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Soft Autumn can wear the rainbow.

All About Soft Autumn: Explore the 12 Seasons

Soft Autumn is warm and soft and shares characteristics with autumn and summer in the 12 season system of color analysis.

Are your features gently warm with none standing out? Are you drawn to the soft shades currently on trend: blush, olive, and ivory? Do you love the colors of a foggy morning? 

If this sounds like you, you might be a Soft Autumn!

The is a comprehensive guide to soft autumn in the 12 season system of color analysis. Keep reading to learn the physical characteristics, best makeup, a color palette, wardrobe staples for soft autumn, and how to create your own custom palette.

The 12 Color Seasons

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 autumn color family is warm and includes soft autumn, true/warm autumn, and deep autumn.

Today we’ll be exploring the gentle beauty of soft autumn.

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Warm and Soft

Soft Autumn is classified in the following ways: warm hue, medium value, muted chroma.

  • Warm hue
  • Medium value
  • Muted chroma

Soft Autumn is warm and soft.

Soft autumn differs from its fellow autumn seasons in that chroma is the primary characteristic. Although there is definite warmth, there is an overall muted gray look to the features. 

The skin is likely to be gentle beige or taupe. The eyes will typically be brown or green, with a soft opaque quality to them. But blue eyes are not uncommon!

Hair is in the brown color family, from light to medium/dark, and may have gold, red, or faint auburn highlights. Dark blonde hair is also frequently seen in soft autumn types, and occasionally lighter blonde.

Soft Autumn has light warm eyes and hair.

The features are overall similar in depth, with none of the features standing out above the rest. One might suggest that the features of a soft autumn are nondescript, but they come alive when wearing the proper colors for their season.

Natural Spring Colors
Foggy Leaf Colors
Golden Colors
Warm Sunset Colors

Makeup for the Soft Autumn Woman

To emphasize the features of soft autumn, makeup colors should be both warm and soft as well. 

For the eyes, choose light neutrals such as cream, blush and copper, or rich brown and olive. Accent colors could be soft plum or warm teal. 

For the cheeks, neutral warm shades of sand, coral, and peach are wonderful to bring out a peachy glow for soft autumn.

Nude lips are a winner for soft autumn, along with copper and caramel. For a bold lip choose chestnut, mocha, or coral red.

Avoid cool tones like pink or berry red lipstick, cool blue and green eyeshadows, and soft pink cheek colors. Soft autumn should also stay away from dark lip colors.

Inspiration

Soft autumn is known by its gentle warm colors that appear grayed. Think of any outdoor scene with a layer of fog hugging it. Since it’s in the warm color family, its heavy with browns, reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. 

Soft Autumn Wears the Rainbow

Here we see some different elements where soft autumn is naturally found. The 6 color rainbow depicts the truest, most neutral form of colors, but the soft autumn rainbow is warmer and soft.

If you’ve ever been to a natural spring when the sun is setting you have experienced the warm teal blues of soft autumn.

The mixed colors of a leaf turning represent the transition from summer to autumn, while marigold leaves in soft light show the range of soft autumn.

A brilliant yellow cloudy sunset gives us shades of yellow, ivory, and taupe. 

Soft Autumn Color Palette

Soft Autumn Palette

In creating a palette for soft autumn we start with neutrals, and work through the major color families.

Black and white are out for all autumn types with brown and denim taking the place of black, and ivory functioning as white. Olive, blush, and camel are colored neutrals that will be staples in the soft autumn wardrobe.

Burgundy and squash are perfect soft tones, and since soft autumn borders summer, there is more variation in pinks. Yellows appear as soft brass, flax, and marzipan . Many greens can be worn along the medium to light spectrum. Blues are typically cool, but adding green makes them suitable for autumn individuals. Warm 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. Warm pinks often become blush, some reds may be too cool, any blue without green is also too cool. Purples are best that lean towards red instead of blue.

There are some colors that soft autumn should always avoid. Black and white have been mentioned as they are too stark and high contrast for soft autumn. Bright saturated colors are not suitable for the soft autumn woman as they are overpowering. Warm pastels, specifically blush and olive are some of the best colors.

soft autumn best and worst colors

Wardrobe Essentials for Soft and Warm 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 yellow, orange, purple, and blue families will add interest. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Soft Autumn

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 soft autumn than some other seasons. Black definitely isn’t your BEST color, and lighter shades of brown 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 brown? Refer back to my statements above about wearing black. Is it one of the color families, yellow or orange 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

soft autumn year round color options

Can I only wear these colors?

No way! You should wear what you love! If you want to wear lavender, 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 soft autumn:

Foggy Volcano Colors
Soft Summer
Gold leaves colors
Warm Autumn

Related Color Analysis Articles: 

Ready to create your own color palette based on your season?

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the lovely attributes of soft autumn. These individuals are truly beautiful in their soft gentle warmth. They can wear muted colors that are currently very trendy and look stunning.

Are you a Soft Autumn? If so, say hello in the comments! 

Soft Autumn sits on the cusp of autumn and summer and is warm and soft.

48 thoughts on “All About Soft Autumn: Explore the 12 Seasons”

  1. Hello from a fair soft autumn! I’m one of those with blue/green eyes and some dark blonde highlights in my light brown hair.

    I love wearing teal, sage green, olive green, ivory, blush, soft coral, dusty rose pink, rust, soft golden yellow, camel, navy and chocolate brown. My best makeup colours are definitely nudes and neutrals.

      1. Dear Stacy, I am definitely a warm season with yellow undertone. My hair color is now changing to a more soft gray/brown. I can’t tell if it is silver or cream color? I’ve been buying soft warm colors of sage and pink salmon which still look great. It’s the neutrals I struggle with. Now with the gray I stay away from camel or yellow. My wardrobe is definitely not targeted for warm season. I need to purge all the black and pure white. So, my question is: my skin is still yellow undertone but I see changes because of cancer/chemotherapy. Though I am somewhat home bound for awhile I thought I would clear my closet and concentrate on soft autumn colors if you think that soft autumn is still my season. I hope this is not confusing to you. But I need your help. I am glad radiantly dressed is a Christian organization. Thank you in advance for reading and answering my email. By the way I had blue/gray eyes that have changed to a shade of green/gray especially when I wear sage green which I love. Wow, thank you.

        1. Hey Donna! Chemotherapy can have significant effects on the hair when it comes back. The undertone of an individual remains the same, but what can be lost is contrast. You could start adding more warm gray, taupe, and cream into your neutral palette. Changing eyes is not much discussed, but it’s something I’ve personally seen, most commonly in those with spring influence actually. I always recommend working with a fairly small color palette, about 4 neutrals and 3-5 colors. Sage is definitely a soft season color, so leaning into soft autumn is likely a good bet! Thanks for reaching out!

  2. I think I’m a soft autumn, but it’s hard to tell. I feel like I rarely find any colors that feel quite right. I have green eyes with a brown ring around the pupil, light olive skin that tans very easily, but I feel like my natural hair is almost an ashy brown? In the winter I get told I’m a cool skin tone, but I definitely don’t think that’s the case.

    1. Hi Chelsea! The brown ring you speak of is often a winter feature so have you looked at the deep autumn colors? I’m releasing several color analysis products this next month that might give you a definitive answer!

      1. I believe I’m a soft autumn…I have light brown hair that has natural warm sandy highlights to it. My eyes are a mix of green-blue-gray. My skin tone is fair, neutral, peachy. Really cool tones look off on me and warm tones that have too much orange/warmth in them make me look pale. I feel I’m very close to a soft summer but ashy, or cool pink tones look off so that’s why I’m leaning towards soft autumn. I’m curious what you think?

        1. Hey Gabrielle! It’s very possible you could be a soft type but it might be worth looking at light spring too. I’ve typed quite a few light brown haired women as light spring! If you’d like more help I have several options for color analysis.

      2. Hello Stacy,
        I am of African descent. My undertone is a cool yellow. My skin tone is sand that has a reddish orange cast. My hair is cool dark brown. My eyes are deep brown wit a cool yellow undertone.

        I feel I am a soft autumn but I look dull in brown and awful in orange.

        Could I be a soft spring

        1. Hi Nicole!!

          So Spring by nature, is bright, which is the opposite of soft. You mention that you have a orange-ish cast to your skin, so I wonder if you’ve tried some of the softer oranges such as copper or cinnamon. Bright orange is usually better for spring seasons. If you have a high level of contrast between your hair and skin, clear spring could be a real possibility! You have me intrigued for sure!

          1. Hello! I’ve been dabbling into some simple colour theory just to figure out what colours I looked best in so I don’t make anymore shopping mistakes! It’s also nice to know why I lean towards certain colors. I know for a fact that I have a warm undertone (my veins are very green) but the contrast between my facial features is very soft. However my hair is a deep, warm black. I also tend to notice that despite the fact that I am warm toned, when I wear a vivid but deep red I feel it could do with a little more gray. On the other hand, when I wear something too dusty it doesn’t look great either.

            I’m wondering if I could be a deep or soft autumn or maybe a whole other season/palette all together!

            Thank you for your help!

          2. Hi there!

            It certainly seems like autumn might be a great fit for you! Spring is the other warm season but decidedly bright! It’s common for individuals to have some overlap in characteristics in the overall season! Soft summer has both mid range and deep shades, while deep autumn has both brighter and muted colors. One is usually better than the other, so it would prob help you most to determine if your are more soft or more deep! Hope this helps!

            Stacey

  3. I’m very confused with this. I have two different eye colors, and color my hair. Sometimes my skin seems to “change” tones. My one eye is a grayish olive green, and the other has a half russet star around the pupil, with blue grey smudges. It almost looks hazel’s but in the sun they look quite bright. My natural hair is brown with a soft red golden quality. My skin st times seems very peach but in the morning theres a cool grayish olive blue look to it. If I color my hair red my skin looks warm, the wrong red making it appear ruddy. If I color it dark brown it looks very pale and cool. I favor pink hair the most. Makes me glow.

    1. Hi Kelly! The eye patterns you’re describing seem like a lot of autumn characteristics. But you keep mentioning the word gray, which is a feature of both soft autumn and summer! The pink hair makes me wonder if soft summer might be a good fit! I’d love to help you more if you’re interested! You can find a couple different color analysis options here.

  4. Hello,
    I just had a professional color analysis done and was typed as a Soft Autumn. I am quite pale, with green eyes and dark brown hair. I was always sure that I must have a cool undertone. I love the Soft Autumn palette, but I’m wondering if I might actually be a Soft Summer. Is there any way to definitively tell the difference? I suppose I should follow up with the analyst I worked with?

    If you can give me any advice, I would be so grateful. I am a bit confused.
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Alana! I’m definitely a fan of following up with your analyst. But I want to encourage you that soft summer and autumn are sister seasons, and as most that share a characteristic like “soft” there is a neutrality and mix of cool and warm features. It’s possible that you have cool skin elements but the warmer colors were just the slightest bit better in draping. I’ve seen this many times that clients self report cool skin and land in a warm season. 🙂 Hope this helps!

  5. I think I’m soft autumn..I have Celtic skin but I do get a light golden tan, green/hazel eyes, light brown/dark blonde hair with highlights, yellow gold seems to suit me more so than silver, what do you think?

  6. I took a color analysis quiz that said that I was a soft autumn and a warm spring because my skin color was neutral and my eyes were a dark blue/ blue grey depending on the light.

  7. Hi Stacey I am an autumn with hazel eyes my hair was Medium dark brown with caramel golden highlights. My hair is now silver and the regular autumn colors seem too bright Can you address what colors to wear for grey autumns?

  8. I have been typed (virtually) as sitting right on the line between soft autumn and soft summer, so close it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between the two. I was advised to use the cooler end of soft autumn and the warmer end of soft summer. My hair is an ashy light-medium brown with natural golden/reddish highlights, my skin is very, very neutral and my eyes are a bluish-greyish-green with a faint Aztec sun (more blue than green, but much warmer than a typical summer blue eye) – think similar to Angelina Jolie. I was just wondering, with this in mind, which colours would you gravitate towards for a capsule wardrobe as I’m trying to thin down my overflowing wardrobe?

    1. Hey Millie! I think you could build a capsule based around neutrals such as navy, taupe, and ivory. Some colors that would work well for both seasons are soft teal, garnet, blonde, burgundy, mulberry, thistle, steel blue, and soft teal. I have a free download that gives guidance on choosing colors for a capsule. Hope this helps!

  9. Hi, I have light brown hair, with red pigment, green eyes with brown jewels(freckels) in and a cool skintone that do not tan, what season can it be?

  10. I coloured my hair for such a long time that I didn’t even know my natural hair colour anymore. I even thought I might be a (soft) summer because of the washed out hair that showed sometimes… After pregnancy and first year with baby I started to love my grown out hair again (that showed to not only be mousy greyish) and got myself typed as a soft autumn (with tendencies to deep autumn) by a professional.
    Now I feel sooo great in rosewood, burnt henna, fern and mokka (for example) that I can’t believe how much I hated my mousy appearance in the past (in wrong, way too cold colours).
    I have blue eyes (with a dark ring), ashy brown hair and a slightly yellowish skin tone.

  11. Hi I’m super confused about my typing my roots are ash brown but I also have warm gighlights and warm brown eyes I have beige skin but also a lot of redness so I can’t tell my skin tone when I do quizzes I get either soft autumn or true winter any advice? Thanks

    1. Hey Natasha!

      When you say beige I immediately think of autumn, as that’s a common overtone appearance for the autumn types. You definitely don’t sound like a true winter, as they are very very cool and white. If you’re getting some winter influence deep winter could also be a consideration! If you decide you need help I offer a couple options here.

      Hope that helps!!!

      1. I have light brown eyes , olive skin color (Indian skin) dark brown hair . The test tell me that I’m deep autumn . I feel those colors don’t favor me . Confused

  12. Hello. I was originally told I was an autumn (brown eyes, brown hair) and I do love most of the colors in the autumn pallet. But here’s my question: I am now silver gray and I find my gold jewelry and browns, olives, tans are just too dull with silver hair. What are your thoughts on a soft autumn or autumn with silver hair??? I also found that I definitely need a darker lipstick and burgundy, teal, coral seem to brighten my face?

  13. Hi Stacey,

    I definitely have Autumn eyes. I can’t tell if the base is blue or green, but there’s a somewhat thick (gray?) outer border and a very strong Aztec Sunrise radiating out from the pupil (dark orange to yellow). I’ve even been told that my medium brown hair can sometimes have a red cast in the summer, depending on how the sun hits it. When I was little, it was blonde and a hairdresser commented that it was like cutting sunshine. My cousin is a Deep Autumn and her sister is a Light Spring. My own mother prefers bright, warm colours like orange and True red.

    However, you could say that my skin is porcelain (very fair with obvious pinkness around my nostrils, chin, and eyes) which would suggest a cool season like Summer or Winter (I’ve had some stylists say I’m a Soft Summer, and others say I’m a True Winter). I can also wear either gold or silver jewelry (although silver brightens my complexion more), and my veins are blue. Again signs of a cool season.

    So obviously I’m very confused. Am I cool or warm?

    Can you offer me any advice?

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Ashlee!

      Although the eyes are an important part of narrowing down the season, ultimately the skin determines the final outcome. An Aztec sun is strong indicator of autumn influence, so my first guesses would be Soft Summer or Deep Winter depending on how much contrast you have.

    2. Hi Stacey,
      Thank you in advance for your reply. I’ve misjudged my season my whole life, I fear, and at nearly 65 am now trying to determine if I’m actually a Soft Autumn. I have gray blue eyes with a greenish corona around the pupils and my hair, though slowly turning gray now, has always been mousy brown/dishwater blond, with red highlights. I seem to look good in Soft Autumn colors versus the Summer shades which I wore up until five years ago and Spring colors recently.

  14. Hi, my hair is medium – dark blonde and my eyes are brown with grayish rings around it, and my skin is kinda yellowish. I like to wear both silver and gold, as long as it’s gentle and not too bright.
    Am I a soft summer or a soft autumn?
    Is it possible for me be a warm autumn too?

    1. Hey Michal!

      If you have neutral or mixed features then it’s possible to be either of those seasons. It would really depend on how your skin reacts to the extremes of the seasons and your undertone.

      1. Thank you for your quick response 🙏
        I can’t tell if I’m warm or cool, because my veins are sort of a mix of blue and green. I have fair skin, which turns yellowish in the summer, and pales during the winter.
        I do gravitate towards browns, dusty pinks, and olives.
        Is it even possible for summers to have brown eyes? 🤔

  15. Hi Stacey. I’ve been diagnosed as a Soft / Muted, but favor the warm muted shades. Apparently I am a complete mix of undertones. I feel my skin is more warm than cool though. I really love neutrals and monochromatic looks. Warm grey is a favorite, as is beige to light camel, and olive toned greens. Blues are very harsh with my coloring. My eyes are a grey teal which is more grey than anything. Hair color is gold taupe, a dark blond shade. There’s a bit of copper highlight in the darkest part of my hair. What my soul resonates with are rocky outcrops in taupy tones with moss growing on them, trees in the background in forest green and ashy brown. It is so easy to become distracted with bright colors, but they just don’t have that feeling of instantly knowing something is right that soft neutrals have for me. What are your thoughts and suggestions on this? Thanks!

    1. HI Darragh!

      As as muted person, you should definitely not be embracing bright colors as a wardrobe choice. It probably feels completely wrong to you, but it’s perfectly fine to appreciate them objectively! Bright colors need bold coloring so as not to overwhelm a person. Neutrals and soft shades are beautiful, and as a bright person, I appreciate them for their beauty but avoid them for myself! Definitely create your wardrobe palette based on those soft luxurious neutral shades and soothing colors!

  16. Hi,
    Could you please tell me why rose-brown lipstick is so often recommended for Soft Autumn? I look terrible in MAC Twig. On me, the color looks like mud and adds ten pounds to my face. But I still agree I’m a Soft Autumn. When I was analyzed the analyst gave me a warm pink lipstick from the Spring palette. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, either. I have no idea what lipstick to wear any more.
    I also want to say that the “grey” rim around my soft autumn iris is actually green. The analyst gave me a magnifying mirror to look at my eye color, and the first thing I saw was a deep forest green background. The next thing I noticed were layers and layers of little gold flecks within the green background. With normal vision, my eye looks like it has a heavy dark rim around it that some might think was grey. But in bright sunlight, my eye color is a bright olive green. Just thought I’d pass that along.
    Another thing: I wear a lot of burgundy, but I don’t look great in burgundy lipstick! It’s too strong and overpowering. How would I make my makeup match my favorite burgundy clothes? (I also wear a lot of plum.) My skin tone is light and I have medium to dark golden brown hair. Thank you. Oh, and I want to thank you for your color chart; these are exactly the shades I usually wear and prefer.

  17. I thought I was a spring for the longest of time because I’ve got dirty blonde hair and greyish teal eyes. My skin is pale and more neutral than warm. Only realised I was an autumn a couple of years ago when a friend gifted me a muted, rusty orange t-shirt for Christmas. Loved the t-shirt because of the print but my initial thought was “too bad it isn’t my colour…”. Tried it on and my jaw actually dropped. My skin looked absolutely radiant and my hair got a beautiful hint of copper that I’d never noticed before. Found the soft autumn palette and tried it out – loved loved loved it. Never had as many compliments about my clothes either, now I get them all the time: “I LOVE how you wear colour! It looks so beautiful on you!” Rusty reds and oranges, browns and beiges, ivory, green, pale pink and warm mauve are my favourites – all on the light and muted side except for green and brown where I like to go darker and deeper. Love how they all look really nice together too, with the sameish level of chroma. I actually stay away from navy, grey and black altogether nowadays, which seems to be a bold choice in Scandinavia where I live, but I’ve never loved my wardrobe more.

    1. I adore the soft autumn palette, and it works well for blonde hair blue eyed individuals sometimes! TBH it’s one of my favorite palettes even though it’s my exact opposite season!

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