Soft Summer Landscapes
November 10, 2011 by Christine Scaman
Such a pleasant and sensible personality. I adore these people. Like any relationship, those who live with them may have plenty to deal with, but true to Summer’s politeness, the rest of us have it easy. There is a great equilibrium in this person, equal opportunity analytical and emotional processors and completely adaptable to your personal preference.
Autumn’s determination is coming on board. Settled by Summer’s consideration for others, it feels more like stability. Ask a Winter what they think. Ask a Summer how they feel. This person gladly answers to both, easily exploring both worlds, allowing them to flow in and out of one another, calm and safe, without the need to erect or protect boundaries between them. This is Part 1 of why we analyze so many of them.
The darkest of the Summers, Soft Summer does not look like a light person. They look like Kate Middleton and Angelina Jolie, like Christy Turlington and Fergie. Their very mediumness makes it strangely easy to mistakenly place them in almost any Season. And that’s Part 2.
This is the group that feels dusky to me. Many appear to have a natural tan year round. Dark Winter is often called dusky but they have too much hardness and clarity for that. Think of Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Hilary Swank, or Sally Field compared to Ellen Pompeo where the hair to skin to eyes transitions are incredibly gradual or not even there.
How The World Feels
So very comfortable. Not mild exactly, that feeling is more in some of Light Spring’s colours. Just easy to be with. The Soft Seasons are surely the least demanding. These are the days when the heat and humidity of summer have passed recently enough to still feel them. Not too hot or too cold, too squinty light or too dark. The air is cool enough that clothes don’t stick and faces don’t shine. Our limbs move through downy silky air. Being outdoors is the relief it was intended to be. The easing that comes with simply being in our Nature home is denied in our lifestyle. Yet, the restoration is undeniable when we make time for it. We come from earth and are balanced and completed by intimacy with it. In Soft Summer, Nature is the shelter, support, and contentment of the bed of moss under the canopy of pine branches.
>> in clothing, the translation is in maintaining the mediumness; no piece should demand attention over any other, not eyeliner, not jewelry, not lipstick, not shoes. If you wear a light or a dark, balance it with a medium.
The mediumness on the heat scale (75% cool/25% warm) is factored into the personal colour swatches automatically. A no brainer for you. The genius of Kathryn Kalisz was to create these 8 Neutral Seasons with 60 specific and exclusive colours that are unrepeated in the other Seasons and harmonize exactly within each Season. You have to see these colour collections to appreciate how singular and extraordinary the palettes are and how special this system of PCA becomes as a result. In this and other aspects, it is unique, correct, and quite magnificent.
The clarity level isn’t medium, it’s way low. That doesn’t mean colourless, look at the photos and Polyvore below, it just means not as colourful as the others. When life assaults our senses from every angle to get noticed, what we feel here is gratitude and a place to relax. The choice of where we direct our attention is ours for a change. In a cloud, edges are shadowy, they vanish and reappear continuously. Lines can wave, surfaces can shimmer.
>> in a composition, an outfit, there’s an undercurrent of grey that unites the elements and provides the visual continuity. Prints blur from a distance like tricks of the light. No big transitions between colour elements exist so objects blend into one another so gradually, as hallucinations, being inside a dream, a watercolour mirage.
Peaceful because sounds are muffled, the air is velvety, and intrusive presence is always veiled. Secluded tranquility enfolds us as we are lulled into believing that the only company is the one we choose.
Relief in the stillness that cushions and absorbs. Like Soft Autumn, Soft Summer’s colours are all giving and no taking
>> in clothes and makeup, colour pops don’t belong here. Stay inside the palette and keep colour subliminally gradual. Soft Summer is never explicit.
See the deer? In a B&W photo, you’d miss it. The precise edges of Ellen Pompeo’s features would be very hard to identify too.
Notice the tree trunk colour, a good blued grey. There are some great pinks and greens here to provide the feeling of gentled strength. I know one reader at least will be thankful that the quantity of pink in this photo is so small because she couldn’t bear to wear more than this. She is very much a Soft Summer in her feelings about how pink she is, a colour many have the most trouble identifying with, far more so than True Summer, while Light Summer has no trouble at all.
In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, the Soft Summer comprises those whose natural colouring is
Quieted by the fog gray that settles over the True Summer swatches – this is the Most Important Thing. The Season is not muted, it’s MUTED+cool. Gotta see the grey, as opposed to True Summer where it’s COOL + muted. Look at the pictures until you can be consciously aware of the greying that flows through each element, joining it to every other as if by a barely visible web. Like the forest in the movie Avatar, every piece is connected by a grey neural net in our perception.
Cooler than warm and a little warmer than True Summer, but it doesn’t feel like warmth yet. It feels like dull. In How The 5 Springs Add Yellow, you saw that the heat isn’t that hot yet. What Autumn adds to the palettes it influences is really gold, but there’s so little of it still that the effect is more to cloak some brightness (add Autumn gold-orange to Summer blue and you get gray by the effect of complementary colour, right?)
Medium darkness, no black or white. They are jarring. You saw this photo in Soft Summer’s Best Hair Color. If you had to pick a highlight, would yellow really be the one that feels best? And that’s a soft yellow. Bleach that up a few notches and add a chemical glint and the result would not fall from the beautiful tree. By comparison, the taupe feels good. It feels like it belongs (because it does).
Soft Summer Clothing
If anyone ever needed proof that accomplished Season beauty is not about going out and buying anything made in your colours, Polyvore would have to be it. Pick a colour and look at the selection. Even if you ignore the utterly silly and the stuff a 5’11″, Size 2, 20-year old couldn’t look good in, there’s still too much that makes no sense. The image below is set up as little Soft Summer vignettes.
Other than a few greiges, there is a fair bit of colour. It happens to be a bit faded compared to the other Seasons.We’re not sure if it’s the lighting, but it feels as though less colour is really light than we expect for Summer. On a sunny day, some of the colours might be quite light, but not today. Like a rainy day, there is a sense of glad acceptance, of productivity, of dressing for a charity lunch at the museum or an afternoon symphony. I’m pretty sure she gets there in a brushed silver Camry.
There needs to be darkness somewhere, not a lot, just a touch. Very light isn’t what she looks like. Isn’t natural hair colour the best? If ever a Season should emanate cool un-complication, it is this one. The hair is too often called mousy and interfered with.
We’re trying to continue the flow between how you look and what you add to yourself. If you’re lighter, you’ll wear an overall lighter effect than a darker woman would. If your hair is dark and skin light, you’ll wear more lights with darks and not strive to incorporate a medium block. The overall palette remains the same, the one that made your skin the most perfect, that made you look youngest. In women over 30, I could almost do the whole analysis just across the eye band (the client and I divide her face into three horizontal bands when we evaluate the changing drapes), so much are age effects evident in wrong colour. We all lose objectivity within 4 feet of a mirror. Try taking some photos or video of yourself to see how widely separated your light/dark span appears to others. It’s better.
Reckoning the amount of warmth is hardish. See that red cardigan center just south of middle? See how it’s not really blued? It’s more fogged? Take berries, almost any sort, and fog them. Not sugar dusted, rather dust dusted, the colour of the object still coming through. Look for the layer of good old house dust.
Less eyelet and lace than True Summer, though she can wear bits of both, and a little more bulk. Still Summer sheer but a bit straighter though not yet sturdy. Still quite ladylike, though she doesn’t really emphasize that part of herself. Pearls and cameos certainly work, in the rosy, fleshy browns of the inside of red grapes. She is not heavy in texture. She does tasteful ruffle cascades beautifully. Some women are very feminine, others feel conspicuous in girlishness and want to get back to their hoodie and yoga pants or cargo shorts. She will almost always take the time to put in earrings.
Her song, being around her, can feel like this (sorry, couldn’t embed it). That slowed-down, soothing way she moves, the softness of the way she moves her mouth and the sounds she makes, those are very characteristic of Soft Seasons. Ever heard Jennifer Aniston interviewed? Lots of soft oo and mm sounds. Angelina Jolie is similar. She’s quiet, controlled, unhurried, loving but forthright. She is more reserved than Spring spunky. She’s exactly halfway between emotional and analytical.
More colours apart than True Summer, ie: less monochromatic. Not all over the map but introducing some variety absolutely works. The combinations in this Season are particularly amazing to me. Maybe they just sound amazing. Hold these colours together in your head till you see them clearly: antique turquoise with grey pearl ; dove grey and cocoa rose; sage and stormcloud blue ; pewter and softest rose. Feels good, doesn’t it? Always softness with strength. The two, together at once, in colour, texture, and design, are the very heart of Soft Summer.
She is Vivianne and Nimue, ruling priestess, Lady of the Lake, loving and seducing Merlin, and granting Arthur Excalibur. She is a moon goddess and the caretaker of Arthur’s dead body on its journey to Avalon. A Camry?? What am I talking about? She lives in a land of chivalrous knights and drifting mists. She drives a Phantom Silver Ghost, of course.
The taupes are tremendous and there are many. In everything from eyeliner to shoes, this is a neutral to be worn and worn. Entire outfits can be based on light dark variations, since any Summer does well in monochromatics.
People ask about maintaining best contrast in their Season. You know, the Colour Book does the thinking for you. If your best look is low contrast as here, the palette won’t give you black, white, or any extremes that are are outside your range in the first place. You’d have trouble setting up max contrast in Soft Summer if you tried. You do want colours to flow easily. That means that you can wear your darkest and your lightest, sure, but insert a medium darkness element to bridge the two ends and bring them closer.
Soft Summer fabric can be matte. The makeup should be. With artificial frosting, this complexion ends up going more muted (read, greyer) by comparions while the frost look hard and glittery. Fabric is also gorgeous with a soft sheen, lustrous like the inside of an oyster and the surface of the pearl within. Some gleam on the lips repeats this just right. As Autumn arrives, gently textured textile, like a light boucle works well, so a little more weave, a little more grain.
The greens are completely magically beautiful. For any Autumn, your teals are transformative, workhorses of your wardrobe. The greener colours can be underdone once Soft Summer is able to spot her teals. That light lustrous shirt, I love it a lot.
Seasonal Colour Analysis Makeup Colours
Kidney purple was a description I loved from a reader regarding the excellence of Dior Addict lipstick Londres. We have some brilliant shoppers, experts in their colours, among our readers. If they’d add their favorite cosmetic colours to the Comments, many women will be grateful, I as well. I would try NARS Tokyo Duo eyeshadow. MAC Syrup lipstick and eyeshadows MAC Shale, Yogurt, Aria are good. Their Malt is a great eyeshadow to reduce frost and saturation in other eyeshadows you may own. Lips? Clinique Voluptuous Violet, Lauder Soft Amethyst, Bobbi Brown Rose Petal, Cover Girl Honey Plum Glow, could all be good. The great red lip with a little more depth for evening? You might look at Mercier Dry Rose.
We’re after believable beauty, not the kind that obviously came from a bottle. Attention getting elements are not believable here. Whispered suggestions, uncertainty about what you heard and thought you heard, Soft Summer colours and shapes move in and out of your perception like ghosts of their original form.
There is no point in reading someone else’s lines when it’s so much easier and more real to play your own part. Heidi described it brilliantly as dialing in the tuning band on a radio to find your own frequency. Stay close to who you are and far from who they want (or tell) you to be.