What Are the Four Seasonal Color Palettes

the fundamentals of the four primary seasons

Has anyone ever asked you what your color palette season is? Or have you heard other women talking about their best and worst colors?

Maybe you were able to dive right into the conversation or maybe you smiled and nodded to go along while trying to pick up hints on the topic. While seasonal color analysis is somewhat widespread, not everyone has heard of it, and if they have, they don’t necessarily know the ins and outs of the concept.

Last week, I shared with you what seasonal color analysis is and why it matters. Today, I’m going to walk you through the fundamentals of the four primary seasons.

This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.

What is seasonal color analysis?

The idea of seasonal color analysis includes examining a person’s coloring to determine which colors look best on them. Some programs only factor in skin undertones, whether warm or cool. Others include eye, hair, and lip colors.

Based on these factors, you are assigned to one of four color palettes based on a specific season, winter, spring, summer, or autumn. These are your most flattering colors.

Discovering your best color palette is the fastest and easiest way to upgrade your style because it has an immediate impact on how you look and feel. And you deserve to look and feel amazing!

Wearing your best colors evens out your skin tone, brightens your eyes, and makes you look healthy and vibrant, and…that draws those compliments we all love. The colors from the other three seasons make you look tired, ill, or older. Your complexion looks washed out, ruddy, sallow, or dull.

Getting your color palette right makes your outfits harmonize. Have you ever worn an outfit, and wondered why something was off, why it didn’t work? It’s probably because the clothing colors were a mix of seasons, and they just don’t play nicely.

WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY SEASONAL COLOR PALETTE?

Seasonal color analysis is centered around the four seasons—spring, summer, winter and fall, and the associated colors are reminiscent of the seasons themselves. Spring and autumn colors are based on warm, golden undertones, while summer and winter colors are defined by coolness.

Most seasonal color palette programs provide general color palettes based on the four seasons while others have their own color palette names and processes. But no matter which program you follow, the underlying concept is the same: some colors look great on you, and others don’t.

Some color systems only evaluate skin tone, while others include eye and hair color, and we will talk about all three as we go through the four seasons.

What is the inspiration for the seasonal color palettes? Look to Mother Nature during each season to clue you in.

Winter

When the earth is finally sleeping, the colors become clear, stark, and bold with red holly berries, deep evergreens with glossy leaves, and glittering snow. The daytime sky is a brilliant blue, twilight is deep violet, and the night sky is so dark it looks as black as space.

Look to traditional Christmas colors for the bold, clear hues of the season, like green, red, silver, and icy blues.

Winter is a cool season and is defined by colors that are cool, bright, crisp, and clear. Bold pink, snow white, brilliant blue and true black look stunning on those with a winter color palette.

Those with winter color seasons typically have a strong contrast between their features. These are characteristics of winters:

  • Eyes are clear, cool, and bright. This can include any eye color, as long as the undertones are blue, not yellow or golden.
  • Hair is dark and saturated or ashy. Someone with a winter color season does not have natural highlights or golden undertones.
  • Skin has blue undertones, and you tend to burn more easily than tan. Even when you have a tan, pink tones are more pronounced than golden ones.

Spring

What is the inspiration for the spring seasonal color palette? After a long winter, we are rewarded with the rebirth of the Earth. The crocuses are the first thing to pop up in my garden, and soon we see a rainbow of even more bright, cheery colors poking up out of the ground.

When you think of the spring color palette, imagine Easter Egg colors and the bright cheery colors of tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, and forsythia. The spring grass is bright green, and the sky is a clear, light blue.

We can’t wait to sink our teeth into asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, and strawberries

The spring color palette is characterized by warmth, brightness, and clarity.

Those with a spring color palette have golden undertones and contrast between their features. Here are some physical characteristics of springs:

  • Skin is warm with golden undertones. This could include a range of skin tones and applies to every ethnicity, as long as the underlying tones are golden.
  • Eyes are light with a distinct brightness and clarity. Spring eye colors include warm greens, blues, and even light, warm browns.
  • Hair has golden undertones. For example, light blondes and browns, strawberry blonde, and even medium brown could apply, as long as the undertones are warm, not ashy.

Summer

Summer colors are soft, cool and muted. And you can find the colors in your surroundings.

As the summer sun scorches the earth, grass loses its vibrancy as it’s bleached, wheat ripens and is dried as straw, corn and summer squash overstay their welcome. We pick peaches and raspberries.

Bouquets are full of the soft colors of hydrangeas, roses, salvia, and begonias.

Likewise, those with a summer color palette look elegant in softer versions of the color wheel. Colors with golden undertones or high intensity should be avoided, as they will dominate the delicate features of someone with a summer color palette.

The summer color season is cool, soft and delicate. Blue undertones, soft grays and muted colors characterize this season. These are characteristics of summers:

  • Eyes are light and muted with gray undertones. This could include colors like blue-gray, green-gray and light hazel.
  • Lighter hair color, such as blonde, dark blonde, or light to medium brown without golden undertones. Hair has a cool ashyness.
  • Skin is cool and delicate with blue undertones, more likely to flush pink than develop a tan.

Autumn

Like spring, autumn is defined by warm, golden undertones. However, autumn is characterized by colors that are muted, rich and deep.

What are the traditional autumn colors? The colors of the changing leaves: deeps red, orange, gold, and burgundy. What foods are in season? The fall harvest is full of pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, pears, and peppers.

Which plants are blooming? Mums, dianthus, sunflowers, and evergreen trees. As the days and shadows lengthen, the blues get deeper, and we get teal and navy.

Autumn colors are warm and yellow-based. However, autumn colors differ from spring because they are deeper, darker and more muted. Creams, warm grays, and deep shades of red really shine on those with an autumn color season.

Autumn characteristics are similar to spring, but with a darker value. Here are some characteristics of autumns:

  • Eyes are warm-toned, like spring, but darker. Hazels, warm greens with gold accents, and rich, soft browns are often characteristic of someone with an autumn color season.
  • Hair is dark with warm undertones. Examples include rich auburn and shades of warm brown and black.
  • Skin tone is characterized by warm undertones.

AM I LOCKED INTO THESE COLORS?

You can wear any colors you want to, but if you are interested in wearing what will make you look your best, these are the colors to start with.

Are there colors from other palettes you can get away with? Maybe. There are colors that aren’t my best, but also not my worst, while others make me look ghastly. But you don’t have to have color palette envy. There is a version of every color for every palette. Find your version of yellow, teal, or purple and you get the best of all four worlds.

The point is, once you know your seasonal color palette, you can decide on a case-by-case basis if you want to make exceptions and customize your own color palette. And as always, wear what you love and what makes you look and feel your best.

How Do I Find My Best Colors?

So, now you’re intrigued! But how do you find your best colors? I have a new course coming out next month that teaches you how to discover your personal seasonal color palette with my exclusive Quick and Easy Way to find the Best Colors for You formula, an in-depth explanation of your color season, and how to identify your best colors without color swatches. I’ll train you to see the colors with your eyes instead.

The course includes color studies to teach you the nuances of the trickiest colors based on your personal season, including all the neutrals, so you can find the colors that make you look your very best.

And on top of that, the course teaches you how to find your best nudes for your skin tone. Despite what the fashion industry and retailers would have us believe; most people aren’t the color of a peach crayon. Skin tone and skin depth come in infinite variations.

There is nothing out there like this. You’ll receive a complete seasonal color palette education customized to your personal season.

Wearing your best color palette is the easiest and fastest way to improve how you look and feel in your clothes, and I will teach you everything you need to know, so you can start looking and feeling your best in every outfit you wear. Those compliments that make you feel amazing will start rolling in in no time!

Join my email list at stunningstyle.com/email, so you’ll know as soon as the course is released. 

3 thoughts on “What Are the Four Seasonal Color Palettes”

  1. Barbara Beardsley

    Can someone be a winter/summer? I prefer winter colors but my dark hair is now a platinum blonde and I have hazel eyes.
    I also tan quite easily without burning, however, that may be because I do not stay out in the sun long enough to burn and build my tan over many short sessions in the sun.
    BB

  2. I am an Autumn with red hair, green eyes, and freckles. My school uniform was a white blouse and a navy tunic – colours which did not suit me at all. As soon as I started working and buying my own clothes, I was drawn to the aurumn palette. So glad to see you running this course to help other women find their “right” colours.

  3. I am so glad that this is coming back into vogue. I trained people in colour draping in the 1980’s and still mainly stick to my winter palette. It is so noticeable on tv who knows their colours and who doesn’t. I have also noticed there is a lot of advice on the internet about what colours to wear that have no relation to skin tone, hair tone and eye colour. These are the only things you need to take into account no matter how old you are. As a 70 year old I still look good in black and white. Whereas a summer in black looks like death warmed over. I have never warn orange. It makes me look jaundiced. So thank you. Keep going. Creating beauty in the world is a powerful thing.

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