In continuing with my Seasonal Color Analysis series, today I will be exploring the Summer color profile.
In Seasonal Color Theory, Summer refers to people who are ‘cool and muted’, meaning they have cool undertones and soft, muted coloring. As such, they are best suited by cool and muted colors that we would typically see in the Summer (depending on where you live?).
The Gold vs Silver Test
Reese Witherspoon looks better in the silver dress. Yes, the cut and fit are more flattering, but just focusing on how the colors look on her skin, the silver is the clear winner. In silver, her skin looks clear and luminous and her eyes pop.
In the gold, her skin is less clear, it looks rather murky and her eyes don’t pop or stand out as they do in the silver dress. She is definitely cool toned.
This is again visible here. In the gold dress (left), her skin is so murky and dull whereas to the right in the silver dress, it’s so clear and vibrant.
In the gold dress, Zendaya’s skin looks ashy. There is no vibrancy to her face. This is further highlighted by the very flat, dark hair that’s framing her face, so the combination isn’t great. But, we can better see the effect of just the gold color when we compare it to the silver dress on the right.
In the silver dress, Zendaya looks lively and radiant. Her skin is glowing and she looks lovely.
Emily Blunt is overpowered by the gold looks to the left. The gold is too warm and bright for her and she looks sallow in it. The middle dress is both silver and gold, but the gold is all we can see because of how bright it is and how separate that is from her.
In the silver dress to the right, she looks luminous and radiant.
The White vs Cream Test
Reese looks better in the white dresses to the left. The clear, cooler color (as compared to cream) is more harmonious with her cool undertones and it makes her skin look clear and bright.
In the cream dress to the right, her skin looks almost too warm and it lacks the clarity that she has in white.
Zendaya looks great in the white dresses to the left. Her skin is clear and luminous.
She looks dull in the cream dress to the right. While the design of the dress is beautiful, the color simply does nothing for her. Her face isn’t as bright or clear as it is in the other two images.
Emily looks better in the white than she does in the warmer nude/ cream dress, however, the white is not her best color. It’s a bit too bright too her, but it complements her better than the cream does.
In the white, her skin is clear and luminous. In the warmer nude, it looks blotchy and dull.
Summer: Cool + Muted
This is the wheel house of the Summer as cool and muted colors match perfectly with their undertones and coloring. We expect these women to look amazing in these colors.
Cool + Muted (Light)
Reese looks great in these colors. She looks bright, airy, and youthful. These colors complement her skin tone beautifully and her skin, hair, and eyes, all shine. In the full 12 season color analysis breakdown where every season is broken down into three categories (light, true, dark), Reese would be a light Summer.
Cool + Muted (Dark)
Reese looks great in these darker, pale, cool tones, but not as great as the lighter colors above. Here, the colors are more contrasted against her, which is a beautiful effect because the colors are still flattering on her, but it’s less harmonious than the colors above. This proves that she is a Light Summer.
Zendaya looks amazing in these soft, cool, pink tones. She looks perfectly harmonious with each of the outfits and her skin looks beautiful.
Here again, Zendaya looks amazing in these pale, cool, blues. Her skin looks so radiant and luminous and healthy. This intensity of color perfectly matches with her delicate coloring.
Emily looks great in these colors as they are all cool and muted, but to varying extents. Hair can have such a major effect on your coloring, and this comes into play here:
In the first look (left), Emily’s hair is light (blonde) and so is her dress, so there is harmony with her entire palette. The soft pink color is great on her and she looks beautiful.
In the middle look, her hair is dark (brunette) and so is her dress, and again, there is harmony within all her coloring. Whereas I think this color could possibly overpower her delicate coloring ordinarily, the dark hair anchors it and she looks balanced.
In the last look (right), there is no harmony within her coloring. Her hair is dark and her dress is light. So, while it’s technically a cool and muted color that complements her coloring, the look is not harmonious and balanced because her dark hair shifts her coloring to a darker palette.
It’s not enough to make it a bad look on her, but it’s not as great on her as the other two. There’s just something slightly lopsided about it.
Summer in Winter (Cool + Bright)
In these colors, half the requirements for Summers is met, in that the colors are cool. However, they are also bright so we expect them to look okay but rather bright/ intense on the wearers.
Reese looks okay in these looks. The intense blue color is slightly overwhelming on her. Her skin looks paler than usual, particularly in the first image (left) and her hair looks duller.
I think the slightly more muted blue of the last dress (right) is the most flattering on her because it’s less bright. Her skin looks healthier, but her eye makeup is too intense and distracting and it makes it difficult to see the merits of the color.
I think these pink colors look good on Reese, but they get more flattering as we move from left to right and the chroma lessens so that the color goes from very intense to muted.
In the first look (left), she looks washed out because the color overpowers her. I like the middle look very much, I think she looks great in it and while the color intensity is high, it’s not too much for her. It creates good contrast rather than overpowering her.
The last look is the most harmonious because it’s the most muted of the three. Her skin looks great and the color doesn’t pull attention from her.
I see a similar dynamic on Zendaya. The blue jacket is much too intense and it overpowers her coloring. It grabs all the attention and I see her after I see it.
The hot pink/magenta outfits are more forgiving and flattering on her. While intense, they aren’t as cool as the blue and it allows for her to have some warmth in her skin. She is still behind the color, meaning I see the clothes first and then I see her, but it’s not as drastic and it actually creates flattering contrast rather than an intensely overwhelming display. So, while these are not her best colors, she can wear them.
I see this at play for Emily too. She looks the best in the first (left) and third (right) images. The first image flatters her because while it’s very bright, it’s a lighter shade of blue.
This looks much better than the intense, darker blue in the middle image. That color completely overpowers her and I can’t even see her face clearly because it’s so far behind the potent blue color. That her hair is light also creates a further mismatch with the intensity of the darker color.
The magenta color, while intense, looks great on her. It contrasts beautifully with her pale skin and because her hair is dark it looks so much more harmonious with her.
Summer in Autumn (Warm + Muted)
In these colors, half the requirement for Summers is met, in that the colors are muted. However, they are also warm so we expect them to look okay but rather inharmonious with the wearer.
I think this is true for Reese. These colors look off on her. They are too warm. Her skin looks murky and reddish, not clear as it looks in her right, cool colors.
In these muted tones, we see how much better Zendaya looks in the cooler color to the right as compared to the warmer one to the left. To the right, her skin looks luminous and prominent, it comes to the front. In the brown dress to the left, her skin still looks good, but it’s not the focal point, it moves to the background ever so slightly.
This is easier to see in this selection of outfits. These very warm and muted tones make Zendaya’s skin look murky and her color pulls orange. The last look (right) is the least flattering because of how deep the burnt orange color is and how far that is from her delicate, cool coloring.
Emily Blunt looks unwell in these colors. They simply don’t flatter her and her skin loses its luminosity.
Summer in Spring (Warm + Bright)
We would expect these colors to be the least flattering on Summers because they are the complete opposite of their coloring.
In the two bright yellow dresses to the right, Reese looks much better in the middle look. I love this look on Reese, I think the dress and the styling flatter her beautifully. However, the color is a bit strong for her, but it’s okay because the low-cut, strapless design means it’s quite far from her face.
In the third look (right), we see what happens when this intensity of bright and warm color is close to her face. Her skin looks blotchy and sallow.
Reese looks her best in the more muted yellow shade of the first look (left). Both the lower color intensity and the open neckline make it more flattering on her.
These bright colors overwhelm Zendaya’s soft coloring. In each case, I see the garment first and she is behind it.
The same thing happens here, all I see is the red. Her skin looks drained of color behind it.
Here were can see just how much more flattering a softer yellow is for her than a brighter one. She looks so much more harmonious in the dress to the left, her skin looks healthy and beautifully dewy. The soft pink accents do also help to make the look more flattering as that is one of her best colors, but the dress is still predominantly yellow so I think the comparison holds.
The yellow dress to the right is too bright and I see it before I see her. She looks fine, but it’s not one of her best colors.
Emily is overpowered by these bright colors. In the middle look, her skin looks so pale to the point of being washed out because of how warm and separate the yellow color is from her. The red dress is not horrible, her slightly darker hair helps, but it’s not one of her best colors.
The orange suit is too intensely colored and it is wearing her instead of the other way around.
This side by side comparison makes it clear just how much better the cool pink is for Zendaya. Her skin looks more luminous and radiant to the right.
Likewise, Reese looks more radiant and her complexion is clearer to the right where she is wearing the cooler pink lipstick.
The same is true for Emily, she looks better in the soft pink lipstick to the right. She looks more vibrant. In the warmer peachy shade to the left, she looks more drained and dull.
This post has been an exploration of the Summer profile in Seasonal Color Theory. This is part of a series and you can read the other posts in this series here.
I think color seasons, like body types, fall on a spectrum so that even within the same category, there is no universal standard on what will look good on everyone. The women in this analysis prove that.
So, even once you identify your color season (or find your body type), take the time to investigate what is true for you because we will all express differently.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on this analysis, I love to hear from you.