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.
As you see below, with Cool coloring you are likely to have mid toned ash brown hair rather like the Duchess of Cambridge. As you age you can expect to transition into silver tones rather like Helen Mirren.
These Cool neutrals can also be used as relevance for the Summer and Winter color palettes - the lighter tones for Summer and the stronger colors for Winter.
Cool neutrals and accent colors to tone
What is a Cool Neutral?
We don't see neutral colors in the rainbow. And although beige, brown, grey, navy, black and different shades of white appear to be colorless, most of the time they will have either a Warm or a Cool undertone.
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.
Neutrals to the fore with Cool accent colors to the background
Literally hundreds of shades...
It's impossible to match a color exactly and it's not necessary. You can happily use slightly lighter or deeper tones of the same color. 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.
In the image below you can see how the colors, even if they're not 'exactly' the same, have the same tones and 'agree' with each other.
In your wardrobe you can use your color swatch as a 'blending tool' in the same way. Your colors are never limited as there are literally hundreds of shades between each color block just like an artist's palette!
Cool Neutrals - they don't have to be exact they can be lighter or deeper
Think neutrals first...
Build a small collection of wardrobe essentials in your best cool neutrals. These will be the most useful items you own, earning their keep many times over.
Your light shades are white, ivory and cool stone. The nearest you come to brown is a cool elegant taupe.
Light denim blue through to a classic navy; cool crisp greys through to charcoal and black. Although go easy on the black if your skin is fair.
The neutrals can be teamed together or you can use them as a background for the brighter accent colors and really bring them to life!
Cool accent colors bring the neutrals to life
The basics of co-ordination...
Co-ordinating your colors begins with Wardrobe essentials. These are basic items of clothing that won't go out of fashion and take you from season to season: skirts, trousers, a jacket or cardigan, a classic dress and a coat.
These items will provide the base for the majority of outfits and, by adding a few tops and accessories in your brighter shades, you'll create an endless amount of mix and match outfits.
For instant co-ordination take a selection of cool neutrals and slot some color in between. Whatever cool shade you add it will feel instantly at home!
Outfits using just Cool Neutrals
With an all neutral outfit, you can create soft or strong contrast.
Thank you to the blogger friends below who show stylish ways to mix and match Cool neutrals. From left: Nicole of highlatitudestyle.com; Rosemary of distinctlysouthernstyle.com; Shelbee of shelbeeontheedge.com; Gail of isthismutton.com; Susan from susanafter60.com.
These are the neutrals for COOL coloring
and don't forget they can be a bit lighter or deeper!
White or Ivory
Pure white is great against a pink toned skin. Use it for lingerie, tops, tanks, shirts and blouses next to your face. If your skin is extremely fair and pure white drains you, choose a soft white.
You will create contrast when using with any colors from the Cool palette which is a better effect for you than wearing white alone.
A bright ivory is also beautiful but avoid anything like a rich cream as it introduces a yellow undertone.
Stone is a grey-beige, or 'greige' as it's often called. Probably the most sophisticated of the cool neutrals, it works with absolutely everything in this palette. It is the color of unbleached linen.
Elegant taupe, sometimes called cocoa. 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, again, it will introduce warm undertones and they will 'shout' against all the blue undertones of Cool colors.
This is a light and sophisticated color with a crisp blue undertone which forms a fabulous base for the more saturated cool colors.
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.
This is a classicly elegant and lightweight neutral for the Summer months.
Grey can seem a boring color but it is incredibly useful throughout the seasons. It also makes an excellent base for a capsule wardrobe. All shades of grey look as good with the pretty pastels as they do with the strong jewel tones of blue, hot pink and emerald green.
It provides good contrast against all the other cool neutrals to form an entirely neutral outfit.
Blue grey is a softened greyed-down version of Navy blue - what we would have once called Airforce 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.
Navy blue is one of the 'universal' colors - that means there is a version to suit everyone. Probably the easiest to mix and match as everything in this color palette has a blue undertone already.
Navy is a heavily saturated color and, worn simply, you will find that you can add splashes of alternatives colors not normally associated the the Cool palette. Along with a strong pink I feature an intense orange here which shows how you can incorporate and enjoy a splash of something completely different!
Although black can be heavy if worn to excess with a pink toned skin, especially close to the face, it will always be a very useful neutral.
You can dress it up and ring the changes very easily with your brighter colors and accessories. Perfect for evening wear but choose a slightly lower neckline and add jewelry to soften if you're wearing next to your face.
Charcoal grey is an excellent substitute for a slightly softer daytime look.
All you need to wear and enjoy your COOL colors
The COOL Color Brief £3.00
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