True Autumn

The heart of the season, True Autumn glows richly with golden light.

Cozy and sensual, this is the palette of ancient coins, autumn leaves, terra cotta tiles, burnished metals and deep mossy woodland.

True Autumn is all the delicious colours of hot chocolate, apple cider, dried fruit and honey; of dijon mustard, carrot cake and shortbread.



True Autumn is 100% warm with lots of low-value depth and softness.

Lacking influence from any other season, these colours are purely yellow-based with no cool tones present, resulting in a golden cast over the entire palette.

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This season is mellow autumn leaves and the abundant harvest.

A radiant earthiness makes it fiery and passionate as well.

True Autumn’s stained glass colours are formed in the deep liquid amber of the late afternoon sun.

This season is quite low chroma but not all the way to black. White is one of the palette’s worst colours.

Replace these basics with clove and warm ivory.

Quintessential True Autumn colours are olive, mustard, rust and brown.

Lights can be found in jute, sisal, parchment, tatami and other tanned or yellowed natural fibres.

There is an interesting range of apricot toned neutrals the colour of raw silk.

Palette highlights include cornmeal gold, tobacco, burnt orange, ochre, salmon, butterscotch, patina, rosemary, oxidised copper and Persian plum.

These are mature, slow cooked colours - there’s nothing fresh or new here at all.

Think syrups, jams, stews and puddings; baked pies, breads and biscuits; chai, ale, cider and cappuccino.

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Being a warm season, cool toned metals have no a place here.

Instead, embrace the wide varieties of yellow gold, brass, bronze and copper at your disposal.

Opt for deep golds with a yellow, rather than orange tone. If it has a greenish or brownish cast, all the better.

The depth of True Autumn excludes high value rose gold.

Avoid lots of shine, polish or bling. Tarnished, oxidised or antique effects are terrific.

Smooth surfaces can be ok but the piece really comes alive with a brushed, matte or textured finish.

Road test wooden jewellery. Autumns can wear it in styles from rustic to avant garde, casual to elegant.

Everyone loves a brilliant sparkly diamond but traditional faceted cuts aren’t great for True Autumn. Instead, keep stones raw or opaque, in softer or less reflective cuts.

There are plenty of amazing precious and semi precious gems that compliment this season so look to the palette for guidance.

Tiger’s eye is a perennial winner. So is uncut turquoise. Amber is glorious beyond belief.

Mokume gane, leadlight effects, enamel and ancient coins are beautifully suited to this season.



Gold, bronze and copper are perfect for glasses.

You want matte not bling so steer clear of anything mirrored or very shiny.

Avoid black - your level of depth doesn’t go that far. The effect is just too heavy and dominating on a True Autumn face.

Dark brown is a terrific substitute.

Tortoiseshell is your best friend in eyewear and very easy to find.

Some versions are too blackened, others too faded. Keep your tortoiseshell warm and golden with rich brown and whisky tones.

Wooden frames look amazing.

If you want a colourful look, take inspiration from your palette - anything True Autumn will work.

Stick to olive, bronze or browned lenses for sunglasses.


Wardrobe basics

A medium indigo that’s on the darker side is a safe blue denim. Teal is perfect if you can find it.

Jeans in any of the season’s colours will of course, also be suitable.

Utility looks work really well on True Autumn so texture and wear are terrific - just don’t get too enthusiastic. Overly faded looks are usually higher value than the palette, meaning you’ll lose your depth.

Colours for leather are particularly susceptible to fashion trends and browns vary from year to year.

It is worth trying a little harder to find chestnut or mahogany staples in shoes, belts and bags. Don’t be tempted to short cut to black.

Note that leather - unless it’s patent, which won’t suit you - polishes to a deep gloss. This is burnish not shine, and it looks incredible on True Autumns.

Olive, deep tan, browned gold, latte, almond, parchment, khaki-stone greys and even mustard work as alternatives to brown if you want a change.

Your challenge is to resist black in corporate wear. You can’t balance its super low value and the complete lack of heat will flatten you.

Most earthy browns are great but teal, olive and burgundy are also accessible options in suiting.

True Autumn greys are greenish, like a thin layer of lichen over stone. They’re not always easy to find but work wonders.

Some khakis are ok but be careful not to go too soft, many versions are too greyed for this season and better for Soft Autumn.

Many natural fabrics have a little roughness that creates tiny shadows in the surface of the garment. This effect elevates depth and connects beautifully with your value scale.



A burnished metallic glow is often a defining characteristic of True Autumn hair.

Natural colours range from dark chocolate and chestnut brown to warm honey.

Blonde might present in caramel highlights or sun-bleached tips and will be dark compared with Spring’s versions.

Unless you have it naturally, it’s tricky to replicate and best kept as a shade among many rather than all-over coverage.

Red is common and usually appears in variations of auburn, copper or russet. Very bright orangy reds and light strawberry blondes typically belong with Spring.

True black isn’t common but some brunettes go quite deep into the chocolate range.

Be careful not to go too dark if your complexion is fairer. There’s lots of range within this season and your value limits may not be the same as another True Autumn’s.

Greys sometimes contain a yellowish-gold quality and are often blends of stony browns rather than steel or white.

If you want to dye your hair, the key is to consider your natural depth and keep the colour hot, hot, hot.



True Autumn faces are topaz-tawny, like there’s a fire just beneath the skin.

Bronzer captures this quality beautifully. It’s so important in fact, that if you’re pressed for time, a sweep of purely warm bronzer might be all you need.

Your low value level means contouring will suit you.

Your magic is in radiant golden lowlights so don’t even go near illuminators or highlighters. They’ll never harmonise and just sit on top of the skin.

Avoid glossy, shiny or wet looks for the same reason. You want a dry, matte finish.

Even if you have darker pigmentation, completely avoid black eye makeup. Black-brown or medium-brown mascara and liner will always look better.

Olive is a terrific neutral. So are the palette’s greened teals and bronze.

Eyeshadows in oatmeal, brown rice, treacle, antique ivory and cashew make great lights.

Always consider adding some gold.

Look to mahogany, burnt sienna, maple, nutmeg, brick pink, rust and salmon for lip and cheek colours.

Don’t lose the energy by scrimping on the heat.


Loving your look

True Autumns blaze like a splendid bonfire, smouldering and flickering as a flame in changing light.

Repeat these colours in your styling and you’ll look like you’re made from molten metal.

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