“Wow, you’re actually going for a glance.” My husband gestured to my facet of the closet and I adopted his gaze towards the rising class of cream tops hanging in a row. Transferring down the road, a set of muted, sky blues and cotton sweet pinks now hung within the place the place burnt orange, forest inexperienced, black, and white as soon as lived. And he’s proper, I am going for a glance. One which makes my eyes pop and my pores and skin tone even. My closet displays the journey I’ve been on for the previous couple of months—to find my “season” by exploring colour evaluation.
Featured picture by Michelle Nash.
How Shade Evaluation Will Change the Approach You Get Dressed
Not essentially the most noble journey, I’ll admit. However I’m on a larger quest to decrease determination fatigue in my life and getting dressed (see also: going shopping) was wearing me out. Personally, I want to feel like myself in my clothes. This translates to silhouettes that reflect my style, fabrics that are comfortable and easy to move in, and colors that complement and enhance my skin tone. I’ve got those first two down. As for colors…
I’d heard the seemingly age-old, “I’m an autumn,” phrases thanks to the bestselling 1980s book Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson. But, like hot rollers, I assumed it was dated. However, when color analysis and “getting your colors done” began to pop up on my feed—along with the stunning before and afters that seemed to make people literally GLOW simply by swapping out a grey top for green—I sat to attention. (I also ordered a set of rollers this week but that’s for another story.)
Now, it needs to be said that a lot of this conversation around finding your best colors IS quite dated, in the way that the language was written mostly for white women. Thankfully, thanks to stylists like Cocoa Styling on YouTube, and one in all my favourite Instagram colour styling accounts, Curate Your Style, there are actually extra assets for girls of colour.
So, let’s handle the large query: How do I determine what season I’m? The reply, at the very least for me, wasn’t that easy. I took quizzes and uploaded pictures of my face to AI apps—however I nonetheless wasn’t positive. There are various skilled colour analysts who will help you establish your season and maybe I’ll take that street sooner or later. However for now, I’m going the good distance. And by that I imply, following just a few Instagram accounts, thrifting colours in my season (I think I’m a Summer time), and sporting them to see how I really feel.
So, how do you discover out your season? Let’s dig a bit deeper.
The Four Color Seasons in Color Analysis
Before we dive into the seasons, what they mean, and which one you might be, remember that ultimately this is all in good fun. You can (and should!) wear any color that makes you feel good. As much as we love to sit within these “categories of being,” (it’s why we can’t resist a good quiz) the truth is that we’re nuanced creatures. If a color system ever makes you feel like you’re being put in a box, you have full permission to break that box down.
That said, we all know the feeling when we put something on and it just WORKS. Your eyes look brighter, your skin tone seems to even out, and dark circles disappear. You feel confident. When you know your colors, it makes shopping easier—and takes the guesswork out of getting dressed. That’s because what you’re wearing shares the same natural color dimensions of your hair, eyes, and skin. Your best colors will enhance your natural coloring, whereas others might make you appear pale or tired.
Of the four seasons, there are two over-arching types: warm (Springs and Autumns) and cool (Winters and Summers). If you’re in the warmer seasons, you’ll favor more yellow tones whereas cool seasons favor more blues.
What season are you?
If you’re trying to find out your season at home, there are three components that can help determine where you stand.
1. Discover your undertone
Start by looking at the veins on your wrist. Hold your wrist up to the light and check the color of your veins. If they look more blue, you’re probably cool-toned. If they lean greenish, you’re likely warm-toned. If you need a little help deciphering, I found the Neutone app to be helpful—and it’s free!
2. Consider contrast
Contrast (or value) considers the scale of lightness to darkness between your eyes, skin, and natural hair color. For example, you’re high contrast if your skin is fair, you’ve got jet-black hair, and cool-toned eyes. Alternatively, darker-toned skin against lighter hair and dark eyes indicates low contrast.
Understanding your contrast level helps you choose colors that create a harmonious balance with your natural features. High-contrast individuals tend to look best in bold, contrasting colors, while low-contrast individuals look more flattering in softer, tonal color combinations. Winters and Springs tend to be high contrast whereas Summers and Autumns are lower.
3. Look at chroma, or, softness vs. clarity
Depending on where you fall in the seasons, your natural features favor a softer hue vs. a brighter one for a more harmonious look. If you’re categorized as Summer or Autumn, you’ll typically have a softer overall appearance and are flattered by soft, tonal color combinations. Summers have cool undertones and often look best in soft, pastel shades, while Autumns have warm undertones and are flattered by rich, earthy, and muted colors.
Whereas, if you’re Winter or Spring, you’ll typically have more clarity and boldness in your overall appearance. Winters have cool undertones and look stunning in jewel-toned colors like royal blue and emerald green. Springs have warm undertones and shine in vibrant colors like bright orange and sunny yellow. Bold colors enhance your natural features and create a dynamic look.
Analyzing Each Season
While there aren’t any true “rules” to color analysis—again, you genuinely can wear whatever color you want—here are some general guides for each color season. We’re just going to cover the four main seasons here, but color analysts have broken them down even further by identifying 12 sub-types for a extra thorough analysis.
Springs have a excessive distinction with heat undertones. They typically have mild, warm-toned hair and truthful to medium pores and skin. Springs shine in vibrant and heat colour combos.
Celebrities within the Spring colour season embrace Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone, Rihanna, Blake Vigorous, Kate Hudson, and Brittany Snow.
Vein Take a look at: Begin by analyzing the colour of your wrist veins. Springs sometimes have veins that seem extra blue or inexperienced. In case your veins lean towards inexperienced, this means heat undertones, which can align with Spring if different traits match.
Eye and Hair Shade: Springs normally have warm-toned eyes like hazel, mild blue, inexperienced, or heat brown, and their pure hair colours can vary from mild to medium heat shades, corresponding to strawberry blonde, golden blonde, or mild to medium brown.
How Colours Make You Really feel: Take note of how you are feeling while you put on completely different colours. Springs sometimes look their greatest in comfortable, heat, and vibrant colours like coral, peach, sunny yellow, and mint inexperienced. If these colours make your complexion seem extra radiant and wholesome, you is perhaps a Spring.
Jewellery Metals: Springs typically look higher in heat metals like gold, brass, or copper. In the event you discover that gold jewellery enhances your pores and skin tone greater than silver, that’s one other signal that you just is perhaps a Spring.
Summers sometimes have low distinction between their options. They typically have mild or ash-blonde hair, mild pores and skin, and cool-toned eyes. Summers look gorgeous in comfortable, pastel colours and muted shades that harmonize with their light distinction.
Celebrities within the Summer time colour season embrace Emily Blunt, Allison Williams, Barbara Palvin, Leona Lewis, Caitriona Balfe, Emilia Clarke, and Miranda Kerr.
Vein Take a look at: Summers sometimes have bluish or purplish veins. In case your veins seem extra blue than inexperienced, this means you may have cool undertones, aligning with the Summer time season.
Eye and Hair Shade: Summers typically have mild, cool-toned eyes (blue, inexperienced, or grey) and light-weight to medium ash-brown or blonde hair.
How Colours Make You Really feel: Take note of how you are feeling while you put on sure colours. Summers sometimes look greatest in comfortable, muted, and funky colours. If pastel shades and cool-toned colours like lavender, comfortable pink, and powder blue make your complexion seem extra vibrant and wholesome, you’re possible a Summer time.
Jewellery Metals: Summers sometimes look higher in silver or white gold as a consequence of their cool undertones. If silver jewellery enhances your pores and skin tone greater than gold, it’s one other clue that you just is perhaps a Summer time.
Autumns even have low distinction however with heat undertones. They typically have heat hair colours, warm-toned eyes, and medium to darkish pores and skin. Autumns thrive in wealthy, earthy colour combos like deep rust and olive inexperienced.
Celebrities within the Autumn colour season embrace Jennifer Lopez, Keira Knightley, Doja Cat, Elizabeth Olsen, Jessica Alba, Sofia Richie, and Beyonce.
Vein Take a look at: In case your veins seem extra greenish, it suggests you may have heat undertones, which align with the Autumn season.
Eye and Hair Shade: Autumns typically have heat, earthy tones of their pure eye and hair colours. This consists of shades like deep brown, auburn, pink, or heat blonde. In case your pure eye and hair colours fall inside these heat, earthy classes, it’s one other signal of being an Autumn.
How Colours Make You Really feel: Take note of how you are feeling while you put on sure colours. Autumns sometimes look greatest in heat, earthy, and wealthy colours like deep oranges, heat browns, olive greens, and mustard yellows. If these colours make your complexion seem extra vibrant and wholesome, you’re possible an Autumn.
Jewellery Metals: Autumns are likely to look higher in heat metals like gold and bronze as a consequence of their heat undertones. If gold jewellery enhances your pores and skin tone greater than silver, it’s one other clue that you just is perhaps an Autumn.
Winters sometimes have excessive distinction between their options. They’ve darkish hair, truthful pores and skin, and sometimes, vivid or deep eye colours. These people look hanging in daring, high-contrast colour combos like pure white and black.
Celebrities within the Winter colour season embrace Zooey Deschanel, Janelle Monáe, Alexis Bledel, Lucy Liu, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, and Selena Gomez.
Vein Take a look at: Winters sometimes have bluish or purplish veins, indicating cool undertones. In case your veins seem extra blue than inexperienced, this means you may have cool undertones, aligning with the Winter season.
Eye and Hair Shade: Winters typically have cool-toned eyes, corresponding to deep blue, grey, or inexperienced, and cool-toned hair colours like jet black, deep brown, or ash blonde. In case your pure eye and hair colours align with these cool tones, it’s a robust signal that you just’re a Winter.
How Colours Make You Really feel: Take note of how you are feeling while you put on sure colours. Winters sometimes look greatest in daring, high-contrast colours like deep jewel tones and pure white. If these colours make your complexion seem extra vibrant and wholesome, you’re possible a Winter.
Jewellery Metals: Experiment with silver and gold jewellery. Winters typically look higher in silver or white gold as a consequence of their cool undertones. If silver jewellery enhances your pores and skin tone greater than gold, it’s one other clue that you just is perhaps a Winter.
Now, it’s time to play! In the event you assume you may fall inside a sure season, attempt sporting these colours and see the way it feels. Swap out your jewellery and see the way it appears to be like in opposition to your pores and skin tone. In my expertise, colour evaluation takes time and testing to essentially perceive. I by no means thought I’d buy a muted purple set, however right here we’re. And I find it irresistible.
Lastly, keep in mind that whereas colour evaluation could be a useful information for selecting flattering colours, private fashion and preferences additionally play a big position. Whereas colour evaluation gives useful tips, you do you—embrace the colours that make you are feeling assured and exquisite, whether or not they align together with your season or not.