Thursday, January 5, 2012

Seasonal Color Analysis: How Many Seasons Are There?

Seasonal Color Analysis but with How Many Seasons?...

For over a month now, we've been taking a look at possible new seasons. Deep spring, clear summer, clear autumn, soft spring, soft winter and more. The idea behind the exploration is that there may be people who just don't fit easily into the season they're supposed to be in and maybe that's because they need one of the "new" or "extra" ones.

And I think people and characteristics and palettes can be organized into 16 or 20 or 24 seasons. The appeal is that the resulting color palette would be more personalized, closer to a perfect match for each person who used it.

Seasonal Color Analysis but with Smaller Color Palettes...

The problem is that for each new season, the color palettes get smaller, as the range of colors appropriate for each person is more narrowly defined. Now, I might be able to live with a seasonal color palette of only 20 colors if those colors made me come to life and every outfit I created looked perfect. But then, I might want to know about the colors that were 95% perfect, too!

Wouldn't you?

Seasonal Color Analysis: Can We Make Do with Twelve?...

I think about my own exploration of clear autumn for myself. I noticed that brighter earth colors looked better and wondered if that meant I needed a whole new clear autumn season.

I looked at the warm autumn palette and picked out pieces on Polyvore that were just a smidge or two brighter. From that group, I chose the ones I liked best and created the proposed clear autumn color palette.

Clear Autumn Color Palette

Later, I looked at the deep autumn color palette and discovered that almost all of those colors were in there. So perhaps the ones I chose are my best colors, and it would be good to have as many pieces as I can find in those colors.

But what about the rest of the deep autumn colors? Might I not want to try them, too, at some point? And isn't that a possibility for all of the "new" seasons?

Aren't they likely to be subsets of the traditional twelve? It's understood among color analysts that even if a person is placed within a specific season, the colors that suit them best might fall within the warmer of those colors, or at the cooler end. Or they might need the deeper ones. Etc.

So, I am beginning to think that 12 seasons is enough. For now, anyway.

What do you think? Would you prefer to have as much variety in your color palette as possible, or would you rather it be limited to the best of the best, even if that means it is smaller?

Having trouble deciding which season you are? I'd be happy to help!
Start the process of finding your season by taking my
seasonal color analysis quiz

Warm Autumn:“This woman never pretends. She won’t say something just to flatter you unless she believes it to be true. She cries harder than anyone at a funeral. She is fiercely loyal to her family but will not spare them hard work or spoil them with extravagance. She may seem to absorb a lot of demands but when she draws the line at enough, everyone knows it.” ~~Christine Scaman, 12 Blueprints


  1. I think that it is a bit of a conundrum because if the color selection gets smaller (as in if you had 24 seasons) people might not be as happy because it could feel too limiting. So from a purely marketing point, it could be a harder thing to convince people that 20 colors are really their best.

    But I have followed this series with interest, because I feel a little between seasons. Several years ago I had my colors analyzed by a woman who did not follow the seasons approach at all. She spent about three hours with me and came up with a fan of my best colors. I agree with most of the colors she suggested and usually wear them. But I really wanted to know what season I was and have had 2 on-line analysis -- one result was light summer and one was light spring. Now when I compare the custom fan from several years ago to the 2 seasonal fans, I see that there are colors from light spring and light summer represented, as well as some that might even be soft summer.

    I don't mean to make this complicated. I am really trying to say that you are right that 12 seasons is enough, but on a purely individual level there may in fact be thousands of seasons.

  2. Oh you are SO right, Ann! There could be thousands.

    And I think that with an individual color analysis, the analyst is trying to match colors in your body. We are probably most of us a composite! 20% this, 60% that, and 10% each of a couple more, maybe. And I would say that that is really the most individualized you can get.

    But on the other hand, if you are a light with a smidge of soft, there are light spring and light summer colors you can wear. One is dominant and the other your sister season. And maybe within those seasons, the softer colors will suit best.

    The only question is whether you are more warm or more cool.

    And I agree that people might not be satisfied with 20 colors. I am not sure I want any more than that because I am the kind of person to pick favorites, so I'll probably never use 20.

    But I like the feeling of knowing they are there!

    Great points you made, Ann. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments.


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