When Tina first learned she was a True Summer, she encountered the same roadblock that can stump most, probably all, newly identified True Summers. How do I know this colour is Summer, not Winter?
Have a look at previous articles Matching The Swatch Book: Blue and Matching The Swatch Book: Coral. Both were written to help with that.
Today will be about the True Seasons, but most of it could apply to any of the related Summer – Winter groups, so Light Summer with Bright Winter and Soft Summer with Dark Winter. If you’re thinking, How are those related?
Light Summer and Bright Winter both start from a pure cool colour palette, Summer and Winter, respectively. Then they move over one position in the same direction, towards Spring. To look at the colours, the same amount of the same kind of heat gets added to each one.
Soft Summer and Dark Winter move from their pure cool True Seasons by adding the same amount of the same kind of heat, that is, Autumn’s.
The blue book in the right sidebar, RTYNC, explains this in more detail. It also includes the map below. Like on a colour wheel, relationships exist beside and across.
For the True Summer and Winter, we’re working with colours where you cannot see one bit of heat. Not vanilla, watery sun, pale dust, white gold, certainly no beige, no tan, no orange, and yellow under certain conditions (coolness). True Summer is skim milk white. Its light colours seem more colorful than Winter because Winter lights have so little pigment, to create the icy look. Summer lights are pastels, by definition meaning they contain more colour pigment and are softened by being grayed. There is no such thing as an icy pastel that I know.
True Summer has a pretty big range of darkness. It would not reach to black or white but can get quite close in ghost and dark grey.
Tina’s Sportswear for True Summer
Tina has a fine understanding of True Summer. My favorite feeling about this Season is its freshness. If I start getting a sensation of weight or thickness, my own interpretation of the Season doesn’t jive. I love the green and pink hoodies bottom right, the blue bag and sleeveless top, the pink shorts, the long dress. All really good.
The turquoise racerback tank might be a little bright (saturated) and a good example of what adding just a little Spring yellow does – so, I’d put that guy in Light Summer. But does it bother my eye in this collection? Not at all.
When you think about adding water to colour, you appreciate that it can become diluted and less saturated without losing its clean feeling? True Summer is like that. There isn’t so much gray that it looks like it got put in the dark wash. It does have some bluish-greying, but not enough to take the colour down very far. So for me, the pink hoodie top L, the Nike logo Tshirt and sweatshirt, the grey-mauve shirt and jeans all feel heavy – could that be fabric, pattern, texture, and shape? Sure, they all influence how we perceive colour. If your opinion is different from mine, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Tina broke down her early trouble spots into four great questions. She also took the bigger and better learning step of making her own Polyvores that we can talk about. I want her know how much we appreciate her willingness to just listen to any comment, agree or disagree. Easy to say, not easy to do.
1) In a previous color system, I was analyzed a Winter (this happened to me!) How will I know if a color is just too much for me to handle?
Others will see the colour before they see you. And their eye will keep being dragged back to the colour. At first, you or your shopping friends may not be able to know they’re seeing this. In the mirror, consider if your head really matches your body. Is one darker, thicker, heavier, blockier than the other or does there seem to be an easy rapport between them, like they belong together? When we look at outfits we often stare at the fit of the clothes and totally ignore the head attached to the top. Many hairstylists are masterful at this. They stand back and look at the hair creation and have blurred out the face in the center.
You may feel overpowered, as if you look smaller or weaker. You may feel tired. If you’re used to going about in Winter colours, you’ve accommodated this and learned to compensate. It won’t be something you can feel immediately on the road back.
Look for repeats of the colours of the item in your face, eyes, lips, or hair. This is hard to do and can be very ambiguous, but there are women who can sense this. Makes no difference in the world if you can’t.
True Summer’s natural colouring, features, and expression tend to have a gentleness. When they greet someone, they put them at ease. Winter colours won’t give you the feeling of relaxing.
True Summer can look ok in Winter light colours. Why not? They’re light and cool, that’s two things Summer does well with. But the iciness of Winter will positively glare on the Summer, while her face seems grayer (and her teeth too – whatever happens to the skin happens to the teeth and whites of the eyes), like her head is 2 feet back behind her body.
Your face will seem pale or tired, perhaps even bruised under the eyes, what you’d see if you suddenly put on a way too dark wig.
The shadows along the sides of the nose look darker in Winter colour, especially the dark colours. That shadow extends up to the inner corner of the eye. Darkness, as you know, recedes, making the inner corner of the eye seem collapsed backward. I believe that our eyes are the focal point of our entire being. Nothing should ever interfere with the other person’s ability to reach them.
When you shop, bring or wear a colour that you know works, a scarf maybe. If there’s a colour you’re not sure of, float your hand over the good colour about an inch. Relax your eyes and just let them take in the youth of the hand, the texture of the skin, the prominence of veins, the redness or wrinkles over knuckles. Hold the gaze for 10 or 15 seconds. Now switch your hand over the fabric you’re testing. Don’t over-analyze. Just ask yourself, step forward or step back? Which is the younger, fresher, cleaner, plumper, prettier shaped hand?
Black is a comparison thing just like other colours are, but when you’re seeing true black you know it, as “OK, now this is definitely black.” If you’re sure, it’s Winter. If you’re not sure, it could be Summer’s darkest gray. Summer doesn’t go quite that dark really, but if you need to buy pants, a little too dark but not black would get you through the day.
In Nature, even the darkest shadow doesn’t go to black in the daytime. (For those who have RTYNC, Summer is like noontime light, right?) It’s because of the amount of light, for one thing. True Summer landscapes are always backlit a bit from the sky overhead, despite the sun being hidden behind clouds, or from light filtering in from around or behind the image itself.
Also, maybe shadows don’t go to black because so many colours go into making a shadow. If you held a card painted with a pitch black X inside a True Summer grey shadow, you could still make out the X.
By fanning out your True Summer swatches and moving a pure black shape over it, your eye will pick out why black doesn’t fit. Eyes seem very good at picking out even close saturation differences, which is why black mascara never quite belongs on any Summer face. The viewer sees the eyelashes and then the face, perhaps the goal for believers in magazine ads.
Tina’s Evening Wear for True Summer
This is beautiful. There are light, medium, and dark options. In the purse top R, I usually look for a pink, blue, or mauve tone in True Summer grey, but this one would work fine. The delicate crafstmanship and attention to detail is Summer all over. The long purple in the center is good too, not over-saturated when you enlarge it (because it has a trace of heather, Winter would have none). The white dress on the model lower R, I’m not sure. Polyvore often loses colour and detail on light items. As it is, I think of Winter white because the background is True Summer and see how the dress glares? Couldn’t find a better example of what Winter white does on a True Summer face. The green feathery dress in the center gives me Soft Summer feelings of over-grayness, but again, it’s a fabric issue too.
2) What is the difference between too saturated and not saturated enough?
I’ll let Tina’s Polyvore below show you that. Colour is all about comparison and this is so well done. Winter colours look like straight pigment. You couldn’t talk yourself into dustiness if you tried. Ask yourself, Do I feel like a sheet of this colour could stop me from moving through it or even push me backwards?
“Not saturated enough” is a really good point. Where do you tip into Soft Summer? I can’t explain the saturation cut-off verbally. You need your Colour Book swatches. More useful for me is that colour gets warmer in Soft Summer, not just softer. You can see the slightest overlay of taupe over all the colours, even the blues and greens. True Summer may look coolly grayed but you don’t sense heat. That heat feels heavy, like chocolate milk compared to skim.
Remember that it’s not just a saturation question between True Summer and True Winter. Winter contains a lot more red.
Tina’s True Summer vs. True Winter
3) Even when I was diagnosed a Winter before, I loved the colors, but whenever I saw a whole garment those shades, I always shied away from it and picked something “quieter”. Am I right to always trust that instinct?
The vet in me finds the word ‘diagnosed’ very original in this context, like something you wouldn’t want to have. Is this the subconscious at work? :)
About trusting the instinct: Yes! Understanding that True Summer is too often thought of as lavender and Wedgewood blue and not much else. True Summer is never in your face, even its darker versions.
Putting more than two Winter colours together could look like colour shock. Putting True Summer colours together looks lovely, like a place you’d want to stay awhile.
And understanding that too much quieter could take you into Soft Summer’s cooler palette, if you see grayness as quiet. I do, and I also see it as thicker. True Summer is not syrupy. It is fresh and clean as lily-of-the-valley. It’s silky cool, like perfume evaporating on your skin, like walking into air conditioning when it’s hot out, like feeling cool lemonade slip down your throat after an hour of gardening. It’s comfortable coolness.
Winter is much more serious. It’s more likely to interrupt. Summer colours will listen to you and offer caring advice. Winter may have learned the patience for that, key word, learned, but they still sidestep the emotion. A heart-to-heart on the porch swing don’t fit into its colour scene.
If you’re wearing your Summer items to shop and you try on something Winter, the rest of your outfit will seem drab and dishwater, when it looked elegant and perfect before. When two things do not belong together, they drive each other further apart. Which is why I can’t see why we’re told to wear eyeglasses that oppose our face shape to “balance” us. Reese in John Lennon glasses? IDK. What was so bad about our face shape to start with that we need to cancel it out?
4) Some of the makeup selections for True Summer feel and look dull to me. What is the best way to overcome this?
Perception – easily among my top favorite topics! I feel the floodgates letting go.
As with all things colour, everything is comparative. Dull next to what? Next to the parrot colours at the counter? Next to Winter colours? Well, you know, so does a True Summer person look softer (no way I’m saying dull, no human being ever looks dull, every colour story is equally spellbinding – do you find Winter people more interesting beings? NO. Nor are their looks.) On a Winter colouring, that makeup would look uninspired. But on the Summer face, they look as balanced and natural and healthy and vital and vibrant as the Winter woman’s do on her. Trust me. I never lie, whatever the cost.
There are too many negative colour associations in the world. Black is slimmer. Dark is stronger. Bold is more passionate. Vibrant is healthier. We even believe some of this. Well, they’re not. Colour doesn’t judge bold or indecisive. It just is. Clouds are not less beautiful than sunsets. They’re just clouds and sunsets and that’s how we appreciate them. We don’t walk in a forest saying, This tree is more beautiful than that tree. We don’t say, A tree in summer is more beautiful because the swaying of the leaves look so inviting compared to the simple shape of the wintertime tree. They’re all special for the way they grew, the way they are, just because they’re there. People too. Colours too.
Consider it from the opposite side. True Winter makeup will look inflated, even bigger and even darker and even redder, on a Summer face. Parrot feathers on a dove does not look good. It’s not ugly. There is no ugly. What it looks like is forever separate. They can’t mesh. By putting them together, both the dove and the feathers are reduced. They cannot penetrate each other and become one and the same, that sensation women experience so deeply when they see themselves in their most beautiful colours, as if releasing the drape at that moment would lose contact with some long-lost part of themselves they have only just found.
By adding to yourself more of what you already are, it’s like using you to support you even more. That’s where real strength comes from, right? It is not out there somewhere. Only you elevate and strengthen the very uniqueness and specialness of you.
Tina’s Personal Picks for True Summer
I have nothing to say that could add to this. All I mean by a place you’d want to stay awhile.
Colours, Kibbes, and Types
Many of us have been exposed to various colour and style paradigms by now, so many artists and thinkers. We look for one colour or image system to have all the answers, but not one of them is all right or all wrong. Each one lets us gather a few new clues our identity. Unless the system has 7 billion of them, not every word in any of them will fit any one person. Lines, colours, conscience, thoughts, shapes all feed into our final what? Voltage? Altitude? Energy is a good word but overuse had blunted its meaning. We are energetic beings, each a unique force field emitting one synchronous wavelength, like walking radio towers, receivers and transmitters. And resistors and capacitors, come to think of it. We are beginning to understand what this means and we’re drawn to it like bugs to light.
The best thing about what I do is the privilege of being taught by people the world over who share their questions and answers with me. I am truly and deeply humbled by that honesty and generosity. I love talking to my friend, Darren. So sensible and smart, and he has experienced most systems you can name. He can pull together the details and the big picture into real world advice. He said,
What I see is different artists’ take on the same subject and from different angles. Everyone has their spin. Personally, I don’t have the time or the money to try to include every color in every palette that I have so for the moment I’m sticking with Jennifer Butler’s, if not just for the sake of self discipline and to see how creative and far I can stretch myself within those parameters. In the end my goal is that everything will eventually fall away and I will learn to trust my own eyes and my own inner guidance completely. I mean think about it. We both [all] artists in our own right with our own way of seeing the world.
So I guess what I’m saying is that these people are great at pointing the way but they can’t take the journey for us. We all have to do that ourselves. In the end we have to do what it takes to make ourselves into who we would like to see, lose our own weight, and accept our own limitations, and be OK with it. At some point we have to accept that we know enough to relax and just be. Who wants to spend all their time trying to figure out what to wear so they can go shopping.
I wrote RTYNC, the book pictured on the right side. I get told, I doubt my PCA because my personality is off from what you wrote. Don’t do that!!
I get asked, Wearing my colours as exotic or tribal feels all wrong on me. Does that mean I’m not Dark Autumn? NO!!! Trust the analysis. I painted word pictures that feel right to me but they cannot possibly apply to every Dark Autumn, all 7 billion divided by 12 of them.
I see women asking, How can I have dark hair and be Light Summer? But it’s relative. Your hair isn’t dark compared to 95% of Winters, it’s just darker than many Light Summers. We know our hair colours aren’t necessarily in our swatch book. Doesn’t mean it’s suddenly inconsistent or that your analysis was wrong.
In our truths lie our strengths. What is true about you is what is strong about you. That’s why it feels so important to look for it. In our untruths lie our weaknesses. Which is why looking unnatural, like you could never have happened that way without really interfering with Nature’s plan, communicates to me as scattered energy. Real and right looks grounded and therefore strong. If it ‘s true that allowing ourselves to behave with false words and actions makes us weak, and it is, how does it not follow about our appearance?
So, do dark Summers look good in black? Not to me because black communicates absolutely nothing that is true about them. Not unattractive. You are never ever that. Besides, it will make the rest of your clothes in the colours that actually look beautiful on you suddenly appear old, tired, and sort of defeated, as will the skin tone. And will your dearest friends or salespeople tell you this? No, my sister, they won’t. The purpose of a compliment is to make you feel better, not to share truth. Wait 6 months and show them a photo of you in black and you in bluewater grey, they won’t pick the black.
Unlearning is harder than learning. There was a time when we didn’t hold ourselves up to any standard but our own. And then the fight went out of us, media got too big in our minds, but we can remember the simplicity of those days. We see it in our children. It’s time to go back there.
My Summer friends tell me they want more ooomph, they feel so blended. Tina brought up a great point about yellow in hair. Unless you came by it on your own, not only is it too yellow against your skin, it’s too light. The dewy deep pink blush goes out of your cheeks and you live in a NoRightColourLand between True and Light Summer. Once the hair is back to its natural darkness, the makeup intensity can go up to balance that, right to where it should be. Your colours have all the ooomph they should have on your face. In a hairstyle that looks loose and released, you bring your lovely grace to a room with no soldier overtones to mix us up.
I’m not always a very good friend. Not good at making calls, making time. Not even a very good wife. My husband and I both married the strong, silent type. True Summers number the highest among my best friends and trusted counselors. There is something in that character that I need, that we all need. The higher tuning of their heart brings balance to the higher tuning of my head. They’re like the bed of roses I can fall into, finally exhale, and feel safe. Please don’t disguise yourselves. We’ll still see you but won’t understand why you’re retracting your gift. You are everything that the word Grace means on Earth, one of the most powerful words in any language.
We communicate so much more by our appearance than our words. What others sense is how synchronous our cumulative energy is. Call that energy whatever term pleases you, it represents everything about a lifeforce that is more than just a body. We all agree that we can feel something bigger in ourselves and others than the space we take up. We are the size of the space that we have presence and influence in, the meaning of expanded consciousness. The Sci\ART colour analysis is an accurate measuring tool that taps into one of that realms. Your perfect lipstick is only the beginning. Who could feel the door to their best self open and not be speechlessly drawn forward?