Color Analysis: 3 Degrees of Cool & Delicate

Cool and Delicates can be further broken down into three varieties: Cool Summer (flowing into Cool & Brilliant), Light Summer (sharing qualities with Warm & Fresh), and Soft Summer (dipping into Warm & Rich).

Cool & Delicate (aka Summer)

Cool & Brilliant (aka Winter)
Warm & Fresh (aka Spring)
Warm & Rich (aka Autumn)
How to Pick your Best and Worst Colors (Get Started)

Discover which colors flatter you most and which you might want to avoid.  Completely virtual based on pictures and digital survey.

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  1. says

    Thanks for this break down! When I was reading the post in my Reader I was pretty confused, as I knew I was somewhere in between. But I should have known you wouldn’t let me down! As I kept reading I’m definitely a light summer, cool and delicate. Good to know!

  2. Ana says

    I always had all the caracteristics of a cool summer but in all places that i read about it doesn’t have any information of black eyes and i was always very confused about my seasonal coloring. I don’t have enough contrast to be a deep winter (I wear primary colors just awful) and i don’t have warm skin color at all. My eyes aren’t that black but they definitly don’t have yellow undertones, in fact i think they are brown but very ashy. Now, reading your blog i know that probably i am a cool summer for real. Including the colors you say that look bad on me are completly true.
    And sorry about my english, i understand almost every thing but my writing is sux. Thanks for the help!

  3. says

    I agree with the others this post (and this blog are excellent!). But I’m still a little confused. No where does this post mention brown eyes. I know I’m a summer because bright colors wash me out and I can’t do any shade of orange; it’s my worst color.

    And while I have ash brown hair now (a medium shade I call “dead mouse #5”), I was born blond (I was blond until I was about 5).

    But my eyes are brown. It’s a brown on the hazel side but it’s clearly brown. The winter post mentions brown eyes once (black-brown eyes — you could never describe my eyes as black-anything).

    I still think Soft Summer sounds closest.

  4. Ana says

    Digne, i think we are at the same place! When i was little i had blonde hair too, but now my hair is somewhere between gray, brown and dark blond. My eyes aren’t light and i don’t have enough contrast to be a deep winter either. It’s very complicated analize people with dark eyes that aren’t winter or autumn. I think that if you know the only thing that is different from soft summers caracteristics are your eyes, you are a soft summer. I think i am a cool summer because i’m sharing qualities with winter more than with spring or autumn. But i am still very confused too.

  5. Karen says

    Thank you for the information! However, I am still confused. I was analyzed in the 80s when there were only 4 seasons. I was a summer. Now that color analysis has gotten fine tuned, I’d like to know where I fall. I am having a hard time distinguishing my skin tone. Any tips? I have very blue eyes with some white webbing in them. I color my hair mixing 90% Clairol Lightest Ultra Cool Brown and 10% Clairol Medium Ultra Cool Blonde. My natural color was a dark mousy brown. I am definitely not a Light Summer, but am not sure about the other two. Could I possibly wear colors from both palettes well?? Thanks for any help!

  6. says

    Whether you are a soft summer or a cool summer depends on how warm or cool you are. And your skin tone will be the determining factor. If you tend to tan easily and have a warm, peachy or olive undertone to your skin, you are probably soft summer. If you are generally fair with rosy or pink undertones to your skin, you are probably cool summer. As a summer you can pretty safely wear colors from all of the summer palettes, but you particular category will suit you best.

  7. Kristen says

    What if your coloring is mostly cool: pale pink skin and dark ashy hair but you have very warm eyes. Like a Honey Amber color?

  8. Rachel says

    I’m pretty sure I am a summer, but I don’t know which one. I’m leaning towards Light Summer. I have blue-green eyes and bluish green veins. I get a lot of compliments when I wear colors like teal and turquoise. I also love purple.

    I’m unsure of my natural hair color. I was blonde as a child, and my mom says that I had golden highlights. But as I got older, my hair darkened up to more of a dirty dishwater blonde. I have colored it for years and am now wearing a natural blonde shade that tends to go golden.

    I just don’t think that ash toned hair compliments me.

    I was recently matched for a foundation called “natural beige” but its a little bit dark for me.

    Any ideas of which summer I might be?


  9. says

    I love it!! I am definitely cool summer, spot on, and I have always gravitated towards those colours. I also find that I can wear ONE variant of yellow, a maize yellow.
    Many thanks for this,
    Jenny Ekberg, Australia

  10. says

    PS. And by “maize yellow” I mean a pale, dusty yellow looking a bit like your “chiffon”. I have some red dresses, I have really tried, but I just never end up wearing them! Time to donate…..

  11. says


    Thanks for stopping by! I would love to help you. Unfortunately, I have been getting so many complimentary color typing requests, I was falling behind on my other orders. If you would like a color analysis, please find the $12 color analysis service at the bottom of this post.

    Hope to hear from you again soon :)

  12. Ana says

    As i said before, i have very fair skin (pale and cool), brown eyes (not too light, but definitly not dark) and dark blond/ light ash brown hair.
    I was very confused about my season and after you said to me that i should try both (cool and soft) summer’s color chart, i went to a store and i tried on everything that could possibly say to me what season i was. I look much better in ruby than in raspberry and light gray make me glow much more than the darker ones. I think that spruce look great on me and i had lots of compliments when i tried on mint pieces. Sea green, pine and coral doesnt make me look bad too and pink beige, baby pink, icy pink and shell pink make me feel amazing. Even do soft summer colors are very similar with cool summer and both worst colors make me worse, afterall, i think that i am a soft summer for real. So, thank you very, very much for your help. I am ready to buy the right colors now!

  13. Anonymous says

    Hi! Thank You for Your blog, its very helpfull! I am wondering am a soft or a cold summer. You commented earlier, that a person with generally fair with rosy or pink undertones to your skin is a cool summer, but in those pictures soft summer has a pink-toned beige/rosy beige skin? I am quite sure I am a summer (medium grey-brown-hair, grey-blue eyes, pinkish transparent skin with blue veins). I am not sure do I look better in SS or CS colors, how ever I do know that I look less horrible in CS worst colors – actually I dont look so bad in black or clear violet if I have enough make up. I have those colors in my clothes, but I dont have any orange-browns. Does it mean I am a CS?

  14. says


    Thanks for reading and commenting! I would adore the opportunity to help. Unfortunately, I have been getting so many complimentary color typing requests, I was falling behind on my other orders. If you would like a color analysis, please find the $12 color analysis service at the bottom of this post.

    Hope to hear from you again soon :)

  15. says

    Hi…would love some help. If you’d rather that I try the virtual analysis I will, but I was just concerned of how accurate it would be:) I believe I’m cool…just not sure where I fall. I feel as though I could be light summer…I burn all the time, fair skinned, blue eyes, but my hair is a med to light brown with blonde highlights. Thanks so much.

  16. says


    The virtual analysis is definitely dependent on the accuracy of the pictures. It works best if they are taken in natural light without makeup. I’d love to help you if you are interested. You can purchase the service above using the link at the bottom of the post.

  17. Anonymous says

    I need some help. I’m pretty sure I’m a cool summer. I am going to the salon in a few days. Would I look right if I dyed my hair strawberry blonde?

  18. Anonymous says

    I think that your method fails to realize that women of color can fit into seasons other than just deep autumn and deep winter…especially with the new 16 season analysis…

  19. says

    You bring up a good point. Women of color are not exclusively winters and autumns. Coloring has become even more multifaceted over time especially with blended races. While I don’t have examples of women of color in the spring or summer categories, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I just couldn’t find a prominent example. If you have any suggestions, I’m definitely open to hearing about it. Feel free to contact me at

  20. says

    I just looked at the information given and I really believe that my 13 year old is a Soft Summer, her hair, eyes and skin all match. She is NOT going to like it though. She LOVES neon colors and yet I can see how they would wash out her natural beauty. I guess in this situation, I might end up letting her do her style for now and with maturity she may care more about how those colors make her look, instead of how fun they are.

  21. says

    Hi!! I hope you can help me, it’s been over a year I”m so confused about my season color. I have blue-green eyes. My hair is ash blond. I was thinking I was a soft summer, but blue green eyes are in the spring. I don’t have fair skin, probably light to medium tan skin. so ! Which season am I ? Lol if someone can help me please.
    Thank you

  22. says

    Hey! I am quite confused. What would an european albino with dark brown eyes be? :)) I am not albino but my skin and hair are as light as an albino’s.
    I might go into too much detail but I really want to find out what season I am.

    Hair: Naturally, my hair is dark brown, similar to Asian hair. However, I bleach it to platinum blonde, it’s almost white.

    Eyes: dark brown, they look like the ones you used as an example for cool & brilliant eyes.

    Skin: very very light. My neck is somewhat similar to the inside of a banana haha. Yellow and pale. I have light warm brown freckles, especially in the summer, but they are quite few anyway. When I go in the sun, my skin initially tans but then it can also burn after a certain point. My skin doesn’t get much darker than it naturally is, I am still fair… just a little darker. I think I am neutral-warm in terms of undertone. Despite of a certain amount of warmth in my skin, I prefer my hair to be almost white, perhaps because of my cool eye color…? I don’t know.

    I told you it was gonna be long. :)) I assume I am a deep autumn/winter naturally but I can’t figure out what I am after I bleach my hair. I would be light if my eyes weren’t sooo dark, cool if my skin was actually cool etc. I have no idea. Help!

    Thank you,

  23. Erin G says

    I teach fashion to high school kids and your site is the most helpful I’ve found – especially relating to color theory and body shape. I used to use the color seasons analysis quiz because it was literally the best source I’ve found for helping students determine their personal coloring. I was so upset when it came down – I have yet to find an equally reliable and user-friendly resource, but c’est la vie! I’ve also printed our several of your posts and have them hanging on the inside of my closet for my own use! Thank you so much for all of the hard work you do that we can all use to be a little more fabulous!

  24. says

    Erin G, so glad I could be of some help! E-mail me at reachel at cardiganempire dot com and I will send you a first draft of the book I wrote for my Wardrobe Strategies College Fashion class. I’m happy to pass information on to a fellow instructor.

    Take care!

  25. says

    I’m never sure whether I’m a cool summer or a clear winter – as both could fit the description of my pale skin, medium-dark brown hair and blue eyes – but this has definitely helped narrow it down a little bit!
    Thanks Rachel! I just wish I knew which one I was!

    P.S. your guides are designed so very beautifully!


  26. says

    I can’t figure out if I am a deep winter, cool summer, or clear spring. My hair is very dark, many describe it as black even though it is just very dark brown, and it actually will bleach toward auburn if I get too much sun. My eyes are what confuse me. I have dark brown around the edges, but they are really more golden brown or chocolate. My skin is neutral but pale, almost porcelain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I really want to get to the point where I LOVE my clothes instead of just wearing a few things over and over. Also, I enjoyed your videos on body shape. I have gained too much weight since having children, but you really made me appreciate my hourglass shape again. I am hoping to give myself a much-needed makeover!

  27. Liza says

    This is a great breakdown, but I always find these things so frustrating! Why? Because I never fit into a category well. There’s a very big contrast between my skin (quite pale) and my hair/eyes (very dark). But I also have hugely pronounced red and gold highlights in my hair. pink undertones in my skin, and green/gold undertones in my eyes. I pretty much have to dye my hair to fit any one of these categories.

    • Reachel says

      Hi Liza,

      Thanks for visiting :) My guess is that you find if frustrating because you are not a categorical season like Deep Winter or Light Summer. You are a blended season bordering between two season. My guess is that it might be Clear Spring or Clear Winter because you have both Cool Winter and Warm Spring qualities, but I’d have to see pictures and perform a color analysis to be sure. Anyways, hope that helps. Good luck!

  28. Marie says

    Hi Reachel, thank you so much for this, I am a cool summer. At last it makes sense, ever other test has described me as a clear or clear winter, but when I tried wearing those heavy colours it just didn’t work for my delicate colouring. I am thrilled to have a clear guide now on which colours will really work for me. Thanks for putting the great examples in as well, I’m similar to Kate Middleton and Amanda Peet in colouring, I’m sure lots of us with dark hair and light eyes are mistaken for clear winters so thanks again!

  29. Suzanne says

    I received your colour analysis yesterday and I am very excited to go shopping with the chart in hand. I like all the colours chosen and was wearing about half of them previously. THANK YOU.

  30. says

    I love your work, you are truly talented. I have been struggling with colour charts lately, don’t know in which one I fall in and was wondering can you help me out here.
    I have fair complexion- my skin is is really light all year around with blueish/ green veins(my face is pinkinsh due to acne problems, skin in general would say liiiiight golden not too pink.
    blue eyes with just silkily yellow inside them;
    my hair is light to medium ash/golden;
    I tan and if its for too long burn as well

    I would appreciate if you could help me and tell me into which category i fall in, also i can e-mail you pictures.

    • says

      Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. Your description leads me to believe you might be in a neutral category. Possibly a Soft Summer or Autumn, though it’s hard to tell without a full analysis. If you’re interested, go to the bottom of the post and click on the link to purchase a full analysis. We can then get you started on the survey and have you send me some pictures to accurately diagnose your situation.

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