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Summer Color Palette: Cultivate Grace and Serenity with Colors

Hello fashion mavens! Ever wished your wardrobe could be as refreshing as a splash in the ocean on a hot day? The seasonal color palette theory (take the quiz here!) is about to become your new BFF. Today, we’re sashaying through the breezy world of the summer color palette.

From distinct types within the summer color palette – yes, there are Light, Cool, and Soft – to the best hues that can transform your look and mood, this article is your ultimate guide. 


Understanding the Summer Color Palette

As we venture into the realm of the summer color palette, it’s essential to grasp the inherent qualities that define it.

Characteristics of the Summer Tribe

First and foremost, let’s address the defining characteristics of the summer color palette. Predominantly, this palette is marked by cool undertones. However, unlike the stark and saturated coolness of winter, summer coolness has a subdued and softened quality. Individuals who align with the summer palette typically have hair that ranges from ash blonde to ash brown. And their skin may have a pink, rosy, or even bluish undertone.

The Characteristics of Summer Color Palette

The Feelings Associated with Summer Colors

Transitioning from the visual elegance of the summer color palette, let’s now explore the emotional tapestry these colors weave.

Summer colors, with their muted sophistication and cool undertones, often conjure a sense of calm and tranquility.

For example, soft blues, which are a staple in the summer color palette, are often associated with serenity and reliability. Incorporating soft blues into your environment can foster concentration and reduce anxiety. That’s why we often see blues in bedrooms and offices.

Moreover, pinks and lavenders are the proverbial warm hug of the Summer color palette. Pinks often evoke affection and tenderness, while lavender carries the grace and mystery of its floral namesake. In design, using these colors can create a nurturing and intimate atmosphere.

By understanding the psychological perspectives associated with these colors, we can make more informed choices in our wardrobe and creative expressions.

The Cool / True Summer Color Palette

Characteristics of Cool / True Summer

Having acquainted with the summer color palette, let’s zoom in on one of its charming subcategories – the Cool Summer, or the True Summer. As the name implies, the cool summer color palette is like a breath of fresh mountain air – crisp, refreshing, and invigorating.

The cool summer folks have cool skin undertones, eyes, and hair colors. They often have ashy hair and grayish eyes, and their skin usually has a pink or blue undertone. Although the cool summer color palette is the most contrasted palette among the three summer subcategories, it’s still a moderate contrast, ensuring that the overall appearance remains harmonious.

A girl with ashy brown hair and cool undertone, member of cool summer palette
A girl with ashy brown hair and cool undertone, member of cool summer palette

Colors That Make Cool Summer Radiate

Neutrals play a significant role in the cool summer wardrobe. Gravitate towards darker greys, blues, and grayish browns as your dark neutrals. These colors beautifully complement the cool and gentle quality of the true summer complexion without overpowering it. For light neutrals, light sand tones, very light greys, and greyish blues are more aligned with the cool and muted characteristics of this palette.

Try to steer clear of warm, saturated colors like bright yellow or earthy colors with yellow undertones as they clash with the natural coolness of the cool summer palette. 

In terms of color combinations, focusing on harmony and medium contrast is key. Monochromatic combinations, such as pairing a lighter tint with a darker shade of the same hue, like light blue and darker blue, create a gentle value contrast that is appealing for true summers. Combining neighboring hues with the same value, like pink with lavender purple, also works well.


Fashion & Makeup Tips for the Cool Summer Aficionados

For those looking to channel the cool summer vibe, sartorial choices should reflect the palette’s understated elegance. Opt for light fabrics in cool tones, like a chiffon blouse in soft blue or a sleek dress in muted raspberry. Accessories in silver complement the look beautifully.

In the makeup department, think grace and poise. Since the cool summer color palette thrives on softness, select a blush in a light pink or mauve and a silver-toned highligher instead of a warm golden one. These colors will add a subtle magic to your cheeks while maintaining the cool undertone that flatters your skin.

For eye makeup, explore eyeshadow in shades like cool greys, blues, and soft purples. Opt for navy blue or dark grey eyeliner and mascara. These colors will define your eyes while still aligning with your color palette.

And the lipstick? Consider cool pinks, mauves, or berry shades, because they will enhance your lips without clashing with your cool undertones. 

Adrianna Papell Women's Printed Off Shoulder Gown
JINKESI Women's Summer Causal Top
Karl Lagerfeld Paris Women's Everyday Sport Blouse
GRACE KARIN Women's 2023 Summer Floral Boho Dress

Art and Design Including the Cool Summer Palette

Dipping our brushes in the cool summer palette, the world of art and design gets a refreshing makeover. For instance, Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series includes paintings that feature soft blues, pinks, and greens that are similar to cool summer colors.

In fashion, the concept of seasonal color analysis has been adopted by many stylists and designers. While they may not explicitly state that a collection is based on the cool summer color palette, you can often see elements of this palette in spring and summer collections. Designers like Elie Saab, Valentino, and Chanel often incorporate soft blues, muted pinks, and greys which can be reminiscent of the True Summer palette.

Water Lilies W.1683, by Claude Monet in 1906
Water Lilies W.1683, by Claude Monet in 1906

The Feelings Associated with Cool Summer Colors

As we wrap ourselves in the cool summer hues, it’s worth understanding the psychological fabric they weave. The colors of this palette are often associated with calmness, openness, and reliability. The cool tones are soothing, while the muted vibrancy hints at a depth of character.

With the cool summer palette, the summer season finds its tranquil corner, combining the softness of a breeze with the clarity of a mountain stream.

The Light Summer Color Palette

Characteristics of Light Summer

The light summer palette is where the softness and brightness take place. Characterized by light and muted colors with cool undertones, this palette has a gentle appeal. Compared with their cool summer friends, people with a light summer color palette often have lighter hair colors and eye colors. They maintain a light muted balance with their overall style. There is no strong contrast in their colors.

Example of light summer color palette
A girl with light hair and eye colors, member of light summer color palette

Colors That Make Light Summer Shine

As a light summer, your palette predominantly comprises lighter hues with blue undertones. Incorporate shades like pastel pinks, delicate blue-greens, and soft lavenders into your wardrobe. Additionally, you can include some brighter and medium-saturated colors in the light spring color palette, because light summer shares its brightness with light spring.

Try to avoid dark colors, such as deep greens and reds, as they can make you appear older and dull your features. Similarly, very bright and warm colors like intense oranges, warm yellows, and warm reds should also be avoided, as they clash with the natural coolness of the Light Summer palette.

Please remember, the light summer color palette is about celebrating delicate brightness. You are recommended to incorporate at least one brighter color, like bright accessories or shoes, in your outfits to keep your look lively.


Fashion and Makeup Tips for Light Summer Beauties

Regarding fashion, think of outfits that sing a soft lullaby. Flowy dresses, delicate blouses, and lightweight scarves in shades like pastel blue, lavender, and light coral are staples.

For makeup, let’s keep it ethereal. Begin with a light foundation with cool undertones and a slightly lighter concealer to brighten your complexion. For the eyes, play with eyeshadows in light pinks, lavenders, or cool blues, and swap the harsh black eyeliner for a softer dark ash brown or dark greyish-blue. Brown or dark grey mascara will complement these tones beautifully.

Infuse a touch of natural flush to your cheeks with subtle pink or rosy blushes, and grace your lips with cool pinks, roses, or nudes. Avoid intense oranges or dark reds as these can clash with your natural coolness.

Don’t shy away from pairing neutral eyeshadows with brighter lips or blushes. However, all-neutral looks may not be falttering, as they can appear a little flat.

Molisa V-Neck Prom Dresses for Women
MakeMeChic Women's Crochet Dress Swimwear
Molisa Sexy Feather Bridal Robes
GRACE KARIN Women Two Way Boho Ruffle Dress

Light Summer Colors in Art and Design

Now, one might wonder, what about light summer colors in art as an inspiration? Well, the art world has long embraced light summer hues. Take the dreamy works of the Swedish painter Carl Larsson for instance. Best known for his watercolors of idyllic family life, Larsson’s use of soft pastels encapsulates the gentle, airy essence of the light summer palette.

In interior design, light summer colors play a role in Scandinavian style, which emphasizes minimalism, simplicity, and functionality – all while looking impossibly chic.

Lazy Nook, by Carl Larsson in 1897
Lazy Nook, by Carl Larsson in 1897

The Feelings Associated with Light Summer Colors

Finally, the light summer palette is more than what we can see. The soft and cool hues are often associated with calmness, femininity, and approachability. When you wear colors from the light summer palette, you’re exuding an aura of grace and amiability.

With the light summer palette, you can capture the ethereal beauty of summer and make it an integral part of your style.

The Soft Summer Color Palette

Characteristics of Soft Summer

Soft summer is where colors go to meditate. Imagine the spectrum of summer colors with the volume turned down just a notch, resulting in a more subdued palette. The soft summer palette boasts muted colors with a blend of autumn and summer vibes.

For individuals who align with the soft summer color palette, the primary aspect of their overall appearance is muted with a cool undertone. When observed, their skin, eyes, and hair seamlessly blend into one another, offering a more subdued appearance. Instead of being bright or vibrant, their features appear greyed out. The contrast between the skin, eyes, and hair ranges from low to medium, but it’s vital to note that the coloring is not intense.

Soft summer eyes may be grey, grey-blue, grey-green, or grey-hazel. Their hair colors range from medium ash blonde to light or medium ash brown, always ensuring that the hair remains muted and ashy due to the high concentration of grey pigments.

A girl with cool undertone and ashy brown hair and gray-green eyes, member of soft summer color palette
A girl with cool undertone and ashy brown hair and gray-green eyes, member of soft summer color palette

Colors That Flatter the Soft Summer

For individuals with a soft summer color palette, the ideal colors are desaturated, low-contrast, and coolish, capturing the essence of a misty, serene vibe.

Embrace greys and blue-based colors, with a focus on pinks, purples, blues, and greens. These colors are complex and elusive, reflecting a sense of gentleness and mystery. The blues, pinks, and greys are inherently cool, as they have blue undertones. You’ll also find cooler shades of yellow with a tint of blue.

Being on the border with autumn, soft summer colors are imbued with warmth that brings in a brownish element. As neutrals, go for greyish dark browns instead of true black. These neutrals are softer and blend effortlessly with the soft summer’s characteristics. Light greys, sand tones, and muted browns make excellent light neutrals.

For color combinations, aim for a harmonious blend rather than a stark contrast. Monochromatic combinations work well, such as pairing different shades of green or blue. You can also mix neighboring hues of the same value, like lavender purple with a soft blue.


Fashion and Makeup Tips for the Soft Summer Ensemble

Tailored blazers, elegant blouses, and soft knitwear in colors like mushroom, powder blue, and rose are form the ideal wardrobe for soft summer girls. Mix with blue earthy and greyish tones, and you’re ready to conquer the world softly.

Similarly, you may keep your makeup aligned with greys, blues, and pinks, as soft summer incorporates both cool and warm tones. Start with a cool-undertoned foundation to enhance your natural softness.

When defining your eyes, ditch true black eyeliner; instead, reach for greyish dark browns. The muted essence of these shades will frame your eyes without overpowering them. Couple this with mascara in dark brown will keep things soft and seamless.

As for lipstick, gravitate towards mauves, soft roses, or a nude with a hint of pink. These colors are sophisticated and will not clash with your cool, delicate features.

CHOCHENG Italia Women's Cashmere Blend Dress
Milumia Women's Casual Short Sleeve Bodycon Mini Dress
Novelty Sweatshirt for Women
ZAFUL Casual Maxi Dress for Women

Soft Summer in Art and Design

In the world of art, the soft summer color palette can be found in various forms. Impressionist paintings, for example, sometimes showcase a harmony of muted colors that is reminiscent of the soft summer palette. Artists like Claude Monet and Edgar Degas have paintings that exhibit the gentle, cool tones found in this palette. Additionally, contemporary artists who focus on minimalist or nature-inspired themes may employ a soft summer color palette to evoke calmness and serenity.

At the same time, the aesthetic of Wes Anderson’s movies, like “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” exudes soft summer through its use of muted, balanced hues.

Screenshots of The Grand Budapest Hotel
Pink Beauty of "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

The Feelings Associated with Soft Summer Hues

Donning the soft summer palette is not just a fashion choice. It’s also an emotional statement. The muted, balanced colors have been linked with feelings of calm, reliability, and sophistication. They’re often associated with an approachable and empathetic character. Whether it’s a soft teal blouse or a muted rose accessory, wearing soft summer hues can positively impact your mood and how others perceive you.

In a nutshell, the soft summer color palette is an essential chapter in our summer color tale, singing a lullaby to the soul.

Final Words

Alright, we’ve cruised through the cool, light, and soft waves of this fashion ocean. From the enigmatic whispers of the soft summer hues to the invigorating zing of the cool summer palette, it’s safe to say our style compass has been recalibrated.

Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to unleash the seasonal palette guru within and revolutionize your wardrobe!

Have a good day

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