Thursday, November 20, 2014

Soft Summer vs. Soft Autumn: how do you tell the difference?

If your dominant quality is SOFT, how do you know if you are Summer or Autumn? and actually Soft means you are either Summer/Autumn or Autumn/Summer, so which comes first?

Remember two thirds of women are neutral, which these seasons are.

Disclaimer: ideally you should be draped in person

(Keep in mind, not everyone agrees on these celebrities and their season).

The INDIAN SUMMER (Summer-Autumn) looks somewhat like an Autumn, but is nothing like one, though she may compare to a Gentle Autumn perhaps.  They may be Classic or Natural (Kentner advises against romantic for them).  (Some women will misclassify themselves as Summers, because the feminine nature is so associated with females in our culture).  [summer-autumn personality description]
SJP's eye

INDIAN SUMMER — (Summer – Autumn) light red or copper, ash or sandy blonde hair, medium to dark ash (cool) brown,  perhaps with red highlights.   Often feels their hair is mousy.  The most likely to highlight which is not recommended (unless caramel brown). Generally with blue eyes, but could also be slightly green, grey or brown.  They could also seem changeable or two tone. Skin tone has a medium grayed-blue undertone and possible chatoyance (shimmer, changing in luster).  (These are CMAS descriptions).
CMAS is different than other systems, allowing for red hair in a Summer.

Interestingly, at 12 Blueprints it is noted that Bright Spring and Soft Summer have some similarities.

The GENTLE AUTUMN (Autumn-Summer) looks somewhat like an Indian Summer.  Their style may be Natural, Classic or Romantic (soft, not lacy).  Some Autumn women will misidentify themselves as a Summer, because they have been socialized to be less brusque.  [autumn-summer personality description]

Mischa's eye

GENTLE AUTUMN — This type often has metallic quality to their hair (light brown or light blonde, even reddish blonde, “rose red,” or silver-grey). The Gentle type has a light hair coloring. Oval, diamond, triangular or even round face shape possible.  Eyes are blue, blue-grey, hazel, green or light brown.  Skin tone has undertones of amber and blue, may appear coppery.  Skin is often lighter than other Autumns.  
(These are CMAS descriptions).

Eyes can be blue or gray with warm yellow or gold overtone.

Soft Summer personality

Soft Summer personality by expressingyourtruth on Polyvore
CMAS INDIAN SUMMER —  [summer-autumn personality description]
How do Sarah Jessica Parker and Mischa Barton compare in muted tones and shades ?

A Soft Summer should be best in tones, but second best in shades.
A Soft Autumn should be best in shades, but second best in tones.


SJP definitely is the best in the Summer wine tone, though she'd need it softer.

And Mischa is definitely better in the Autumn rust shade, though she'd need it softer too.

Here's a bit closer to a Soft Autumn red.


Pale pink beige tone is so much better on SJP.

Light Salmon shade is ok on both, but a much better option for Mischa.


This Summer tone green is much better for SJP.

While this Autumn shade green with texture works better for Mischa.

French blue  is one of the dealbreakers for Soft Autumn at Truth-is-Beauty.


The Summer rose brown is better for SJP.

The Autumn shade brown with texture is better for Mischa.

Cocoa brown is one of the dealbreakers for Soft Summer at Truth-is-Beauty.


This works for SJP, but washes Mischa out.

 CONTRAST: Soft Summer and Soft Autumn have the same level of contrast in their coloring, muted and medium contrast, and they should repeat that in their outfits.


Soft Summers, like all summers, do not wear stark white.  Instead they can wear a baby pink.  They also do not wear black (see Summers wearing black).  Instead they wear navy.  They also wear cocoa and taupe. They wear TONES.  

Keeping in mind that these are cooler tones, they look better on SJP.

Summers need dull browns that are dusty, rosy tones.

Soft Autumns, like Warm Autumns, do not wear black (see Autumns wearing black)  or white.  Instead they wear camel, khaki, brown, mahogany, dark stone, medium gray, and buttermilk in SHADES.

Keeping in mind these are slightly warmer shades, they look better on Mischa.

Autumns need dull browns with low chroma pigment.


Indian Summer

Gentle Autumn


Shawna McComber said...

This is a great explanation and comparison. Thank you for that. I am a soft summer deep (self diagnosed but quite sure of it) and I do wear deep browns sometimes. They seem to work because my hair is sort of chocolate coloured but while I am drawn to the soft autumn colours they are generally too warm for me. I have gotten rid of most black things but still have a bit of black in shoes, bags and a leather jacket. They are all sort of dull, soft and faded blacks which helps and I use scarves and shirts in softer colours to make up for any bits of black. I find that it's quite difficult to find basics in navy or taupe, which I would prefer.

Jane Leu Rekas said...

Hi Shawna,
Glad you liked the post. Navies and taupes are hard because they can be warm or cool, bright or soft, so it's hard to find the right ones, I agree!

Kat said...

Hello Jane,

The post is absolutely marvelous! But now I am more confused about myself than before) Is it possible if I could send you a photo and you could maybe help me out?

Thank you in advance!


Jane Leu Rekas said...

Of course, send me an email

R Ellen said...

Hi Jane

Could you please help me out so that I can be sure of which season I am?

My eyes are brown but have a dark green hue in bright lights. The are lighter brown lines going out from my pupils. My hair is a mousy brown but the baby hairs have a gingery hue in bright lights. My skin is cool toned with blue-purple veins and pink undertones. I don't get freckles and I tan more brown than gold.

I believe I'm a soft summer-autumn. Do you think I'm right?

R Ellen said...

Also, I want to get something done to my hair for the coming Autumn season. I'd love to have it more red but I think with my cool skin it might look disastrous. What are my other options?

Jane Leu Rekas said...

You can read about Autumn hair here:

Jane Leu Rekas said...


casusbelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
casusbelly said...

Hi Jane!

Could I also possibly send you a photo? I am totally confused which you can easily say by looking at my hair color;) I was so tired with my natural color that is light brown/dark blonde (for me kind of mousy, but people say it's not - confusing;), so I dyied it. Not a good idea. I really wanted to be blond and I believe there is a proper shade of blond for me, but I find it difficult to find;) Last year I got professional color analysis online (based only on my few pictures) and I was said I'm a Soft Summer. Maybe that's true. Maybe not, as I feel much better in darker and richer colors, especially blue-greens. I was also several times told that my skin tone and eyes and lips, everything, is in cool colors. Althought, for some reason, I don't look well in very cool hair colors. Especially right now, this light light cool blonde I have makes me look tired and sick, I believe. Anyway, it would be very nice to have your professional oppinion. Greetings:)

Jane Leu Rekas said...

send to turtledove.jane @ gmail

casusbelly said...

I did:) Thanks a lot!

Unknown said...

Hello, as much as i know, shades are color+black. tints color +white, and tones color+grey. so for soft Autumn it means not shades but Tones.