Does your color season change when your hair does?

December 4, 2015

I've had an almost empty closet for most of 2015. A year ago, I got on board with Project 333, and drastically reduced the size of my wardrobe. I picked five colors (navy, gray, white, pink, and lavender) to form the basis of a small mix-and-match collection of about 33 pieces.

Then I decided to get healthy and lose 30 pounds, and had to get rid of even more clothes.

Then I decided to ditch the blonde dye and let my natural (silver-gray) hair grow out. I had very little to wear at that point. I had reached my weight loss goal, and could have bought new clothes, but now I was holding off to see if my colors were still going to work with my new hair.

Good thing I waited. The pinks and lavenders and whites aren't going to work anymore. They just wash me out now.

I read somewhere that you'll look better in a cheap t-shirt in the right color than an expensive cashmere sweater in the wrong color. So what are the right colors?

 Brighter? Darker? Jewel tones? 

Has my "color season" changed now that my hair has?

Well, the short answer to this question is that I don't know.

There is tons of information online about seasonal color analysis. It's evolved from the simple four seasons of the Color Me Beautiful system of the 80s (remember that?) to three or four subsets (light, true, soft, shaded) of the four seasons. There are tests to take, color swatches to view, Pinterest pages for inspiration, and more. 

What's not online, however, is any information regarding if or how your season changes when you go from a bleached blonde to a natural silver, as I have done this year.

I did find an article in which one expert contended that your season never changes; she believes that your eye color and basic skin tone determine your season, not your hair color. The opposing view was that when you go gray, you always go cooler.

So, as a soft summer (summers and winters are already the "cool" seasons), do I move to a true summer, which is cooler than the soft summer? Or do I move into winter?

And is the point somewhat moot? If you study the color charts, you'll see that it would be very difficult to get exactly the same shades as pictured. If you want a coat or a shirt or a sweater, you're lucky to find it available in a half dozen shades. Half of those may not work at all; the other half, well . . . you just do the best you can.

I do know that the pinks and lavenders I love aren't working anymore. Deeper shades (rose, raspberry, plum) look better with my silver-y gray hair. Those are still in the summer palettes. Winter shades might include fuchsia and cobalt, but those feel too bright and loud on me. So, intuitively, I'm staying with soft summer, favoring the deeper hues in the palette.

from LL Bean

And if I see anything in periwinkle, I'm getting it. 

from LL Bean

Also from LL Bean  This color, called purple slate, is much better on me than a pastel lavender.

So it is fun to be shopping again, and slowly adding to my closet.

Have your "colors" changed over time, or with a different hair color?


  1. I have been blonde (natural blonde but kinda bleh color) and light brown and auburn and super light platinum......I absolutely loved my red hair but hubs hated it - but when I WAS auburn for about 4 months I couldn't wear BLACK - it is most of my wardrobe, black - I about freaked out and didn't even know what to do!

    I love periwinkle and it is the worse color ever on me.

    have fun figuring it out - you have done so many good things, Deborah - keep it up honey and get yourself a few things. YOU HAVE EARNED IT!


  2. It is difficult to find the right colors when you change your hair color, especially if you buy on-line. Even dressing rooms are not ideal because of the florescent lighting. I just bought a beautiful, sequined gray sweater that looked great in the dressing room, but when I got it home it looked terrible in normal light. I do love the colors you are leaning towards and think they will look very lovely with your silver hair. I am finding that as I get older I don't look as well in the colors I used to wear, as my skin tone is paler. Good luck and happy shopping! A lovely reward for all of your dedication. x Karen

  3. I totally agree.. I believe your hair color changes your color choices...Of course, most of my collection is black with a splash of many different colors thrown the way, congrats on your weight loss and on the purging of the closet.. Have a great weekend.. Blessings!

  4. I usually rely on what people tell me. Everyone likes me in royal blue for reason. I'd like it if my hair would get to gray so I could look different. =D You really have made some great changes this year. Well done. (Gotta love L.L. Bean! )

  5. So much to think about. I have started to let the colour grow out, I have missed 2 colours and just had it cut but it still hasn't grown enough to see what the overall effect is going to be. You have done so well.

  6. My colours have definitely changed with my hair colour change (auburn to grey). No more oranges or browns! Grey is my neutral and variations of blue and rose my accent colours. Congratulations on your weight loss.

  7. I decided to stop lightening my hair and 'embrace' my age 3 years ago when I became a grandma. What a time that was growing off the old hair! It changed everything colorwise including my makeup. Thank you Merle Norman. I would never have used the colors I'm using now. I'm so glad I stopped coloring, as it saves so much time and money, and I actually get compliments on the change. I was a hairdresser for years way back before kids, and it's hard for me to keep my lips zipped when so many of my 60+ friends are still piling on the 'coverup' dark color. At a certain point it actually looks harsh. At my age a makeover is a lifting experience. Now if I could just embrace a weight loss program. And here it is Christmas and I'm not likely to do that now! :D You look maaavalous! :D Merry Christmas!

  8. What fun for you to choose a new wardrobe in new colors, Deborah. I guess I just pick colors that I love, and don't really worry about it too much. I probably should pay more attention!

  9. Color Me Beautiful...that's a blast from the past! Ah yes, lovely, lovely sounds like you are on the right track with deeper tones of your favorite pastels. I agree with Miss Beatrice. Dressing room lighting is not accurate. Looks like someone would have figured that out by now. Congratulations on improving your health. I can't blame my extra poundage on the baby...she's forty now...ha!

  10. Hi Deborah,
    How fun to be able to shop for different colored clothes to go with your new hair color just in time for Christmas!! I know you will look beautiful with whatever you choose to wear!!
    Wow congrats on loosing so much weight. You must feel so good too!!
    P.S. Maybe you could treat yourself to that mascara too. Lol.
    Have fun and wishing you a wonderful weekend. Julie xo
    Julie xo

  11. It probably depends on whether your hair was colored to a shade "in season". If it was, I suspect you may find different colors within "your colors" are most flattering. If your hair was dyed totally against your seasonal type, you may note a shift in season.

  12. Hello, Yes, this is so very true, I also had to change a few colors that I wore! But I think skin tone along with hair color still has to look good with colors we choose. I just have to hold it up to my face, I am surprised that some colors that I never wore look really good!
    Great Job... Hugs, Roxy

  13. I am so lost when it comes to knowing what colors to shop for and depend on happy accidents mostly!

    But what I do know, Deborah, is that 2015 has been an amazing year for you. I am so proud of what you've accomplished and have loved following along and watching you during it. You are amazing!


  14. I still go by my seasonal colours of winter. I once worked with a lady who was formerly a beautician and she gave me some great help in choosing better, deeper and bolder colours for me. I found the colours really suited me. I don't think the colours change too much with change in hair colour, I think it's more your skin tone.
    I also discovered a tiny trick while I'm letting my grey grow in. I've used a tiny dot of oil ('Got2Be') in my wet hair after washing. It darkens the hair a tiny bit when you dry your hair and blends in a bit better with the brown. The grey didn't look so white and silvery with the oil. And the oil doesn't feel oily, but rather silky and nice.

  15. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, deciding what color to wear with your hair also depends on your skin tone and eye color very much. And above all, the way I always dealt with it, depending on the weather. During sunny days it all makes a big difference as also our skin is glowing more and we look healthy. In the dark days of winter and skin looking paler, it is another story.
    I've had but one hair color and that is my natural dark blond all my life and now turning more and more into gray. But it depends on the brightness of a day and also on my mood. Do I feel bubbly, I wear more colorful thing.
    But you can feel oh so proud for having to face this question at this time! Your weight loss and also your very cute short hairstyle in your natural color does so much for you!
    Big hugs and admiration,

  16. I haven't really read the color/season thing in a long time, but I do remember grey and white hair were in the Winter section and this included jewel tones like emerald, royal blue and purple. I had very dark hair and very light skin, which made me a winter, but with my hair turning grey, I think the colors that look good on me have changed a little. I used to like pastels, but like you said, they wash me out. You might try asking your husband's advice on colors. Mine told me never to wear yellow, but medium or darker orange was a great color on me, which I was quite surprised by!

  17. I don't know about any seasons or colors, but with silvery gray hair, gray/blue eyes and medium skin, I can tell you that I get the most compliments with the bolder fushias, royal blues, teals and red colors. There are almost no colors that I WON'T wear, but those 4 seem to always be winners. I wear black, navy and brown as my base colors.
    HTH, and blessings to you,


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