If you’ve ever picked up the latest issue of Vogue, and read about this season’s “new black”, you know that “it colors” come and go in fashion.
For example, last spring the hot shade in fashion was yellow, and this winter, the “it” color is purple. But if you’ve ever tried to wear one of those colors and found that you just didn’t look right, you need to keep reading.
Regardless of what the trendy colors are, there are some shades that are always going to look good on you, and some that aren’t. No color looks good on everyone, and it’s just a fact. This has to do with your coloring, or the way your eye color, hair, and skin tone combine to give you a look.
Your coloring makes the difference between whether you can wear gold or silver jewelry, whether that bright red halter top will look fabulous or horrible on you, and even what shades of makeup you can pull off. It’s really important to know what your perfect colors are, or you risk looking completely messed up!
So how can you figure out what colors look best on you?
Believe it or not, there’s one old school way to tell what your colors are that is still relevant after many years. Seasonal color analysis, the study of a person’s coloring, is what we’re going to get into today.
Table of Contents
What is Color Analysis?
Basically, color analysis is all about your natural coloring (hair, skin, and eyes), and how that combo complements or contrasts with the things you choose to wear (makeup colors, clothing, or even jewelry).
Color analysis breaks people’s colorings down into the four color seasons -Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. These color seasons are broken down even further, into 3 different categories per season. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s really helpful if you want to get a basic idea of what shades work for you.
How to find out which season you are:
So which season are you? Find out with the quick quiz below, courtesy of Cindy Busch Color Analysis.
Now that you know what season you fit into, keep reading to find out what that means for your clothes, shoes, accessories, and makeup!
By the way, If you’re having trouble with the first question, grab a mirror and find a well-lit place. Bring one item of clothing each that’s navy blue, charcoal gray, honey beige, and soft brown. (If you don’t have one of those, don’t worry. Just use what you have.) Put each piece of clothing up near your face, and observe what it does to your skin tone. If the color becomes the focus instead of your face, it’s not right. If it makes you light up, makes your eyes look brighter and your hair look better, you’ve found your winner!
Getting more specific
Now that you know what general category you are, there are three types of coloring within each “season.” Sound confusing? I promise, it’s really not as bad as it sounds.
Find your season below, and read the descriptions to find out which type you are & see your best colors!
UPDATE: As of 10/19 I’ve updated this list to be more accurate and in-depth with info I got from the book Color Me Beautiful. Some people thought they were left out of the list, so I hope it can include almost everyone now.
Also, to be more specific, if you are Asian, Latina or African, you will probably be an Autumn or Winter. If you are Caucasian, you will probably be a Spring or Summer. Hope that helps clear up some confusion!
Types of Springs
1. Light Spring:
- Eyes: Blue, green, turquoise, or light hazel.
- Hair: Light to medium golden blonde, ash blonde or light to medium brown.
- Skin: Ivory with peach tones, pink beige.
Best colors for Light Springs:
From Left: Camel, khaki, light gray, blue charcoal, taupe, warm pastel pink, baby pink, clear salmon, coral, watermelon, fuchsia, clear red, creme, light green, bright golden yellow, moss green, blue green, clear aqua, powder blue, light purple, periwinkle, violet.
2. Clear Spring:
- Eyes: Turquoise blue, green, golden brown or topaz.
- Hair: Medium to dark brown, or brown-black. May have red highlights.
- Skin: Bronze, deep warm brown, brown-black, light ivory, light peach, or porcelain.
Best colors for Clear Springs:
From Left: Navy, gray, charcoal, black, light grey, turquoise, yellow, marigold yellow, mint, green, dark green, clear teal, hot turquoise, true blue, purple, purple-gray, peach, salmon, true red, warm pastel pink, hot pink.
3. Warm Spring:
- Eyes: Topaz, olive green, light hazel, or warm turquoise.
- Hair: Light golden brown, red, strawberry blonde, or deep golden blonde.
- Skin: Bronze, golden beige, ivory, or porcelain. May have freckles.
Best colors for Warm Springs:
From Left: Camel, bronze, golden brown, dark brown, stone, gray green, peach, light orange, coral, tomato red, rust, buff, green, light true green, evergreen, emerald turquoise, jade, teal, moss, deep periwinkle.
Types of Summers
1. Light Summer:
- Eyes: Blue, gray or green.
- Hair: Light to medium ash blonde or light to medium ash brown.
- Skin: Pale beige, porcelain, ivory or pink beige. (Usually pink-toned.)
Best colors for Light Summers:
From Left: Light gray, gray blue, cocoa, taupe, powder pink, rose pink, rose, coral pink, clear salmon, clear red, light lemon yellow, light aqua, blue green, spruce, light navy, sky blue, medium blue, lavender, violet.
2. Soft Summer:
- Eyes: Gray-blue, hazel or soft turquoise.
- Hair: Light to medium ash brown, mousy brown. May have blonde in it.
- Skin: Light to medium neutral beige, ivory.
Best colors for Soft Summers:
From Left: Medium gray, light gray, taupe, cocoa, rose, raspberry, rose pink, deep rose, baby pink, soft fuchsia, burgundy, light lemon yellow, light green, turquoise, jade, green, forest green, navy, periwinkle, lavender, dusty purple, teal.
3. Cool Summer:
- Eyes: Gray, blue, or slate.
- Hair: Medium to deep ash brown. Little to no red tones.
- Skin: Ivory, pink beige, gray beige, or neutral beige.
Best colors for Cool Summers:
From Left: Light gray, gray blue, cocoa, buff, light brown, taupe, icy pink, soft fuchsia, deep rose, burgundy, turquoise, jade, green, aqua, light aqua, true aqua, lavender, dusty purple, warm dusty purple, periwinkle, navy.
Types of Autumns
1. Deep Autumn:
- Eyes: Dark brown, dark hazel, black, or dark green.
- Hair: Medium brown, medium to deep auburn, dark brown deep chestnut or black.
- Skin: Warm beige, neutral beige, golden brown, dark brown, olive.
Best colors for Deep Autumns:
From Left: Black brown, black, light yellow, marigold, peach, terracotta, salmon pink, tomato red, deep red, true red, dark rose, lemon yellow, camel, jade, moss, lime bronze, hot turquoise, cerulean, chinese blue, evergreen, dark purple, purple.
2. Soft Autumn:
- Eyes: Light brown, soft hazel, blue, or gray-green.
- Hair: Golden blonde to medium brown or mousy brown. May have blonde or red highlights.
- Skin: Ivory, neutral beige, warm beige, golden brown.
Best colors for Soft Autumns:
From Left: Mahogany, brown, medium gray, camel, khaki, gray, light peach, deep rose, light coral, dusty pink, coral, terracotta, buttermilk, mint, emerald turquoise, turquoise, jade, evergreen, purple, dark purple aubergine.
3. Warm Autumn:
- Eyes: Brown, olive green, hazel or topaz.
- Hair: Medium golden brown, red, auburn, strawberry blonde or golden blonde.
- Skin: Bronze, golden brown, golden beige, ivory, or warm beige.
Best colors for Warm Autumns:
From Left: Camel, khaki, coffee brown, cream, medium brown, dark brown, light salmon, dark peach, salmon, pumpkin, rust, terracotta, aubergine, light yellow, light moss, evergreen, marigold, emerald turquoise, teal, forest green, deep periwinkle, purple.
Types of Winters
1. Deep Winter:
- Eyes: Black, black-brown, or dark hazel.
- Hair: Black-brown, medium brown, steel gray, or salt & pepper.
- Skin: Black, medium beige, black-brown, or olive with no pink or peach undertones.
Best colors for Deep Winters:
From Left: Black, charcoal, black-brown, red-brown, icy gray, gray, hot pink, true red, rust, aubergine, blue red, mint, lemon yellow, light green, emerald green, olive, purple, clear teal, bright periwinkle, blue, navy, chinese blue.
2. Clear Winter:
- Eyes: Bright blue, hazel, violet, or green.
- Hair: Black, chestnut, medium brown, or dark brown hair.
- Skin: Black, deep brown, neutral beige, pale olive, milky white. (Usually translucent.)
Best colors for Clear Winters:
From Left: Medium gray, charcoal, black, dark taupe, icy gray, taupe, icy blue, icy lavender, lavender, icy pink, clear red, raspberry, raspberry pink, aubergine, icy yellow, bright golden yellow, hot turquoise, emerald turquoise, purple, dark purple, royal blue, navy.
3. Cool Winter:
- Eyes: Charcoal gray, blue, dark brown or violet.
- Hair: Blue-black, silver, salt & pepper. No red tones.
- Skin: Cool brown, olive, or neutral beige.
Best colors for Cool Winters:
From Left: Light gray, medium gray, dark gray, black, charcoal, taupe, rose pink, hot pink, purple, blue red, deep rose, burgundy, icy blue, icy pink, lemon yellow, emerald turquoise, hot turquoise, bright periwinkle, royal blue, purple, navy, dark purple.
A few more tips
Bear in mind that the colors above are not an all-inclusive list of the colors that will work for you, but they are some of the best colors that you should definitely try to incorporate into your wardrobe! Even just a few new tops in those colors will make a huge difference.
Also, you may fit into a couple different categories. That’s okay, it’s normal and no big deal. The seasons are just supposed to give you a general idea of your colors – they’re not supposed to be strict rules that you need to follow religiously.
If you try on some clothes in your colors, you’ll quickly learn that wearing the right colors makes a huge difference in the way you look. I encourage you to experiment with different shades and see which ones look best on you, as well as which ones you like the most! Then buy these colors up whenever you spot them in stores. If you want, you can print this article out and take it shopping with you, so you’ll always have your colors at hand.
What do you think of seasonal color analysis? Is it lame or helpful? What about your personal colors – are they a fit for what you already have in your wardrobe, or do you need to go buy some new pieces?
Let me know what you think in the comments!