What Is My Colour Palette?

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Perform Your Own Colour Analysis

What is my colour palette? I get asked this a lot. In this post, I will explain how you can decide on a suitable colour palette for yourself. In my personal styling packages, I assess clients and choose a palette from 216 different options. In this post, I attempt to make that simpler. Any colour palette takes into account your skin tone and eye and hair colour. It is helpful to know what colours suit you to create a capsule based on those colours. Take a look at all the details below to learn what colours work best for you.

How Does A Colour Analysis Work?

A colour analysis will look at two main areas;

  • The base tone and warmth of your skin, hair and eyes. You will either be warm/golden/yellow or cool/ash/ blue
  • The depth of colour of your hair, skin and eyes. 

 

Using these two categories will determine how warm or cool your colours should be and how dark or cool you should go. Another area I look at when working with private clients is the depth of colour in hair and eyes against that of the skin. Essentially, if your hair is dark and your skin pale, you can afford to have high contrast in the colours you wear too. If your skin and hair are a similar shade, for example, blonde with pale skin or dark brunette with black skin, you are better with colours of an equal depth of colour. Blondes with pale skin would suit pastels, and brunettes with black skin would suit deeper shades. 

red dress against a bottle green background

The Four Elements Of A Colour Analysis

The four essential elements are often referred to as Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Each element has its own attributes. Take a look at the four categories below and choose the one closest to your natural hair, skin and eye colour. To determine the difference in shade between your skin and hair imagine a black and white photograph of yourself and measure the difference in shade between your hair and skin. For example, if you have dark hair and porcelain skin the contrast between the shade of your skin and hair is high. Dark skin and dark hair the difference would be low. 

woman with freckles and blonde hair

Spring Colour Palette

Clear. Light .Warm
  • Skin – You have clear skin often with freckles. Your skin has a warm undertone. You will likely burn in the sun and your skin has peachy undertones. 
  • Hair – Your hair will be light blonde to mousey brown with warm, golden undertones. Look in the sunlight for any red or gold in your hair.
  • Eyes – Your eyes tend to be pale. Either a night clear blue, green, aqua, light brown or hazel. 

Summer Colour Palette

Soft. Light. Cool
  • Skin – Your skin has  cool pink/blue undertones and the difference in shade between your hair and skin is minimal. Your cheeks and a cool pinky colour. 
  • Hair – Your hair is light blonde to mousey brown with cool ashy tones. 
  • Eyes – Your eyes tend to be cool. Blue, grey, grey-blue, or green-grey. 

Autumn Colour Palette

Soft. Deep. Warm
  • Skin – Your skin has warm undertones in a rich golden colour. You have low contrast between your hair, eyes and skin. 
  • Hair – Your hair can range from a warm brunette to black or medium warm brown to a deep red. In the light your hair will have warm or golden undertones. 
  • Your eye colour generally has warmth to it. Your eyes can be hazel, medium to almost black-brown, olive or a warm yellowy, green.

Winter Colour Palette

Clear. Deep. Cool
  • Your skin has cool pink or blue based undertones and can be pale, through to olive.There is high contrast between your hair eyes and skin. 
  • Hair – Your hair ranges from ashy mousey brown through mid-brown to black. You have cool ashy or blue undertones to your hair. 
  • Eyes – Your eyes can be mid cool brown to almost black, or grey-blue, cool or grey green, grey or a clear blue. 

Finding Your Colour Palette

When you ask yourself, ‘what is my colour palette?’ You might find that you fall between two categories. In general, I would suggest you go for the category in which you fit best. Alongside deciding if you are Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, you also want to consider the overall depth of colour. There are three other areas you want to look at. 

  • Your overall tone from warm to cool – Look at your overall colouring. Do you have predominantly warm tones to your skin and hair or cool? If it is warm, you could be a Warm Spring or Warm Autumn (choose yellow or red based colours). If it is cool, you could be a Cool Summer or Cool Winter (choose cool pink or blue-based colours. 
  • The depth of colour from pale to dark – Next, look at a depth of your overall colour. Someone with porcelain skin and blonde hair would be a Light Summer or Light Spring (choose pastels and avoid too many deep colours). Alternatively, Someone with dark hair and mid to dark skin could be a Deep Autumn or a Deep Winter (choose deep rich colours and minimal pastels). 
  • The depth of contrast between your hair, skin and eyes – Finally, look at the difference in shade between your hair, eyes and skin. This is where the idea of the black and white photo can come in handy. If there is a clear difference between the colour of your hair and skin and often your eyes are your best feature, then you could be a Clear Winter or a Clear Spring (choose outfits with high contrast like black and white, or navy and cream). Alternatively, if there is little contrast between the shade of your hair and skin, then you could be a Soft Summer or a Soft Winter (choose minimal contrast between colours and go for a more tone on tone look).

How To Choose Your Wardrobe Colours

Take time in choosing your palette, and then, for a capsule wardrobe, select three to four canvas colours (base shades that go with lots of other colours) and two to three paint colours (usually brighter). Use those colours as the basis of your capsule wardrobe. Try not to pick out more than eight colours initially. These colours are not set in stone, but they will help you create a capsule wardrobe that is simple to put together. If you are still asking yourself ‘What is my colour palette’, then consider my membership where I offer a colour analysis and Body Shape Style Guide plus other member’s only regular goodies, or my personal one-on-one personal styling when I spend time working with you directly. I even have personal styling packages exclusively for men. 

woman face painted in colour
face painted in colour
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'When you join the membership it isn't generic it is tailored to your needs. Michelle considers each individual person and provides advice and guidance based on their needs. I have learnt so much since I joined I feel like I could sit an exam on it now! Honestly, without a doubt if you feel like you are lost with what to wear, you don't know what suits your body shape or your shape has changed, you've lost confidence, you're starting a new job, or you want to minimise your wardrobe, Michelle's membership is without a doubt for you. You can not get better for the price, I have looked!'
Rachel
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I joined Michelle's facebook "capsule wardrobe challenge" in June 2020. I loved her approach of starting off with a concept of what colours and styles you were attracted to, followed by what your lifestyle required functionally. It helped me assess my existing wardrobe with a checklist in mind instead of feeling overwhelmed and indecisive. I found the video format and weekly check-ins easy to follow and explained each stage of building a capsule well. She has been quick to answer any queries I have and to offer her professional stylist's opinion with a gentle manner. I am most grateful for Michelle's overarching aim to help her clients "find their happy place". This membership is about being comfortable in your own skin, not about being super fashionable, and that is exactly what I needed. Thank you for helping me find my confidence again. 😊
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There is no doubt in my mind that having a personal stylist online is worth the investment. In fact, at the end of the day I will spend considerably less while looking and feeling so much better. Why? Because I will never again mindlessly spend and spend and spend on clothes that just aren’t right for me and that don’t make me happy. I think we all dream of that wardrobe that makes us happy and confident, but it is so easy to just give up and just wear something. I know I did. And that is just plain crazy because I love clothes! I have always been attracted to styles that I lacked the confidence to try out. Now, with the help and guidance of Michelle, I can finally explore those styles with confidence knowing that whenever I run an item by Michelle, she will give me her honest feedback on whether or not it will fit with my colors and with how I want to look and feel. In short: Michelle’s advice really is priceless. I feel an A-lister in the garments I have purchased since becoming a member! Pssst: One secret, you don’t have to become a minimalist if you don’t want to. Michelle is not about legalistic minalism, she is all about you finding out what works for you and that – along with her very deep knowledge of style – is why I think her membership works for me when in the past nothing else has.
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