My Neutral

A few months back, Gertie posted about the concept of finding your own neutral.  At the time I just wasn’t sure… I don’t wear many neutral colors, due to my high contrast coloring (dark hair, light eyes.) Don’t even get me started on how horrible I look in beige or brown tones.  I can wear black, but there is the cat hair issue.  Gray?  I love it, but not near my face.  Lately I’ve found myself really drawn to navy blue – perhaps that could be my neutral?  And why does navy count as a neutral when it is clearly a color?  I seem to be particularly obsessed with navy mixed with primary colors (yellow and red) or with clear white.

I have cut the pieces to my second Collette Rooibos dress, out of navy and white polka dot.  I’m making the facings from self fabric, to preserve the stretch, and as in my first dress I am eliminating the little collar.  It doesn’t fit my dress form at all, but don’t let that concern you – my dress form is bigger than I am, and sadly that is not something I can fix.  My piping for this dress is a bright white satin.  I hope to complete this over the weekend – since I’ve made it once before I am hoping it will go smoothly, although I expect some challenges from using a different fabric.  I had planned to line the dress, but I’m making a little half slip instead – I wanted to keep the stretch of the material.

I also finally managed to find a navy/white striped jersey for the top half of Kwik Sew 3758.

I will make the version with long sleeves, with the red silk cotton above as the skirt portion.  Yes, I know that I already missed the 4th of July!  My knit is a cotton jersey, and I wish it had some lycra in it… but it will be stretchy enough for this dress!  I couldn’t be picky, since I wanted something so specific.  You would not believe how hard it is to find a navy/white striped knit with stripes larger than 1/8 inch!  This dress won’t get made for a bit, as I’m thinking it will be more of a early Fall dress because of the long sleeves.  Maybe in August.

And finally, I’m using Simplicity 2599 (the sleeveless view with just the 3 ruffles) and this poly charmuse to make a blouse this month (to wear with my yellow beignet skirt, naturally!)

I am aware that I love blue based colors.  Even the jewel tones that I love are all blue based.  Does this mean I have cool coloring?  I’ve always been uncertain, because I  have some yellow to my skintone, and I do have red hair.  Might it be time to dig out that 1970s copy of Color me Beautiful? Have you ever had your colors done?  I have no idea what season I might be, but if you have any input let me know!

16 thoughts on “My Neutral

  1. At the age of 40 I recently bought my first ever navy blue dress. Yes, it’s taken me over 22 years to get past the phobia that my … navy blue school uniform! … gave me about this colour. Can you believe that? That Simplicity blouse will go really nicely with the Beignet skirt. Oh, I must learn how to make buttonholes so that I can make that skirt. I love the blue with the polka dots. I want to make a second Rooibos dress, too.

  2. I did have my colors done while in Girl Scouts/Brownies/what have you. Apparently, I am a SPRING. Which I find impossible to believe because pinks and yellows look dreadful on me. So I dress as though I’m a FALL. My neutral is definitely brown, in all its glorious shades.

  3. My mom did my colors in the 70s, when it wsa popular, and I grew up thinking I was an Autumn (brown hair, green eyes). She dressed me in browns and mustards and deep fall colors – and I always looked like crap(to me). I liked black, jewel tones, and pure white while she wanted me in navy, cream, brown, and orange.

    Turns out she overlooked the fact that I have blue-based skin. I now wear red, black, and white with abandon, and know that I look good. I even found a few browns I can wear well (they match my hair – that’s the trick!)

    Do it! Dig out the old “Color me Beautiful” and have at it! I’m curious to see your results!

  4. Oh my goodness, how amazing: I have the Simplicity 2599 pattern and I just cut some white fabric to make the top with the roses on it. I also have the Color Me Beautiful book which I consider eminently useful, I would think that you are either a Summer or an Autumn type, depending on whether raspberry pink or terracotta orange looks better near your face.
    I have an adjustable dress form which I couldn’t extend to my waist measurement (it’s fine otherwise) so I stitched successive layers of batting in smaller and smaller ovals onto the tummy area. It’s quite spooky to see a second ‘me’ in front of me. Maybe ebay might yield a suitable form? It is incredibly useful for getting those little touches right, I can only warmly recommend it!

  5. Prym-Dritz has two dress forms that come in petite:

    ___My Double___
    28″ – 34″ (Bust), 22″ – 29″ (Waist), 30″ – 37″ (Hips), 13″ – 15″ (Back Waist Length), 13½” + (Neck)

    ___Twin Fit___
    30″ – 36″ (Bust), 22″ – 28″ (Waist), 31″ – 37″ (Hips), 14½” – 16½” (Back Waist Length), 12½” + (Neck)

    I found them on I haven’t bought one myself — I was just window shopping. But these were the only off-the-shelf ones I found that came in my size range.

  6. I had my colors done in Girl Scouts as well. They called me a summer because of my blonde hair – but the older I get (and now that I’ve dyed my hair dark brown), I wear more wintery colors – jewel tones like bright pink, purple, bright yellow, etc. I do know the colors I can’t wear, which are all peachy tones (I have blue-based skin too). I think – despite its age – Color Me Beautiful is great. Do your colors! I want to know the results :).

    PS. My neutrals are hot pink, orange and yellow. Mostly because they all look great with navy or dark brown pants!

  7. I swear by my classic CMB colors. I have dark hair, olive skin, and dark eyes. For some reason I always thought that meant I was an autumn, and wondered at how bad I looked in burgundy. Turns out I’m a winter. Gray, navy, black, bluish magenta and only the greenest of yellows work with me. I cannot touch anything orange or purple. The most pointed shift for me in learning about my color palette was discovering that yellow gold jewelry and gold coloring does not work for me. On any level. I am silver and white gold all the way, and much happier for it. Knowing my colors keeps me from wasting time in the store. It’s fine to wear an orange t-shirt once in a while, but it is much easier to look like I know what I’m doing when I stick to the season. Basically, I can’t recommend it enough. Don’t listen to haters who insist on wearing colors they can’t pull off. They do that, then look washed out and terrible in photos and wonder why. That’s my story. I love your blog.

  8. I love your color choices for you. I was always told I’m a cool tone because of dark hair and African-American skin, but actually I’m warm tones since I have a lot of yellow undertones. I think the best way to find out is by trying on colors and seeing if they look good or wash you out.

  9. It’s hard to say, because your skin is so pale, but I think it might have pink undertones rather than yellow. Warm (yellow) or cool (pink), that is the big question. You can subdivide it from there, but there’s so many color variations you can find a shade that works for you if you want to wear it.
    I had my colors done in the 80’s on finding that my career demanded a substantial expenditure for clothing. If I was going to spend that much, I was going to make sure it looked good! I brought my little book of swatches on shopping trips and followed it so closely that a male collegue once commented that I always wore the same color. I didn’t, but the colors were so close in tint/shade (all warm) that they looked the same. I realized then that I needed to not follow the swatches so rigorously and added some contrast to my wardrobe.
    Moral: wear what you like. If you are confident that it looks good, your confidence will do more for your appearance than the “right” color.

  10. I think you’re a summer. It’s not really jewel tones you wear, but bright primary colors, which I believe are classic summer colors. I think winters look best in richer tones.

    I am flat-out-no-possible-question-about-it an autumn. Red hair, green/brown eyes, yellow skin tone. My mom, also a redhead, has light blue eyes and peachy skin. Guess what colors she made me wear growing up? The ones that looked good on her, of course: pink, turquoise, light blue…bleah! I can’t wear any of those. It wasn’t until I started shopping for myself in high school that I discovered I needed warm, autumnal colors–and I did have and read that book!

  11. I’ve self-analyzed myself and I think my colours are Autumn – brown, red, orange, olive, tealy blues. It works because I also love those colours and the earth-tone combinations. But I don’t limit myself to that palette, because it’s so restrictive!
    Navy totally counts as a neutral, I agree you look lovely in jewel tones, and I’d love to hear what Color Me Beautiful thinks you should be wearing 🙂

  12. There’s quite a few online quizes you can do to find out your ‘season’ – I like the one that should come up if you search for stylemakeovers color quiz. I also have Color Me Beautiful, but these new ones seem to go a step beyond – for example, I am a Deep Winter (as opposed to a Clear Winter). Finding that out has really made a positive impact on my wardrobe!

  13. There is a chair in my bedroom that I tend to pile clothes on when I get lazy. I did a clean up the other day and every single piece of clothing on it was navy blue. I just thought to myself, I need to expand my color range! =)

  14. I think navy might be my neutral, too. Even if not, I’m having a real love affair with navy right now that is painfully obvious in my closet and my “go-to” outfits right now. And yeah, my coloring makes wearing actual “neutral” tones rough. They just wash me out.

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