Style Myth Busted: Colors Have Seasons

AKA: I can’t wear brown in…

Happy day, reader dear!

It’s time for another round of Style Myth Busting! I feel like I need a special cape and a Wonder Woman type outfit every time we do this… Like I’m fighting on the side of style truth and justice. The enemies of style have met their nemesis. Her vision? To make the world a more beautiful place! How? By empowering women with bright ideas for their style and wardrobes so they can make their corner of the world a little lovelier! Can I wear my scarf like a cape?

Sorry, I got a little carried away there.

Although… If you’ve been hanging around Closet Play any time at all, you probably weren’t surprised. Which means I’m overdue in thanking you for reading and commenting. Thank you! You are appreciated. If this is your first time here, Welcome! Every few months I remind you lovely readers that not only is this blog my hangout, it’s part of my business and my livelihood, so please feel free to share what you find helpful with friends or family on social media. Pin away on Pinterest, please! (And follow me while you’re there?) Share on FB or just text a link. It’s good for the blog and hence, for me. Many thanks!

A Historical Perspective

Back to the matter at hand. Colors and seasons. I sometimes hear people say they can’t wear a color because it’s not the season for X color. For example, I can’t wear brown in the spring, brown is a fall color. You can’t wear pink in the winter, pink is for spring and summer. Where did this silliness come from? For generations, nay milliennia, people wore the same colors all year round! You didn’t own enough clothes to have seasonal wardrobes. (Gasp!) Colors were colors. (And not everyone could wear the colors they pleased.) Depending on where you lived, you probably tried to wear more light colors in hotter months, and fewer layers, but that was the extent of it.

Color Trends

If you’ve spent any time at all following the Pantone color trend reports, or even browsing catalogs that (still) come in the mail, you’ve seen brown in the summer, and white in the winter. Orange in the spring, and lavender in the fall.

I am of the firm belief that you should wear colors you love and that love you back! If a color you love, doesn’t, here are some ideas how to finesse that… The season of the year is irrelevant. And color trends are, too! (Unless you are shopping. In which case they are both a blessing and a curse.) When a color you love is on trend, it can be frustrating to see yourself coming and going, but it’s also a great time to stock up for the lean years. I have a client who has been looking for teal for quite a few seasons now… She’s still waiting. It was everywhere a few years ago. Now? Nowhere.

Seasons and Color

There are colors we traditionally associate with seasons. We think of golds, browns and oranges for fall, but there are plenty of other “fall colors.” (Note: I am not talking about color seasons here.) Here’s a post with other fall color ideas! We often associate colors with warm overtones with spring and summer dressing. Think reds, pinks, corals, yellows. These colors make a reappearance along with spring’s green. I think of them as flower colors. Green stems, vibrant tops. The trick? A warm overtone doesn’t make for a warm undertone. Reds, pinks, yellows and greens all come in warm and cool undertones, so if you are inclined to get more colorful for the warmer months, find one with YOUR undertone.

So wear YOUR best colors ALL year long! Don’t worry about the season! And if you do want a change, you can do that within your palette. Here’s a year’s worth of capsule wardrobe color inspo from the Sublime Palette

Yes, you will find denim blue every season. I have a denim habit and I’m good with it! No, there’s not a HUGE variety of color, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be! There are all kinds of blues, greens, teals, aquas, and purples in the palette that you don’t see here. (I need to come up with a consistent way to visualize these. Some have the neutrals first and others the accents first. That’s not very helpful. Consistency. Working on it.) If you want to see this summer’s palette, pop on over to my Summer 2021 Capsule Wardrobe post…

How About You?

Are there colors you gravitate towards in different seasons? Are there colors you only wear for certain holidays? Do you wear more color in the summer and darker neutrals in the winter? Or are you the reverse, colors winter and neutrals summer? What is your color M.O.? Why? Who told you what colors were appropriate for the season? Was it a person? Did you pick it up from the stores or media? Is that still working for you? Do let me know! There’s plenty of room in the comments below… (I called ahead. They’re making extra room on the internet for your response!)

Stylishly yours,


  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    My sister and I had a good laugh this week about wearing blue. We both have blue eyes, although different color blue eyes. Valerie gravitates toward all shades of blue. She had her colors done and is very strict about wearing only those colors that are supposedly best for her. Blue included.

    I wear colors I like. Tend to go more for earth tones although jewel tones probably look better on me. And I shy away from wearing blue.

    The other day my sister was asked by her new principal to make a short video introducing herself to her new administrator. Valerie couldn’t decide what to wear for the video but finally settled on an aqua top because it made her blue eyes pop. She thought that would give her new principal something to remember her by…bright blue eyes.

    I am the other way. Wearing blue feels cliche to me. And I feel uncomfortable wearing it because it does call attention to my eyes. Rather than wanting to stand out for my blue eyes, I shy away. Ha!!

    • Liz K

      That’s tricky, Leslie! Your eyes are gorgeous! I wish mine were so vivid. Wearing browns is actually complementary to blue eyes, too. Brown is (technically) dark orange and orange and blue are color complements! Valerie was wise to wear blue. Color makes us more memorable, and that’s what you want when you are introducing yourself! Wearing only earth tones with no color will drain your coloring… Can’t we all use a little extra light?

  • Sally in St Paul

    I think that for a lot of people who don’t put a lot of time into wardrobe planning, capsule wardrobing, or defining a theme/vibe for the season, changing up color emphasis with the seasons is an easy way to get a different “feel” with the change of season and to fight boredom. And when you live somewhere where the change in weather lags well behind the change in season (e.g., in MN that would be the endless winter), changing the colors to ones traditionally associated with the season seems popular.

    It would be interesting to see a post about how to change up the feel of your wardrobe/outfits for the season without relying on traditional seasonal colors and without doing a full capsule wardrobe every season.

    • Liz K

      I understand that endless winter, Sally! February is the most brutal month… I remember standing at a bus stop in Mpls, in the dark, thinking, I gotta get someplace warmer than this! Thank you for the post suggestion; I know many people who find color emphasis is a great way to get variety, especially in places with a very long winter (like you) or summer (like me). For that kind of seasonal switch, I think I’d rely on theme bundles… Hmmm! Sounds like another accessories post in the offing!


    Liz, I ear my Spring colors but I tend toard light and brights in the hot eather and darker neutrals in the colder eather. Although, I do tend to ear some red and inter hite during the Holidays. I don’t ear as many light colors as I used to because of being plump. It’s difficult because i ould really like to ear more ivory, camel, soft peach, soft aqua, periiinkle, cherry blossom pink and soft butter yello. Off to brunch ith hubby! Have a blessed eekend!!

    • Liz K

      Thank you for sharing, Natalie! It sounds like you are with the majority of people I know who opt light and bright in the hot months! (Which is most of the year for you!) I wonder about your comment about not wearing light colors… Dark colors are not as slimming as most of us believe. What you lose in width (millimeters) you make up for in visual weight, which defeats the purpose. (Unless your Overall Value is dark.) Here’s what I mean!

  • Malinda Steed

    Hi Liz. Reading in between little guy haircuts etc. love this post! I was typed as Enigmatic but thought I was exotic – toasted. (Fall). I’m guessing Enigmatic leans more towards neutral. I have med dark brown hair(reddish as a child) and some golden highlights, dark hazel eyes (dark brown as a child), tan easily. I get that even non fall types can wear more autumn leaning colors. Thanks for this wonderful post!!!!!!!

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