Can you identify the Cool neutrals? Neutrals are not the first thing that comes to mind when you have a fabulous new color palette.
It's easy to get excited about all the beautiful brights but, until you can recognize your basic (almost boring) neutrals, it's impossible to begin any kind of color co-ordination.
What is a Neutral?
We don't see neutral colors in the rainbow and we think of them almost as being 'colorless'. The beauty comes with the fact that when a neutral is teamed with a brighter color it doesn't compete, it merely complements!
The neutral forms the background allowing the brighter tone to appear more vibrant.
But although beige, taupe, grey, navy, black and different shades of white appear to be colorless, most of the time they will have either a Warm or Cool undertone.
The best neutrals for COOL coloring are those that have a Cool/Blue undertone or base, just like your own natural skin tone. In the image above you can see that the Warm neutrals are all influenced with a golden yellow tone and veer towards tans and browns while the Cool neutrals are blues and greys.
Literally hundreds of shades...
You can't match a color exactly and it's not necessary. You'll quickly see how to use your color swatch as a 'blending tool'. Your colors are never limited as there are literally hundreds of shades between each just like an artist's palette!
I've taken the COOL neutrals from the first image and extended them to show lighter and darker tones of the same shade. All you need to do is ensure that the colors sit happily together, this shows that they have a common denominator, in this case a Blue/Cool undertone.
If you're stuck, pop along to your local DIY store and I'm sure you will find some paint charts where greys in particular are labelled Warm or Cool.
I have extended the neutrals in the color palette
Think neutrals first...
It's important to build a small collection of wardrobe essentials in your best neutrals. These will be the most useful items you own, earning their keep many times over.
Wardrobe essentials are staples that won't go out of fashion and will go from season to season: skirts and trousers, a jacket or cardigan, a classic dress and coat. All of these items will provide the base for the majority of your outfits and, by adding a few tops and accessories in your brighter shades, you'll create an endless amount of mix and match outfits.
The basics of co-ordination...
This shows very simply how to introduce your brightest shades into the neutrals for cool coloring. Take a selection of cool neutrals and slot some color in between for instant co-ordination. Whatever the shade you'll find that the brighter cool shades will instantly feel at home!
The very basic start to co-ordination
These are the neutrals for COOL coloring
and don't forget they can be a bit lighter or deeper!
White is a great color for you - off white, soft white, bright ivory and pure white. It's the perfect choice for tops, tanks, shirts and blouses.
Worn close to the face it creates a brilliant contrast against all the bright Cool toned colors and the other neutrals.
If your skin is extremely fair you might find that Pure White drains you a little so stay with Soft White.
This is your best shade of Beige - almost a unbleached linen tone - and is your go-to beige for wardrobe basics particularly in the warmer months.
Avoid any beige with a yellow undertone as it's not good against your complexion. anything with a yellow undertone - many beiges can be quite gingery. So aim for this almost grey tone - or 'Greige'.
Elegant cocoa - almost a mink color. A beautiful soft tone which looks particularly rich in wool - so think cardigans and jackets, skirts, trousers, winter coat etc.
Keep well away from the gingery browns as they will 'shout' against all the blue undertones of Cool colors.
Navy blue is a 'universal' color - that means there is a version to suit everyone.
Out of all the cool neutrals, navy blue is the easiest as everything has a blue undertone!
Navy blue is the perfect neutral to support all your colors.
Blue grey is a softened greyed down version of Navy blue.
It's almost the denim blue that we've come to rely on as a basic component of our wardrobes and harmonizes with just about everything.
Light silver grey
This is a light and sophisticated color with a crisp blue undertone which will bring an elegance to the Cool colors. A Warm grey would 'fight' against the blue undertone.
It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a Warm or Cool grey initially - take a look at the different Shades of Grey to get the idea.
Medium true grey
This is quite a professional looking shade of grey, almost charcoal, and would make an excellent base for a working capsule wardrobe.
You can dress it up and ring the changes very easily with your brighter colors and accessories.
Charcoal grey is the deepest grey. If you find black too heavy then charcoal will make an excellent base neutral for the colder months.
This color lends itself perfectly to a warm wool flannel for a skirt, trousers or winter coat.
You will often read that Cools should not wear black - but let's apply some common sense here. Black can be very harsh next to your face if your skin is fair but will always work well for accessories.
All you need to wear and enjoy your COOL colors
The COOL Color Brief £3.00
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