Winter: the different types

This is the last of four blog posts, exploring the different 'types' of each season. When discussing each season I will try to use the most commonly understood terms of each type, but please do contact us if you feel we've and missed out a term that would help colour analysis clients understand their season.

And we've reached the final week! We've spent the past three weeks exploring the different types of Springs, Summers and Autumns, and this week we finish up with Winter.

These guides are intended to help you understand how each 'type' of season can vary within one palette, and help you to understand your own season as far as possible. Remember, it's important to note that your seasonal type is a guide, not a rule book. If you fall at one end of, say, the Summer palette, it doesn't mean you can't ever wear colours from other areas of the palette you may have been given, just that this particular area is the very best part of the best palette for your personal skin tone and contrast level.

This week, we'll be looking at Winter colours.

Jewel/True Winter

This is the palette most of us visualise when we think of the Winter colours. Boldest scarlet, bright white and true black. These colours all play at the extremes of light, dark and bright.

True Winters are high contrast, bold and bright, and often have high contrast in their colouring, perhaps in the form of very dark hair with fair skin or bright blue/green eyes.

Your best colours as a True Winter are holly berry red, emerald green, cobalt blue and stark black and white, all worn in high contrast.

Your best Kettlewell colours: hot pink, fuchsia, cherry, raspberry, purple, lobelia, sapphire, bright navy, emerald, white, silver, charcoal, black.

Bright/Clear/Sprinter Winter

A Bright Winter is, dare I say it, even brighter than a True Winter. The colours have a little of Spring's lightness added to them (although they still sit on the cool side of that warm/cool dividing line), making them almost fluoro versions of True Winter's palette.

Bright Winters can often look like Springs with clear blue eyes and blonde hair, or like Summers, with their brightness only appearing when they wear their bold Bright Winter colours.

Your best Bright Winter colours are shocking pink, Chinese blue, icy greys and acid yellow.

Your best Kettlewell colours: Hot pink, true red, violet, lobelia, sapphire, royal blue, cobalt blue, chinese blue, azure, emerald, acid yellow, iced aqua, white, pink ice, light grey marl, silver.

Cool/Sultry Winter

A Cool Winter sits at the more exotic end of the Winter palette, losing some of the brightness of the True and Bright Winters and gaining some extra darkness.

Cool Winters often have slightly deeper colouring than their brighter counterparts, and are often (unsurprisingly, given the name!) extremely cool toned and turn positively yellow in anything with even a hint of warmth in it.

Your best colours are charcoal grey, deepest indigo and navy and burgundy, and very pale grey is often a better pale neutral than stark white.

Your best Kettlewell colours: mulberry, deep claret, dark red, raspberry, cassis, navy, pine, soft grey, light grey marl, silver, charcoal, black.

Burnished/Deep/Dark Winter

A Deep Winter can be a tricky one to analyse. Often carrying hints of a warm look, perhaps a bit of red in the hair or a glimpse of amber in the eye colour, they actually sit closer to the Autumn end of the Winter palette, while still needing those cooler Winter colours rather than Autumn's golden tones.

Your best colours as a Burnished Winter are some of the least obviously Winter colours of the palette, such as stone, mole grey and pine green.

Your best Kettlewell colours: passion flower, deep claret, true red, cassis, aubergine, purple, navy, mallard, forest green marl, pebble grey, light grey marl, mid grey, mole.

Heather on Jan 14, 2022 1:13 PM

Still struggling with which winter I am. Very helpful though…I should manage.

CAROL PARRY on Dec 05, 2021 5:45 PM

This information has helped me enormously, thank you. My instinct on buying certain colours has given me back my confidence in choosing clothes after reading your colour codes for a cool Winter/deep Winter.

Barb Eisele on Nov 05, 2021 9:57 PM

Thanks for the distinction Burnished winter. Over the years I have had my colors done and been an autumn but I can wear black and white, optic white is a bit much but softer whites but not ecru. So many autumn colors make me look too yellow. andI gave up trying to categorize myself and bought what I thought looked good on me. This explains so much. Thank you.

Donna on Aug 12, 2021 9:33 PM

Hi. Years ago a Beauty for all Seasons said I was a Contrasting Dynamic Winter and the color palette was perfect. I had very dark brown hair, brown eyes, freckles, and lightish skin. 20 years later, I have grey hair, can no longer wear vivid colors, and taupe looks great as opposed to making me look ill when my hair was dark. Can you help me figure out which I am now, please? Could I have become a Summer due to my hair change? Thank you!

kinny on Aug 04, 2021 4:24 AM

This is a revelation! IAlways thought i was DEEP winter but i could not wear any shade of white. I also turn yellow with anything slightly warm. COOL SULTRY winter is me!!!

Janine Barnes on Aug 03, 2021 4:50 PM

I am a winter as I know I suit really bright colurs, black white and suit pastels but only if really bright. I don't suit earthy colours. Beige only if it is stone. khaki if only dark not olive. Not sure about my undertones. I have green brown eyes tan easy with dark/medium hair. I don't suit muted shades but suit bright yellow. Which winter, cool, neutral, or deep?

Sarah on Aug 02, 2021 5:22 PM

I was a blue-eyed blond winter. Now, in my 60's, my complexion and hair are graying. Does this mean that my 'Season' has changed also?

Janie Edgens on Jun 12, 2021 5:51 PM

I knew I was winter, but it was just reinforced. I just wished I knew my undertone. All these colors look good on me. All jewel tones. ❤

Kim Evans on Jul 31, 2020 7:00 PM

Agreed! I had my colors done 30 years ago and have saved a fortune by not purchasing clothes that might be the current trendy color but not in my color range!

Tracey Olver on Sep 02, 2019 10:09 AM

How do you work out what season you are.....I had my colours done many years ago but seasons weren't mentioned.

Kettlewell Colours: There are several options, if you were analysed tonally, you can read this page

or you can do our colour quiz which might also help.

Helen R on Nov 14, 2018 3:25 PM

Really useful article but it would be good to update links occasionally as you bring in new colours each year and many of the colours listed above are no longer available.

Kettlewell Colours: We are planning an update to these blog posts soon! Watch this space!

Kathy on Oct 14, 2018 3:03 PM

This blog is a goldmine of helpful information—one of the very best things about Kettlewell (after the clothes, of course! ;-). And this particular series of posts, on the different types withon each season, is especially helpful to those of us who understand our season but now want to fine-tune our personal palettes. So can I join the others who have asked that this post, and the similar ones for other seasons, be refreshed at least annually to help us find which of the Kettlewell. colours now available work best with our fine-tuned palettes? Would be such a help. I have never enjoyed clothes as much as I do with Kettlewell!

Jay on Jun 25, 2018 6:20 PM

I have had trouble deciding wether I’m a winter or an autumn for years as both can work well on me so dicovering I’m a burnished winter with green/amber/grey eyes and a skin tone that looks pale but sallow until it tans to Olive in the summer has helped me so much when choosing the moss, mole and grey/green plus black colours which suit me so well

Catherine Smith on Jul 10, 2016 11:44 AM

Really useful - as a burnished winter with hazel eyes and skin that tans easily I always wondered why some 'Winter' colours looked too bright on me - now I can see I'm closer to some of the autumn colours so will avoid the china blues, etc. Thanks for these blog posts, very interesting.

Elizabeth on Jul 01, 2016 10:11 AM

I am a jewel winter. I love wearing bright blues as they compliment my eyes. I tend to wear black at the bottom a bright colour at top with pale grey, silver tones jacket / cardigan. My hair is my main feature. At the moment I have dark brown, ash blonde and pink highlights. Am so glad I had my colours done...

Maggie Arr on Jun 30, 2016 3:53 PM

When I had my colours "done" way back in 1994/5, I'm sure my HoC consultant said I was a "Snow White" Winter... Looking at what you've said, I'm guessing that translates as a True Winter!

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