September – Soft Autumn

Some of my Soft Autumn drapes


Soft Autumn is the first season I think of when we’re talking about “natural colors.” All of the palettes can be found in nature, but Soft Autumn’s muted, easy shades are easily found in the green succulents of a sandy desert, the wild grasses and flowers of an open prairie, and the soft camouflage of all sorts of creatures. In the world of fashion, Soft Autumn is the epitome of trendy, relaxed, everyday cool. The softened, slightly warmed shades are approachable, friendly, and comforting, but still light enough to look fresh and fun.





Things that are easy

  • Makeup
    • Color analysts like to say that at least 75% of the world’s makeup is Soft Autumn. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but honestly probably not by much. Makeup trends lately really value that glowy, sun-kissed, “I woke up like this” style, which isn’t fantastic news for people who need more saturation (Springs) or cooler colors (Winters and Summers), but for Soft Autumns, nearly every line of every product by every makeup brand will have at least one, and probably multiple, choices for them. From beige and brown eyeshadow palettes, to peachy terracotta blushes, to the Holy Grail of all makeup products, the My Lips But Better (MLBB) lipstick, a Soft Autumn can walk into nearly any makeup store and pick up nearly any product, and it will probably work well with their coloring. Again, that might be an exaggeration, but also again, probably not by much.
  • Casual clothes
    • Just like the makeup world is all about relaxed, easy colors these days, so too is the fashion world. Just throw “Comfy chic” into a Pinterest search and you’ll be inundated with slouchy sweaters, faded jeans, and oversized scarves, all in gorgeous Soft Autumn neutrals. It makes perfect sense, as these warm, muted shades are easy on the eye and help evoke that relaxed, comfortable-but-cute look that’s so popular right now. From a shopping standpoint, this is fantastic news for Soft Autumns, since these colors are widely available in stores. Even the “bolder” shades you will see on the racks have some SA options, such as softened cornflower blue and sage green.
  • Post-draping shift
    • Because the Soft Autumn palette is literally everywhere from makeup to home furnishings (hello Millennial Pink), nearly every SA I drape has at least some items that will work even before they come see me. Furthermore, SA’s relative omnipresence means that this is one of the easiest, if not the easiest season to shift into post-draping. It’s definitely a great time to be a Soft Autumn!



Photo credit: Joel Mertes



Things that are hard

  • Finding where you fit
    • Much like Soft Summer, the issue can sometimes be that there are altogether too many choices for Soft Autumn. It can feel overwhelming to someone who has just been draped and is still trying to get the hang of dressing for their season. For SA, finding out what colors you truly love within the palette and turning down those that don’t make you as excited can be a way to combat this. Not into beige as a neutral? No problem, gravitate toward olive green or soft brown. Not a makeup person, despite having tons of choices that “work?” You don’t have to wear anything that doesn’t feel like you, even if it’s within your season.
  • The brighter end
    • I mentioned above that the bolder and brighter shades of SA are pretty widely available, which is true. The issue for some Soft Autumns comes in actually picking them up off the rack. It can be easy to shop on autopilot sometimes and stick to selecting soft heather tops and light pinky-beige lipsticks. SA has to be reminded to branch out! That eye-catching goldenrod tie might be your perfect yellow, even if it looks bold next to ivory. That brick red lipstick might be your perfect statement lip, even if it looks dark in the tube. Use your swatch book to experiment in the store, and you’ll probably surprise yourself with how deep, bright, and bold Soft Autumn can truly be!
  • Black
    • I know, I know, nobody is truly getting rid of black, but Soft Autumn has a really hard time cheating with a color so stark and cool. We’ve trained our eyes to see black as a true neutral that “goes with everything,” but next to the muted, nuanced SA palette, black just weighs everything down. It’s acceptable as an accent or as part of a pattern for this season, but ideally would be worked in very carefully and intentionally, and never as a solid block of color like a dress or suit. As I’ve said through this whole post, there are just entirely too many wonderful choices out there for this season that there’s no reason to waste precious closet space on black.



Floofy friends courtesy of Joel Mertes



Biggest Misconception

  • Concealer lips
    • I’m going to make a blanket statement. Every single person I’ve draped who wears makeup has wanted me to help them find a flattering everyday lipstick shade that isn’t too bright. We’ve already established that Soft Autumn has one kerjillion options for this particular item. However, SA has the unique challenge of certain lipsticks swatching perfectly within their season and still looking “off.” Most of the time, these will be lipsticks that, while technically in the Soft Autumn family, look too much like the person’s skin tone and therefore make the lips look as if they’re covered in concealer. In general, lipsticks look most flattering and natural when they’re a shade or two more pigmented than your natural lip color. Take care not to match your lipstick to your skin tone, even if it swatches correctly.





My favorite shade

  • Sage green
    • My “firstborn,” Nessarose, is a Soft Autumn. (Yes, I swatched my cats.) She has the loveliest soft green eyes and they’re truly one of my favorite colors in any season.


“Don’t care about photo, you pet now, yes?”



Next month:
True Autumn


Previous posts:
Soft Summer
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.

4 thoughts on “September – Soft Autumn

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