Cool Summer Color Palette, Capsule Wardrobe, and Ultimate Guide: Inspiration for a Refreshing Season

Cool Summer is a unique blend within the 12-season color analysis system, where it borrows a hint of brightness from its secondary Winter influence.

Cool Summer Color Palette

This season is characterized by its cool undertones, paired with a subtle vibrancy that sets it apart. It’s tailored to help you explore and identify the colors that harmonize beautifully with your natural complexion.

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.

The 12 Seasons of Color Analysis

Seasonal color analysis provides a transformative approach to discovering the colors that enhance your natural beauty and elevate your confidence. This method delves into the nuances of your skin’s undertones, eye colors, and hair shades to accurately place you within one of twelve unique color families. 

The result? A meticulously curated palette that highlights your features and instills a rejuvenating sense of confidence.

In this system, six key color components serve as the guiding pillars: warm, cool, deep, light, soft, and bright. Within the cool spectrum, the Summer color family stands out for its light to medium, muted tones.

The summer color family includes light summer, cool summer, and soft summer.

Today, we’re diving into the true coolness of Cool Summer—a palette that displays dominant coolness mixed with medium contrast and value.

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Cool Summer is Cool, Leaning Light

Cool Summer is classified in the following ways: cool hue, medium value, slightly muted chroma.

  • Cool hue – the undertone is always blue, and the overtone is typically also cool, as pink or violet from the winter influence. Occasionally these individuals will have some yellow overtone, giving them a slightly olive appearance.
  • Medium value – cool summer usually is right in the middle between light and dark. They truly shine in medium value colors, but they can lean into the pastel shades of summer as well.
  • Slightly muted chroma – cool summer finds its contrast somewhere in the middle, with a bit of mutedness. The secondary influence of winter boosts what would normally be less contrast in many individuals.

Cool Summer is a distinctly pure season, marked by its uniformly cool features. This palette is slightly lighter compared to the stark contrasts of Winter, its fellow cool season, favoring a more subdued luminosity.

These individuals often have a delicate complexion characterized by soft, muted undertones. You might notice a gentle ivory that glows subtly under light, or a light taupe that maintains a serene neutrality, devoid of any peachy or golden warmth. This coolness in their complexion allows them to wear lighter shades that might wash out warmer skin tones, creating an elegant and harmonious look.

The eyes of a Cool Summer are truly mesmerizing, typically showcasing a spectrum of cool hues such as soft blue, gentle gray, or a muted green. These colors often have a dreamy, soft quality, lacking the starkness or high contrast you might find in other seasons. The eye patterns of cool summer often feature the distinctive crypts without any overlays, although the winter white pattern is common.

The hair colors typically include shades from medium or dark blonde to medium brown. The key distinctive feature of Cool Summer hair is its lack of warmth—there are no red or gold highlights present. Instead, the hair may possess an ashy undertone, which complements the cool, light elements of their color palette.

Cool summer has cool hair and eyes.

The features show some contrast, certainly more than we see in the soft seasons, but less than the bright seasons. These individuals often feel confused between cool winter and summer.

Makeup for the Cool Summer Woman

To emphasize the features of cool summer, makeup colors should be cool, ranging from light to dark.

The best makeup for cool summer.

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.

For the lips, blush pink makes a great neutral 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.

Inspiration: The Natural Beauty of Cool Summer

Cool summer is known by its clear primary colors leaning cool. As a member of the cool color family, it prominently features an array of grays, pinks, blues, purples, and greens, each color contributing to its distinctive, soothing palette. This season draws its inspiration from the natural world, where the essence of Cool Summer can be vividly observed.

Cool Summer wears the rainbow.

Visual Inspirations

  • Tropical Waters: The vibrant blues and soft pinks found in tropical waters perfectly encapsulate the essence of Cool Summer. These hues reflect the clarity and depth of the ocean, mirroring the refreshing and rejuvenating qualities that define this palette. Whether it’s the shimmering surface of the sea or the dynamic hues of the marine life beneath, these colors offer a cool, tranquil base that resonates with the Cool Summer individual.
  • Pink Sunset: The fleeting beauty of a pink sunset provides a richer, deeper contrast within the Cool Summer spectrum. This aspect of the palette introduces a blend of soft yet vivid pinks and purples that capture the dramatic yet serene moment when the sun dips below the horizon. These colors, although slightly warmer than the typical Cool Summer tones, still harmonize beautifully with the cool essence of the season, offering versatility and depth.
  • Green Aurora: The mysterious and mesmerizing greens of the auroras bring a magical element to the Cool Summer palette. These greens, cool-toned and ethereal, represent the more enigmatic side of Cool Summer. They evoke a sense of wonder and natural beauty, perfectly aligning with the cool, understated elegance of this color season.

Each of these natural phenomena—tropical waters, pink sunsets, and green auroras—not only highlights the unique aspects of the Cool Summer palette but also inspires a connection with the natural world, reflecting the season’s inherent beauty and tranquility.

Cool Summer Color Palette

Cool Summer 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 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 accents. 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.

Cool Summer Color Palette

Choosing Prints for Cool Summer

Choosing the right patterns is crucial in accentuating your Cool Summer style. Your patterns should not only match your cool-toned color palette but also harmonize with your natural scale and contrast levels to most effectively enhance your look. Here’s how to master this:

  • Color Consistency: Ensure that less than 10% of the colors in your print fall outside your Soft Summer palette. This maintains a cohesive and harmonious appearance.
  • Scale: Opt for prints with a small to medium scale. Large scale prints can be used, but the colors should be lower contrast such as analogous.
  • Contrast Level: Stick with medium-contrast prints. Cool summer can handle some contrast, but avoid the highest levels like complementary colors to stark light/dark variations.

Following these guidelines will enhance your Cool Summer wardrobe and boost your confidence in selecting patterns. Below, you’ll find a selection of curated images that perfectly demonstrate these principles.

Wardrobe Essentials for Cool, Light, Muted Coloring

No matter your style or personal aesthetic, there are a few items that every woman should have in their wardrobe.

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 pink, purple, blue, and green families will add interest.

Click here to shop the Cool Summer wardrobe essentials.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cool Summer

What is the difference between true summer and cool summer?

True summer and cool summer are often considered to be the same. True Summer originates from the 4 season system, in which was cool, light, and muted…cool summer is part of the 12 season flow system in which it borrows some brightness from secondary winter influence.

Am I true winter or cool summer?

True or cool winter and cool summer can share some crossover colors. Both are influenced by the other, however there is one key thing that can distinguish these 2 seasons. For true/cool winter, black and white will be stunning and accentuate the high contrast. For cool summer, black and white will be too harsh against your softer coloring. 

Can cool summer wear orange?

No, don’t do it. Orange is a naturally warm color and can’t be cooled down, so the true cool seasons of summer and winter should avoid it. 

Can cool summer wear gold?

Gold metal can be very classic, and summer types often seem to gravitate to classic styling. However, silver toned metals will be more flattering for this ultra cool season.

Can cool summer wear red?

Absolutely cool summer can wear red. The best reds will be cool, blue based, and medium value, neither too dark or light.

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 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!

How Do I Build a Cool Summer Capsule Wardrobe? Building a Cool Summer capsule wardrobe is a streamlined process when you focus on your season’s best colors. Start with your neutrals like navy, gray, and soft white which will serve as the foundation of your wardrobe. Then, add in your main color and 2-3 accent colors from the Cool Summer palette. Colors like azure, orchid, or carnation work well.

Here’s a simple guide to create a color palette include:

  1. Base Colors: Soft navy and light gray
  2. Dark Neutral: Navy or charcoal
  3. Light Neutral: Soft white or white smoke
  4. Main Color: Choose one from purple or pink
  5. Accent Colors: Pick 2-3 from your palette, like pastel green, turquoise, or soft red

Can I only wear these colors?

No way! You should wear what you love! If you want to wear burgundy, 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:

Cherry Blossom Colors
Light Summer
Foggy Volcano Colors
Soft Summer

Cool Summer Colors for the Whole Year

When borrowing from other seasons, it’s helpful to consider those which share attributes. Many women like to choose colors that help them feel in touch with the calendar season, like mustard in autumn. For Cool Summer, the following borrowing recommendations work across the whole year.

In Spring, borrow colors from light summer to embody the brightness of spring.

In Summer, stick with any colors in the three summer seasons.

In Fall, borrow colors from soft summer to pull a bit of that muted fireside feel.

In Winter, borrow carefully from cool winter for slightly deeper colors of the cold season.

Cool Summer Color Palette

Action Steps for Embracing Your Cool Summer Palette

  1. Identify Your Colors: Start by familiarizing yourself with the Cool Summer color palette. Keep it handy on your phone or print it out for quick reference when shopping. Buy the Cool Summer guide here to go deeper. 
  2. Purge Your Closet: Remove items that are far from your Cool Summer colors or don’t make you feel good. Consider donating or reselling them.
  3. Invest in Neutrals: Buy wardrobe staples in your best neutral colors like navy, gray, and soft white. These will be the backbone of your wardrobe.
  4. Choose Your Best Colors: Pick 2-3 signature colors from your Cool Summer palette that you love the most. These will give your capsule wardrobe some variety.
  5. Plan Your Capsule: Following the 100 Piece Wardrobe Framework, build a capsule wardrobe around your neutrals and accent colors. Aim for versatility and cohesiveness.
  6. Shop Smart: When shopping for new items, always have your palette in mind. This will save you both time and money in the long run.
  7. Trial and Adjust: Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. Wear your new colors and pay attention to the compliments you receive and how you feel in them. Make adjustments as needed.
  8. Seek Guidance: If you’re struggling to implement your Cool Summer palette, consider seeking professional help. A color analysis session can be a transformative experience.
  9. Celebrate You: Remember, God made you beautiful in your unique way. Embrace your Cool Summer attributes as a reflection of His creativity.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to simplifying your wardrobe while looking your best, feeling confident, and honoring your uniqueness.

Final Thoughts on Cool Summer

By embracing the Cool Summer palette, you open up a realm where your wardrobe mirrors the tranquil elegance of your seasonal color profile. This exploration into the ideal shades allows you to curate a collection of clothing and accessories that magnify your natural allure.

This guide has equipped you with insights on colors that complement your skin tone, makeup that highlights your finest features, and strategies for creating a capsule wardrobe that resonates with your Cool Summer characteristics.

Are you a cool summer? If so, say hello in the comments!

Related Color Analysis Articles:

Cool Summers are truly beautiful in their cool brilliance. They can wear a wide variety of cool colors that accentuate their beauty.

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  1. 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?

    1. Hi Dawn!

      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!

        1. You must be deep winter. I am white like a snow, but I tan to olive skin color, I am ashy blonde but again with golden&ginger highlights so it’s kinda confusing because deep winter is never described as a blonde. From what you say, you also have features – like freckles – that aren’t typical for winters, but olive skin is a game changer. Try color palette for deep winter and decide if they fit you the best.

  2. 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!

    Greatly appreciative,


      1. 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.

  3. 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 😊!

  4. 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?

    1. Hi Callie!

      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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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?

  8. Hello,
    I am wondering if I am cool summer or cool winter.
    I have medium dark brown hair, green and brown eyes. Skin is light during winter and in summer medium, neutral tone.
    Look good in black, white, dark blue, red, but also rose pink.
    Know that winter should have more contrast, which I am not sure I have. But on the other hand, some soft and muted colors look washy on me.
    Can You give me an advise?

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