Summer Color Palettes
Summer is full of bright, vibrant colors. And while it’s pretty easy to combine a few of them into an outfit, sometimes you need a little help deciding exactly which shades and hues pair best together. Light summer is the most common of the summer color palettes. This color palette suits many different hair colors and skin undertones. Mastering a summer color palette can help you build a wardrobe that fits your personality and makes you feel confident.
I. Light Summer Colour Palette
Light Summer is reminiscent of mild summer mornings full of coolness and gentleness with a hint of freshness. The sun’s rays only touch the dew drops on the awakened foliage and flowers. The sky is of the most muted tones with floating, fluffy clouds. These colors are gentle and light, yet refreshing – like an early morning breeze at the beach.
Light Summer combines lightness with coolness. Consequently, the colors are overall light in value to complement the appearance of a Light Summer. A few colors are medium in value, and those are just supporting colors for the light tints.
The palette contains medium-saturated, coolish colors, such as light pinks and delicate blue greens. There are no harsh contrasts between the colors, only nuances.
And while this season’s color palette has the typical coolness characteristic, with some warmth of its neighboring season, Spring. Moreover, Spring adds brightness and saturation to the otherwise muted Summer palette. This is the brightest and least faded season of the Summer family.
On the three dimensions of color, Light Summer has the following settings:
The colors lean towards the cool end of the scale but are not very cool. That means they contain more blue than yellow undertones. So even if you choose yellow (which is the warmest color of all), you will find only cooler yellows that contain a tint of blue.
In line with Light Summer’s primary aspect, the colors are light. Although you may find some medium shades, these are just supporting colors for the lighter tints. There are no dark colors on the palette. However, the palette does not include the very lightest colors. Those are Winter’s icy lights, which are closer to white than Light summer’s colors.
The colors are medium in chroma, meaning they are neither very muted nor highly vibrant. However, the colors are brighter and more saturated than those of the other two Summer seasons because of Spring’s influence on them. But they don’t have the same intensity as Light Spring colors.
Light Summer sits between Light Spring and True Summer on the seasonal flow chart. It falls at the Spring end of the Summer palette, with colors lighter, brighter, and warmer than those of True Summer. They are surprisingly un-summery in their saturation level – almost bright enough to rival Light and True Spring’s palettes.
The colors are cooler, gentler, and slightly darker than Light Spring. Spring’s effect on Light Summer is added warmth and brightness. Spring also lightens the colors compared to the other two Summer palettes.
The colors are neutral-cool like those of the third Summer season, Soft Summer, but they are brighter and lighter.
Light Spring and True summer share Light Summer’s aspects of light and cool, respectively. Depending on where you fall on the Light Summer spectrum, you can borrow some colors from your sister palettes since they are close enough to the Light Summer color palette.
If you lean more towards Light Spring, opt for the cooler shades on the Light Spring palette – such as Blue Topaz, Lavender, or Provence. If you lean more towards True Summer, choose the lighter colors on the True Summer palette – such as Chardonnay, Pink-a-boo, or Dutch Canal.
II. True Summer Colour Palette
True Summer is the color season reminiscent of summer days after rain when the last grey clouds disperse, and the haze refracts all the colors of nature into a kaleidoscope of contrasts. These colors are cool, calming, and refreshing, like the feeling of cool water on the skin. They are the colors of water – the blues and greens of rivers, lakes, and deep oceans.
True Summer is the original Summer season of the four seasons color analysis and is the ‘standard’ Summer palette. The other two Summer palettes have been modified to accommodate Spring and Autumn’s respective influence.
True Summer coloring combines coolness with softness. This season falls at the coolest end of Summer. Consequently, the colors are cool with a clear blue undertone. There is not a hint of warmth in this palette.
The palette has the gentleness and delicacy typical of the Summer family. The colors are mid-range. And although there is a range of different hues, blues, turquoise, and greys, which are naturally cool, feature heavily on the palette. Cool browns and greyish blues work well as neutrals, accented by brighter hues, like pinks, purples, and greens.
On the three dimensions of color, True Summer has the following settings:
In line with True Summer’s primary color aspect, the colors sit on the coolest end of the hue scale. That means they contain blue undertones but no yellow ones. There are very few yellow shades on the palette, and even those have a heavy tint of blue to cool them. Instead, you will find many naturally cool blues, turquoise, and greys.
The color palette ranges from light grey to dark brown and is quite broad. Overall, though, more colors are medium or lighter than truly dark. This is because True Summer cannot handle too much contrast.
The colors are medium in chroma and lean more towards the muted end of the scale. They are dusky and greyish rather than saturated and bright.
True Summer Sister Palettes
True Summer sits between Light Summer and Soft Summer on the seasonal flow chart. It is the ‘standard’ Summer palette.
With its opposite season True Winter, the color palette shares the same cool temperature. But True Summer colors are lighter and gentler.
The colors are cooler, more muted, and slightly darker than Light summer.
The colors are somewhat brighter, cooler, and slightly lighter than in Soft summer. True Summer colors are not as desaturated as Soft Summer colors. And while True Summer neutrals are getting greyer, the complementary and accent colors on the palette retain some brightness.
Light Summer and Soft summer share True Summer’s characteristics of cool and muted, respectively. Depending on where you fall on the True Summer spectrum, you can borrow some colors from your sister palettes since they are close enough to the True Summer color palette.
If you lean more towards Light Summer, opt for the darker and less bright colors on the Light Summer palette – such as Open Air, Aster Purple, and Sea Green. If you lean more towards Soft Summer, choose the brighter colors on the Soft Summer palette – such as Marlin, Storm Blue and Wild Rose.
III. Soft Summer Colour Palette
Soft Summer is the color season reminiscent of misty days when the heat carries the fog through the air after a cool summer rain. And the arrival of Autumn is not far away. These colors are gentle and mysterious. They contain so many cold and warm tones that their collision gives rise to a surprisingly harmonious image. And like a chameleon, this color season can show one side or another.
True to Soft Summer’s primary color aspect, the colors are muted and gentle to match this season’s natural coloring’s low to medium contrast level.
The color palette includes desaturated, low-contrast, and coolish colors. Most of the colors are greys and blue-based colors with a heavy focus on pinks, purples, blues, and greens. The colors are not clear but complex and elusive, almost as if they consisted of many different colors.
Soft Summer sits on the border to Autumn. Summer is muted, cool, and light. Autumn is also muted. So adding Autumn to Summer makes the Soft Summer palette even more faded. But Autumn also brings warmth, adding a brownish element to the colors. Autumn also adds depth, and thus, Soft Summer colors are the darkest of the Summer family.
On the three dimensions of color, Soft Summer has the following settings:
Thanks to Soft Summer’s secondary aspect, the colors lean towards the cool end of the scale but are not highly cool. That means they contain more blue than yellow undertones. As a result, you will find fewer shades of yellow (which is the warmest color of all), only cooler shades of yellow that have a tint of blue. Instead, there are more blues, pinks, and greys, naturally blue-based and thus cool.
The color palette is medium in value, meaning neither light nor dark colors dominate it. And while there are lighter and darker colors, most of the colors fall somewhere in the middle of the value scale.
In line with this season’s primary color aspect, Soft Summer has the least tolerance for brightness. Consequently, the colors have low chroma – meaning very desaturated, muted, or simply greyed-out.
Soft Summer sits between True Summer and Soft Autumn on the seasonal flow chart. It falls at the Autumn end of the Summer palette. And the colors are more muted, warmer, and ever so slightly darker than those of True Summer.
Compared to Soft Autumn, the colors are cooler and more greyish, but otherwise similar – both seasons are medium in value and muted.
Compared to the third Summer season, Light Summer, the colors share the same neutral cool temperature but are more muted and darker.
True Summer and Soft Autumn both share Soft Summer’s aspects of cool and muted, respectively. Depending on where you fall on the Soft Summer spectrum, you can borrow some colors from your sister palettes since they are close enough to the Soft Summer color palette.
If you lean more towards True Summer, opt for the more muted colors on the True Summer palette – such as Moonlite Mauve, Baby Lavender, or Lichen Blue. If you lean more towards Soft Autumn, choose the cooler colors on the Soft Autumn palette – such as English Manor, Ocean wave, or Dusk Blue.