Many people seem to default to a 12-season system for color, regardless of what else they follow. I have long had my doubts about it, however. I see a lot of people being draped as wildly different seasons, even within the same system, or just feeling boxed in by their season, and like it is a little limited or boring. Yet it still seems to be the most popular option, with people exploring many options for style, and yet sticking to the 12-season philosophy for color. But if you’re feeling dissatisfied with it and you’re not sure what your other options are, these are the ones I would recommend. My recommendations should come as no surprise to people who read this blog regularly, but they are the ones I see people being happy with once they look outside of the 12-season philosophy.
1. Four seasons
This one is pretty obvious. If you know your fit in 12 seasons, you can look to the parent season and expand your options. It’s also much simpler to only look for two qualities of color, rather than three.
Pros: It’s simpler and has a fair amount of information and systems to choose from. You will be less limited than you are with 12 seasons.
Cons: Not every color in your palette will be your “best.” If you don’t really like your season to begin with, going to a broader version of it may not help. And if your 12-season analysis was incorrect, you will have to go through the whole process again.
2. David Zyla
I know many people who are very, very happy with their David Zyla palette. It’s more limited, but because the colors are so specific to you, it often doesn’t feel that way in practice. He can also put together palettes that are more diverse than a seasonal palette, yet feel cohesive and focused. If you know your season works, but it feels limiting, or not like “you,” this can be a great option. (My Zyla tip, from people I know who have seen him: Go to see him with a look that is as “you” as possible. If you wear makeup every day, don’t go in as a bare-faced blank canvas. Showing him who you are will help you get the most “you” result possible.)
Pros: It’s custom and personalized and reflects who you are. It can go places that you wouldn’t find in a pre-made season.
Cons: It’s not cheap, and it’s hard to DIY. If you don’t like the end result, you are out a fair amount of money.
3. Dressing Your Truth
As readers of this blog know, this is the option I have gone with, because it gives me things no other system would. This is a good option if you want a color system that is fairly simple and if you feel like where you end up from your coloring doesn’t really fit who you are, which was my experience.
Pros: There are a lot of resources and it’s less complex than some others. You can easily identify where a garment would go. It can give you colors that you wouldn’t get in any other system, since it doesn’t use your coloring to get to your energy type.
Cons: Some people feel like it’s too simple and can be limiting, since only one type gets gray, only one gets black, you get either gold or silver and not both, etc. (This has been difficult for me, since gold is more fashionable now than silver at the moment.) And if you don’t like the colors of your energy type, there’s not much you can do except not dress your truth.
These are the systems that I see people have the most success with, once they decide to abandon 12-season systems. I know there are others out there, but these are the only ones I personally recommend at this point in time.
Do you still use a 12-season system? Have you tried out other things? Let me know in the comments.