Some suggestions for people with warm colouring

posted in: Colour Analysis, Style advice | 16

I recently did a colour consultation for a good friend with amber eyes. Traditionally known as Hazel they can look a bit “woody”, including various shades of yellowish green. I find this colouring very fascinating and love looking at light, brownish eyes. Like red hair eyes with a bit of yellow in them can mean someone has warm colouring – not always but it is a big clue. I love the warm colour palette – partly because I have cool colouring and the warm shades do me no favours. But if you have warm colouring wearing warmer, yellowy, sunny shades can just bring your complexion to life. 

If you have warm colouring what sort of shades look best?

The key idea is to go for the three or four shades you can see in these irises – khaki greens, yellowy greens, golds, and warm, yellowy browns and orangey shades. If you use these colours for your make up too – brown eye shadows and the deeper greens I think you will find that your skin comes to life. If on the other hand you choose bluish shades you can look a bit washed out and pale. As I draped my client in warm colours her whole complexion came to life and she looked like she had a lovely tan. It was incredible.

Let’s have a look at Demi Moore who has hazel eyes, and rather deep colouring. She may well be deep-warm rather than predominantly warm. But let’s just see what she looks like when she wears the warmer palette. These yellow-based warm shades just make Demi glow – her golden skin just lights up when worn with warm colours. Her best lipsticks are peaches and orangey shades which later on in her career she has worked out for herself.

With her dark hair Demi Moore can certainly wear deeper shades but look at these browns, khakis, burnt orange and gold – so much more interesting than the black and white that she can wear as she has deep colouring. If you find a colour which makes your eyes really “pop” then you can be pretty sure they will suit you.  Browns are also so rich and beautiful – although some of these shades are associated strongly with nature they can look sophisticated and dressed up as Demi shows.

Below are some shades that should suit you if you have warm colouring. I particularly like terracottas through to light peach, and the warm yellows like cantaloupe, honey and warm beige. Put these with khaki or teal and you have a brilliant outfit. I once had a tobacco brown trouser suit (not that it suited me) which looked amazing with a vintage “flesh” tone ie light orange. Brick/maroon/pink; Taupe and turquoise; Khaki with burnt orange accents. How I love the warm palette. Happy yellow!

With a warm colour direction always wear shades that include some sunny yellow pigment. Your white is cream, and your neutrals are the warm browns. I know it sounds like a 1970s living room, and this colour scheme was really popular in the 1970s, but warm shades are always in fashion. Currently there are many pinky-peaches, khakis and  camel available – these, for example, are from Topshop.

My client last week was Warm with a secondary direction of muted, and thirdly deep. So in her case she will want to choose slightly muted and deeper shades. One suggestion is to choose more patterned fabric such as the animal print or the nice russet check that Demi has chosen for her jacket. I have put together some Pinterest boards based around patterns in nature and in fabric or wall paper that shows how the specific colour pattern works together. If you choose a pattern in your colour direction it can form the basis for many outfits as you can put your other colours with it. This is why the Elizabeth Zimmermann seamless sweater with a colourful patterned yoke works so well as a wardrobe builder – it uses four or five shades which can pull the rest of your wardrobe together. Not all these patterns would be to everyone’s taste (they are from Spoonflower if they are!). I have done this to show how a few well chosen patterns in your wardrobe – no difficulty if you make your own skirts, blouses or jackets for example – can make your wardrobe look more exciting and artistic. I think a long jacket in the camel cowboy print would look good with the whole illustrated wardrobe above. I hope this shows how if you choose your wardrobe around your own personal colour direction you get a situation where everything goes with everything else and you avoid the issue of creating specific “capsules”. Very economic and once settled takes no effort.

Incidentally if you have deep or light colouring these posts may be of value.

16 Responses

  1. jay

    I love the prints 6 and 8 in your line up above. The ‘dirty’ pink in 6 is a great colour for this group, but not always easy to land on either in rtw or fabric. (I have the eye colour and give a thumbs up to your choices. You’ve hit the nail with your chart.)

    • fabrickated

      Thank you Jay! I have seen quite a few of the softer/greyed off/dirty pinks in the shops recently. I especially love a dirty pink as a decorating colour. So calm and easy to live with. Although I love wearing a strong pink they are far to lively when you want a relaxing environment.

  2. Jane

    This is really interesting Kate. Thanks especially for the link to the light colouring post as this is more relevant to me as a grey eyed, pale skinned blonde! x

  3. Karen

    As a fair redhead I found this post very interesting. While my eyes are dark brown most of the colors mentioned work well for me. I do have trouble choosing prints so this info will help. I wore black as my neutral for years because brown was hard to find and am happy to finally find it more available. I’m planning my fall wardrobe around the lovely terracatta shade you mentioned.

    • fabrickated

      Black is so beguiling and I understand its appeal – slimming, always available and easy to match. But the browns are intriguing – there is so much more to them – browns are made from all the colours together and they combine well with all the warm shades. I hope you have fun with your terracottas – rusty browns (reddish) and tobacco browns (yellowish brown) both tone beautifully terracotta.

  4. ceci

    I always enjoy these color posts… fun to imagine starting over with the right colors! I suspect actually doing it would require some self discipline.


    • fabrickated

      Thank you Ceci – and I enjoy writing them. Always something new to see and say about colour. The client I met had a wardrobe full of less flattering colours, and so we talked about first trying the better colours and seeing how she felt about them, which she has been doing. And she feels better in orange than in black, and khaki rather than navy now and she looks more “integrated”. She is going to try some copper eyeliner next! I think do it gradually and don’t stick too firmly to the rules. But knowing that certain colours enhance you and make you look younger, fresher and more “together” can be empowering – its up to the individual to decide how much or how little to do with this information.

  5. Annie

    Although I fall into this category there are shades of yellow that I can’t wear because my skin is sallow, I really like mustard but it hates me! One colour that really livens my face is mauve but I hate wearing clothes of that colour, it’s great on my eyes though. Oddly enough I’ve just made a blouse muslin in brown, I bought the fabric it because it was cheap and I couldn’t see an alternative, but made up the colour does nice things for me. I’ve discovered a new neutral that I can plan around.

    • fabrickated

      I wonder if your main colour direction is possibly muted Annie? Good in brown could mean that you have warmth but the softer browns are great with the more muted colourings.

      • Annie

        Definitely so, muted shades work better, I’ve been unconsciously choosing them for a long time. Your thoughts on colours changed my thinking, I am more attuned to shades now. I remember once wearing a bright fuchsia pink top to work and a friend told me never to wear that colour again, you can imagine how awful I must’ve looked in that colour.

  6. Sue

    Another really interesting post. I am fascinated by the effect of colour but still can’t work out what suits me best – probably years of wearing black and grey suits!

  7. Michelle

    This is so interesting as I have greeny hazel eyes similar to your first example but I have never thought of myself as having warm colouring; my hair was dark mousey brown but I’ve now gone steely grey. Back in the 80s when Colour me Beautiful came out I was designated a Summer and have stuck more or less to those colours (pinks, blues and now quite a lot of grey!). The suggestion of working with iris colours would move me into a whole new spectrum. Just like Sue, I find colour analysis fascinating and this has certainly given me something to think about.

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