrities have lost all their pregnancy weight by 'chasing around after a toddler' or breastfeeding.  Unless they have a contract with a weight loss company that is and then they admit to dieting.


  1. That golden yellow on you! Wow! And no makeup?
    I think that is far better than the tee shirt, which has a Winter /cool feel to it compared to the first one. It doesn't seem to bring out your glow so much. Although it is certainly better than a pure cool colour would be.
    Have you thought about going blonde? Hee hee! Just throw that into the mix and stir!
    Thanks for the lovely reference. You're pretty lovely yourself.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. LOL I was a golden blonde in the eighties. I did pull it off easily, it's just high maintenance. And thanks for the feedback on the yellow shirts! xoxo


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