August – Soft Summer

Some of my Soft Summer drapes


Soft Summer is about as easy and breezy as seasons can be. From the relaxing grays and blues to the softened berries and spruce greens, everything in this season is beautifully muted and effortless. This is the lowest-contrast season, though there’s quite a bit of nuance at play here as well. SSu has a surprisingly dark range that includes some deeper navy blues and charcoal grays, as well as a brighter end of rosy pinks and plums. The way this season brings out the serene, delicate nature of the wearer’s coloring is pure magic.



So many different tones happening here!



Things that are easy

  • Everything!
    • Okay, maybe not everything, but Soft Summer colors are EVERYWHERE right now. Just take a quick scroll down Pinterest and you’ll find a sea of muted, cozy colors like soft gray, blush pink, and rose gold. These colors are very trendy at the moment, meaning Soft Summer is one of the easiest colors to transition into post-draping. These colors feel very “safe,” so for people who aren’t huge fans of bright color, the softened, gentle shades are welcome additions to the wardrobe. Almost everyone who comes to me for a draping has some Soft Summer in their closet simply because the colors are so common. It’s pure statistics!
  • Heather
    • Heathered dyes are a cornerstone of that relaxed, undone style that’s so popular right now, meaning they’re very common in stores. Soft Summer wears these beautifully since heathering a dye softens it quite a bit. Even if the dye was brighter to begin with, if it appears heathered in the fabric, it will be pushed into SSu territory. Similarly, faded denim harmonizes with this palette better than dark, flat washes (in general).
  • Lipstick
    • Softened, rosy pinks and berry tones are dynamite on a Soft Summer. They’re subtle enough to let the SSu person’s natural coloring truly shine without being overpowering. Similarly to clothing, they feel safer and more “natural” than some brighter shades, which means they tend to sell well for makeup brands and be quite popular. This is great news for SSus, as it means plenty of choices!



For reference, the blue here is heathered




Things that are hard

  • Confusion with other seasons
    • I’ve mentioned before that every seasons struggles with confusing their season with another, which is why swatching is so important. For Soft Summer, this tends to come about in assuming that every somewhat muted color is SSu. Softer colors are present in every season, so it’s crucial to always swatch! That gorgeous mulberry you’ve found might actually be Dark Winter, or you might pick up a blush pink that fits better with Soft Autumn. SSu colors are indeed popular, but the possibility of crossover with other seasons shouldn’t be ignored!
  • Yellow
    • Yellow is perhaps the most polarizing of colors. People tend to either love it or hate it, and in the fashion world, it doesn’t sell nearly as well as colors like blue or black. For this reason, designers don’t often put out many yellow items every season, and if they do they tend to be brighter (Winter and Spring) or more golden (Autumn). Summer yellows are tricky in general, but Soft Summer yellow might be the most difficult of all. If you’re a SSu who loves yellow, it will be difficult to find your particularly beautiful greenish-toned, softened version.
  • Too many choices
    • This sounds like the opposite of a problem, but hear me out. One of the huge benefits of color analysis is the ability to curate a wardrobe that’s streamlined, harmonized, and consistent. Color analysis helps immensely with the impulse to buy something off the clearance rack just because it’s cheap. For Soft Summer, however, there are simply so many options out there that many of them WILL be on the clearance rack, and therefore be more tempting to buy just because it’s there. This can result in a closet full of colors that are technically correct but go unworn because you’re not in love with the piece itself. I strongly encourage SSus (and all seasons, truly) to be intentional about purchases and only buy an item if it’s in your season AND you love it. It doesn’t matter if it’s seasonally correct if you never wear it!



Rich, cool, soft, and nuanced



Biggest Misconception

  • It’s boring
    • There are generally two types of Soft Summer client I see: One is not super jazzed about bright colors and is relieved that their season is gentle, soft, and relaxed. The second is somewhat disappointed in the perceived lack of “fun” colors in SSu, which is understandable upon first glance at the palette. For this person, I always try to spend a lot of time during the draping talking about why SSu is the proper season for them. It might be that bright colors are completely overpowering and cause the eyes to appear grayish or dull. It might be that warmer tones bring out too much redness in the skin, or cause the hair to appear mousy or brassy. Whatever the case, it’s crucial to remember that Soft Summer colors will never look boring on a Soft Summer person. Because that person’s coloring is as subtle and nuanced as the palette, the shades will look fresh, rich, and perfectly at home.



Painted by me at a bachelorette party. Not too bad for a few glasses of wine?



My favorite shade

  • Stormy blue
    • My favorite movie of all time is the Princess Bride. When Buttercup describes Westley’s eyes as “like the sea after a storm,” the steely color of the lake here is the exact color I envision. It’s jaw-dropping on a Soft Summer!



Rock Island State Park, WI


Next month:
Soft Autumn


Previous posts:
True Summer
Light Summer
Light Spring
True Spring
Bright Spring
Bright Winter
True Winter


All photos credited to Colorgeek Studio, LLC unless otherwise noted. Photos are meant to evoke the feelings associated with each season, and are not guaranteed for seasonal accuracy due to variations in lighting and screen resolution.

8 thoughts on “August – Soft Summer

  1. I am one of those soft summers who is been typed as the spring, a light spring and summer. I have spent a lot of money going after colour analysis several times. I remember having my colours done years ago and being told I’m a soft summer and how disappointed I was. I was told that again in a subsequent colour analysis many years later and again was disappointed. Yesterday I went shopping and found the most amazing soft summer clothes that I adored and naturally gravitated towards. I was like a kid in a candy store. I just had my eyebrows done and my make up was done afterwards with warm colours and I looked really tired. Even with that makeup on when I put on the soft summer colours it just made me come alive and made my eyes looks so incredibly bright, I don’t mean bright in colour but they really surfaced. My struggle is sometimes I find the colours in the pallet too dark and it could be because I’m so fair. Thanks for this discussion


    1. I’m glad you were able to find some colors that worked! Soft Summer eyes really need those subtle, nuanced colors to really be able to *see* them. They have a tendency to get lost or be perceived as “boring” in color, when that couldn’t be less true. Bring them out!


  2. Otherwise a nice article, but I’d have to disagree about Soft Summer colours being “everywhere” in shops – there’s nothing subtle or nuanced in vast majority of clothes & makeup available! Especially in makeup, bright & bold seems to be the trend. And with clothes, you have by far the most choice in black and white (neither of which is in SSu palette), or now with shops bringing out their Fall range, it’s all Autumnal colours everywhere. 😉


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