How to make winter colours look expensive?

(64 Posts)
MrsMarcus Fri 25-Jan-13 15:45:56

Ok, so got my colours done by HOC and turns out I’m a winter. A bit of a surprise as I’m blonde with blue eyes so not exactly your classic raven haired winter a la Liv Tyler.

My difficulty is that after years of cultivating my very boring but safe look of “classic elegance” (think cream tops with blue/khaki trousers, brown loafers, tan accessories, camel coats, understated gold jewellery etc) I’m at a loss at how to achieve the same expensive look with the bright winter colours. My best colours as per HOC are brilliant white, charcoal gray but also very bright magenta and emerald green. The consultant said my jewellery should be sparkly silver coloured and shoes, bags etc black rather than brown.

How do I make the bright winter colours look expensive and classic without it costing the earth? I have allocated a small budget for my make over but still can’t afford actual expensive so will have to be a little bit creative. My main problem is black leather for shoes and bags which to me always tends to look cheaper than brown leather (though maybe I’m just a bit stuck in my ways?). I’m very comfortable with my “style” so it’s just the colours that I need to change somehow but don’t know how, I don’t want to end up looking trashy/cheap/blingy.

Any winters out there who can help me? Any celeb examples I could use as inspiration?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 25-Jan-13 16:33:05

Did you agree with her? I've heard that they drape fabric over you so you can see how it lifts your complexion etc. Is that true and could you see the difference?

I just ask because a friend of mine had it done and the woman got it wrong! She said she thought she looked awful with the colours but didn't want to say anything as the woman was supposed to be the expert. Luckily the woman noticed before the end of the session.

libertychick Fri 25-Jan-13 16:55:04

I am wondering if she got it wrong as well? There are some HoC people on here so maybe they will come along and help. But from what I gather most of us instinctively know what suits us so I find it hard to believe you have got it completely wrong for years especially as you sound like someone who thinks about her style.

Also, the colour and style you describe looks expensive on someone it suits - I look tired and drained in cream and camel - and I think brown clothes look 'cheap' but it's because they don't suit me. I agree that brown leather can look very classy but I think black leather often looks more youthful - but again it's probably down to what really suits you.

Could you give her a call and explain how you feel?

libertychick Fri 25-Jan-13 16:57:33

Oh and I look completely 'blingy' in gold so I find it hilarious that you worry about looking 'blingy' in lovely, chic, understated, classy silver grin

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 25-Jan-13 17:26:03

I look bling in gold too but perhaps its just a preference.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 17:31:45

It's so subjective, isn't it? It's hard to make magenta look expensive, but emerald is a great colour (v favourite Fortuny dress in that shade for example).

Camel and gold to me speaks of women of a certain age who are married to underworld criminals of a certain calibre grin

PandaG Fri 25-Jan-13 17:34:15

agree with a PP - the right colours on you will look so much more expensive than the wrong ones. Buy tops and scarves in the right colours first, and then bottoms as you can afford to. Is more important to get colours near your face right.

PandaG Fri 25-Jan-13 17:37:56

all my jewellery was gold before I had my colours done - my parents bought me gold as a teen and for significant birthdays since. I've since bought silver bits, which yes do cost less, but do look better on me. I would like a platinum eternity ring though!

MrsMarcus Fri 25-Jan-13 18:22:00

I think I did agree with the woman as I could see how the brilliant white, for example, made my complexion appear brighter. It's just that being blue eyed blonde I have always thought dark and very bright colours drown my (non-existent) natural colouring and have tended to stick to more muted colours (which the lady said I should avoid as a winter...) and quite simple, classic styles.

Re jewellery - I tend to wear very little (small studs in ears, maybe a thin bracelet and wedding/engagement ring) so not blingy gold gangsta style (your comments made me giggle, imagining myself draped in thick gold chains...)! The sparkly thing the woman said just scared me, as did her comment that diamonds would work very well as all I could see in my head was some glamour girl with huge diamonds (not that I/DH could afford them...).

QueenCadbury Fri 25-Jan-13 19:01:17

Have a look at for sale dresses in lovely charcoal colours

QueenCadbury Fri 25-Jan-13 19:07:18

Or this

QueenCadbury Fri 25-Jan-13 19:07:42
fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 26-Jan-13 12:08:00

Does anyone know of a website where i can work out my colours without having to buy a book or visit a consultant?

I thought i was a winter but one website i just looked at said that winters have naturally black hair. Mine is dark brown. Im not sure i believe that really.

That is cods wallop. I'm a Winter with dark brown hair. It's really in the skin tone anyway, not the hair colour. I think it's difficult to do yourself without a consultant analysing you - especially if you are between the spectrums.

DonaAna Sat 26-Jan-13 12:42:17

I fail to understand why Winter colors wouldn't look expensive. Most high fashion - just check couture lineups - feature winter colors.
Winter because those strong and pure high contrast colors make the strongest visual impact. Classic YSL are all about winter. And yes, he paired magenta with red and no, it never looked cheap.

In my opinion, poor materials make an item look cheap. Wear a lot of viscose and polyester and acrylic, and you'll look the part. I've spent a lot of time among extremely privileged people, and what makes them look well cared for and polished is 1) that they buy the highest quality raw materials and 2) have them maintained to a very high standard (by using a lot of dry cleaning or employing people who carefully and frequently launder and iron their clothes).

In my experience, people who have both the financial means and good taste tend to go for simple and quite streamlined cuts. They have clothes tailored or altered to fit. My DH has most of his work clothes custom-made for him and it makes a huge difference.

So, in sum, wear your palette, but figure out how to 1) keep you clothes pristine (an iron or steamer or a good dry cleaner will help) 2) have a look at charity shops, consignment shops and dress agencies in good areas - that's where the good barely warn raw materials are to be had at bargain prices 3) purchase classic items whenever you can (the book The One Hundred by Nina Garcia is a great reference for anyone interested in great classics - you can them find many of the items mentioned on eBay) 4) avoid relying on fast fashion.

I think Coco Chanel said that a woman needs just three outfits. In a way, I agree. Much smarter to buy a few items in the best quality you can (again, I stress, that can often be found via the charity/consignment route) than a full wardrobe of poly-blend tat. You can also make some judicious purchases at Cos and Zara to keep your look up to date - they often have simple and streamlined pieces that can look quite refined if the materials are right.

And it might be just me, but to me yellow gold looks... passé, tired, too blingy. What's wrong with steel, silver, white gold, platinum and ruthenium?

Yep what Dona says is exactly it. Natural fibres are key. I will only buy natural fibres unless I really can't avoid it. Also any colour can look classy worn by the right person. In khaki sludge shades I would look half dead and dishevelled, in jewel tones I look vibrant. Agree silver classier than gold.

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 26-Jan-13 13:21:55

I think black can look cheap on the wrong season - Springs and Autumns especially but look very classy on winters and also that gold looks cheap on winters and summers.

You could try wearing neutrals - black, dove grey, silver, indigo, navy, charcoal and white and then add a bit of colour (nails, scarves, shoes, cardigans etc).

You can wear navy and indigo - dark navy blues can look great on winters.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 26-Jan-13 14:16:04

Can anyone work out from this what season Im likely to be?

I have pale pink toned skin. (brown hair and eyes if that's relevant)

I've figured out over the years that bright blues and pinks suit me. Grey looks ok, as does creams and whites (have never been able to figure out which looks best on me), pale blue is also fine as is navy, beige is passable, turquoise is good.

Khaki looks awful on me and black drains my colour. Red not so great (but perhaps I've been trying the wrong sort?), lime green looks awful, purple makes me look weird. Don't think orange is good either.

Any idea?

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 26-Jan-13 15:14:17

Its hard to tell - I would have a HoC consultation, best money I've ever spent as it means no more shopping mistakes (and that includes hair & make up).

DonaAna Sat 26-Jan-13 15:27:44

Doodlepoopoo I have had my colors done, have very pale cool pink-toned skin, naturally dark blonde hair, am a Light Summer (technically somewhere between Summer and Spring) and I wear those colors plus bright greens. You might also be a Winter or Soft something because your coloring sounds a bit more intense than mine.

I thought purple would never work on me but a pale mauve and a cool plummy burgundy (everywhere this AW) actually look stunning on me. Lime, orange and yellow are absolutely ghastly on me. Khaki - no-go. Beiges are tricky (I am basically beige), any yellowish beiges won't work a but a cool rose beige is terrific.

But I'd also really recommend a consultation, as there is some fine-tuning involved: getting a coherent palette will help a lot. It transformed my makeup and wardrobe and I very rarely buy clothes that don't suit me now. I keep my palette on my iPhone but very rarely need to consult it now because whatever I purchase just has to blend in with what I already have.

stickygingerbread Sat 26-Jan-13 19:55:40

MrsMarcus I really tend to doubt you are a winter for the very reasons you cite. Winters suit high contrast colour combinations. Did she try draping like that on you? Winters who are not high contrast in colouring are usually dark and still suit high contrast dressing.

I think you looked good in white because you are a 'light' and both light spring and light summer suit white.

Have a look here

Each season shares attributes with other seasons. Winters and springs share their 'clearness' - they don't suit muted or earth tone or frosty colours, but spring is warm and winter cool.

Winter and summer share coolness, but summer is subtle and low-contrast while winter suits bold and high-contrast.

A quick way to narrow down your season is to have a close look at your irises.

Warm seasons have flecks of gold,amber or brown no matter the eye colour. Cool seasons do not have warm flecks.

stickygingerbread Sat 26-Jan-13 20:14:30

fdpp you need not have black hair to be a winter though winters usually have dark hair. I have dark brown hair and am a clear winter. If my skin was rosier I would probably be a cool winter, slightly different, but am naturally very pale.

My sister and I are very similar looking - brown hair, blue eyes, pale skin. But she is a spring! She has warm flecks in her eyes, and a warmish cast to her hair and skin. She can wear coral and gold, black drains her - me no. We had some fun going over the pretty your world site together.

tethersend Sat 26-Jan-13 20:49:07

My vote's on calling it a load of old bollocks and wearing what you like grin

tethersend Sat 26-Jan-13 20:50:46

But, if you must, clash the colours together (not with black) to avoid looking cheap.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 27-Jan-13 10:41:47

Ok so it sounds like Im not winter if i can't wear black? Its more complicated than i expected!

It costs so much to get it done!

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 27-Jan-13 10:54:47

If you can't wear black, you are definitely NOT a winter.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 27-Jan-13 12:34:44

Arg! Its so confusing! I just had another look and it would seem that each of the other colour palettes have colours in which i know don't suit me! I don't seem to fit any of them!

Some say you can't be this if you have brown eyes bla bla bla.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 27-Jan-13 13:07:10

The only ones that say you can have brown eyes are the autumn ones yet those palettes are full of colours which i know don't suit me!

Starting to think that putting people in these groups doesn't really work.

Hopefully Sun 27-Jan-13 20:41:53

The only thing that works is a proper draping. Honestly. Otherwise you may as well pick a palette you like and just run with it - you've got as much chance of getting it right as you have with doing one of those online quiz things.

FWIW I have had winters with everything from white blonde to black hair, and summers with brown eyes, and autumns with blue eyes, and I am a v pale skinned, dark dark haired bright eyed Autumn (ie I look exactly like a winter until I am draped).

Hopefully Sun 27-Jan-13 20:43:43

And MrsM I have no problem at all believing in a blue eyes blonde Winter. I know two of them, and they need the bright cool clarity of Winter and look amazing. It's an incredibly striking, expensive, look.

My lovely fellow consultant Paula is a blonde Winter

I look like a Winter until I'm draped, then I'm a Summer. In online quizzes, I'm an Autumn or a Winter.

MrsMarcus Mon 28-Jan-13 12:33:50

Well, it was a proper HoC consultant who did my analysis and she took ages over it (a good few hours), draping all the fabrics round my face, doing the make up etc. As I said in my original post, I was very surprised at the outcome as I had always thought I would never be a winter (or an autumn) based on all the stuff online.

She did say I was a cool/cold/icy winter (or something along those lines) and that I should go for a high contrast look. I do look very Scandinavian with pale skin, blue eyes and blond hair.

The only colours on the winter palette that didn't work for me were the yellows.

Think I just have to trust the expert!

CashmereHoodlum Mon 28-Jan-13 13:20:54

I've just been looking on the HoC website and I have a question. When you get the wallet of swatches, how many are there? I have been trying to figure out which colours suit me and so far I have only discovered 2! I have been toying with the idea of having this done but only if it will help me wear a wider range of colours.

Did you have it done in a group? That is the other thing putting me off!

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 13:44:18

You get a swatch book of 36 colours, but your consultant will show you how to wear not just those but all the colours that tone and harmonise with them.

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 13:44:57

Oh, and it is generally done as part f a group, but many HoC consultants will do one to one (I do, and I'm far from alone!)

CashmereHoodlum Mon 28-Jan-13 13:48:55

Thanks Hopefully.

QueenCadbury Mon 28-Jan-13 13:54:07

hopefully or travelincolour, I don't suppose either of you work in or near Bristol?

I'm in Chichester, Hopefully is in Devon. smile

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 13:58:45

Queen I am SW, but about an hour from Bristol. travel is bloody miles away in the SE (I know this because I used to live practically next door to her). Feel free to PM either of us.

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 13:59:02

Lol, x posts!

sazpops Mon 28-Jan-13 14:06:51

Sorry to hijack the post, but a quick question - I had my colours done years ago and was an autumn (which was all the colours I always wore anyway - so far so good), but now I'm in my fifties my hair and skin colour have changed, so should I have them done again, or 'once an autumn always an autumn'? thanks.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 28-Jan-13 14:07:26

Not only will they tell you which colours out of your season palette you can wear, they will also advise you which ones are your best ones and how much of each colour you can wear and where (e.g below waist, as a top etc).

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 14:20:33

saz you won't have changed season, but quite often people's best colours within their season change over time, so if you're feeling a bit lost a re-rate or even just a chat with your consultant can help.

As Hopefully says, it may be that the best colours on you are different. Often older Autumns find that moss gets a bit draining, for example, and the lighter greens are better.

sazpops Mon 28-Jan-13 14:32:25

hopefully and travel - many thanks, that's helpful.I really like the autumn colours so I think I'll just experiment a bit more with different shades.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 28-Jan-13 16:17:28

One thing I've noticed from looking online is that quite a lot of people have posted saying that they had their colours done and were told they were an x, then had it done again and were told y.

Its hard to have faith in the consultants when that seems to happen a lot.

doodle I think it would probably be a self-selecting group. No one who is happy with their season would have it done again.
Some companies offer more training that others. I am sure some people are done wrongly and then go to a different company for another go if they are unhappy.

lalalonglegs Mon 28-Jan-13 19:11:42

God, I do think this colours thing is a load of guff. Wear what you like and you think looks good on you. Sod the opinion of some know-all madam with swatches.

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 19:29:10

Which is absolutely fabulous, if you know exactly what looks good on you and have absolutely no problems putting together a well edited, multi-tasking and interesting wardrobe in your best palette, in your style and 100% of which makes you feel amazing. Some women (me included) like a little outside input to get us on the right path. I think that's ok.

Hopefully I love you.

lalalonglegs Mon 28-Jan-13 19:48:21

But the OP had a wardrobe that seemed to work for her and she just wanted to zhush it up a bit. Now she's under the impression that she has to wear certain colours, that the colours that she always has gravitated towards aren't right and that the colours that have been declared right for her don't look that great anyway. It comes across as overly prescriptive at best and absolute hooey if you're not feeling that generous.

I think there are certain make up colours that don't look good on certain skin tones but whole spectrums of fabrics on the body? Really?

By the way OP WRT handbags, I don't like black either - mine are navy, grey, pink, bright green, purple etc.

I have previously been called a know-all, but never a madam.
<exits in flourish of drapes>

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 20:42:51

Lala I missed where she said that the Winter colours didn't look that good? Also, presumably she (and I apologise for putting words in the OP's mouth here) wasn't in fact completely happy with the way her, and I quote, "boring but safe" wardrobe was working, or she wouldn't have gone for the analysis?

And it isn't 'overly prescriptive' at best. I would never dream of ordering a client to do anything at all. If they want to leave the room and ignore every single thing I've said to them, I won't be hunting them down to finger wag. But I can hand on heart say that >90% of people I know who've had it done properly in the last 5-10 years (because it is better than it was in the heyday of 1980s colour consultants wielding fluoro lipsticks) really really rate it. Those who don't are the people who probably weren't remotely interested in the first place and either went with a mate or were bought a gift voucher. Nothing wrong with them not being interested - it isn't a tool that every single person wants to use, and that's absolutely fine in my book.

Gillybobs Mon 28-Jan-13 22:09:36

I know more than a dozen people who have had this done and every single one of them found it incredibly useful and interesting and most of them have gone on to have far more success with shopping, bags more confidence in how they dress and use make up and make far fewer mistakes when spending their hard earned cash. I have no idea why anyone would think that's not worth doing? And I haven't heard any of them describe it as overly prescriptive.

stickygingerbread Mon 28-Jan-13 22:44:54

Fair enough OP, you were there and actually evaluated all the colours and must know yourself best. It sounds like you have a lot of enjoyable shopping experimentation before you.

MrsMarcus Tue 29-Jan-13 09:25:51

I didn’t say I didn’t agree with the consultant’s view only that it really surprised me as I had never thought I would be a winter based on my natural colouring. I only went to the analysis as someone from work had it done and started “dressing her colours” (instead of just all black) and looked fab (she’s an autumn) so I thought it could be good fun. I'm glad I went and it was good fun.

My only problem is that having spent so many years dressing in certain colours and cultivating a certain look/style using those colours I now find it very difficult to put together the same “look” in colours that are very different to the ones I have been wearing. Especially as all of the examples I have found on the internet seem to just show the classic winters of very dark hair and brown eyes who do look fab in black and bright colours.

I was after some outfit ideas and inspiration really, especially as I have to work to a budget so will have to be careful with what I buy and can’t afford many mistakes. I said I am probably very stuck in my ways and fully admit that my current look is very boring to many but I feel very comfortable with it, I think it suits me and want to achieve the same feel with winter colours. I’m glad I can wear white, grey, black and navy as those to me would work to the classic style I’m after but how do I incorporate some of the more colourful aspects of the winter colours without it looking cheap? And how do I make reasonably priced black/coloured leather look as expensive as reasonably priced brown leather?

So, anyone with any links to websites or blogs which would demonstrate a classic style in winter colours? Or any examples of how a blonde blue eyed winter might look in different outfits?

How were the ice pastels on you MrsM?, those combined with navy or grey could be quite classic...

Hopefully Tue 29-Jan-13 14:53:16

I think the silver/bright white paired with navy and charcoal looks amazing. Remember you don't have to go wild with the brighter colours initially if you don't want to. I suspect that none of the colours will look cheap on you, because they will look brilliant with your skin tone, but I know what you mean - the brighter winter colours can feel a bit alarming when you're not used to them. Depending on your style, I think LKB has some lovely stuff for winters, as does Phase Eight. Most of the 'classic' designers are very winter (lots of black and navy).

Silk scarves/pashminas are a great way to add in a bit of colour, as is a coloured watch. Or a brighter camisole/top under a neutral cardigan/jacket. A plain pencil skirt (say in red, or blue) with a crisp white shirt is v chic I think. There is no requirement to instantly dress like a parrot if you don't want to - it sounds like neutrals with pops of colour are going to be a good place to start for you.

I think the leather thing may have to be something you just bite the bullet on - it sounds like brown=better is something you have got used to, and so you are instinctively averse to black leather. Remember you have things like mole too, if you prefer.

rollmopses Tue 29-Jan-13 15:42:05

''And it might be just me, but to me yellow gold looks... passé, tired, too blingy. What's wrong with steel, silver, white gold, platinum and ruthenium? ''

Some pieces in platinum and good stones/pearls are lovely of course, so are timeless silver filigree's, however, all 'white' is simply nouveau riche.

Gold worn in ghetto/WAG?etc style is naturally vulgar, but nice family pieces that have some age to them, look always most elegant.

Willowisp Tue 29-Jan-13 16:41:01

It's odd this colour analysis. For years I wore pale blue, pale pink & lilac & wondered why I looked horrible & washed out.

Turns out I'm an autumn, but I was literally in shivk' all the beige/rusts/orange/greens that I'd avoided became thr colors which 'light' up my face.

It's I'm get older your skin tones change & I'm wondering if I'm now a clear spring or light/warm autumn, rather than a deep.

Silver looks horrible on me, but I like myself in grey...confused

quirkychick Tue 29-Jan-13 17:15:13

I had my colours done a few weeks ago, I was surprised to find I was a dark haired summer, rather than a winter. I was right , in that I suit completely cool colours. It explained why I was trying to tone down darker, brighter colours with accessories etc.

I found it useful as it clarified what clothes suit me and gave me some new ideas too. I'm finding not wearing black tricky but looking forward to wearing charcoal, emerald and other colours. Not much advice on classic style, though, as I am dramatic and natural!

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 29-Jan-13 17:25:14

I think ice pastels may look amazing on you - ice blue, pink and lilac. Are these your best colours?

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