Soft Summer’s Gorgeous Colour and CEs

Many a newly identified Soft Summer figures this is it. Forever.

Soft Summer Too Neutral


It’s fine and everything but so, you know, safe. The overall effect is too generic light grey.Where is the excitement? Where is the fabulosity?

Many (all?) clothes need to hang on the right body to come into their own. Soft Summer colours are pearls when they find the right skin. This post in the hope that one day, women will secretly wish to be a Soft Summer and be thrilled when their colour analysis lets them claim the palette as their own. It comes from imagining how even the most casual outfit has such elegance of suggestion and impression. Much of what was said about Romantics in the previous two posts caused me to realize that I could equally well have been describing the colour effect of the Soft Seasons. Of course, Mr. Kibbe describes this in his book, where Yang colours are vivid, dark, and matte, while Yin colours are soft, bright, and glossy.

Our subconscious is the playground between what we understand and try to control and what we cannot. It speaks in the language of colour and shape, which translate to symbol and feeling. Thought is Yang and intuition is Yin (just IMO, not research). Thought could be subdivided into linear, directed thought (more Yang) and the deliberations of abstract thought that deliver information disconnected from time and space (more Yin).

Soft Summer colours always create very strongly in me a nebulous, shimmery sensation of being in an unreal place, a manifestation of the abstract mind, the ultimate right brain landscape. Ghosts of shapes and whispered sounds seem to move into sight just above a watery surface then fade back under to another form, like apparitions. I have to apply effort to see anything else when these colours together are in front of my eyes. I always sense an incredible balance between intellect and emotion in this person too, as if they live in that mind space where Yin and Yang are very intertwined. Imagine a Soft Summer Romantic! Wow. Now there would be gifts you would want to tap into.

Sometimes, women try out various colours in clothes or lipstick as they try to find their own colouring among them. They have read to use the extremes for this test, those colours no other natural colouring, or Season, would wear as well. For Soft Summer, they find that grayed mauve lipstick and a grayed pink cardigan and take photos or ask friends and family. This would be the same family that lives in a bold and strident world of colour and sound, and who have no idea what they should be looking for.

Unless the former lipstick colour was crimson, it could be that folks can’t make the adjustment that fast. Especially if you still have your old hair colour, which sends every colour perception about your face and cosmetics off to the four winds.

Soft Summer may have it the hardest because they keep hearing the word grey. When you’re not sure of the degrees, there’s a tendency to over-grey. As a short rest from Kibbe Seasons, now that simply Season Polys are a snap (or almost, Bright Spring Neutral Colours still experiencing delays), here are some Soft Summers Polys enjoying my vision of a colour palette whose peaceful beauty and gracious sophistication has no equals.

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, Soft Summer describes the colours that combine to create a natural colouring that could look like Katie Holmes, Kate Middleton, or Angelina Jolie. Her basically Summer colouring mingled with a bit of Autumn’s light, so a Neutral Season. Various darkness levels, yes, but darkness level isn’t the TMIT for this group. It can slide up and down on the light/dark (Value) scale. What matters most about how they’re coloured and how they shop is that colour never gets very pure, bold, or saturated. It’s just a little hushed.

This is getting livelier.

Soft Summer Gorgeous Colour 1


Below, the incredible burgundy raisin of the palette, the elusive yellow, some good light to dark graduations that get a second look when done in snakeskin.

Soft Summer Gorgeous Colour 2


Still more colour, more saturation, more colour variety, keeping the flow by repeating versions of a colour rather than the copy colour. The scarf on the right has some olive beige, so fold it to hide that and wear it as a belt.

Soft Summer Gorgeous Colour 3


If music is the art of thinking with sounds, then our appearance can be the art of thinking with colours, in the shapes attuned to the music of our own geometry. I feel the new challenge coming on of creating all 13 Kibbe styles in one Season’s colours.


Soft Summer Gorgeous Colours 4


The outfit on the right was feeling metallic, in the cool stiff way of aluminum, but I liked it. The scarf is there to introduce the feeling of softness with folds and flowers and add many more colours in small blocks.


From Return To Your Natural Colours, the blue book near the top in the right margin, this section appears in every Season’s chapter. For you to see what lives in my imagination, it needs some illustrating.

Colour Equations

  • One light to medium-dark colour + one medium dark to dark colour
  • One medium-dark colour + one dark colour
  • One light to fairly dark neutral colour + one light to medium-dark colour
  • One light to medium-dark neutral colour + one medium to dark neutral colour + one colour in smaller area
  • One light to fairly dark neutral colour + one light to fairly dark colour + one smaller colour block comprising all three colours
  • Monochromatic, analogous, or gentle complementary colour combinations.
  • Overall medium to medium-dark effect

You see that it never gets very light or very dark. Complementary colours appear as reds with greens or blues with oranges as the 5th from left (where the orange is a very light beige made from a base of orange, dropping its value and saturation enough). The overall feeling is more cool than warm but not fully cool. You can sense there is heat here.

Picture bluebells in a drizzling rain, a lake in the Scottish Highlands, the coastline of British Columbia, a California winery when the fog rolls in. In Photoshop, the saturation doesn’t go over 35% when I make Soft Season colours. To give you perspective, Dark Winter’s are about 75% to 90%, True Winter’s are 83% to 93%, and Bright Winter’s run over 92% and most of the time over 98%.

Remember that under a Soft Summer face, that 35% saturation looks like 99%. When harmonizing colours are brought together, they energize one another. The effect is synergistic. They make each other more than they are apart. Therein is the magic, though it really is not magic, it is physics. Who cares what the Photoshop settings are? Who cares what it looks like on Winter people, they are not the ones who will be wearing this.

For that last outfit on the R, I coloured the top and bottom blocks as analogous (green and blue are beside each other on the colour wheel). I imagined a colour halfway between the two for the handbag, because any colour that you could imagine as being between two of your colour analysis swatches is also most likely in your Season too. The scarf/neck detail is Soft Summer’s orange, bringing in a complementary effect.

As always, you own the Colour Book, you own the system. All the theory has been worked out for you. You mix them anyway you want to, your appearance is still a smooth even ride that others are happy to take.



22 thoughts on “Soft Summer’s Gorgeous Colour and CEs”

  1. Thank you so much. Your writings and teaching have improved my life dramatically. I now feel like me after searching for thirty years to find my “style”. I have finally found the correct answers and I love it.

  2. Christine, I wonder if it is possible to be a cooler soft summer, really on the border with TSu, but soft nevertheless? I mean, the coolest colors in this set are the very best for me, intensity and everything, but not the warmer (greens or golds).

  3. Well, I have tried on one of my “discarded” pine green sweater. It’s not that bad!
    Christine, you may be right, some information still needs to be throughly processed.
    Life is difficult. :-)

  4. Yes, Inge, sure. Just as there are T Su on whom the cool blued lipsticks are a bit too blue and they wear lip colours that are a touch warmer, towards S Su. There are some very sophisticated colour eyes out there! I would say too that I’ve never seen the S Su who didn’t look equally good in her entire palette, though she might not always see that herself. :)

  5. Thank you, Christine! Right now I live in a navy-and-grey world (precisely, the upper right corner in your first set), but will make amends. Thank you again!

  6. Beautiful as always, Christine. Would you mind doing a “color equation” thing for TW? I see you have a post that goes deeper into TW, but I’d really love to see the color equation bit. Also, do you have any thoughts on icy colors and how to differentiate them from the sorbet ice cream colors of LSu and LSp? There’s a whole lot of mint green in the stores right now, but I’m not sure where to draw the line between my icy mint, and the mint of the light seasons (considering I only own the TW 12 tone fan, comparing when in the store is hard…)

  7. What would be a good blush for a soft summer? At one time you had recommended some wonderful MAC eyeshadows for soft summer but I don’t recall any blushes.

  8. Snow – I’ll work on a TW CE. I’ve been thinking about that group lately. Regarding the icy colour Q, paste into your URL box. If you have other Q, I’m happy to help.

    Jane – MAC Plumfoolery is one that many like.Bobbi Brown Desert Pink and LOreal True Match Tender Rose C3-C4 are all good.

  9. Thank so much for your info. Not only have you helped me figure out my own colour palette, but I am a retail manager at one of Canadas leading womens retailer and it has helped me tremendously with my customer service. (My customers love the personalized service when I pick outfits for them based on their season and are shocked to find that seasonal colour analysis is still around).

  10. Maja – I’d try something fuller, with ease at the top, as harem styles, pleats, gathers at the top. Something interesting I saw as C women found their right clothes is that in the right cut of clothing, our particular eccentric curves (tummies, hips) are actually less noticeable than in someone else’s line. I’d wonder too about a stirrup pant style in a heavier knit that would not hug the curves too much.

    Amandine – no, you’re right, they go FG, G, SG from L to R. About the ruffle not being sharp, do you mean the gathers on the blue dress waist are not crisp? I agree with you there, it should be more like that yellow blouse in the upper R corner. I tried to add crispness with that sharpish flower pin, but perhaps that just accentuates the too-soft dress. This woman just cannot look floppy, even the Soft.

    Rachel – I felt the same way, I could get very little guidance from the photos of the 3 Gs. It seemed as though he said one thing and did another. The FG is wild, but I think this woman really actually is. These are just such hard clothes to find. I came to the same conclusion as I found G outfits, that I was repeating elements of the mantras I’d used before. FG is quite D, straight, boxy, just small. The G wasn’t so tough. SG, I didn’t have any idea where I was going. For hairstyles, I’d look at Asian models. They have them on YouTube and all over Google.

  11. Sarah – PCA is around and better than it’s ever been. Want more mind-expansion? Have your own colours analyzed. You will never look at a human being in the same way again. Every person who advises people on colour, clothes, hair, or makeup, should understand how this works. Few are willing. And, wherever you work, if you ever see a suit for Dark Winter Dramatic Classic, PLEASE send me an email. Also an icy violet, very trim menswear style shirt. You could actually do customized buying which women would fall on their knees for, the next best thing to stores correctly divided by Season.

  12. Thank you so much. I am also a soft summer and I have always been very unhappy about my skin and hair color. I am learning to understand, appreciate and work with my color scheme with your help and I am keenly looking forward to read your next post. You are my hero ;)

  13. I’ll say it again, Christine, you need to create your own online store!! Then we could all shop by season! I’d do it!

  14. Thank you, Mandy. I have thought about it, but there would be levels upon levels of issues. Even if it were just basic items, you’d need 4 cuts of shirts in 12 Seasons, 4 cuts of suits x 12 Seasons, it gets very big. I appreciate the up side though. When you know who you are, shopping can be very time consuming. You can always buy a Tshirt but to build a wardrobe that works together…no wonder there are personal shoppers.

  15. Hi Chris,I love your Soft Summer post, but can you tell me if some of the clothes are meant to be black, ie black trousers and boots ? I am curious as Soft Summers are told not to wear black. Kind regards, Chris

  16. You’re right, pure, saturated, pitch black will not be the best choice any Soft Summer could make. And worse if it’s shiny. But S Su goes a fair bit darker than the other Summers, darker than storm clouds. She can go to pewter and graphite and charcoal, which is what those pants are. It doesn’t always come through well in these graphics. Also, when I do these sets, I’m simulating a real shopping experience. That means compromise. How do you choose neutrals that might not be exactly to your swatches without disrupting the harmony of the entire appearance?

  17. Thank you, Christine – I often pop onto your blog when I get confused about a new colour I’ve been looking at introducing into my wardrobe…

    It’s been a bit of a tough search, but I’ve finally found a brand that I really love – their colours run through the neutrals, and are a Soft Summer’s playground. Also, they’re 100% silk, so, that refinement and a bit of lightness/flow makes them even more wonderful for an ethereal look.

    However, I recently bought a pair of their pants in washed black. The assistant was wearing a pair she’d owned for a while, and they wash down to more of a charcoal (yes, machine washable silk), so I bought them, even though I felt they were a little dark for me yet. Then I saw your photos above, and Christine asked you the same question I was going to about the pants and boots being black, and I see you’ve answered that they’re more of a dark charcoal.

    So, I think my pants will be fine after a few washes, but I didn’t know what to put with them, because I don’t want to wear black on my top half, and I thought of a French Navy silk top??? Or can I wear something even lighter, like a silvery grey?

    The company is Go by GoSilk, from New York, and when you wear their clothes, you feel like you’re not wearing any clothes… Amazing!

  18. Once the pants have faded a little, I would think any colour from your palette would work well, Cindy. SSu wears a lot of colours at once very well for a cool side Season, probably because the colours never compete, meaning add a scarf or jacket or sweater. Also, SSu’s overall darkness level is good at medium dark. It is a Summer group after all.

  19. I might wash them a few more times before wearing them, then. Thank you, Christine – you’re an inspiration!

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