Color analysis refers to dressing according to colors that complement your hair, eye and skin tones. The art of color analysis was made popular by Carole Jackson's 1979 book "Color Me Beautiful." Shopping according to your specific color palette brings out the best of your characteristics. There are 12 different seasonal color palettes; if you are a soft summer, your palette is the blend of warmth of late summer and coolness of early autumn.
Determine if you are soft summer. People with soft summer characteristics tend to have neutral skin tones, and hair and eye tones that blend. According to Organic Family Care, you are probably a soft summer if you are have "no striking contrast" in your physical characteristics. Hair colors for soft summers are usually medium-rich brown, ash brown or mousy blond. Eye colors for soft summers tend to be hazy teal, gray green, blue, soft haze or brown. Ivory and beige skin tones are commonly cited as soft summers skin tones, but many women with darker, caramel skin are also soft summers when their skin tone is neutral. Britney Spears, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyris, Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker are celebrity soft summers. If you are still unsure whether or not you are a soft summer, you can find quizzes at websites such as Color Me Beautiful (see Resources).
Once you have determined that you are a soft summer, learn which colors your wardrobe should contain. Your soft summers characteristics are best complemented when you wear soft, neutral colors. Seek pastels and dusty colors when shopping for clothes. Medium gray, light gray, off-whites, lavenders and medium and light blues will also flatter your soft summer tones. Carol Thompson of Carol Thompson Beauty Secrets lists mauve, plum, dark blue, green, rose brown and rose beige as great colors for soft summers to build their wardrobes around. Thompson also lists salmon, rust, teal blue and jade and dark periwinkle as lovely secondary colors for soft summers.
Know which colors to avoid. When developing your soft summer wardrobe, you should avoid having too many harsh, bright, neon colors in your clothes. Colors such as electric pinks, neon blues, oranges and corals do not flatter your blended and delicate soft summer palette. Wearing black is one of the most common color mistakes soft summers make. Black clothing is too harsh for soft summers and should also be avoided. Greys and charcoals complement soft summers more than heavy, bold black.
Take a guide with you when shopping. You can purchase a color swatches from websites such as Carol Thompson Cosmetics to help guide you when shopping for colors that will accent your soft summer tones. Printing out color palettes for soft summer is also an option. If your budget allows, you can also hire a consultant or personal shopper who is knowledge of the color palettes and can help you find the best colors for your tones. Try on your clothes whenever you can to make sure they do not clash or drown out your subtle soft summer tones. (See Resources.)
There are always exceptions, and what you feel comfortable in is always what is best. Take your unique preferences into consideration. When structuring your wardrobe to best suit your palette, don't forget to take your personal preferences into account.