Vibrant Autumn

In recent months, I’ve felt myself become disillusioned with the Sci\ART system, at least as it is practiced today. There are a couple of reasons for this.

1. My issues with the two main schools of thought.

The two branches of Sci\ART that are the most widespread, with the most analysts, are True Colour International and 12 Blueprints. I have issues with both, although these issues are different. I wrote about it before, but I simply don’t like the results True Colour gets. They drape a lot of Softs, and I think that the look they go for is flattening and graying. They make a lot of fuss about redraping former 12 Blueprints analysts and clients, and I don’t see an improvement. I don’t look at a TCI client and go, “Wow, this woman looks fabulous.” I see someone who now blends into the background.

I tend to prefer the way 12 Blueprints/Your Natural Design clients look, but the intertwining of this branch of analysts and the Best Dressed Kibbe knockoff system means that I can’t support them, either. My feelings on this subject are well known, but suffice to say, there are so many 12BP analysts that are now offering typing in this system that I feel I can no longer endorse it. I take Kibbe’s legacy very seriously; his system totally upends conventional wisdom and is so honoring of individual beauty, and he is such a wonderful and generous person to boot. The Best Dressed system undoes what it great about Kibbe.

2. The palettes feel limiting.

Despite the fact that Zyla gives you a limited color palette, many people who come from Sci\ART still feel liberated when they get their color palette. He gives people colors that are great for them, but may fall into various Sci\ART seasons. Sci\ART palettes can begin to feel a little confining, in my opinion. You need to hit all three markers of hue, chroma, and value, and then soemtimes it feels like your season is a compromise, which I will explain in a bit.

The wrong way to solve the latter problem, in my opinion, is to further limit your palette and make it more specific, like the systems do that have 16 or more seasons. I find that they are often redundant, further limiting your Sci\ART palette over adding new options. In recent months, I have actually begun to favor a four-season approach, which would have shocked me of a couple of a years ago. I’ve been using my T3 palette from DYT, actually.

After reading Tina’s blog post on her House of Colour experience, I feel like I’ve found my solution. House of Colour drapes you into one of four seasons, and then further refines it into a subseason, but you can use all of the colors of the main season–the subseason just has your bests.

On the Kettlewell (which I think is close to House of Colour), I found a blog post that has a Vibrant Autumn, which I think best describes me. I put myself into Dark Autumn from Sci\ART because it’s the brightest Autumn, and less because it’s the darkest. The coolest colors in DA are not my best, for sure. I stock my wardrobe with colors that are bright, but still have that muted/dirty autumnal quality.


These are the kind of colors you’ll mainly find in my wardrobe, and the ones I get compliments on. From the descriptions on the site, it sounds like I could be their Soft Autumn (which is far less Soft than a Sci\ART Soft Autumn), since people frequently think I’m a Summer until they see how much cool colors drain me, but I think these colors are truly the best from the Autumn family for me. The Dark/Blue Autumn in Kettlewell and House of Colour is very cool, to my eye–I know we have had some people in the Dark Autumn group on Facebook who come from this methodology, and the colors they can wear are far cooler.

As I write this, I realize that the approach is very similar to what Kibbe does. He has one palette for each of the four seasons, but then the way you use the palette varies. So like with style in general, maybe once again it is Kibbe who holds the key to what works for me.

Have you looked at House of Colour at all? What do you think about what is basically a four-season approach versus Sci\ART?

13 Comments on Vibrant Autumn

  1. Nancy
    February 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Your conclusion was what I was thinking as I read the paragraphs preceding it. 🙂 When you wrote “House of Colour drapes you into one of four seasons, and then further refines it into a subseason, but you can use all of the colors of the main season–the subseason just has your bests,” it reminded me of the way that DK put me into one of four seasons–Summer–and then showed me through the clothes he picked for me what my best of those colors would be.

    Also, I have always held a high opinion of House of Colour, based on what I’ve seen of online friends who have been draped in this system and how happy they have been with the results.

    • stylesyntax
      February 16, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Yes, it is mainly in the Midwest now, but I think it would be on my list after Zyla.

      I realized halfway through writing this that oh, this is what Kibbe does!

  2. aisling
    February 16, 2018 at 2:43 am

    I’m pretty happy with sci/art but I was draped by Nikki Bogardus of My Color Rx. I think one of the things I like about sci/art is that I understand the colour mixing principles. And I tend to know which parts of my fan have to spot on and which I can fudge it a little compared. I tend to fudge in the direction of true autumn. I guess my approach is the DA fan represents a sweet spot but there a still good things I can use from TA (notably the greens). Looking at House of Colour, I’m not sure where I’d sit within autumn. Like you, I have had my doubts about True Colour drapings. Christine Scaman has done some some good stuff but I’m wondering if the entanglement with Best Dressed was a misstep. I’m just glad to see that 12 Blueprints seems to be moving away from using Kibbe’s stuff. Best Dressed has changed tacked completely according to her newsletters. 12 Blueprints PCA no longer has joint boards with Best Dressed. That style newsletter they both had has ceased and 12 Blueprints latest newsletter I shop for you is focused solely on colour.

    • stylesyntax
      February 16, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Rachel has stopped doing color and image analysis, at least in the form she was doing it, so that’s why her collaborations with Christine stopped. But 12BP analysts are training in her version of yin/yang and offering image analysis services. I actually had fewer bad feelings about the 12BP/BD connection when Rachel was an analyst collaborating with Christine. I could go to a 12BP analyst and just ignore the connection, but I can’t if said analyst is also typing people in the BD system.

  3. Jenny
    March 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    My main issues with 12BP is that they mix cool and warm colors for the so-called neutral seasons. I don’t think this works. Many of the colors on the fans simply don’t go well together, the way I see it. Btw, it was very interesting to see your drape pics. I have never seen anyone react to cool colors the way I do too, getting that weird blue/white “beard”. I have tried tons of foundations, and one of the very few that work for me, is MAC N4. Do you have the same problem?

    • stylesyntax
      March 12, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      I generally wear very light yellow-toned foundations.

      • Jenny
        March 13, 2018 at 10:52 am

        Sounds similar to me, then. I think that very cool skin needs warm colors and makeup, and very yellow skin often needs the opposite, a rosy foundation and cool lipstick and clothes. Redheads often have white-blue skin, for instance. It seems that most of the advice about this is the opposite, people are advised to match their facial skin too much – and then everything else often goes wrong, too. N4 is a very light yellow/beige foundation, but not golden.

        I agree that the four season approach is more than enough, and that further fine tuning should be done on an individual basis.

        • stylesyntax
          March 13, 2018 at 11:00 am

          My skin isn’t cool.

          • Jenny
            March 13, 2018 at 2:26 pm

            Cool and warm is defined in several and opposing ways. This creates much confusion. Yellow-looking skin often needs cool hair color and colors, while a yellow skin with more red or orange needs warm hair color and colors, for instance.
            Classic examples are the summers with very yellow skin that looks great with platinum hair and cool rosy makeup, or autumns with blue-white skin that looks superb with red hair and warm makeup, springs with rosy skin that looks great with warmer hair color and makeup and winters with yellow-olive skin that looks great in cool hair colors and makeup. Still, they call themselves warm because of the skin overtone. Nicole Kidman is the classic example of a lady with cool skin tone, but she looks very wrong in cool-toned hair and cool makeup. So, is she cool or warm? It depends on whether you want to describe her skin tone or the colors that she needs, I think, and here lies much of the misunderstandings also, in my opinion. Are we talking about the skin tone or the colors that we need?
            Some advisers solve this in a great way by saying that people with yellow skin have warm undertones, but they need the opposite undertone for their hair and makeup and clothes. Irenee Riter, for instance, uses this approach, as do many hair colorists.

            Others call yellow skin tones cool, therefore needing cool hair color and makeup. MAC, for instance.

            And then we have all the wrong advice, telling people that yellow skin is always warm and therefore needs warm hair colors and makeup and clothes. This is not true. If a person has yellow skin with little red and more green, the person will look jaundiced in warm makeup and hair colors.
            So – there is much conflicting info about warm and cool. That said, I think you and I would agree totally as to which colors are needed for a given skin tone. You seem warm (meaning you need warm hair color and makeup and clothes), just like myself. I see your skin color as cool, though, like I have, but it’s all a question of how we use those concepts, I think. Misunderstandings are frequent 🙂

          • stylesyntax
            March 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

            I don’t follow anyone who goes with the opposing warm/cool approach. My skin is not cool. It does not photograph well, at least on a phone camera, but it’s warmer than other people’s skin in a similar value range.

  4. Shawna
    May 29, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I have no access to a colour analysis because distance and money is too much and I was very frustrated trying to figure it out for myself. Generally I am good with colour and as I am an artist I understand colour mixing and properties well but it took me a long time to see myself properly due to other emotional issues getting in the way. In the end I simply tried almost every palette and discovered I am very warm and settled on True Autumn. I struggled with it a bit though as it could get too dark and I began to gravitate towards the lighter end of it. Then I got the idea that perhaps I was mistaken and I am a Spring. Spring gets too bright for me though and it seemed like I was somewhere in between Spring and Autumn. This would be utter nonsense to a 12 Blueprints or any Sci/Art analyst but I knew there was something in it. Eventually I found my way to an analyst willing to give me some feedback after looking at a wide variety of photos and she told me that I fit the category Warm Autumn which in the system she uses is a bit of a hybrid between True Autumn and True Spring. I am not sure if it’s House of Colour but it is similar and the last time I looked at the Kettlewell blog that category was there. Also, in the tonal directions there is a palette called simply Warm and this is a good fit for me. I found this first on a site called Style Yourself Confident. Also, despite my colouring being purely warm and my total confidence in this, I am not a DYT T3 and there is not much worse you can do to me than to pile on texture and accessories.

  5. Lisa
    July 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    In mild defence of SCI/Art, I was draped True Autumn and whenever I wear my colours (wardrobe build still in progress) I get a LOT of flattering comments. “You glow!” is probably the most common.

    I also hear what you say above about phone cameras. My iPhone 6 default app had incredibly cool colour settings, which weren’t adjustable. I’m talking sunny days at the beach in Mexico coming out cool and dead-looking. So I bought a different app that allowed me to change the settings. Now my selfies – and everything else – look great.

    • stylesyntax
      July 8, 2019 at 5:21 pm

      The conclusion that I have come to is that I would rather feel great than have that one factor working for me. Sci\ART works for some people, but taking color in isolation didn’t make me excited to get dressed in the morning.


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