Use the whole range

How to pack power and increase energy in your outfits.

I want to inspire you to ruthlessly exploit your Season's full potential. 

It's easy. Repeat after me:

"I solemnly swear to use my range, my whole range and nothing but my range, so help me Colour Fan."

Each Season has its own perfect range baked into the colour palette. 

All three Winters have maximum range, from near optic white to dark as night in a Neolithic cave in the South of France (when the guide switches off the flashlight you discover what real darkness is), and lots of colours in between.

In Spring, the contrast level and range differs between the Seasons, Bright Spring being the Spring with the biggest range because of the Winter influence, True Spring has medium range and Light Spring as the gentlest, lightest Season has a smaller range. But there is still a difference between the lightest and darkest of the colours!

The Summers are also in the medium range category. 

Autumns have low contrast and a smaller value range, although Dark Autumn (same as Bright Spring) has enough Winter influence to bring the contrast level and range up a notch.

Soft Autumn is famously gentle and subdued with a rather narrow range and contrast level, and I have chosen this sophisticated Season as an example to illustrate the benefits of really using the whole range. 

Soft Autumn is gentle but not toothless. 

At least not if you're mindful of using your whole range!

The Soft Autumn palette is as comforting as oatmeal porridge with brown sugar and cinnamon on a cold winter morning, putting your mind at ease and in the mood for deep conversations and mindful awareness.

Use the whole range

A monochrome outfit like above is a lovely choice for Soft Autumn. However, even though contrast and saturation is low, it doesn't mean that the ultimate goal is to stay in the middle of the road at all times. 

Let's see how you can explore some (relatively) high contrast combinations.The Soft Autumn contrast level is famously low, and the intensity of the colours are low. There is all the more reason to explore the whole colour range, and the whole contrast range, be it ever so subtle.

Use the whole range

Imagine the panel at the beginning of the blog post, and moving from a monochrome look to adding a colour contrast, like this salmon pink rain coat. The complimentary colour to brown would be red. In Soft Autumn colour language that can translate to muted salmon pink. The energy level of complimentary colours is elevated, even used with subtlety, like here. And look how it brings out the pink in the pattern of the skirt! 

Another example of colour contrast:

This time using the triad of brown, rust and blue. The value contrast is low, in keeping with the essence of Soft Autumn. This is how to use the difference in hue to achieve contrast.

Use the whole range

The whole range means also using the middle.

When speaking of contrast, we often resort to combining items from each end of the contrast spectrum. 

Don't let the middle of the value range of your colour fan be in unused, pristine condition while wearing the top and bottom of the value range to the bone.

How do you find the range of your Season?

Look at your colour fan. It's all there. The light, the dark and the medium.

How will you challenge yourself to put together an outfit that uses the full scope of your palette?

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.

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