Summer palettes in colour analysis

Summer palettes in colour analysis

Sarah Cantavalle Published on 10/18/2023

Summer in colour analysis: recommended palettes

We wrap up our series of articles on colour analysis with a look at Summer and the colours recommended for those who belong to this season. Despite what you might think, Summer palettes comprise soft and muted colours that suit those with pale complexions, fair hair and light eyes. Let’s take a deeper dive into their characteristics and the various Summer subcategories.

Summer: characteristics and subgroups

In colour analysis, summer is characterised by a complexion with a cool undertone and a pinkish or yellowish overtone. The value of the colour mix is light and there is a low contrast between eyes, skin and hair. The intensity, in other words, colour saturation, is mid to low: the eyes, complexion and hair tend to have soft and muted tones. People with delicate and very fair complexions, pale blue or green eyes, and blonde or ash brown hair are identified with this season.

The recommended palette for Summer types includes cool and delicate hues, such as mother of pearl, air force blue, powder pink, and lavender or wisteria purple. Best avoided are dark colours and bright or fluorescent tones that risk accentuating the paleness of Summer complexions. That said, as with other colour analysis seasons, ideal palettes vary from one subgroup to another – let’s see how.

True Summer

Members of the True Summer subgroup present all of the characteristics described above in perfect harmony: a cool undertone with a light value along with low contrast and intensity. True Summer people have blue or grey eyes, ash blonde hair and fair skin.

Light Summer

Light Summer types have a cool and milky tone of complexion with a pinkish overtone, light blonde hair and cool blue or grey eyes. Intensity and contrast are low, while a high value is the defining feature of the colour mix.

Cool Summer

When someone’s undertone is especially cool and the value is mid to light, but intensity and contrast are greater than other categories, they belong to the Cool Summer category. It’s the Summer subcategory most similar to Winter in colour analysis. Greater intensity and contrast come from the difference between blue eyes and ash blonde hair, or from the mix of brown hair with pale eyes and fair skin.

Soft Summer

What stand outs about this subgroup are its very low intensity and contrast: the colour of the different constituent traits is more uniform compared to other subgroups.It is characterised by a high value and a cool undertone, with a yellowish overtone. Soft Summer people have hazelnut, grey or blue eyes, and ash blond hair.

Summer subgroups in colour analysis

Summer subgroups in colour analysis. True (Diane Kruger), Light (Elle Fanning), Cool (Laetitia Casta) and Soft (Mischa Barton).

The best palettes for Summer people according to colour analysis

True Summer

The recommended shades for True Summer types mirror the colour mix: in other words they are cool, light and soft. They include more muted shades of blue, purple and pink, as well as neutral colours like pearl grey, dove grey and ivory. These can be paired with air force blue and light reds, such as raspberry and coral. Pastel shades are perfect (such as lilac, sea green, powder blue and nude pink), while bright or intense shades should be avoided.

True Summer palette
The recommended colour palette for True Summer. Copyright:

Light Summer

The recommended colours for this category are all pastel shades: aquamarine blue, light purple (wisteria or lavender) and mint green. Brighter shades should be avoided because they tend to accentuate the redness that is typically seen in more delicate skin.

Cool Summer

A broader palette is available to Cool Summer types: they can draw on the colours traditionally associated with the season, or they can opt for the Cool Winter palette. That’s a green light for Tiffany blue, light and powdery greens, raspberry reds, but also brighter shades of purple, midnight blue and emerald green.

Soft Summer

Generally, Soft Summer people look best in cool and pale shades, such as light grey, green (mint or military) and lavender purple. Similarity with the Soft Autumn subgroup means that these people can also wear some autumnal shades like sand and warm dove grey. Gold and silver jewellery and accessories are ideal for adding an elegant touch to outfits.

Summer Look

The summer palette features softer shades of pink, green and blue.

The Summer palette in home decoration

As we saw in the articleSpring in colour analysis: characteristics and recommended palettes, the rules of colour analysis can be used to decorate an entire home from scratch or simply do up a single room. Applying the techniques of “colour science” will help create harmonious colour matches based on temperature (warm or cool), value (light or dark) and intensity (high or low).

The cool, light and muted shades of Summer – sage green, dusky pink, air force blue, lilac, mauve, grey and beige – are ideal for those who are after a house with an understated and refined style with combinations of soft colours. If you want to use this palette for interior design, you can start with a neutral base like dove grey, grey or white for the walls and furniture, and then match them with accessories and fabrics in pastel colours like mint green, powder pink or sky blue.

By working with low intensity colours, you can combine different tones without the risk of colour clashes: for example, by mixing sage green with powder pink, or blue with grey. To brighten up the end result, it’s essential to add house plants as well as details and decorations in silver, the best material for bringing out cool colours.

 Home in a Summer palette
A living room decorated in colours from the Summer palette: powder pink and pearl grey.

Interiors that use the Summer palette are ideal for those who love a an airy and relaxing visual effect: neutral tones will make spaces seem bigger and brighter, while pastel hues will subtly bring out the decor. Because of its versatility, this colour palette is perfect for both seaside cottages decorated in shabby chic style and city apartments boasting modern and sophisticated interior design.

Our series on the seasons of colour analysis ends here: are you ready to start playing with the palette that’s best for your clothes, makeup and home decoration?