Category Archives: Summer Colours

Light Summer CE And Being Not Pale

Keep in your mind who we’re putting these colours on. Next to a cross-section of the population, this person is pale. But let’s call it light, since pallor implies ill health. Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, they will be overall lighter than most people you put beside them. Their darkest colour never gets very dark.

The Light Summer person is light to look at standing in front of a black wall. But not always. In their natural beige brown hair and eyebrow colour, they look more medium till you start putting colour next to or on their skin. Then you notice that the lightest blusher that would be invisible on most women has a huge effect. To balance and not overtake, their closet is light. Light needn’t mean a bowl of dinner mints. How does a rainbow dress to look interesting and impacting? First, see yourself through others’ eyes.

Photo: mvasquez13

Nobody complains about looking at rainbows. They feel fresh, hopeful, soothing, and happy. Let yourself be who you are and get media perceptions about power out of your way. The clothing, weight loss, anti-aging, personal growth, and cosmetic industries can get you to buy more stuff if they can convince you there’s something wrong with you. It’s cheaper for them to make clone colours. Please believe me, there is nothing wrong with you. In your light colours, you are breathtaking. The sun shines out through the sky and water of your eye colour. That is such a special magic and few are capable of it.

I had a very beautiful, natural, easy Light Summer client. She arrived quite certain that she was a Winter and was going though the motions of a PCA just to confirm it (and come to find out, she had recently bought light blue and peach Capris just because.) Part of her Winter conviction came from seeing her facial structure as strong or intense, which it was, more in keeping with her ideas about Winter. When I think of Spring Summer blends, fragile doesn’t describe their bone structure – or anybody’s bone structure, for that matter. Meryl Streep (whom she greatly resembled), Sharon Stone, Joni Mitchell, Carmindy, Ivanka Trump (perhaps a stronger Spring), these faces express far more than daintiness. You’ll see many fine-boned faces among all Seasons. Media’s convenient typecast of power as dark, intense, and masculine is very far indeed from what power really is. It’s important to distinguish power from intimidation, the cheapest form of power. And like all things cheap, it is neither sustainable or enduring.

Light Summer is a Summer above all. She likes precision and dislikes clutter. Like True Summer, her personality is considerate, and to a lesser degree, can work the details all day and all night, and be uncompromising about getting them right. She is not really stubborn, just striving towards an idyllic vision that’s almost romantic, as in Utopian.

We often think of feminine for True Summer, all lace and flounce, but that’s not quite the right adjective. Womanly is better. Moon goddess. Fertile (her version of earthy), giving, patient, complete (hence the circle symbol). She can be very sentimental though the first interaction may be quite formal. Relationships, wisdom, and intuition are nearer her heart than raw intellect, which on its own strikes her as unkind, one-dimensional, and too boringly linear, logical, and external.

Spring’s arrival brings the potential for a little more giddiness. She’s more cooperative, happy in the middle ground, and so easy to get along with. She loves a laugh and takes life less seriously. The sun is coming out. She has humour, self-directed humour, the single best entry ticket to self-knowledge. She doesn’t get all the way to the stronger Springs, If life’s not fun, what’s the point? but she does think, Why can’t everyone just lighten up and get along? Why did God even make Dark Winters? They’re missing all the good stuff.

Photo: Domba

She embodies the simplicity of just being pretty. A little cute but mostly pretty. A face like a doll. Christina Applegate. Light Summer is not tough or rugged, it’s tender. Not stern, it’s lenient. Not funky, but still informal. Life can get so complicated, but not here. This is the afternoon off, the nowhere-to-be day, the tell-your-troubles-to person.

Light Spring is creamy, Soft Summer is foggy, True Summer is cool and misty, Light Summer is sunny and barely misty (or do I mean Myst?), like a Once Upon A Time land. The rainbow when the sun comes out. Flower petal showers. Trees always in leaf. The lightest dusting of sugar sprinkled all over, a Cotton Candyland (Light Spring is the Jellybean Candyland).



Light Summer Not Pale


She wears the light taupe shoe well because her hair is light taupe. On this woman, it actually does elongate the leg.

She may carry a green purse and she’d probably even go about in green pants. Light, fresh, and fun.

Warmth? Cashmere. It comes in so many colours. Likewise, fleece. It floats.

Wash those white pants with your darks to soften the white a bit.

A serious colour? Add a girlie colour.

A lot of light? Add a darker colour in a small area. Sunglasses count. Cool frame, cool lens, light hardware.

The light colours aren’t that light. Winter’s are even lighter because they’re not pastels. Make big use of your medium range of colours to move away from the pale feeling.

Squint to blur the details and you see dappled light, the perfect light on Light Summer.

Could drift away like a thistle on a breeze.

The dress on the left, too dark? Maybe so slightly. Reminded me of bunches of grapes. Good colour flow. Wear a light shrug or Pashmina and a fun shoe. Carry a light purse. Impact without consequences.

Turquoise ruffled blouse too saturated? Maybe. Don’t care. Love the colour on this person and I see it on them just fine (rather than not seeing them in a too-much colour).

Those blue capris, that’s darker and more saturated than your navy. The pants will be what people see so the area will get bigger by proportion. The V-neck top to the right of the yellow dress is better. But, they work well enough. If you look at the whole picture, they don’t jump out.

The fun juicy accessory. Why not? So people see your Miu Miu pink coral clutch first (in the outfit along the R side.) So what. Wear your matching lipstick and carpe diem. Light Summer has that Spring fun element. True Spring is the Hawaiian luau. The luscious scent of the lei, the side to side sway of the hula dance, all about relaxed mood, hips, deliciousness, and fun. Light Summer might not get that unfastened but she’s Spring enough for the hair to come down.

I love when Neutral Seasons (those groups of natural colouring whose inborn pigments are neither 100% cool or 100% warm, but have in-between colouring on the heat scale) demonstrate both Seasons they’re composed of. Wearing cooler and warmer versions of their colours together, as a cool pink lipstick and a light gold lip gloss, is an example. It gives them dimensionality. I also love when they wear both esthetics together. Soft Summer looks superb in lace (Summer grace) and denim (Autumn strength). Soft Autumn is beautiful in a flowing scarf (Summer water/flow) and cowboy boots (Autumn leather/desert).

Light Summer elements are Summer (graceful, water, feminine) and Spring (sun, movement, sport, play). I love ballet effects (grace and sport) as wrap tops and skirts, ballet flats, scoop necks like leotards, or body-fitting fabric in pretty colours. I love prints a lot, that can show the dewdrops feeling and depict motion with the body movements. Outdoor combinations that repeat water and sun, as any kind of sun hat, floppy to baseball to gardening, are great. Small sparkly stones near or on another colour are beautiful, raindrops on roses, as beading on a cardi, better in a wave, or a necklace against a blouse, or an earring near a rose lip.

I was asked how a True Spring expresses two energetic states at once. I haven’t come up with anything because there is only the one energy. That seeming rivalry isn’t there. But there are many ways of depicting the sun and on a True Spring, there is almost no such thing as clutter. A yellow or turquoise Swatch, several beaded bracelets, a necklace of turquoise beads and another of different length with a cluster of small gold charms, all three at once, it just looks better and better. Keep sunshine and colour near the eyes at all times.


In the each Season chapter of the book, there’s section called Colour Equations. To help you see what was in my head when I put those together, and I appreciate that illustrating them is needed, I’ve pasted that section below:

Colour Equations

One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + one light colour or one medium colour

One light to medium-dark neutral colour + one light colour + one medium colour

Two light to medium neutral colours + one other colour as a smaller block

More restrained use of complements as gentler colours or smaller areas

Use of analogous colour combinations, moving towards True Summer’s monochromatic designs

Overall light to medium darkness effect


I was seeing this:


Is it pale? Well, compared to what? Dusk? Yes. All the black in the stores? Sure. The person we’re putting it on? No.

Does it still feel too light? Add a darker block and keep it smaller. People will see it.

There’s a fair bit of colour variation but still continuity between colours, because that’s what this person looks like. Mixing up the colours even more than what’s shown looks really good. Keep a balance. The more colourful the look, the gentler the colours should be. This isn’t something to worry about if you have a Colour Book of swatches, the gentleness levels are built in.

My thanks to Natalie who pointed me to Alima Pure’s line of cosmetics. The eyeshadow and foundation selections are beautiful, with many choices for Neutral Seasons. Under Products, choose your category and when the page opens, click View Swatches. You’ll see the whole panel open up for comparisons with colour accuracy that appears very good. I can’t recommend particular colours, having never tested them, but if you have experience with this line, please do leave a comment.

If we’re dressing to repeat how we already look (and we are because it feels good to the viewer), the overall effect shouldn’t get darker than medium on a white to black scale. Big light blocks can look bridal or sterile, not right on a fun-in-a-quiet way, optimistic, and cheerful person. Getting too saturated or busy with colour means her clothes compete with her and win. If colours get too dark, her skin will be drained and grey (and it will follow, who needs grayer teeth?) Remember too that viewers have a lot more colours to process besides your clothes – there’s hair, makeup, eyes, and that big block of skin – that aren’t in the graphic above. They will thank you if everything matches.

The Dance

How could I forget the music? From classical ballet origins in True Summer and then loosened up when Spring appeared. Spring brings magic and mysticism, freedom and imagination.

Proving that anybody can make fire:


Too hot for Light Summer? Maybe that’s Light Spring’s and we need something dreamier? A reader felt a connection with this very beautiful harp music.




Soft Summer Landscapes

Such a pleasant and sensible personality. I adore these people. Like any relationship, those who live with them may have plenty to deal with, but true to Summer’s politeness, the rest of us have it easy. There is a great equilibrium in this person, equal opportunity analytical and emotional processors and completely adaptable to your personal preference.

Autumn’s determination is coming on board. Settled by Summer’s consideration for others, it feels more like stability. Ask a Winter what they think. Ask a Summer how they feel. This person gladly answers to both, easily exploring both worlds, allowing them to flow in and out of one another, calm and safe, without the need to erect or protect boundaries between them. This is Part 1 of why we analyze so many of them.

The darkest of the Summers, Soft Summer does not look like a light person. They look like Kate Middleton and Angelina Jolie, like Christy Turlington and Fergie. Their very mediumness makes it strangely easy to mistakenly place them in almost any Season. And that’s Part 2.

This is the group that feels dusky to me. Many appear to have a natural tan year round. Dark Winter is often called dusky but they have too much hardness and clarity for that. Think of Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Hilary Swank, or Sally Field compared to Ellen Pompeo where the hair to skin to eyes transitions are incredibly gradual or not even there.

Telegraph Interview by Steve Marsi at TV Fanatic


How The World Feels


So very comfortable. Not mild exactly, that feeling is more in some of Light Spring colours. Just easy to be with. The Soft Seasons are surely the least demanding. These are the days when the heat and humidity of summer have passed recently enough to still feel them. Not too hot or too cold, too squinty light or too dark. The air is cool enough that clothes don’t stick and faces don’t shine. Our limbs move through downy silky air. Being outdoors is the relief it was intended to be. The easing that comes with simply being in our Nature home is denied in our lifestyle. Yet, the restoration is undeniable when we make time for it. We come from earth and are balanced and completed by intimacy with it. In Soft Summer, Nature is the shelter, support, and contentment of the bed of moss under the canopy of pine branches.

In clothing, the translation is in maintaining the mediumness; no piece should demand attention over any other, not eyeliner, not jewelry, not lipstick, not shoes. If you wear a light or a dark, balance it with a medium.

The mediumness on the heat scale (75% cool/25% warm) is factored into the personal colour swatches automatically. A no brainer for you. The genius of Kathryn Kalisz was to create these 8 Neutral Seasons with 60 specific and exclusive colours that are unrepeated in the other Seasons and harmonize exactly within each Season. You have to see these colour collections to appreciate how singular and extraordinary the palettes are and how special this system of PCA becomes as a result. In this and other aspects, it is unique, correct, and quite magnificent.

The clarity level isn’t medium, it’s way low. That doesn’t mean colourless, look at the photos and Polyvore below, it just means not as colourful as the others. When life assaults our senses from every angle to get noticed, what we feel here is gratitude and a place to relax. The choice of where we direct our attention is ours for a change. In a cloud, edges are shadowy, they vanish and reappear continuously. Lines can wave, surfaces can shimmer.

In a composition, an outfit, there’s an undercurrent of grey that unites the elements and provides the visual continuity. Prints blur from a distance like tricks of the light. No big transitions between colour elements exist so objects blend into one another so gradually, as hallucinations, being inside a dream, a watercolour mirage.

Peaceful because sounds are muffled, the air is velvety, and intrusive presence is always veiled. Secluded tranquility enfolds us as we are lulled into believing that the only company is the one we choose.

Relief in the stillness that cushions and absorbs. Like Soft Autumn, Soft Summer’s colours are all giving and no taking

In clothes and makeup, colour pops don’t belong here. Stay inside the palette and keep colour subliminally gradual. Soft Summer is never explicit.

See the deer? In a B&W photo, you’d miss it. The precise edges of Ellen Pompeo’s features would be very hard to identify too.

Notice the tree trunk colour, a good blued grey. There are some great pinks and greens here to provide the feeling of gentled strength. I know one reader at least will be thankful that the quantity of pink in this photo is so small because she could not bear to wear more than this. She is very much a Soft Summer in her feelings about how pink she is, a colour many have the most trouble identifying with, far more so than True Summer, while Light Summer has no trouble at all.

Colour Scales

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, the Soft Summer comprises those whose natural colouring is

Quieted by the fog gray that settles over the True Summer swatches – this is the Most Important Thing. The Season is not muted, it’s muted and cool. Gotta see the grey, as opposed to True Summer where it is cool, then muted. Look at the pictures until you can be consciously aware of the greying that flows through each element, joining it to every other as if by a barely visible web. Like the forest in the movie Avatar, every piece is connected by a gray neural net in our perception.

Cooler than warm and a little warmer than True Summer, but it does not feel like warmth yet. It feels like dull. In How The 5 Springs Add Yellow, you saw that the heat is not that hot yet. What Autumn adds to the palettes it influences is really gold, but there’s so little of it still that the effect is more to cloak some brightness (add Autumn gold-orange to Summer blue and you get gray by the effect of complementary colour, right?)

Medium darkness, no black or white. They are jarring. You saw this photo in Soft Summer’s Best Hair Color. If you had to pick a highlight, would yellow really be the one that feels best? And that is a soft yellow. Bleach that up a few notches and add a chemical glint and the result would not fall from the Beautiful tree. By comparison, the taupe feels good. It feels like it belongs (because it does).


Soft Summer Clothing

If anyone ever needed proof that accomplished Season beauty is not about going out and buying anything made in your colours, Polyvore would have to be it. Pick a colour and look at the selection. Even if you ignore the utterly silly and the stuff a 5’11″, Size 2, 20-year old couldn’t look good in, there’s still too much that makes no sense. The image below is set up as little Soft Summer vignettes.

Soft Summer 1


Other than a few greiges, there is a fair bit of colour. It happens to be a bit faded compared to the other Seasons.We are not sure if it’s the lighting, but it feels as though less colour is really light than we expect for Summer. On a sunny day, some of the colours might be quite light, but not today. Like a rainy day, there is a sense of glad acceptance, of productivity, of dressing for a charity lunch at the museum or an afternoon symphony. I’m pretty sure she gets there in a brushed silver Camry.

There needs to be darkness somewhere, not a lot, just a touch. Very light isn’t what she looks like. Isn’t natural hair colour the best? If ever a Season should emanate cool un-complication, it is this one. The hair is too often called mousy and interfered with.

Photo: Splash News.

We’re trying to continue the flow between how you look and what you add to yourself. If you’re lighter, you’ll wear an overall lighter effect than a darker woman would. If your hair is dark and skin light, you’ll wear more lights with darks and not strive to incorporate a medium block. The overall palette remains the same, the one that made your skin the most perfect, that made you look youngest. In women over 30, I could almost do the whole analysis just across the eye band (the client and I divide her face into three horizontal bands when we evaluate the changing drapes), so much are age effects evident in wrong colour. We all lose objectivity within 4 feet of a mirror. Try taking some photos or video of yourself to see how widely separated your light/dark span appears to others. It’s better.

Reckoning the amount of warmth is hardish. See that red cardigan center just south of middle? See how it’s not really blued? It’s more fogged? Take berries, almost any sort, and fog them. Not sugar dusted, rather dust dusted, the colour of the object still coming through. Look for the layer of good old house dust.

Less eyelet and lace than True Summer, though she can wear bits of both, and a little more bulk. Still Summer sheer but a bit straighter though not yet sturdy. Still quite ladylike, though she doesn’t really emphasize that part of herself. Pearls and cameos certainly work, in the rosy, fleshy browns of the inside of red grapes. She is not heavy in texture. She does tasteful ruffle cascades beautifully. Some women are very feminine, others feel conspicuous in girlishness and want to get back to their hoodie and yoga pants or cargo shorts. She will almost always take the time to put in earrings.

Her song, being around her, can feel like this (sorry, couldn’t embed it). That slowed-down, soothing way she moves, the softness of the way she moves her mouth and the sounds she makes, those are very characteristic of Soft Seasons. Ever heard Jennifer Aniston interviewed? Lots of soft oo and mm sounds. Angelina Jolie is similar. She’s quiet, controlled, unhurried, loving but forthright. She is more reserved than Spring spunky. She’s exactly halfway between emotional and analytical.

More colours apart than True Summer, ie: less monochromatic. Not all over the map but introducing some variety absolutely works. The combinations in this Season are particularly amazing to me. Maybe they just sound amazing. Hold these colours together in your head till you see them clearly: antique turquoise with grey pearl ; dove grey and cocoa rose; sage and stormcloud blue ; pewter and softest rose. Feels good, doesn’t it? Always softness with strength. The two, together at once, in colour, texture, and design, are the very heart of Soft Summer.

She is Vivianne and Nimue, ruling priestess, Lady of the Lake, loving and seducing Merlin, and granting Arthur Excalibur. She is a moon goddess and the caretaker of Arthur’s dead body on its journey to Avalon. A Camry?? What am I talking about? She lives in a land of chivalrous knights and drifting mists. She drives a Phantom Silver Ghost, of course.

The taupes are tremendous and there are many. In everything from eyeliner to shoes, this is a neutral to be worn and worn. Entire outfits can be based on light dark variations, since any Summer does well in monochromatics.

People ask about maintaining best contrast in their Season. You know, the Colour Book does the thinking for you. If your best look is low contrast as here, the palette won’t give you black, white, or any extremes that are are outside your range in the first place. You’d have trouble setting up max contrast in Soft Summer if you tried. You do want colours to flow easily. That means that you can wear your darkest and your lightest, sure, but insert a medium darkness element to bridge the two ends and bring them closer.

Soft Summer fabric can be matte. The makeup should be. With artificial frosting, this complexion ends up going more muted (read, greyer) by comparions while the frost look hard and glittery. Fabric is also gorgeous with a soft sheen, lustrous like the inside of an oyster and the surface of the pearl within. Some gleam on the lips repeats this just right. As Autumn arrives, gently textured textile, like a light boucle works well, so a little more weave, a little more grain.

The greens are completely magically beautiful. For any Autumn, your teals are transformative, workhorses of your wardrobe. The greener colours can be underdone once Soft Summer is able to spot her teals. That light lustrous shirt, I love it a lot.

Seasonal Colour Analysis Makeup Colours

Kidney purple was a description I loved from a reader regarding the excellence of Dior Addict lipstick Londres. We have some brilliant shoppers, experts in their colours, among our readers. If they’d add their favorite cosmetic colours to the Comments, many women will be grateful, I as well. I would try NARS Tokyo Duo eyeshadow. MAC Syrup lipstick and eyeshadows MAC Shale, Yogurt, Aria are good. Their Malt is a great eyeshadow to reduce frost and saturation in other eyeshadows you may own. Lips? Clinique Voluptuous Violet, Lauder Soft Amethyst, Bobbi Brown Rose Petal, Cover Girl Honey Plum Glow, could all be good. The great red lip with a little more depth for evening? You might look at Mercier Dry Rose.

We’re after believable beauty, not the kind that obviously came from a bottle. Attention getting elements are not believable here. Whispered suggestions, uncertainty about what you heard and thought you heard, Soft Summer colours and shapes move in and out of your perception like ghosts of their original form.

There is no point in reading someone else’s lines when it’s so much easier and more real to play your own part. Heidi described it brilliantly as dialing in the tuning band on a radio to find your own frequency. Stay close to who you are and far from who they want (or tell) you to be.



True Summer Polyvore

To fill out the Dress For Your Landscape: True Summer, we had a request for a Polyvore. You know I can never just show a picture. There has to be words. And then too many words keep happening.

True Summer is particular. There are no scratches or smudges on her glasses. She keeps special cloths and fluids at home and office and purse and car. And watch her clean them or take off her nail polish. Like she’s in her own private hell. If Winter wants control, True Summer wants precision.

She is helpful and tailored but not excessive, like a flight attendant. At all times, gun to her head, she is well behaved and ready to negotiate. In one word, and I know I’ll take some heat, the word I hold in my head when I search is ladylike. There it is, the word we all love to hate. 50% of readers would swear I just said prissy.

Not prissy, prude, prim, proper, whatever. OK, maybe a little bit proper. Therefore she has personal restraint enough for all for us. Etiquette does make the world a better place and if everyone had more of it, oh, how good that would be. For this woman, a tub of Haagen-Daz really does have 4 servings.

This is a challenging clothing style to find in our Lady Gaga world. Ballet flats are too sweet. This woman isn’t that. She takes life pretty seriously, not as competition but as a force for good. She won’t have the bag in the shape of a frog and probably not a pink or yellow one either.

True Summer is least harmonized by menswear influences. This is a rounded body with many curved lines that glides when it walks. Boxiness, straight lines, rigid designs, they are not nearly as good as swirls. I think this is where the constant searching and feeling of unrest stems from that women have about shopping. The clothing industry has all these gaps it could fill instead of making more of the same. Women know what’s out there isn’t right and can’t quite put their finger on why.

I tried to think in terms of outfits so there are groups within groups here.

True Summer sets

True Summer sets by christinems featuring strappy sandals

Colours are a little muted. White white jeans will positively glisten next to the rest of the colours. They appear aggressive on a part of our body where that can send the wrong message unless that’s what you’re trying to do. Jeans in the very colour and texture of chalk would be perfect. No heat, no shine. Part of what holds the whole picture together is that little bit of greyness that hovers over it. No greyness and the item won’t fit under the umbrella so it sticks out there, getting wet, which looks neither strong or attractive. Pretend you can’t see the orange purse.

Some darkness is necessary. This person is usually quite medium in darkness, but some seem quite dark. The odd one has white blond hair, quite an effect next to the navy blue eyes, but there the eyes hold the dark.

Green is underdone because it’s hard to find. There are several. The prototype is clover, blued and a very smidgen dusted. Still a lot of colour. You know that background feeling of a grey fluff round the outer edges of a clover leaf? That’s very much the essence of True Summer, that gentle blurring of the overall effect. The moon is like that, a very effective grey- white glow on this Season.

I won’t say too much. Ask if you wonder what I was thinking.



Dress For Your Landscape: True Summer

I see human colouring as a continuation of the pigments found in Nature, as if the planet were one big cell. We are as perfectly coloured as every one of Nature’s landscapes and each of their parts.

We all embody a particular landscape, where a landscape is a collection of colours and shapes that fulfill a purpose and belong together.

Natural landscapes make sense to us. We expect certain things to go together to feed all five senses in a way that is consistent. Bark isn’t pink, doesn’t smell like vanilla, or feel like slime. If it made a sound, it wouldn’t be tinkly. A Soft Summer (bark) woman (Princess Kate) dressed in flamingo (Light Spring), a lush jungle aromatic with vanilla and cocoa (True Spring), or seaweed greens and anemone reds (Bright Spring), she just wouldn’t feel quite right. Nothing wrong with any of them, but there’s incongruence, of puzzle pieces made to fit that really don’t.

All of us emanate our own landscape in colour, feeling, and mood. When we wear colours as an extension of our natural appearance, and when those colours appear in the shapes and textures to which they naturally belong, we look plausible, logical, believable, possible, synchronized. You could say harmonious. To the viewer, it is the purest form of eye candy. It feels so damn good that you keep looking. We call that beautiful.

When our embellishments don’t belong in our landscape, to the viewer, we look forced, like an appearance that couldn’t possibly have happened on its own. To ourselves, we feel like we’re somehow stretching our truths. But what are those truths in the first place?

None of this is new to you, from me. Life challenges us to figure out our questions. Real success is when we become equipped to find those answers ourselves. Instead of taking my/everyone/ anyone else’s word, your own word is the last one you need. Our answers really have been given to us, we just don’t always let ourselves hear them.

In the Comments to The Emmas Are True Springs Part 1, Melinda asked a great question about whether the style, textile, and texture associations are true, and what if I don’t always feel like what they say for my Season? You can read what I said and know that your thoughts are welcome. No two persons will wear their Season in the same way. We all want to convey our inner territories and they have a thousand stories to tell. Choose what you love and let personal colour analysis give you a sense of where not to go if you have a job interview today.

In a world too hot and loud, the quiet palettes can feel discouraged. True Summer is a very complicated Season. Indeed, they all are. The palette (ok, every palette) is one that nobody could figure out on their own, without a colour expert’s input. The pure coolness and the particular degree of clearing, without going overboard, that’s challenging. True Summer is a most gorgeous group of colours that takes too many hits by being misunderstood or compared to the boldness we’re bombarded with. I want to make it beautiful for you.

Dress to look like this. Choose colours that would belong in these pictures. The water in the distance, the gentle splash. The freshest greens. The clean soft breeze. Put them together in a way that feels the same. Be Nature herself. Put the scenery of you together to create the feeling you get from the photos that follow.

Don’t fuss the swatches colours till you feel frustrated. True Summer colours should not feel like there’s sun shining on them, or very fogged in, or earthy. They’re just a little cloudy and cool. Let it be relaxed and easy. Just hold the picture in your head when you assemble your decorations. If you say a colour feels good in this scene, then it does. Be who you would love to be and express. I don’t think many would paint a line of black (eyeliner), yellow (hair stripe), or crimson (there is no alarm here) into these landscapes and call them better.

True Summer, boring? grey? I can’t buy that.

Photo credit: Sonja Mason
Photo credit: Sonja Mason


NOTE : To round out this article, a True Summer Polyvore article was added to show you how I might interpret these pictures in clothing.




Light Summer Looking Serious

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, the Light Seasons are the Neutral Season blends of True Spring and True Summer. These people are often not as light to look at as you’d expect, certainly not blue-eyed blondes by necessity. Colour Analysis is not about what you look like. It is about what the colours that make your skin the most perfect have in common.

What’s not to like about the Light Spring and Light Summer? Agreeable in every way, reminding of sunshine, mild weather, pleasant temperatures, and easiness.What if you want to express the serious contender side of yourself, and not a dally in a rowboat?

You can dress like the boss, but he/she probably has no idea what to wear either. Two shades lighter than the men in that business seems reasonable. Can color be used to make women less threatening in male dominated workplaces? Or be seen more as equals?

When you want to be heard, it’s easy to forget that whispers work better. They clear the air like an early morning rain in a world where everyone seems to be yelling. A beautiful, natural face like the one below relaxes everyone around them. They ease the tension in a room just by being there. Light Summer personifies the breath of fresh air like no other.

When we look at the colour palettes fanned out for any Season, our eye tends to be drawn to the colours. If you planted an acre garden and it contained a single bloom, your eye would be drawn to that spot of colour. We have to make a conscious effort to notice all the other colours, meaning the neutrals. They are the spine of the whole wardrobe, the items that the real colours are added to. Use them a lot. You don’t need an item in everyone of your greens, but owning each of the grays is a good investment. For Light Summer, they are the colour of breath, shade, and shadows.

Monochromatic (all one colour) and analogous (neighbour colours on the colour wheel) colour schemes look organized and work very well on Summers and their blends, though Spring will use more colour difference and brightness in their prints and combinations. Pair a blue-gray with a blue, or a lilac-gray with a colour from the pink-violet family. This quiets the colour but introduces the friendliness, creativity, and confidence that colour does, and is very appropriate at work.

Avoid child like details, like pintucks, gathers, bows, or dots, unless the colour is quite serious and the effect is low key. These can look great on any Spring blend, but we’re trying to look less pediatric. Smocked blouses or hippie/tie-dye tunics can look as fine as peasant and folk styles on Autumn, but best worn on days off.

Keep in mind the most essential aspect of your colouring. It never gets darker than medium, so your clothes do not either. There is always a light block somewhere to give an overall light feeling, because that’s how looking at you feels. Get too dark and your clothes take over your face, your body, your size, your presence. You have room to move with warmth and coolness, and with mutedness or clearness, because as long as colour stays light, it is very forgiving to your skin perfection.

Light Summer is gentle colour, misty light, an early sun, and an airiness that’s still cooler than it is warm. Silver and gold would both be fine in the photo above, but silver feels more at home. There is no stark white. I know the boat is white, but that’s your left brain telling you so. If you were to paint this picture, the sky and boat are gray, and silvery gray at that. Black? Put one black spot anywhere here and your eye would see nothing else.

Light Summer work



I set the max price at 100 for most items. Your workplace may be more glam than mine, so you may see this as a casual look.

I liked the cardi because it reminds me of how planet Earth looks from outer space, a water planet, all swirling greens, blues, and whites.

Nothing gets very dark. There would be more white tops but they publish with odd reflections.

The blue jacket on the left – too muted? Maybe. It could be sunnier, but sometimes you’ll love something that will be close enough, or you won’t be able to find the perfect thing with the time and money you own. It all has to work in the real world. Light Summer is Summer above all. Denim blues are all pretty good.

The silver watch too chunky? Better suited to a Winter? Maybe, but I like a big watch. The strap is a brushed silver and the stones, numbers, and details set in the face are small. It balances well enough.

As ever, I’m more interested in what you don’t agree with because it helps me learn. I never take anything personally, trust me.

Next post will be Light Spring.




Feeling Right With True Summer

No palette seems harder to accept than True Summer, with Soft Summer second. Both are hard to guess and assemble without help. These women usually arrive believing themselves to Soft Autumn if they are Soft Summer, or a Winter if they are True Summer. Where does the doubt come from?

From the women I have known, watched, shopped with, and listened to, these ideas recur :

1. You know it’s all about the colour feeling on this site. Many misinterpret the personality that the colours invoke. True Summer’s profound morality, planning, gracious demeanor, attention to detail, consideration of others, and strong self-discipline are all well and good, but where are the passion and commitment? We have this idea that strong colours express these better.

Here’s the choice: Do you want to wear royal purple, or do you want to look good? Compare True Summer’s deepy hospitable blue with Winter cold and darkly receding ultramarine. Summer lighter blue is psychologically easier to associate with wisdom, peace, trust, and commitment, as dependable as our ancient affiliations with sky and water. Winter blue is unapproachable to say the least. It stands on its own and needs nobody for nothing. If Summer is concerned with moral right and social justice, Winter enlarges the scale and removes the gray, bringing it down to two choices, good or evil.

Winter is on the left because

- the colour is strongly saturated; Summer is not at maximal intensity; not colourless by any means, only a little dusty compared to Winter

- the colour blocks are distinct; in Summer, the colours flow together

- the pattern is bold, geometric

2. Thinking that the colours all look dowdy, not expressive of the power of women today. It is not all Wedgewood blue. Among sky, orchid, wisteria, watermelon, raspberry, soft teal, turquoise, eucalyptus, clover, pearl, and moonsilver, there is no dowdy. There is unwavering strength and kindness.

As a True Season, True Summer has been around longer, so the stereotype is more deeply entrenched than say, Bright Spring, where there is very little old baggage to displace and is usually learned from the ground up. True Autumn labored under the similar fallacy of army, khaki, and brown until 12 Season personal colour analysis clarified the Soft palettes.

True Summer is mired in fashion concepts that feel outdated for the self-determination that women today wish to convey (small prints? are you telling me to wear calico? dainty? are you kidding me?). Boston- based Image Consultant Valeria Chuba resolved the dilemma in this way: We tend to make the link between color and emotion very easily, but things like pattern, texture, and shape have the same effect as color. Body conscious clothes, silk and cashmere, your version of animal print – these are some of the things that will express that inner passion and still allow you to use your best colors.

True Summer shares a subtext of grace and strength with classical ballet. Women love to embody this essence, but modern women also sense a submissiveness or modesty, that they do not identify with. Any Season is only as restrictive as the woman’s vision and what she can seem at home in. Professional, sexy, cool, modern, intruiguing – it can be done with every palette. Get the colours right. Remember how much is conveyed by style. Ruffles feel like someone else’s clothes? Don’t wear them.

The colour on the left is (Dark) Winter because

- you can feel the presence of black

- it doesn’t feel fresh or refreshing, like the Summer on the right; it feels imposing

3. The frequently encountered pink phobia. Many True Summers would not wear it. Why is pink so bad? It is the undeniable and proven force of feminine power, not savagery. Winter red is more raw, barbaric power. (Are Winter people more ruthless? Not going there, but give anyone 3 words to describe me (Dark Winter) and nice would place between 6 and 10.) True Summers hear gentle and decide that must exclude brave, innovative, potent, powerful, but that is not so. Even the most darkly coloured True Summer wears decency and kindness very near the surface and would not be prepared to give that up.T wo of the funniest women I know are True Summers.

4. I can’t wear black. Enough with the black. There’s too much of it out there and it owns too much of our attention. Black is too easy, too mindless, a uniform, and not more interesting than any other uniform. It requires zero imagination. It sucks every colour of light into itself and gives nothing back. It can be dramatic and selfish. Those people who can wear it look less hot in jeans. Get your head into a stormy gray sky space when you shop and move on.

5. True Summer’s nature is to question rules, categories, and restrictions. It rubs against their profoundly held standard that every human presence is individual and unique and sacred and worthy of respectful treatment. Who is anyone to tell anyone else what they can and cannot wear? They will rebel against any infringement on another’s human rights. Winter will rebel against encroachment on their own human rights.

6. Remembering what is most important: coolness. The print below is one that True Summer and True Winter could wear because colours are cool. Some are saturated, some aren’t. The colours flow and blur together to a medium degree.

Dark Winter adds a drop of dark chocolate. Bright Winter adds a drop of yellow sun. No Winter ever compromises very high saturation.

7. Do not use darkness as a gauge. Many will look at Summer’s colours and think, Wow, those are dark, don’t they belong to Winter? Darkness doesn’t make Winter colour. Saturation does. Winter colours are shocking, intense, bold, loud. Think of the Winter person. Big theater with big analysis. Think of a Winter landscape. It gets everything and more from barely nothing at all. In every respect, including emotion, character, style, form, and design, Winter is at the far ends of every scale. They wear one colour at a time, but that colour is deafening. One red bird on a black branch in a white landscape. Wearing two such colours at once would feel tiring, which is where B&W come in.




7. I think this is the biggest one: To understand True Summer, you have to understand True Winter.

True Summers might wear Winter light colours. They’re light and they’re cool. That’s two things that True Summer is. The person may look a little frozen and the colour clinical or sterile, but there are worse choices. What often tells a Winter from a Summer is the ability to wear Winter darks. Winter is colour right out of the tube, straight pigment. Few would even want to take it on.



A Brown-Eyed Summer

And not just a Summer, but a Light Summer!

Geoff was one of the people I analyzed as part of my training, with Terry there to guide me. Though I wasn’t tuned into people’s colouring back then, his impression seemed very medium and still is in my memory. He had medium-dark sandy brown hair and eyes that seemed twinkly somehow, but light or medium in depth, no idea what colour.

It has been pointed out that if I believe that eyes and hair are irrelevant to Season (and I do), then why do I keep talking about them? Because skin is hard to talk about. In a previous article, Jocelyn Is A Bright Winter, I had watched her at work for years, so I had some idea of how her skin reacted to colour. Geoff and I just met that day, which is the case with most clients.

His Season was Bright Winter. At the time, I had no idea what the significance of that was. He could have been any Season and it would have seemed perfectly plausible. Every one of the 12 Seasons had an exactly equal outcome probability. That precious trust is one of the hardest things to hang onto as experience brings expectation, complacency, and ruts. The beginner is far more willing to wander off the beaten path, too naive to know what the implications are.

As time passed, I often wondered if I would ever have the confidence to a call a medium-colouring person a Bright Winter without Terry standing beside me. Terry had analyzed hundreds of people, probably thousands, having been an analyst since the 80s, first with one of the biggest brands in PCA, and eventually settling more comfortably with Sci\ART.

In PCA, the average is the exception. The general population, the people at yoga class, your family, nobody quite looks like the pictures in books. Those perfect averages are as rare as the patient with a disease who shows up with all the textbook signs and symptoms. At least, I never see them. Most everyone has something that seems not to fit.

Let’s call this lovely woman May. She had been analyzed many years ago as a Summer, in a 4-Season system. It was closer than the other choices, though she did wear some Spring colours, especially the robin’s egg blues. May is remarkably colour perceptive, even to the fine details, and could decide even with the first drapes which was better. She is one of the few women I see who came in wearing her best colours.

We began as Light Seasons always do. Terrible, but terrible in Autumn. We could have counted 15 different problems. Overwhelmed by Winter’s aggressive darks. No surprise so far. True Summer made the skin a bit greyed, but it looked younger and more evenly coloured. True Spring brought an easing of lines and that typical smoothness of skin of this Season, but she was too yellow. Very typical of the Light Seasons. Seen this many times.

And I’m feeling a bit nervous because those eyes are brown and they are not changing, though the skin and eyelids around them are changing dramatically. Eye colour intensity or crispness of outline of the iris don’t change equally in everyone, but as I get to the better Seasons, these factors are usually helpful guides. Contradictions can happen, as the Soft Autumn eyes in skin that has cooled and softened to Soft Summer in a woman in her 60s, and skin always matters most. The eyes won’t change in a face while the skin remains the same, it’s just easier to see in the eye as we refine the very best colours.In May’s case, we seldom looked at her eye colour or sharpness. We did it entirely by looking at skin.

Life often teaches us what we most need to know at the time we are truly receptive. I get challenged a fair bit about ignoring eye and hair colour, and sometimes I question myself. May came along, I believe, to teach me to stick to my guns. If eyes don’t matter, and any Season can have any hair and eye colour, then it was time for me to put my money where my mouth is.

We knew True Summer and True Spring were not right. I kept seeing those dark eyes and going back to Bright Spring. Bernice Kentner of CMAS, whom I hold in highest esteem, has said that a brown-eyed Spring is mostly a Winter blend, and that has been my experience so far. There was no way. May is not crisply cool to look at, and Bright Springs usually are. Her eyes were gentle brown, not containing any perceptible black.  Those drapes were not only draining, but they looked crazy, like the woman and the colour were separate and had been Photoshopped together.

I thank May for sitting there so patiently, Summer that she is. PCA is like a video game. It doesn’t let you see any level of clues till you’ve mastered the previous level. It holds back knowledge you’re not ready to use correctly. We tried Light Spring and Light Summer a few times and couldn’t choose. I never belabor these moments, I change the energy. We went backwards, tried Soft Summer and the True Summer and Spring again, just to give our eyes more ways of seeing. Then, it was obvious. Light Summer was clearly and obviously the one. Her skin was the absolute youngest, without being yellowed as Light Spring caused. In a 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis system, Light Summer is the person whose inborn colouring is predominantly Summer’s, with a trace of Spring clear, light, yellow sunlight.

I wonder if she was a Light Spring as a younger woman. Her skin may have cooled and softened into Light Summer. But a brown-eyed Light Spring is still most uncommon. And those eyes are brown, but fascinatingly so. A blue-eyed Light Summer has a very clear open wreath around the pupil, like this:

See the browner doughnut around the pupil? And see also the absence of lines and spokes and specks and other detail throughout the iris? Very typical of all 3 Summer groups.

In May’s eyes, substitute all the blues for browns and you’re there. Same very prominent open wreath, actually even wider doughnut than the eye above, same absence of strong lines, and of a darker brown than the very slightly lighter brown outside the wreath.

What else was fascinating? Her eyelashes are light-medium blonde, about like the eye above or perhaps a bit lighter, and far lighter than her eyes. Her eyebrows are extremely fair.

Her hair colour is lighter than her natural light brown was in her earlier years, and her natural is now gray. Hair is hidden during the analysis, so imagining her in darker hair would not have made a younger face.

If you can’t buy a brown-eyed Summer, what else can you picture? Nothing I can think of. Try putting other Seasons makeup on her. I can’t see it. She is wearing the lightest silvery taupe eyeliner I have. Even through tinted lenses, can you imagine darker without the eyeliner being an obvious dark line on this skin? Not really. May is wearing quite a bit of light gold-peach bronzer and carnation pink blush and lipstick, but the white analysis lights are still on so the skin seems a bit whiter.




Best Makeup Colours : Soft Summer

It’s a good thing Soft Summers are so wonderfully even-tempered. A certain fortitude helps for the group who have most often been assigned 2 or 3 different Seasons. The very fact that the coloring is not obvious is precisely the concept of this Season. Therefore, nothing else about the appearance should be blatant either. Dark liners, yellow highlights, or golden bronzers might be ineffective or undetectable or other Seasons. On Soft Summer, they are shrill.

At her most aligned, Soft Summer dresses for an art gallery opening. She wears her makeup the same way. Ultimately tasteful and sophisticated, she would be invited anywhere. She is never inappropriate, bold, or abrupt, and her makeup is not either.

In 12 Season Colour Analysis, Soft Summer is the Neutral Season that is basically a Summer, incorporating the earliest feeling of Autumn. Still more an intuition than a very obvious shift, True Summer’s cool/soft palette is now observed through a veil of light grey smoke. Here on the outskirts of Autumn, the light taupe that settles over the entire palette is not yet warm enough to heat these colors. What it does is dull them. (See How The 5 Springs Add Yellow for more on how heat is added to the warm Season personal colour palettes).

If you looked at True Summer’s colours through the sky in the picture above, they might look like the cosmetic colors palette below. Look at the effect the mauve-grey-taupe has on the grass and trees, relative to the colors in the foreground. A little warmer, certainly more muted and quiet.

I could have sworn those blocks were lined up when I made this. Let’s not notice that. Instead, we could notice that the entire palette seems to fogged, even a bit blurred. If I’d really been on the ball, I would have softened the edges of all those squares and put the lightest mushroom color over the background.

There are no extremes of darkness or brightness. The overall effect is cooler than warm, so no gold, warm beige, or orange. The feeling is gentle but not fragile, an oak tree rather than a crystal vase (which would be Bright Spring). Soft Summer could share their cooler makeup palette with True  Summer, but not with their warmer neighbor, the Soft Autumn, whose colors are much too golden to perfect this skin tone.

The  most beautiful eye appears to be coming out of a misty lake. Eyeshadows and liners are hazy tan greys and mauve greys. The eyeliner is not much darker than the eyeshadow, to avoid creating an obvious line which only looks severe. In this Season, liner can distinguish itself by being a different color than the shadow, instead of a darker color.

The tan browns can be used to fill in brows as well. Eyebrows should never be the first thing people notice on anyone, or they’re overdone. On this group especially, brows may be darker or lighter than the hair depending on the individual, but they should diffuse into the face. It’s the eye color we’re trying to energize. Brows, blush, lipcolor, and hair are there to support, heighten, and accentuate eye color. When the natural features flow so seamlessly into one another, makeup must be exceptionally undemanding to not take over.

The lip and blush colors are interesting. Soft Summer and Dark Winter share certain characteristics. Both add neutral brown to a pure cool Season, True Summer and True Winter respectively. Dark Winter’s brown is much darker as Winter imposes blackness. Both are Neutral Seasons, so have cool and warm choices. Cool for Soft Summer is dusty plum, while warm is tan rose (still definitely a cool version). Cool for Dark Winter is not dusty or greyed at all, quite the opposite, but it is a browned plum; warm is saturated coral pink, dulled a bit with a drop of dark brown.

I love Soft Summer’s red. It is not fire engine, scarlet, blood, or anything else that activates. Summer is restorative, not catalytic. We’re still in the realm of rose petals, they just live on a dusty road.

There are 2 makeup items that are truly out of place on this type of natural coloring. The first in bronzer. You might think it would work, since a light touch of it can be quite outdoor-glowy on Light Summers. The difference is that the heat is so not-obvious in Soft Summer that bronzer stands out. You can’t find taupe bronzer, and who would put a grey layer on their skin anyhow? You’re so much easier to look at in a powder that respects the coolness of the skin and is two shades darker than a match. Use it with restraint, more to contour than to add heat, or skip it altogether.

Shimmer in makeup is the second means of over-gilding this lily. A satin finish in a lip product, maybe, so much easier to find. This Season is an exception where matte choices are actually plentiful. High shine is insistent and feels too childish to fit into this supremely elegant atmosphere. Add shimmer to many Soft Summer eyeshadows, and they become Dark Winter’s.

Kip Is A Light Summer

Kip’s family and ours have known one another for many years. As a child, he had flaxen hair and light blue eyes, and he certainly gave a Spring impression, or at least a very yellow impression.

He is in his 30s now. His hair has darkened. He has a tan at the moment. Combining the freckles, the fact that his mother, and probably brother, are True Autumns, that his skin resembles his Soft Autumn sister, and that there are red tones in the hair, I wondered if Kip was going to be that Spring/Autumn person that we discussed in a previous article and its comments (see the previous article No Summer+Winter or Spring+Autumn Blends).


We saw right away that Winter was dominating and severe. The blackened sapphire and emerald took over.

In the True Autumn drapes, Kip might have been up every night for a week looking after his young children. The shadows and unshaved appearance were obvious. The lower half of the face was darker, making the jaw look very severe and the face 10 years older. But, his eye colour intensity was surprisingly good. For those who are new here, you’ll read often that I do not factor the eye colour into determining the Season. It simply does not matter. However, I very much consider which drapes make your eye colour the most intense.

In the True Spring drapes, the skin was too yellow and the eye colour was dull and greyed out. If I could erase the yellow in the skin, there seemed to be an easing of the lines, a more even luminosity, as is usually seen in any Spring blend. The skin looked healthy and very evenly colored, while True Autumn made the skin obviously worse, even in the very slight Autumn Seasons. So, Kip was not going to be the person who can wear True Spring and Autumn colors equally well.

True Summer was interesting. The yellow caused by True Spring cleared from the skin. The skin retained the good effects the Spring drapes created, of young, clear, ideal skin, but could also intensify the eye color to the same degree that the Autumn drapes did. The whole effect was a little flat, though the balance with the person was the best of the 4 True Seasons.

In Light Summer, the bare trace of sunlight gave us the perfectly lit skin, without compromising the eyes. Light Summer is the Neutral Season (so blend of 2), that is mostly Summer with a minor influence from Spring. I guess that the reason the Autumn drapes worked so well to intensify eye colour was their low saturation, which is the colour characteristic that Autumn shares with Summer. When doing the analysis, always focus on the skin. A person is the same Season whether their eyes are open or closed. Human eyes distract us. Skin takes precedence. Once you get that right, the eyes will automatically be their best.

In men, the deciding Season always creates the cleanest, strongest bone structure. They do look younger, the skin clearer, but what I see is just plain masculine and handsome.

Light Summer Colours

Light Summer is Popsicle colours. No, not quite that bright. Rainbow colors. It is not just True Summer overexposed. The light and clarity of Spring make the feeling of the whole palette much more lively. Any single colour may be similar to some of True Summer, but the whole person viewed together, just as the whole Colour Book fanned out, is more energetic than True Summer. That clearance of True Summer gentle cloud brings a springy feeling, in more ways than one.

The Light Summer is colour in sunlight. Compare this to Soft Summer, which is colour in shade. Notice the shirt he has on is colour in shade. The chair is probably the true colour. In sun, it would be Light Summer so a little bleached out, and better on Kip. Still cool and fresh, like True Summer, but just that mention of clear light.

Watch how the colour moves in the image below as it changes from light areas to shaded areas. In our physical world, light is reflected from objects in a continuum of light-true-dark, or warm-true-cool. In 12 Tone, or 12 Season, Colour Analysis, the Tones progress from one to the next through the same sequence.

Kip’s most remarkable colour was his off-white (the color of the Light Summer white drape in the previous article How Light Summer Goes Gray) . Not a browned off-white, like clamshell, which is Soft Summer. This is vanilla ice cream, but not French vanilla, which is too yellow. It took a conscious effort to remove that drape because he just looked so extremely right. Everyone in the room just kept looking. The longer a right color is on you, the more good things come out. The longer a wrong color is on you, the more bad things come out.

The Light Summer palette showcases his gracious intelligence better than any other. Far more a listener than a talker, more peaceful than animated, more caring than needing, the personality of Summer men is admired more for their support of others than their call for self-promotion.

Color that is too cool or cloudy says nothing about his easy smile and sense of humour, the pleasure he takes in physical activity, his respectful appreciation of Nature, or his capacity for adventure. His essence is quiet and easy to be with, but is made for the outdoors. The feeling is relaxed, sea and sand, boats and bicycles, not formal.

Light Summer Clothing

As important as it is to always look at colour in daylight, the Light Seasons have to be especially careful to do so. There is no type of dark color that flatters them. In mall lighting, it is too easy to go too dark.

A soft white shirt and a silver grey jacket would be outstanding. Pure white will take over, reducing the person, and we do not wear clothes to be diminished by them. A man wearing a coat/shirt in too-strong colours makes him look weak, and makes the size of the head look too small for the shoulders.

Spring/Summer men do not sing to me in plaid, which can look workday and practical, but a fun mixture of lively colours can be great. Corduroy, same. Too much texture looks heavy and dulls the fabric, but in light gray, great. Light colors belong with light fabrics. Uncomplicated cottons, denim, natural linen, lightweight wool, and knits look smooth and balanced. Autumn focuses on work and productivity. Spring is lighthearted and lives to enjoy life, to play, to have fun.

A light cotton shirt with a colorful stripe in a single colour, which I think is called a Bengal Stripe (below from Savile Row Co), cool tan chinos, now that looks good. His temperature looks cool  but we sense that little effervescence that elevates him to another frequency.

Love it in pink and in turquoise.

Purple and yellow

He definitely has a yellow look, though less than in his teens, and yellow in his skin. Any Spring blend needs to get comfortable wearing purples. Because purple and yellow intensify one another, and the Colour Book shows you the right purple swatches for your particular type of yellowness, it looks remarkable. The shirt below is at Paul Fredrick. The white is that trace-of-vanilla off-white and all the purples are right.

Women love feminine colours on men. It need not be a mauve turtleneck. One stripe in a tie will get the attention of the room. Women keep looking at the one guy who can wear a cherry popsicle stripe in a sky blue tie. Men respect it because so few men know how to do this and accentuate their masculinity, rather than seem to compromise it.

Before you turn 30

This was a very interesting PCA for me. It reinforced what is easily forgotten, to never drape a person with predicted ideas of the outcome. Never start guessing. Go into the analysis with a blank slate, do the driving, and let the drapes give you the answer.

About finding that Spring/Autumn flow, the instrument I use to measure color, the Sci\ART drapes, are not designed to help me find that colouring. I do  not believe it exists. You might think that Light Spring is often confused with Soft Autumn, but in fact, it is Light Summer. The Light Summer colouring is muted enough to enjoy much of what Autumn offers.

As a professional community of Personal Colour Analysts, our strength will not be in fragmenting ourselves over linguistic and detail. We are already exclusive enough. Whatever system analyzed you, you’ll still look way better than you did before. A world where everyone had a PCA by the time they are 25 would be beautiful. If a PCA were as automatic a grad gift as a laptop? If PCAs were part of life like gym memberships?

Note: I do not own the images above. If you own these pictures and would like me take them down, I will gladly do so.



Soft Summer Best Hair Colour

This is Part 2 of the previous article, Shannon Is A Soft Summer.

For reasons of hair chemistry that I do not understand, this seems to be the hardest hair of all to attain at a salon. This is the Season that most often arrives with the wrong hair colour. It is the colour that colourists resist creating, in favor of blonde or red or something much too perky on a low-key energy and a muted, cool pink skin.

Soft Summer can balance more darkness than one might think. The hair base colour is usually fairly dark but there is no black in the hair, lashes, or eyes. Shannon has her right hair, or the closest I’ve seen at the PCA appointment. The odd yellow bit is a growing-out highlight, but it’s not really interfering because the rest of the head is so good.

They need some dimension or the woman can feel plain brown or mousy next to her friends. They feel more themselves with another colour in the hair. So add a highlight. Be sure that it is never yellow. The yellower the hair, the more the eyes turn grey and dull. Avoid red, the easiest color to regret and the hardest to fix after ink black.

Choose a highlight that is light brown. Too much ash will look flat. Too light will look striped and jarring. Pick a medium to light ash brown with a little warmth, only a couple of shades lighter than the base. Not apricot, not toffee, not butterscotch, all too warm. It should be pine cone brown, maybe a cool caramel at the lightest.

That landscape we saw in the previous post is here again.

Put a daffodil yellow streak through it. Does not feel good. Feels crazy.

Now put a streak this color through it.

Did you feel your guts relax? Said in a prettier way, did you feel a sense of relief? The sense of belonging and being right is palpable.

See the same color around the pupil of the eye? See how the good hair colour repeats at the center of the eye? Is human colouring not the best thing ever? Fills me with wonder, it does.

Hair effects should never be obvious on anybody. There are too many processed-looking heads out there already. Soft Summer is not sunshine, it is the welcome relief of shade. Ignore ideas about brightening the whole head just as you would ignore offers of pops of colour in makeup. Others will see only those and ignore much of what you say.

Does everyone in a Season have the same hair, or should they? Of course not. But the skin reactions to colour are very similar within a Season, so their best clothes, makeup, and hair will be the same shades. Common things are common, but there are always exceptions.

Nature creates lots of variations. Adjust your darkness level to be 2 shades lighter than the brows, or both will look fake and hard and angry to children. Shannon’s brow is cooler than the hair, but it works, and we chose an eyeliner to match it since it is more perfecting to the skin tone. Some Seasons can wear a dark brow with much lighter hair, but Soft Summer is not it. The whole concept here is the opposite of bold or sudden.

This Season is not trendy because trend is by definition fleeting. The all-out glamour that everyone woman thinks she seeks, is momentary. You can only be glamour for a few moments. Fleeting belongs to Spring, and glamour to Winter, so only the Bright Seasons can look right in it.

The Soft Seasons are constant and even. That is their particular glamour. In the world we live in, it is refreshing and powerful.