In my last blog post I wrote that I believe I have clothing color prejudices. I promised to address the seasonal color palates that are supposed to enhance your natural coloring. These are based on such aspects of your appearance as skin tone, hair color and eye color. You’d think this would be fairly simple, and it might be if you were Elizabeth Taylor—she of black hair, pale skin and violet eyes.


I on the other hand am a color season mongrel. My natural hair color is brown with gold and red highlights. As a matter of fact, if you looked at a swatch of my hair when I was 20, you’d see very fine strands of brown and blonde, slightly thicker red hair, and the occasional much thicker black hair.

To tell if your skin tone is warm or cool one of the tests is to look at the color of your veins, say on your inner wrist. Do they look blueish or greenish? Mine are blue-green. My skin is fair and cool in tone, although I have a little bit of pale olive skin above my lips. I have a few freckles and can get a mild suntan after a burn. My eyes used to be an indefinite dark hazel, and now are green with golden brown spots. When I wear red lipstick the best color on me is very neutral red, neither pinkish nor orangish. See what I mean by mongrel?

One grandmother had red hair, one had black hair. My mother and brother had blonde hair until they were about six then went dark brown. My father had dark brown hair. My mother’s eyes were deep blue, my father’s were grey-green. I have a bit of Native American ancestry according to a recent DNA test and I might also be related Berber sheep herders, Basques and Saami, as well as people of the British Isles.

Which is to say, I come by my mongrel status honestly.

So, I had this idea: I showed a group of images of me in different color palates on my denisebrain Facebook page.

This is the photo I worked with, showing my true color now.


Then I showed season colors such as “clear spring”

...and “deep autumn”

...among 11 groupings.

The votes were for everything from pastels to brights, blues and greens to oranges, warm and cool shades. OK, I crossed my Facebook group’s eyes, I’ve crossed my own eyes and maybe I’m crossing yours too!

I think this means I have a pretty neutral coloring that can go various ways depending on the item, the intensity of the color, the season of the year, and the occasion. This is just great with me: I really think I can wear my beloved bright and royal blues and greens, orange, bright pink... 

Which leads me to this question: Would you stop wearing a color it you were told by an expert it wasn’t right for you? I wouldn’t. If it makes you happy, there should be a place for it. No one told me I look good in red, but I still claim my beautiful red shoes. Red is the best punctuation to an outfit, at least to me, and your shoes are in a safe zone, not able to conflict with your natural colors.

I think it is good to know a few colors that have ZING on you. I have some clues as to those colors on me, because people regularly tell me that certain shades are great with my coloring. Other clothing I hear compliments on, but not about the color on me, just the item. I’m thinking specifically of a bright reddish-purple jacket (thumbs up for the color), and an orange-red jacket (thumbs up for the jacket). I want to wear my zing colors for special occasions, and as necklaces, scarves and hats.

My goal for the month is to explore color and start to wear shades I’ve neglected. Now that I’ve uncrossed my eyes, I have a few ideas...which I’ll save for next time. 



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