By request: Fall styles in cool hues

A casual fall outfit in cool colors. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Many of you have mentioned that you’ve had a difficult time finding cool colors during the Fall season. While rusts, browns, ochres and other warm, earthy tones are popular, I’ve spotted some very nice shades for those with cooler palettes too.

Above: Necklace | Cardigan | Tee | Lippie | Jeans | Bag | Boots

Colors like dark spruce and forest green, burgundy, berry, teal, and even some olive shades can break up your neutrals while still feeling in sync with the season.

Whether a color is warm or cool depends on if it’s yellow-based or blue-based. Of course, there’s a lot more to consider, like saturation, lightness/darkness, and clarity/softness when choosing your best colors. For the sake of brevity (and because colors may look a little different on different screens) I haven’t tried to break it out to that degree.

All of these colors won’t work for everyone with a cooler palette, but I hope they give you some ideas. And I’ve included lots more options in the widget at the end of the post.

For this round-up, I’ve focused on tops, jackets, and sweaters, as that’s where you get the most bang for your color buck.

Into the woods…

Chico's faux leather moto jacket in Dark Jasper. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This is the same moto jacket I have in Cream. The color here is called Dark Jasper, and it’s really gorgeous. It’s a deep spruce green, and Chico’s has quite a few styles in this shade.

J.Crew cashmere crewneck sweater in Pine Green. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

J.Crew always seems to have some lovely dark greens. This is one of their cashmere crewnecks. Color is “Pine Forest.” I have a few of these sweaters (in my colors), and really love them. This sweater is offered in sizes XX-Small to 3X. (I also love this pairing of pine and olive greens!) There are dozens of other colors too.

Eileen Fisher v-neck silk jersey tee in Forest Night. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Eileen Fisher has brought back their silk jersey tees. These tees are excellent for travel and transitional seasons; they’re washable and layer beautifully! This not-quite-black color is called Dark Forest. Available in Misses, Petites, and Plus sizes. (There’s also a crewneck option.)

Wine connoisseur

Halogen open front cardigan in Red Pomegranate. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This is the same cardigan I purchased in bright red. I’d describe this “Red Pomegranate” color as Claret. Also offered in Plus.

Banana Republic silk cashmere pullover in Classic Burgundy. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This silk-cashmere pullover in Classic Burgundy is a budget-friendly option….

Uniqlo extra fine merino cardigan in Burgundy. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

…as is this cardigan in extra fine merino.

Lands' End packable down coat in Burgundy. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

And while this may be more a winter than fall item for you, I did want to include it, as it’s one of my favorite cool weather travel coats. And it tends to sell out (at least in some colors) by the time winter rolls around. Also offered in Plus.

Berry berry nice

J.Crew tweed jacket in Berry Fuchsia. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Because who doesn’t love a cute tweed jacket?

Uniqlo extra fine merino crewneck sweater. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

They say “Purple,” I say “Berry.” Either way it’s a budget-friendly, lightweight sweater in fine merino wool.

J.Jill Pima 3/4 sleeve top in Sangria. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If it won’t be Sweater Weather in your neck of the woods for some time yet, here’s a pretty berry colored top in Pima cotton. This one’s offered in Misses, Petite, Plus and Tall sizes.

More cool Fall colors…

What colors are your favorites for Fall?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Sandra
    September 16, 2020 / 4:23 am

    Just going to order a “fig heather” cashmere crew neck from LLBean – thanks for the post for we who are winters! We are definitely into “sweater weather” here in eastern Canada – only 6 C this am at 7 am!

  2. Susan
    September 16, 2020 / 4:26 am

    Thank you, Susan!

  3. Gail
    September 16, 2020 / 4:37 am

    Susan; I’m still so confused about color. I feel the dark green is “warm” to me…..this is probably why I never get the right colors for me. LOL. Thank you for your insight; as always I value it.

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2020 / 6:42 am

      Some dark greens *can* be warm if the undertones are more yellow. I’ll work on some examples and comparisons for a future post. But at least on my monitor, these all are cooler and more blue-based.

      • Lagatta de Montréal
        September 16, 2020 / 11:46 am

        They all look cool to me. I love the colour of the long cardigan, but don’t wear anything but winter coats that long – feel swamped in them. Thanks so much for these. The dark forest is still far from black and much softer for us “winters” who always relied on a black wardrobe (with some scarves and shawls for colour).

        The Land’s End coat wouldn’t be warm enough for the worst of winter here, but it would be fine on many days, and especially useful as a compact autumn/winter/early spring coat for European travel. I’m not going to buy another bulky -20c coat for several years – we all look horrible then.

        I love the green in these coloured jeans: (not an expensive brand, but I like their jeans). And no, they aren’t particularly “skinny” despite their name – more tapered, which I need for cycling.

        • Robyn
          September 17, 2020 / 6:41 am

          I agree, I love the color of the longer cardigans but they don’t work for me. They end up being lounge/sleep wear rather than an out-and-about piece. I wish they did work because they look so nice on others.

  4. JMod
    September 16, 2020 / 6:10 am

    Thanks – I ordered the cute berry colored top from JJill.

  5. Kathy
    September 16, 2020 / 6:31 am

    Thanks so much for the cool color inclusion. I have been typed as a a Summer. Problem is that I am not attracted to those colors. I am a Spring wannabe but have to admit those colors just aren’t as flattering. These options actually gave me some choices that appealed to me. I got the longer cardigan.

  6. Vivi
    September 16, 2020 / 6:39 am

    Thank you for the cool colors for us winters! It makes me keep following you!

  7. Michelle Hamric
    September 16, 2020 / 6:56 am

    Thank you for the nice selection of cooler toned Fall colors. Fall is always challenging because I want to wear Fall colors but warm colors don’t look good on me. Have to leave them for the Fall leaves!!

  8. Penelope
    September 16, 2020 / 7:32 am

    It is an annual challenge and thank you! Gotta say that for my monitor and eye, many of these colors are still too warm for me. The reddish tones tend to a rust which is a no go for my summery coloring. I need to go plum or a deep wine to enter this territory. Thankfully as a Californian, I need very few true winter clothes.

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2020 / 8:57 am

      Hi Penelope, I can’t speak for all of the pieces, but I have seen the “Red Pomegranate” color in person, and it’s definitely a cooler red. It looks much “rustier” on my monitor than IRL.

  9. Barb from Canada
    September 16, 2020 / 7:46 am

    Great selection of “cool colors.” I am a definite cool and feel most comfortable in summer colors and you gave me some very good examples of things to wear using the cool theory, especially in the fall when, yes, it is difficult to find good selection.

  10. September 16, 2020 / 7:53 am

    Funny… all your examples have too much blue and too little yellow in them. No biggie, I have enough.

  11. Francesca B.
    September 16, 2020 / 7:59 am

    Beautiful selection thank you Susan. Happy day:)

  12. Jackie mullins
    September 16, 2020 / 8:49 am

    Thanks for the cooler colors. I have summer coloring and this season is the most difficult one for me to shop. I will investigate the burgundy and/or dark green. I usually wear all shades of blue, gray and a bit of pink.

  13. SueDC
    September 16, 2020 / 9:03 am

    What a great post! I’m a winter, and found many click-worthy options — and bought a couple. I appreciate your thinking of all of your readers.

  14. Laura C
    September 16, 2020 / 9:46 am

    Thanks for finding some cool fall colors. The only one that doesn’t look cool to me is the Lands End coat which still seems too rusty to me. I know you’ve liked that coat for travel and I’m still thinking about trying it but maybe in grey or blue.

    Last year I got a beautiful dark green wool sweater/coat from Eileen Fisher that is sufficiently cool toned. It looks similar to the pine forest sweater you showed first. I hadn’t really been looking for green but it does seem like a good option.

    I’m still somewhat resistant to wearing the colors that suit me because they seem too “strong” and not neutral enough especially for outerwear. I find black a little gloomy or severe sometimes, but other neutrals like tan or camel or any browns just don’t suit me at all. But a fuschia or purple or sapphire coat seems just too bright although I know a sweater or top in those colors does flatter my skin tones more. I would love a nice neutral tan trench coat to blend in with the crowd but I just look washed out.

    It’s been really wonderful seeing your color transformation.

  15. Nancie
    September 16, 2020 / 10:25 am

    All of your choices look cool on my monitor.

  16. Cindylou
    September 16, 2020 / 10:41 am

    Thank you for this post. I love your color transformation but as a winter I can’t wear your colors. I have bought cardigans in dark green and various shades of red and burgundy. I wear them constantly in fall (November) and winter here in Southern California. My favorite is a longer alpaca sweater in a beautiful burgundy/bright berry color. It is so versatile, it goes with a Lands End Vest that I layer over when I’m traveling in colder climes. I usually wear a black underneath, a scarf and I’m good to go. They are great for traveling.

    I do have a request. Can you do a post for us who have decided to embrace the gray? I think there might be many of us during these Covid times who have decided to go gray. Thanks. I appreciate all you do to bring us great style.

    • SueDC
      September 16, 2020 / 11:56 am

      Yes! I’d love a post on this. After half a year without my salon, I’m thinking it’s time to make the transition.

      • Elizabeth
        September 16, 2020 / 12:25 pm

        I agree! Maybe how to transition from dark to white in small steps. Make-up probably has to change, too?
        Susan, thanks for thinking about us winters and/or blue springs.

  17. Alexis I
    September 16, 2020 / 12:05 pm

    Thank you for the cool, Winter selection!

  18. Kay
    September 16, 2020 / 12:58 pm

    I love that new EF dark green. I got one of the long-sleeved Ts. I was planning to wear it with navy, but now I’m thinking it might work with that berry color.

  19. Ainsivalavie
    September 16, 2020 / 1:06 pm

    I don’t know..I have looked on five different devices/monitors and with just a couple exceptions none of these colours work for my very winter colouring. (green/blue eyes, dark hair and rosy skin) Teal/forest green/wines are all out for me. The pinky berry bordering on fuchsia/true purple/ pure white and black and of course a bright cerise are my go to shades. I can’t wear pale pink or gray although I love the combo. There is a dark green that I guess would be a paddy green I have worn and it looks good but I have never considered it for fall and is a shade one wants to be judicious with or risk looking like a St. Patrick’s Day parade participant…Oddly some olives look smashing when I combine with bright true orange and black or with the berry colour. Olive looks amazing with fuchsia. I am using it as a neutral occasionally as it is also an unexpected mix with periwinkle. I do like all the styles though and the links which lead me to other colour options that do work for me. Thank you so much!

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      September 16, 2020 / 3:40 pm

      I have blue-green eyes but my skin is not remotely rosy. More ivory, or pale olive. And my hair, now salt and pepper (more salt now, but very black streaks) was very dark; almost black. Fuscia reminds me too much of the acid “jewel tones” infecting everything; was that in the 1980s or 1990s?

  20. Mary
    September 16, 2020 / 1:27 pm

    Thanks for your various recommendations. I know a lot of effort goes into pulling them together for a post.

    However, I would like you know that there is a bit of an issue with ordering online from Chico’s–at least for me. Don’t know if others have had this happen. There have been a couple of times in recent weeks when I would have purchased something (via your link), but have not completed the order because they would not ship the items to me–something they had done as recently as July. Instead, the only option offered is for me to pick things up at a store. This simply isn’t going to happen. First, the nearest store would require I make a 70 mile round trip drive (an hour each way due to back country roads)–and second–the store is located in a county that still has very high Covid numbers. So sorry to say, they will not be getting my business in the future if this is the model they are planning to follow for online orders. Just wanted to let you know about this situation.

    • Christine
      September 16, 2020 / 7:28 pm

      I’ve had that same problem with Chico’s several times recently – very frustrating. Maybe they should start following the Talbots model and ship items from warehouse or individual stores.

      • Susan Blakey
        September 17, 2020 / 5:22 am

        This is first time I’m hearing about this issue. I’ll mention this to my contacts there.

  21. Janet D.
    September 16, 2020 / 1:43 pm

    Ahh, the Conundrum of Colour 🙂 I’m a “cool blue winter”, even with my “new” grey hair, & can’t wear any of the shades shown: burgundy, wine, dark green etc look muddy & drab on me. I also simply don’t like them & would never wear them, so have to add that into the equation — how much is reality & how much is perception because of bias?? What I can & do wear is bright red, sapphire, peacock blue, bright teal, turquoise, fuchsia, silvery greys, charcoal, bright white & black, denim blue (thank goodness!), emerald green, amethyst. It took having my colours professionally “done” a few years ago to hone my eye on what works & what doesn’t, but a critical eye in a good mirror & good light will tell you the truth. And I trust my husband. “Honey, you look tired today” is telling me the colour doesn’t work; “babe, you look great today” tells me it does 🙂 (Granted, the man’s not stupid & knows which side of his bread’s buttered, but I still trust his engineer’s eye for detail.) Thanks for this, Susan. I don’t have many shopping choices where I live (no malls or chain stores) & it’s nice to have front-line information.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      September 16, 2020 / 4:01 pm

      This is not only a matter of colour wheels or engineer’s perception (I studied fine arts); it is also cultural. Some of the colours you cite would be viewed as in dubious taste here. That does NOT mean that I am right and you are wrong. Simply different perceptions in different cultures.

      • Janet D.
        September 17, 2020 / 2:23 am

        LOL! Then I guess it’s a good thing I live here on the west coast of BC where we’re considerably less uptight & the only “culture” we worry about is in our organic, locally-sourced yogurt 🙂

        • Lagatta de Montréal
          September 17, 2020 / 3:02 pm

          Ha! But we also have organic, locally-sourced yoghurt… Hope you recover from the pan-west-coast firestorms.

          • Lagatta de Montréal
            September 17, 2020 / 6:38 pm

            I do hope that you understand I wasn’t insulting your choices – they are yours’ alone. Simply pointing out that climate and cultures influence colour choices, as they influence other matters of dress. We all have cultures, and there is certainly a culture – indeed multiple ones – where you live in coastal BC.

        • Book Goddess
          September 17, 2020 / 4:37 pm

          I do think color analysis can be helpful, especially in creating a flattering, coherent wardrobe. On the other hand, people are such individuals both in their coloring and their taste. It seems unlikely to me that a system of four classifications, or even twelve, could cover all of womankind. Most people know what colors flatter them and what colors make them happy. The second classification is more important as I see it. I was classified as a winter, and while I like many of the winter colors, there is no system that will make me look good – or feel attractive – in “icy pastels.” I have analyzed myself as being somewhere between an autumn and a winter, what some classifications call Deep, and I love myself in saturated colors both warm and cool. I think it’s extremely helpful to have some guidelines, and then interpret them as you see fit.

      • Ainsivalavie
        September 20, 2020 / 11:37 pm

        I don’t about that. I buy most of my clothes in Montréal and my preferred colours ( outside of black) are the same as Janet D’s and I have no trouble finding them at Simon’s, la Baie or smaller boutiques.
        In fact my favourite winter coat is blazing red, a Quartz, made in Montréal and I just bought a very cute bright fuchsia toque from Sarah Fourrure.
        On the whole I think it boils down to how we perceive colour, how it makes us feel or attitudes toward colour that we learned growing up ( ie only naughty women wear red shoes) that ultimately determine our sartorial choices. I certainly don’t think any colour is ‘dubious taste’ unless it offends for religious reasons or is a cultural taboo but I assure you that the coat and hat will not be worn together;)
        I must be very naughty as I own many pairs of red shoes and boots.
        Although currently I wear nothing but very dull scrubs…..

  22. Andy
    September 17, 2020 / 5:41 am

    Lovely post! That outfits are really inspiring <3 Greetings from Poland!

  23. SuD
    September 17, 2020 / 7:18 am

    NIce selection of colors for those of us who lean cool. I tend to favor blue over green though some of these green jackets are appealing. I love berry colors as well. Too bad that berry t-shirt from JJill is sold out in my size.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      September 17, 2020 / 6:29 pm

      Except for denim, I tend to dislike blue. Certainly never navy or cobalt blue. I find the latter very aggressive. Once again, this is very subjective.

  24. lily
    September 17, 2020 / 8:21 am

    Ooooh, I want that dark jasper faux leather jacket. It’s perfect for my wardrobe/coloring! Now do I want it for $160? Sadly no.

    • Susan Blakey
      September 18, 2020 / 6:47 am

      lily, how about 25% off? 😉 You can get it now for 25% off with code 86754

  25. Ruth
    September 17, 2020 / 11:48 am

    Thank you for the cooler pallet shown today. I have never had my Colours done but feel I am a winter as my eye is always drawn to deep jewel tones and always get compliments when wearing them. Thanks for all the work you put into your blog for us!

  26. Patrish
    September 17, 2020 / 12:08 pm

    Wear what you like and what looks good on you.
    If you look washed out, the color is not
    right for you.
    Wear some lipstick and a bit of blush.
    Overthinking this can make one crazy. This is not rocket science.
    It’s very easy. Look in the mirror.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      September 17, 2020 / 6:33 pm

      Normally, I do wear lipstick, or a stain like Burt’s bees (in the darkest colour) but that isn’t really possible right now. I never wear blush. I do miss my lips…

  27. September 18, 2020 / 5:55 pm

    Ah, cool winter colors. Love ALL the colors. Thank you for putting this together for us “winters.”

    • Ainsivalavie
      September 20, 2020 / 10:55 pm

      This is what I don’t understand. I am a winter, I don’t like these colours, I would never wear them and they look horrible on me. This is why I don’t buy the whole ‘ having your colours done’ thing. Although Susan looks amazing in her new garments, many have commented that they really like her wearing the forest green sweater in the blog photo. I agree she looks good in that as well. My mom looked great in the cooler colours shown here but her colouring although similar to mine ( blue eyes, very dark hair) our skin colour was decidedly different with her’s being more yellow toned.

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