Soft Summer Wears the Rainbow

All About Soft Summer: Explore the 12 Seasons

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

Are your features gently cool with none standing out? Do the soft colors currently trending make you look your best? Do you love the colors of a foggy sunrise over water? 

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

The is a comprehensive guide to soft summer in the 12 season system of color analysis. The is a comprehensive guide to deep 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 summer, and how to create your own custom palette.

The 12 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 summer color family is cool and includes light summer, true/cool summer, and soft summer.

Today we’ll be exploring the subtle beauty of soft summer.

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Cool and Soft

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

  • Cool hue
  • Medium value
  • Muted chroma

Soft Summer is cool and soft.

Summer seasons overall show some of the least variation. As opposed to other summer seasons, soft summer is different only in the muted nature of features. There is less contrast, and overall grayed apperance. 

The skin is likely to be creamy beige or ivory, or dark beige if a person of color. The eyes will typically be cool blue, gray, or green, with a soft opaque quality to them. Occasionally the eyes may be a soft brown color if both skin and hair are overwhelmingly cool.

Hair is the in the brown color family, from dark blonde to medium/dark, will not have any warm highlights, and may have a gray ashy quality.Cool, soft hair and eyes.

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 summer are nondescript, but they come alive when wearing the proper colors for their season.

Foggy Volcano Colors
Tropical Oasis Colors
Pink Ocean Sunset Colors
Blue Ocean Colors

Makeup for the Soft Summer Woman

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

For the eyes, choose light neutrals such as icy pink, blush and dusky blue, or rich charcoal and navy. Accent colors could be soft plum or warm teal. 

For the cheeks, neutral coolshades of sand, soft pink, and rose are wonderful to bring out a creamy glow for soft summer.

Nude lips are a winner for soft summer, along with blush pink and mauve. For a bold lip choose rose, berry, or plum.

Avoid warm tones like brown or fiery red lipstick, warm orange and yellow eyeshadows, and bronze cheek colors. Soft summer should also stay away from dark lip colors.


Soft summer is known by cool medium colors that are quite muted. Warm mist rising over a blue ocean is the epitome of this season. Since it’s in the cool color family, its heavy with grays, blues, purples, pinks, and soft reds. 

Soft Summer Wears the Rainbow

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

Summer seasons shine best in ocean scenes. In the first picture we have an island volcano shrouded in pink and purple fog.

A brilliant pink sunset over lavender fog and gray mountains illustrates more cool tones. While a daytime mountain gives us the muted greens and blues of soft summer.

Finally, no summer season would be without a varied dose of blue, and this wintry water scene delivers 4 different options.

Soft Summer Color Palette

Soft Summer Palette

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

True black and optic 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 summer wardrobe.

Ruby and soft red are perfect red tones, and since soft summer is cool, there is no orange in the palette. Yellows must be very cool like corn and chiffon . The greens all have a touch of blue in the medium range. Blues can span the spectrum and soft summer can wear any variation of purple-blue to green-blue. Soft cool 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. Cool pinks often become purple, many reds will be too warm, any yellow without green is also too warm. Purples are best that lean towards blue instead of red.

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

soft summer best and worst colors

Wardrobe Essentials for Soft and Cool 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, green, purple, and blue families will add interest. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Soft Summer

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 summer than some other seasons. Black definitely isn’t your BEST color, and dee 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

soft summer year round colors

Can I only wear these colors?

No way! You should wear what you love! If you want to wear bright coral, 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 summer:

Jellyfish Colors
Cool Summer
Natural Spring Colors
Soft 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 summer. These individuals are truly beautiful in their grayed soft pastels. They can wear muted colors that are currently very trendy and look stunning.

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

Soft Summer sits on the cusp of summer and autumn and is cool and soft.

16 thoughts on “All About Soft Summer: Explore the 12 Seasons”

  1. I am a soft cool summer with salt and pepper hair the grey is soft and the dark brown is ashy and I have soft grey eyes

  2. Hi. I think I’m a soft summer but have previously been told just Summer and Autumn. Have ash/mouse hair which was very blonde as a toddler, and grey/green/blue eyes. All over pretty insipid really so hoping I can get some ideas from your site.

  3. I’m a soft summer and I hate it. I’ve always felt I have such a boring, bland complexion. I’m so envious of women with striking complexions while I am stuck with my ugly mousey colouring.

    1. Oh Lyndsey! I hate to hear this! Out of curiosity, have you tried some of the darker colors in the soft summer palette? Mulberry or forest green? Perhaps the darker shades will give you a contrast boost that makes you feel better!

    2. Oh noo soft summer is so beautiful, it looks expensive it’s really pretty, don’t hate it, I’m learning to like it just now

    3. My fiancé is a soft summer and he is so beautiful. He looks like an overcast day on the Oregon coast. dreamy, hazy…just gorgeous.

  4. Thankyou for this post! I’ve been “diagnosed” as autumn, but later found out the colors don’t match at all… my skin looks dead and tired when wearing mustard-yellow, olive green etc. However, I still think I am more warm than cool. So… soft/warm summer it is then, aguess 😀

  5. I always thought I was an autumn because of my brown green eyes and dark blonde hair but I’m soft summer! And I’m happy because most of these are my favorite. Actually, any color that suits me is my favorite 😎 btw can dark olive work for us? I kind of like that color but it’s warm green 🤔

    1. Hey Katarina!

      I would stick more with the sage type greens, which are slightly cooler than an olive. But a dark olive is a great choice for neutral in pieces that won’t be next to your face!

  6. I have tried so hard to figure out what I am. I can not even determine if I have warm or cool undertone. I believe the soft summer fits me best. My eyes are green gray. I have dark brown hair with some random red hair in it so it appears kind of red in the sun. I burn easy in the sun but can slowly tan some. Veins in wrist are blueish green. Thanks

    1. Sounds to me like you have a warm hair color and neutral skin tone. Hazel eyes can appear green or gray depending on what you wear. Hope this helps!

  7. hello I think that I am soft summer but also I like soft autumn color palette. I have blue-green eyes, i have soft brown hair ,but it depends on the light , my skin is soft color and my veins usually appear green. What to do if I want to wear darker colors or colors ? I don’t know if I am wrong but I think some light shades make people of summer look exhausted . I observed that some soft summer individuals look better in color that are theoretically worse for their colour palette , like how is that possible? Thank you very much

    1. Hey Angie,

      I have noticed that there are some individuals who fall between Deep Winter and Soft Summer, and often look best in the darker shades. For this reason I tentatively recognize a 13th season of Deep Summer. Technically they are summer because they lack the contrast of winter, but they have greater value than the average summer.

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