Are all of your features cool? Are the pure colors of red, blue, and purple your best colors? Do you love the cool bright colors of a summer day?
If this sounds like you, you might be a Cool Summer!
The is a comprehensive guide to cool summer in the 12 season system of color analysis. Keep reading to learn the physical characteristics, the best makeup, a beautiful color palette to wear, wardrobe staples, and how to create your own custom palette.
Table of Contents
In seasonal color analysis we look at the skin, eyes, and hair to find a common color family. The 6 main color components are warm, cool, deep, light, soft, and bright.
The summer color family is cool and includes light summer, true/cool summer, and soft summer.
- Light Summer
- True/Cool Summer
- Soft Summer
READ MORE: Seasonal Color Analysis: The Ultimate Guide to Beauty
Today we’ll be exploring the classic colors of cool summer.
Cool and Leaning Light
Cool Summer is classified in the following ways: cool hue, medium/light value, neutral chroma.
- Cool hue
- Medium/light value
- Neutral chroma
Cool summer is one of the pure seasons, and as such all the features are cool. It is distinguished from the other true cool season of winter in value only, with cool summer leaning light.
The skin is likely to be gentle beige, taupe or ivory. The eyes will almost always be blue, green, or gray.
Hair will vary in color, from medium/dark blonde to medium brown. There will be no warmth in the hair or red/gold highlights. The hair may be ashy in tone.
The features show some contrast, certainly more than we see the the soft seasons, but less than the bright seasons.
To emphasize the features of cool summer, makeup colors should be cool, ranging from light to dark.
For the eyes, choose light neutrals such as silver icy pink, and dusky blue, or rich grays and navy. Accent colors could be purple or teal.
For the cheeks, neutral warm shades of soft pink, rose, and deep pink are wonderful to bring out a glowing look for cool summer.
Blush pink makes a good look for cool summer and mauve adds light color. For a bold lip choose rose or plum, and ruby is the perfect red.
Avoid warm tones like brown or fiery red lipstick, warm orange and yellow eyeshadows, and bronze cheek colors. Cool summer should also stay away from very dark lip colors
Cool summer is known by its clear primary colors leaning cool. Think of warm summer fun and ocean scenes. Since it’s in the cool color family, its heavy with grays, pinks, blues, purples, and greens.
Here we see some different elements where cool summer is naturally found. The 6 color rainbow depicts the truest, most neutral form of colors, but the cool summer rainbow is slightly cooler and lighter.
The colors of tropical waters and inhabited fish is a perfect representation of the blues and pinks of cool summer.
Although slightly asynchronous with the rest of the palette, the primary colors of a parrot can be worn by the summer person. More tropical waters and a pink sunset show the darker side of cool summer.
Finally, a cool toned shot of the auroras illustrates the greens in the palette.
In creating a palette for cool summer we start with neutrals, and work through the major color families.
Black and white are out for all summer types with charcoal and denim taking the place of black, and soft white functioning as white. Sage, blush, and dove gray are colored neutrals that will be staples in the soft autumn wardrobe.
True and soft red are perfect cool tones, and since there is no orange in the cool summer palette. Yellows are scarce as lemon and chiffon . Many greens can be worn along the medium to light spectrum. Blues are abundant in the summer palettes, and and all can be worn.. Bright cool and light purples complete the palette.
There is usually a version of every color that can be worn by any season, but some may be more difficult to match and find. Pinks can easily become coral and should be avoided, as with warm reds. Yellows will be difficult and are probably best as accent. Green and purples are best that lean towards blue instead of red.
There are some colors that cool summer should always avoid. Black and white have been mentioned as they are too stark and high contrast for cool summer. All warm colors should be avoided, but cool summer has a lot of options for colors on the light and dark spectrum. Cool primary colors, specifically blue and purple are some of the best colors.
Here we see some outfits for deep autumn. I’ve included two outfits for each season, one with a dress and another with skirt separates.
When putting together outfits, low contrast options featuring mostly darker colors in the palette will be best. Using light neutrals is still a suitable outfit, however.
Patterns should feature mostly dark colors with a hint of light, such as traditional leopard. When choosing other patterns such as florals, plaids, and stripes, look for options that have a dark background with smaller elements as contrast.
Dark wash denim is preferred over medium and light wash. Leather should be in the brown family, like mocha or cognac. Yellow and rose gold are great metals for deep autumn.
No matter your style or personal aesthetic, there are a few items that every woman should have in their wardrobe.
Here are 10 core pieces for the Soft Autumn woman:
The basics of any wardrobe should be neutrals, and you could certainly choose the same neutrals. Layering similar shades of the same color will create a rich luxe look.
For those that enjoy a more colorful look, the basics are still appropriate, but fun and funky accessories in the yellow, orange, purple, and blue families will add interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I still wear black?
Of COURSE you can still wear black. I personally believe that black is a staple in any wardrobe. Any season can wear black, but some may find it is overwhelming. Black is likely to be much more harsh on cool summer than some other seasons. Black definitely isn’t your BEST color, and deep shades of gray will be most suitable. However, if you’re building a capsule wardrobe choosing black as a base may be easiest to find.
I hate these colors, could my season be wrong?
Yes absolutely, it could be true. But I want to challenge you, what is it that you hate? Is it the neutrals that you don’t like? Perhaps you don’t like gray? Refer back to my statements above about wearing black. Is it one of the color families, yellow or green perhaps? Don’t wear them! Just because a palette includes all these colors doesn’t mean you should wear them all. I dare you to look at your closet and see if you naturally gravitate to any of these colors. If the answer is no, and you still feel this is completely wrong, let me know! I can help!
Should I wear all of these colors?
Well, that depends on you and what you consider minimalism! If you like a lot of variety, then go for it! However, when building a small capsule, you’ll find that limiting your color options is the best idea. I recommend the following:
- Black base
- Dark neutral
- Light neutral
- Main color
- 2-3 Accent colors
Get Your Free Color Palette
Can I only wear these colors?
No way! You should wear what you love! If you want to wear orange, then go for it! You may find, however, that learning your season affects how other colors make you feel. If you feel confident rocking a color, then it’s yours to own. But if you don’t, feel free to leave it to the seasons that wear it well. If you’re looking to expand your palette, you can also consider sister seasons.
The following are sister seasons for cool summer:
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the lovely attributes of cool summer. These individuals are truly beautiful in their cool brilliance. They can wear a wide variety of cool colors that accentuate their beauty.
Are you a Cool Summer? If so, say hello in the comments!
Stacey is the owner and creator behind Radiantly Dressed. She is a certified image consultant and AICI member focusing on creating simplicity in wardrobes via color and style.
15 thoughts on “All About Cool Summer: Explore the 12 Seasons”
I can’t decide if I am soft or cool summer. Ashy dark brown hair going gray, brown hazel eyes, fair with freckles. I now look better with softer colors than I used to. I may have been autumn previously. Any feedback?
Your undertone will not change, but muted seasons may become softer. So you wouldn’t become a summer if you were originally an autumn. An autumn becoming softer would slide into soft autumn. A quick check is what color your cheeks become when flushed: if it’s more purple-red that’s a cool undertone, more coral-red is a warm undertone! Hope this helps you!
what if you have Olive tones too? I get flushed often but it’s like true red, no purple or coral, just red.
Hi Shayna! Olive skin tone is most commonly found in the winter seasons 🙂
Thanks Stacey! Appreciate all the hard work you put into this. I always knew I was a summer but now I know what type of summer.
Thanks for straightening out the 40 year mystery and palate education!
Happy to have helped you solve the mystery!!!!! It’s a great feeling to find your season!!!
I’m pretty sure I’m a Cool Summer but I border on Cool Winter, I think. Fairly med-dark ash brown hair, graying quite a bit. I definitely cool skin tone…light-med, very few freckles, I can tan but always burn first. My eyes are hard for me to figure out. They’re blue-gray with a rust ring.
What a lovely and useful article, thanks so much, I’m cool summer 🙂
I’m not sure whether I’m a cool summer or a soft summer. I’m definitely a cool-neutral, my eyes are a blue-gray with a yellowish starburst around the pupil, my hair is quite a dark ash brown but I’m going gray/silver (mostly around my face), I feel my features are more soft than bright. Thanks for all this great info. I love your website 😊!
I seem to have all of the traits of a cool summer, except that I have natural red highlights that brighten a bit when it gets a lot of sun. I’m not sure where that really places me?
Hair really isn’t applicable to color analysis as much as suggested. It’s a function primarily of how your skin reacts to color. If all signs point to cool summer, then red highlights isn’t going to change that!
I’m struggling with my analysis. I keep coming up with cool winter, mainly because of my very dark hazel eyes. But my skin and hair definitely point to cool summer and I feel I wear those colors better. Cool winter colors are so harsh on me. My dark eyes play well with cool winter colors but neither my pink freckled skin nor my light ash brown hair do.
I’m looking for a “colors for the whole year” image for true summer. I found it for soft and light summer and I fiund it super helpful. Thanks!
Hi April! I am just really behind on updating all the posts. Look for that this coming year!
I think I might be true summer because I look most natural in lilac-colored lipstick and my skin takes on a yellow cast with even a little bit of warmth. Also, my skin is very reflective and mirrors pretty much anything I wear. My hair is medium ash brown going gray. The confusion is about my eye color. It is gray-green hazel with a rust ring in the center. I keep reading that hazel eyes put me in the soft summer group, but my skin reflects the gray in soft summer colors and makes me look old and tired. Is it possible to be true summer with gray-green hazel eyes with rust in the center?