Myth: Colors and prints can make the difference between an outfit being seasonally appropriate or not.
Truth: What makes an outfit seasonally appropriate is the fabric weight and texture, while colors and prints can work year-round. This question has come up a number of times on my social media feed. A woman will show a photo of a very pretty dress or skirt or top in a spring or summer color or print and she’ll ask if it will look right in fall or winter. Of course, I answer by telling her that if the item is warm enough for cooler weather, that’s what counts.
From me, you get the truth.
Every season, designers do come out with different colors. For fall, the colors are rich and earthy. For winter, the colors are strong and jewel-like. For spring, the colors are bright and warm. For summer, the colors are soft and hazy. While there are some women whose coloring clearly suits one set of seasonal colors, most of us can wear a good mix of each of these. My best colors are mostly fall colors, but I can wear some winter, spring, and summer colors. And different prints might come off more suitable for one season as opposed to others.
It’s true that wearing colors and prints appropriate for the season can make you look current and stylish, but they can also make you look like a fashion victim if they don’t flatter you. No matter what, if a color or print doesn’t flatter you, it won’t work no matter how seasonally appropriate it is. If the color or print does flatter you, it works year-round.
What makes an outfit appropriate for any given season is the fabric weight and texture. If an item is lightweight but also covers you appropriately and fits you properly, then it’s appropriate for the warmer months. If that item is also very plain and simple without a lot of froufrou, then it likely will layer well and be appropriate for cooler months. If an item is lightweight but requires a shell or underpinning to cover you properly, then it’s not great for the dead of summer but is fine for cooler weather.
It happens that many of the new clothes in stores at the beginning of every season are in fabric weights and colors for the season. For example, most fall and winter clothes are heavier weight and in rich or jewel-like colors. Most spring and summer clothes are lighter weight and in warm or soft colors. However, there are lots of exceptions and this is where I get the questions on my social media feed. There are winter-weight items in lighter spring/summer colors and summer-weight items in darker fall/winter colors. Are they appropriate? If they flatter you, then absolutely yes.
Many women are afraid that if they wear a spring/summer color in the fall or winter or a fall/winter color in the spring or summer, they’ll look strange. The truth is that if that spring/summer color is flattering, it will not only look great, but it will brighten up the winter doldrums. And if that fall/winter color is flattering, it will give you a healthy, sun-kissed look without you needing any actual sun time.
What does look strange is if you wear the wrong fabric weight or texture. If you wear a heavyweight textured item in the dead of summer, you’ll load the fabric with perspiration. If you wear an ultra-lightweight item in the dead of winter without extra layers, you’ll be shivering the whole time. Either way, you’ll be terribly uncomfortable and that’s not attractive.
If an item flatters you, you can likely make it work all year round. Do that. Wear it, love it, and enjoy it.