GREY - the universal colour?

How to transform grey from a boring neutral to the exclusive backdrop which makes your other colours stand out and be noticed.

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Each Season has its own lovely versions of grey, as we talk about in the Chrysalis Colour Analysis Podcast Episode 26. 

Tip: if you're a Summer, you'll get lots of help nailing your neutrals in the mini-course Neutrals For Summers.

And being careful to choose the correct grey can make or break an outfit, as I illustrate in the video.

Fun fact about grey as a colour

It's actually not a colour, just as black and white are not colours. Pure grey is a blend of black and white (which are also not colours).

Grey can be infused with colour, and when grey is saturated in that way, it becomes cool or warm, and more or less pigmented. 

Greys with low saturation

Shown here are lighter and darker versions of greys with low saturation.

Greys with high degree of saturation

And here are greys with a higher degree of saturation, grey that is infused with colour.

Fun fact about more or less saturated grey

For Seasons with highly saturated colours, like the Winter Seasons and also Bright Spring, which is the most intense of the Spring Seasons, the greys have low saturation (more likely to be pure grey blended together of black and white).

For the less saturated Seasons (Autumns and Summers), the greys have more colours in them (are more saturated). 

And as I show several examples of in the video, it makes quite a difference when you choose saturated greys for your low saturation palette or if you're a winter (or Bright and to some extent True Spring), the less saturated greys will make your colours even more radiant.

Saturated and unsaturated grey

Fun fact: Ultimate Gray 17-5104 is one of the Pantone colours of the year for 2021

Ultimate Gray is a medium unsaturated grey that would slide in quite nicely in the Winter and Spring palettes.

Ultimate Gray 17-5104

Pantone Colour of the Year 2021

It's actually very similar to my Colour Analyst Coat, the head scarf and cape for the person being analyzed, and the curtain behind the draping chair in my colour studio. 

They are that colour for the drapings and your face to have a neutral backdrop during colour analysis!

If you're a Summer, You'll get specific help picking neutrals for your colouring in the mini-course Neutrals For Summers.

About the author, Jorunn Hernes

Jorunn is a Certified Personal Colour Analyst, founder of Nordic Simplicity and Scandinavian Style Academy™, the fresh, simple, Scandinavian approach to getting dressed. Jorunn will avoid social settings with more than three people but can be lured out with snacks and the promise to talk about books.

  • Hi Jorunn!
    I would love to watch these videos but for some reason when I click the picture the video doesn’t come up but just refreshes the web page. I found the same thing happened for the video in the blog before and after this blog post. I tried to look on your youtube channel but this one was only in Norwegian. Sorry to bother you with this!

    • Hello Chantal, thank you for bringing this to my attention! I changed the format of the post and embedded the video in the actual blog post text. Hopefully this fixed the problem!

  • Thanks this is really informative. Really helps me a lot. I need saturated colour as a deep autumn which has driven me to bright spring at times in the past. As dark autumn with light skin and ex charcoal hair, my love of washed out black school stockings so purplish or greenish presumably fits with my saturated greys.Love the grizzly brown, it’s a colour for which I search. This has given me a jump up in understanding,

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