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Choosing the right colors for your wardrobe

Remember that canary yellow baby doll dress? Yes, the one that looked great in the window at the little boutique on the corner. The one that still looked great neatly folded in the shopping bag and then displayed on your bed next to your new Christian Louboutin stilettos. Yes, that one that made you look like you made a dress out of the fluorescent lighting at the DMV.

So what happened? Put simply, you wore a color in the wrong seasons. Understanding seasons can be confusing. There are fashion seasons, and then there are seasonal colors. Again, its confusing because there are colors that go in and out of style based on the time of year. Then there are colors that correspond to personal coloring seasons.

The key to understanding your season is through color analysis.

Color 101


Hue refers to the colors we see and name. So red, blue, and orange are hues and so are colors with fancy names like Toasted Pumpkin and Tahitian Moonlight.

Hue also refers to color temperature. You've probably heard the terms warm and cool but colors also fall into in-between temperatures called neautral.


Value refers to the lightness or darkness of colors.


Intensity refers to brightness or darkness of a color. For example, canary yello is a bright color and baby blue is a soft color.

Color quality

Color quality combines value and intensity. Some colors are pure, meaning they haven't been altered from their purist form. Others are lightened into tints by adding white, or darkened into shades by adding black, or softened into tones by adding gray or brown.

Personal coloring

Personal coloring refers to the hues of our hair, skin and eyes. Our attributes have a physical value that varies from person to person and the intensity varies too. A person with strong coloring can wear bright colors, while someone with soft coloring looks best in softer colors. So if you have light blond hair, fair skin and pale blue eyes, chances are a canary yellow dress will wash you out.

What's your season?

Based on your physical attributes, (hair, skin, eyes), most people fit into a specific seasons Natures color patellettes include four standard seasons:

Nanette Spring: golden, fresh, light, and energetic. Florals and bright colors, rounded bodices, ruffles.

Pictured: Nanette Lepore floral dress


Summer: cool, gentle, and refined. Lots of pastels, flowing tops, dresses and skirts.

Pictured: Nanette Lepore flowing eyelit skirt.


Autumn: dynamic, earth, opulent. Orange, purples, warm tones like burnt sienna and umber.

Pictured: Matthew Williamson cashmere dress.


Winter: striking, dramatic, intense and serene. Vibrant reds, high contrast, can wear skin tone to keep contrast low.

Pictured: Diane Von Furstenberg dress.

Seasonal guys

Autumn guys are those rugged gents with facial hair and strong facial features. Deep reds look great on male autumns. The winter man looks fantastic in tuxedos, in leather for a casual look but most winter men tend to dress up. Spring guys can get away with fun accessories and opt for red, white and blue colors. Summer men look best in subtle patterns and blended components and textures.

~A. Covington for Belisi Fashions


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  1. lynnx01 on Aug 2, 2007 11:07:58 AM:

    Thanks for the tips!

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