Color Theory: Are You Bright or Soft?
More often than not, when I see someone wearing a color that doesn't look right on them it's because the color is too bright or too muted. They may have cool undertones and be wearing blue... but if they have soft coloring... a bright royal blue will wear them. If someone has brighter coloring, then a muted blue-grey will drain them of color.
Just like everyone has warm or cool undertones, you have a level of chroma. A level of saturation. The colors that you wear should be in harmony with your natural coloring and tone. So, if you have soft tones, then soft colors will look best. If you have brightness about you, then brighter colors (not muted) will look better on you.
How saturated a color is the chroma. Clear chroma colors (Bright) have no grey added to them. They can be slightly softened with white or black (light or dark), just not greyed or muted. Muted colors (Soft) have grey added to them... muting them and softening them.
In this color theory lesson, I show you the difference between soft tones and bright tones... in the color wheel and in people. I've put together lots of examples, so that you can learn if you are soft or bright.
If you are new to Your Color Style, you may want to take the Color Analysis Quiz. Learning your chroma is step 3 in our 3 step process.
Am I Bright or Soft?
Bright, Soft and Muted Tones Explained
Watch this video that explains bright, soft and muted colors and why this is so important in learning the types of colors that flatter you best.
Color Theory: Chroma Explained
Chroma is how saturated or muted a color is. In this video, you will learn the difference between saturated color, clear chroma color and muted colors.
"Bright" in Your Color Style means clear chroma colors. Clear chroma colors are colors that start out pure. Like a bright red. White or black may be added to create light and dark versions of the color, but the color started with a clear chroma. Pastel pink to bright red to maroon can all be considered "bright" colors (aka clear chroma colors).
Examples of Bright Women
Watch this video to see more photo examples and to learn more about BRIGHT in Your Color Style.
Soft colors are colors that have been softened in some way. In art, the color on the opposite side of the color wheel can be added to mute or gray a color. You can also add white or black to a color to soften it. Adding a touch of green to a bright red will create a muted or gray-red. Or you can add white or black to create slightly softened versions of red. Muted cool colors can have a dusty grey quality to them.
If bright colors overpower you, then you may want a soft color palette. The warm color palettes are slightly softened with white or black but not muted. People with warm undertones look best in clear chroma colors, even if the most saturated color is too strong for them. Muted colors with grey tend to have a coolness to them and more ideal for someone with cool undertones.
Here are a few more videos that explain the Your Color Style color palettes:
- The Warm Color Palettes Explained
- The Bright and Cool Color Palettes Explained
- The Soft and Cool Color Palettes Explained
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