No palette seems harder to accept as one’s own than True Summer, with Soft Summer second. Both are hard to guess and assemble without help. These women usually arrive believing themselves to Soft Autumn if they’re Soft Summer, or a Winter if they’re True Summer. Where does the doubt come from?
From the women I’ve known, watched, shopped with, and listened to, these ideas recur :
1. You know it’s all about the colour feeling on this site. Many misinterpret the personality that the colours invoke. True Summer’s profound morality, planning, gracious demeanor, attention to detail, consideration of others, and strong self-discipline are all well and good, but where are the passion and commitment? We have this idea that strong colours express these better.
Here’s the choice: Do you want to wear royal purple, or do you want to look good? Compare True Summer’s deepy hospitable blue with Winter’s cold and darkly receding ultramarine. Summer’s lighter blue is psychologically easier to associate with wisdom, peace, trust, and commitment, as dependable as our ancient affiliations with sky and water. Winter’s blue is unapproachable to say the least. It stands on its own and needs nobody for nothing.
Winter’s in on the left because
- the colour is strongly saturated; Summer’s are not at maximal intensity
- the colour blocks are distinct; in Summer, the colours flow together
- the pattern is bold, geometric
2. Thinking that the colours all look dowdy, not expressive of the power today’s women know. It’s not all Wedgewood blue. Among sky, orchid, wisteria, watermelon, raspberry, soft teal, turquoise, eucalyptus, clover, pearl, and moonsilver, there is no dowdy. There is unwavering strength and kindness.
As a True Season, True Summer has been around longer, so the stereotype is more deeply entrenched than say, Bright Spring, where there is very little old baggage to displace and is usually learned from the ground up. True Autumn labored under the similar fallacy of army, khaki, and brown until 12 Season personal colour analysis extracted and clarified the Soft palettes.
True Summer is mired in fashion concepts that feel outdated for the self-determination that women today wish to convey (small prints? are you telling me to wear calico? dainty?? are you kidding me?). Boston- based Image Consultant Valeria Chuba resolved the dilemma in this way : “We tend to make the link between color and emotion very easily, but things like pattern, texture, and shape have the same effect as color. Body conscious clothes, silk and cashmere, your version of animal print – these are some of the things that will express that inner passion and still allow you to use your best colors. ”
True Summer’s shares a subtext of grace and strength with classical ballet. Women love to embody this essence, but modern women also sense a submissiveness, or modesty, that they do not identify with. Any Season is only as restrictive as the woman’s vision and what she can seem at home in. Professional, sexy, cool, modern, intruiguing – it can be done with every palette. Get the colours right. Don’t forget how much is conveyed by style. Ruffles feel like someone else’s clothes? Don’t wear them.
The colour on the left is (Dark) Winter’s because
- you can feel the presence of black
- it doesn’t feel fresh or refreshing, like the Summer on the right; it feels imposing
3. The frequently encountered pink phobia. Many True Summers would not wear it. Why is pink so bad? It is the undeniable and proven force of feminine power, not savagery. Winter’s red is more raw, barbaric power. (Are Winter people more ruthless? Not going there, but give anyone 3 words to describe me (Dark Winter) and nice would place between 6 and 10.) True Summers hear gentle and decide that must exclude brave, innovative, potent, powerful, but it doesn’t. Even the most darkly coloured True Summer wears decency and kindness very near the surface and would not be prepared to give that up. Two of the funniest women I know are True Summers.
4. “I can’t wear black”. Enough with the black. There’s too much of it out there and it owns too much of our attention. Black is too easy, too mindless, a uniform, and not more interesting than any other uniform. It requires zero imagination. It sucks every colour of light into itself and gives nothing back. It can be dramatic and selfish. Those people who can wear it don’t look so hot in jeans. Get your head into a stormy grey sky space and move on.
5. True Summer’s nature is to question rules, categories, and restrictions. It rubs against their profoundly held standard that every human presence is individual and unique and sacred and worthy of respectful treatment. Who is anyone to tell anyone else what they can and cannot wear? They will rebel against any infringement on another’s human rights. (Winter will rebel against encroachment on their own human rights .)
6. Remembering what is most important: coolness. The print below is one that True Summer and True Winter could wear because colours are cool. Some are saturated, some aren’t. The colours flow and blur together to a medium degree.
Dark Winter adds a drop of dark chocolate. Bright Winter adds a drop of yellow sun. No Winter ever compromises very high saturation.
7. Don’t use darkness as a gauge. Many will look at Summer’s colours and think “Wow, those are dark, don’t they belong to Winter?” Darkness doesn’t make Winter colour. Saturation does. Winter colours are shocking, intense, bold, loud. Think of the Winter person. Big theater with big analysis. Think of a Winter landscape. It gets everything and more from barely nothing at all. In every respect, including emotion, character, style, form, and design, Winter is at the far ends of every scale. They wear one colour at a time, but that colour is deafening. Wearing two such colours at once would feel tiring, which is where B&W come in.
If you look at the garment and think “Gosh, I’m not sure”, it’s probably Summer. If the thought bubble says “I can’t really wear this, can I?”, you may well have a Winter colour.
7. I think this is the biggest one: To understand True Summer, you have to understand True Winter.
Many True Summers can wear Winter’s light colours. Why wouldn’t they? They’re light and they’re cool. That’s two things that True Summer is. What tells a Winter from a Summer is the ability to wear Winter darks. Winter is colour right out of the tube, straight pigment. Few would even want to take it on.
by Christine Scaman