Back to basics - neutrals for Winters

You're a Winter: bold colours, high contrast and plenty of brights. As one of the two bright seasons (Spring is the other), knowing your best neutrals is essential both for making your wow colours - or simply a strong lip colour - pop in contrast, and for days when you don't want to be quite so dazzling in your brights but still want to look your brightest and best.

It can sometimes feel that a subtle look is more or less impossible with the Winter palette - your season holds all the most extreme neutrals, and very little in the way of delicate shades. Panic not, however - you have lots of options available to you beyond contrasting black with white. Although your palette holds the very lightest and darkest neutrals (that'll be black and white), you achieve effortless elegance by pairing dark navy with ice blue, or charcoal grey with silver. Simply stick to a few golden (or silver?) rules to ensure that each of your neutrals keeps you at maximum impact.

Winters are the only ones for whom true black works. Contrast it with lights or brights for maximum impact, or pair it with quieter grey or navy for a deeper and lower contrast look. Look after your black clothes by washing them inside out with colour care liquid to keep the high intensity shade that you need.

Items shown: CamisoleSilky Roll NeckMid CascadeSleeveless VShort Ruched Skirt3/4 leggings - all in Black

As with black, only Winters get true white. There's a catch to getting this most effortless of neutrals, however; as soon as your whites become greyed with age, they will stop making your skin tone look crisp and clear. In-wash whitening solutions can help here. An easier and less extreme option can be to opt for the ice colours instead - white with just a tiny drop of pigment, whether it's blue, pink or green.

Items shown: Long Vest TopSquare Neck 3/4Semi Scoop 3/4Soft Square VestSilky ScoopRosa 7/8 trousers - all in White

Winter's grey is a pure mix of black and white - no yellow or blue undertones to soften off the shade. Every shade from silver grey through to darkest charcoal belongs to you. Tonal dressing within these greys can create an incredibly subtle look within the Winter palette, or add a dash of magenta or Chinese blue for an unexpected pop.

Items shown: Long Vest in Light Dove Grey, Sleeveless Cowl in Pebble Grey, Faux Wrap Long Sleeve in Soft Grey, Silky Scoop Neck in Charcoal, Fitted Cropped Cardi in Light Grey Marl, Mid Cascade in Silver

Winter doesn't have much in the way of soft natural shades, but if you're really craving a gentler look, try option for mole or stone, and pair it with ice blue or ice pink. Unless you look great in these shades, it's generally best to keep them away from your face - break them up with a light neutral or bright pop.

Items shown: Sasha Belted Cardi in Oyster Marl, Diane Swing TopJersey Maxi Skirt and Soft Square Vest - all in Mole

Your navy needs to be full on deep navy - no softening or lightening of this high impact shade. As with black, take care of it well and try freshening up with machine dye if your navy starts to fade. Navy can be a much more elegant solution than black, so take the time to hunt down your best shade - don't be tempted to compromise with lighter shades or a softer greyed navy.

Items shown: Long CamisoleCara V NeckCotton Jersey ShirtCashmere Gauze StoleKnee Length Ruched Skirt and Jersey Trousers - all in Navy

To see neutrals for other seasons, click the links below: