Each week in my Facebook Group we welcome the new members who have joined and I invite these new members to introduce themselves. Recently, a new member said she found me on Pinterest looking for tips on how to dress for fall when you have summer coloring. I could understand why this member was seeking advice given the characteristics of the colors of summer are soft, light, cool, and muted. These lofty words are not typically used to describe anything having to do with fall which is often described as rich, warm, deep, rugged, and earthy. Plus, as luck would have it, I just happened to be rounding the final corner of working with a client whose coloring would be described as the poster child for summer. I could take the work we have been doing to showcase how I prepared this client for fall as an example.
Before we dive in with my client, I want to speak a bit more broadly about summer coloring and its characteristics in addition to speaking about other clients I have worked with and blogged about who also have summer coloring.
About Summer Coloring
Summer is the season of quiet laziness. The weather is warm, the air is heavy, and everything moves with a weighted softness. This is the time when everything slows down after the spring rush of birth. Summer is also a time of soft elegance. Fowers softly dangle from their stems with a soft heaviness; breezes delicately tickle the grass as it rushes through fields.
The colors of summer are soft and muted with a pastel quality to them. These colors have a cooler blue base and give off subtle soft energy. People who have summer coloring look best in soft blended colors while shades with higher, bolder contrasting energy often drown out the softness of summer hues. The prints and fabrics a summer choose usually need to be washy, quiet, graceful, and soft to equal the softness of someone with this coloring.
When I describe summer colors to a client, I explain that these colors look like they have been lightened with white paint which is what gives these shades that muted or soft appearance. These colors also have a cool base. If you are struggling to understand this concept, no judgment if you do -— some people just can’t grasp warm and cool colors — here is an illustration that might help you.
Here are four blue shades that fall into different seasons and can help you visually see the differences between each season. Next to the winter blue, you can clearly see the soft, muted quality of the summer blue and how much more yellowy the spring and autumn blues are.
Yet, despite how different all these blues are at first glance, what gives anyone who even casually follows the seasons greater command of them is understanding the connections that the seasons share. Once analyzed, many women will limit themselves to that season without fully understanding the commonalities shared between all of them. When you understand the connections between the season, you learn it is possible to jump around between seasons and borrow colors from other ones. I also touch on this in a post about wearing autumn colors when you have cool coloring here.
In each box, I have listed the three top qualities of each season and highlighted is what each season shares with summer. By knowing this you can dabble and borrow colors from other seasons. For example, I am a spring who borrows from Autumn all the time. I even wear some summer colors and even have some found winter shades like magenta and cobalt to work on me.
The point of bringing this up is to stress that if you are a summer it does not mean your whole wardrobe is reduced to pastel shades and lofty colors. Additionally, many people with summer coloring often look good in shades of grey, navy, deep taupes, muted warm grey olives, and even black which means that for fall and winter summer shades can easily be grounded with these heftier, deeper hues.
Past Clients Who Are Summers
Before I get into my new client, whose wardrobe I recently styled is the epitome of what someone would imagine a person with summer coloring would wear in the colder months, I want to give you some well-rounded examples of other clients I have worked with who are also summers and I have styled much differently.
A few things you will notice in these clients’ wardrobes are how different each one is and, second, how summer colors were used, but not exclusively. Summer shades were paired with other colors outside the palette and in some cases, not at all. Understanding what colors work best, just like what silhouettes, necklines, and other styling tips are meant for us to be able to make informed choices, not meant to be followed like law. There is a big difference between knowing what does and doesn’t work and then choosing for yourself vs. not knowing and essentially throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something will stick.
Styling clients, or in your case, yourself, goes beyond just physical characteristics. It’s more holistic than that. What works is also based on personal preference, authenticity, mood, and style. As the famous Charlie Parker quote goes, “Master your instrument. Master the music. And then forget all that bullshit and just play.”
Styling a Client in Summer Colors for Fall
So now we come to one of my more recent summer clients who is the perfect summer. To protect her identity, I am giving her the alias, Ms. Demure which perfectly describes her and her style. Ms. Demure has a strong feminine presence. It’s not girly and it’s not frilly, it’s feminine. She has a sleek, classic, soft, powerful presence, like a quiet, unassuming storm that quietly rolls in. She’s a powerhouse that is centered, measured, and on point.
Ms. Demure lives in Canada (sending a huge amount of love to my Canadian readers!), has a large executive role at the company where she works, and needs to travel quite a bit for her job. She has a curvy feminine figure, alabaster skin, beguiling blue eyes, and blonde hair.
The challenge was to capture this soft feminine energy and package it in a strong, powerful way. It was also requested by Ms. Demure that we work tight keeping the color palette small and the wardrobe easy to mix and match. My solution was to select soft neutrals, a range of makeup shaded pinks, greys, and ivories in sharply tailored pieces that would add some strong strength to these more commonly known laid-back colors.
Ms. Demure’s Capsule
- Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater 2. Cashmere Knitted Top 3. Cashmere-Silk Bouclé Turtleneck Sweater 4. Leisure Moldava stretch-silk blouse 5. Rib Mock Neck Top 6. Double-Breasted Blazer 7. Cashmere Scarf 8. Wool-Blend Car Coat 9. Cotton Crew Knitted Top 10. Straight Neck Body Suit 11. Band Collar Silk Blouse 12. Pleat Front Woven Top 13.Silk Shirt 14. Blazer in Good Wool 15. Blazer in Four-Season Stretch 16. Tortoiseshell Print Link Statement Necklace 17.Vegan Leather Pencil Skirt 18. Long Sleeve Jersey Dress 19.Resume Dress 20. The Curie Pant—Everstretch 21. Good Legs Skinny Jeans 22. Twill & Knit Wide-Leg Pleated Trousers 23. Treeca Pant in Good Wool 24. Silk Chiffon In Sand Dollar Taupe Scarf 25. Skinny Leather Belt 26. Medium Leather Satchel 27. Quilted Leather Crossbody Bag 28. Sustainable Lightweight Down Coat with Belt 29. Zala Block Heel Pump 30. The Katia Loafer 31. Rania Booties 32. Grand Ambition Pump 33. Pointed Toe Mule
This is a slightly modified example of the wardrobe capsule of summer colors I have pulled together for Ms. Demure. Many of the pieces were purchased by her and the others represent replicas of what she selected. Touching on the camel shade in Ms. Demure’s palette, here is a post I wrote earlier this year that touches on neutrals that might be helpful. While camel is known to be a very yellow neutral, there is a range of camels and for a person with summer coloring, the best camel shades have less yellow, more red, and are cooler and almost taupe. This is the direction we went with Ms. Demure.
This is also an example of how you can take a palette and make it work for your personal preferences. While some clients would find a palette like this limiting, for Ms. Demure, a limitation like works perfectly with how she processes information and the fact that—similar to Mrs. Radiant—she works from home and only really needs to dress when she is on the road. A small, travel-friendly wardrobe is the best way to go for Ms. Demure.
Ms. Demure’s Summer Coloring Fall Capsule
To show how the pieces from Mrs. Demure’s capsule would be mixed, I have created a variety of different looks from the pieces above.
The greatest thing about my job is that each one of my clients has different needs and styles that makes it so much fun. Even though I covet Ms. Demure’s style, I don’t live the type of life that would require clothes like this. So with each client, I get to play with clothes I otherwise wouldn’t get to work with. And just like all my other clients who allow me to blog about them, I offer my sincere thanks to Ms. Demure for her permission to use her as an example in this post and for also allowing me to be a part of her journey.
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Thank you for this excellent article. I especially appreciated seeing the colors and their qualities. I qualify as a summer but also love winter colors. Seeing how you used other season’s colors makes me want to branch out into “spring” and “autumn” colors to see if some of those would work, too. I just loved the capsule wardrobe and see so many great ideas there.
I am so glad you found this post helpful, Joy. Summers can most definitely cross over into winter colors, especially when they are looking for some depth. You can borrow from those stunning autumn muted tones and spring has the lightness that summer also has, they’re just a little clearer. That capsule wardrobe has been so fun to build with my client because it’s such an elegant and powerfully feminine grouping of pieces. The end result always looks so easy but it was a lot of back and forth and figuring out to get to this point.
WOW! This is just so fabulous and tremendously helpful. Thank you!!!!!