The True Summer Palette - Everything you need to know by expert London Stylists

 true summer

In this article you will discover:

  • The True Summer palette, True Summer Makeup, Hair and Jewellery
  • Common characteristics of a True Summer 
  • The benefits of using the True Summer palette for your wardrobe 
  • The True Summer outfit secrets to looking effortless

After years of styling thousands of clients both in London and online, we are well aware that there is no "one size fits all" approach when it comes to colour analysis.

For an accurate analysis, it is important to look at both your undertones and the contrast level between your hair, skin tone and eye colour. 

This will give a precise result in the types of colours that will be in harmony with your natural beauty. 

By creating a seamless coherence between the colours, your undertones and your contrast level, you'll be able to showcase your features in the most flattering light.

5 common characteristics of a True Summer

Keep in mind that these characteristics are general. Every individual is unique, so even if you have a True Summer result, you might have qualities that don't quite fit into the conventional True Summer characteristics.

This is particularly true for people of colour as most seasonal colour analysis advice is centred around white skin tones. As stylists with a mixed raced background ourselves, we understand this on a personal level!

Whilst we must take into consideration a certain degree of nuance, here are 5 common characteristics of a True Summer:

  1. Your natural appearance is very cool with blue undertones, which is usually fairly overt. 
  2. Your eyes have a muted look to them, as opposed to warm or bright.  
  1. There is not a striking contrast between your hair, skin and eye colour. Instead, you will have a soft appearance.
  1. Your lips have a natural rosy red or rose pink appearance.
  1. Your hair is cool and ashy rather than warm and golden

Please note, the vein analysis is not the most accurate way to determine your colour season as we also take into account your contrast levels.

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The True Summer Palette

The True Summer Palette

The True Summer colours have a cool, gentle and delicate feel to the palette.

When thinking of The True Summer palette, think of grass after sun exposure, a hazy summer sky, and the blues of our deep oceans.

Looking at the overall palette you will notice there are no warm or bright colours.

True Summer warm and bright colours

Click here to view our True Summer Colour Guide

As a True Summer, these colours neither overpower nor drain you, but rather work in harmony with you.  

When you wear these colours, all eyes will be on you, as you'll look dazzling in a way that is natural and effortless.

True Summer Best Jewellery Metals

Silver, white gold and platinum are the best metals to harmonise with your True Summer cool undertones.

For a well-put-together look, we recommend using your best metals for jewellery and hardware, such as zips, bag clasps, buttons, belt buckles etc.

True Summer Makeup

True Summer Makeup

When it comes to True Summer makeup, it is best to enhance your cool skin tone. As you do not have yellow undertones, stay away from warm-toned makeup.

Although it is tempting to gravitate towards colours we like, wearing colours that look in harmony with your blue undertones is far more effective. 

True Summer Nail Polish Colours

The best way to complement your True Summer look is by choosing nail polish colours from your palette. 

It can be tempting to deviate from your palette and try out a bolder, brighter shade.  However, to ensure you look put-together, make sure to choose colours that are in line with your True Summer palette. 

True Summer Best Hair Colours

True Summer Best Hair Colours

If you are considering changing your hair colour, we strongly advise that you should opt for another True Summer hair colour for your best look.

Flattering shades for you include cool medium brown or cool dark brown that has an ashy quality, or a cool-toned blonde.

True Summer Hair 

Be sure to avoid warm colours such as caramel, as they can drain your colouring and look overly harsh against your soft features.

Not these hair colours

Dying your hair slightly lighter or slightly darker can throw off your contrast levels, so, It's essential to seek professional advice when choosing a new hair colour.

The perfect shade for you depends on a combination of the surface colour of your skin (which varies across all True Summer clients) as well as your undertone and contrast level.

True Summer Colours to Avoid

Purge these from your closet


Stay away from bright and warm hues as these colours are the direct opposite of the muted and cool summer colours that look best on you.

More specifically, avoid warm yellow golds, oranges, beige, camel and peach.

These warm colours will overpower and drain your cool colouring.

True Summer, Light Summer or Soft Summer?

Each color season is divided into three subcategories. For the cool summer family, the colour palettes are Light Summer, True Summer, and Soft Summer. 

If you’re a “True Summer”, then you’re in the middle of the Summer season, and the two neighbouring palettes are Light Summer (think of the beginning of summer) and Soft Summer (the end of summer) on the seasonal flow chart.

Light Summer v True Summer v Soft Summer

True Summer is the coolest of the three palettes, whereas Light Summers can take slightly brighter colours that are still cool (this palette follows Light Spring), and Soft Summer colours are cool and smokey. 

Soft Summers are not as cool in their undertones as a True Summer, as Soft Summers are neighbouring the warm, Soft Autumn palette.

It’s advised to stick to your True Summer colours as these are the most in harmony with your natural beauty.

However, should you wish to wear more colours, then these two summer types are your second-best options.

Can True Summers wear black?

Black does not appear in the True Summer palette as it will look jarring on you. This is because you do not have a high contrast, which is why True Summer colours are typically muted

If you are somebody who lives in black, transitioning to cool summer colours can be daunting. After all, black is considered a classic staple in many wardrobes and is usually the go-to colour for most people. 

We recommend transitioning out of black by wearing it on the bottom half of your outfit and a True Summer colour towards your face. 

Colours worn closest to your face have the most impact on your complexion, so wearing black on the top half of your outfit will not flatter a cool True Summer. 

Be mindful that wearing black on the bottom half of your outfit will have an effect on how coherent and well-put-together you look on the whole. You will look far better when dressed head to toe in the cool summer colours.

True summer outfit exampel

The True Summer palette is complete with darker colours. It is all about balance and finding the right dark shades that will echo the True Summer tones. Dark Blue, Dark Grey and Dark Green are great alternatives to black that will fit perfectly within the cool True Summer palette.

True summer colors to wear instead of black

By gradually transitioning out of black and experimenting with your personal style and different cool colours in the True Summer palette, you may find yourself falling in love with the dark and cool Summer colours and perhaps give up wearing black altogether.

6 game-changing benefits of a True Summer Wardrobe

Having the correct color palette as your wardrobe guide is a game changer when it comes to creating flattering outfits quickly and easily. 

True Summer before and after

So, what’s the benefit of using the True Summer colour palette as a wardrobe guide?

    • Save time getting ready - quickly putting outfits together that look good is a huge time saver. When you choose colours from the True Summer palette, you’ll be able to create a variety of looks without having to spend hours trying on different items.
    • Save a staggering amount of money - say goodbye to buying clothes that you never wear. When curating your wardrobe with cool summer colours, you will eliminate buyers remorse as your purchases will be highly flattering on you.
    • Look effortless without trying hard- The secret to looking effortless is to find clothes that are in alignment with your colouring and your body shape. By dressing head to toe in cool true summer colours, your outfits will look well-put-together, without looking try-hard.
    • Less stress, more confidence - By using the True Summer palette, you don’t have to second-guess your outfits. Knowing that all the items you’ve chosen are highly flattering on you and look great together will give you more confidence in your wardrobe.
    • More outfits with less items - When you build a wardrobe based on your colour palette, everything will mix and match easily, meaning the versatility of each garment will increase.
    • More sustainable - Knowing that your colour season will never change is reassuring. It means that you can invest in a wardrobe designed for longevity.

    before and after

    As a True Summer, building your wardrobe using the True Summer color palette is the perfect solution to help you achieve all of these goals.

    True Summer Wardrobe Secrets To Successful Outfits

    The best way to use your True Summer colours is to wear a combination of three colours, such  as a light colour (light grey), a dark colour (dark blue) and a pop of colour (true summer pink).  

    True Summer build outfits fast

    If your personal style is better suited to making a bold fashion choice - experiment with interesting textures that will make your cool summer colours come to life, such as velvet, silk or shimmering fabrics. 

    Experimenting with your choice of fabric is a great way to make a statement without wearing a bright colour.

    True Summer Wardrobe Neutral Colours

    For many, light neutrals like beige and camel and dark neutrals like black are the go-to options when it comes to their wardrobe. However, as a True Summer, these colours are not the best option for you. 

    True Summer Neutral Colours

    Neutrals like beige and camel are too warm for True Summers and can make them look washed out and dull. 

    Instead, True Summer neutrals favour cool brown, light grey, dark grey, seashell white and sea blues. 

    True Summer Wardrobe Accent Colours

    Do not be mistaken, just because your colors are muted, you can still create a look that will turn heads.

    Our True Summer clients find that they can make an impact with their muted color palette. The cool summer reds, pinks and purples are all excellent choices.

    True Summer Accent Colours

    Ultimately, when it comes to finding the perfect accent colour for you, whether it is something different such as light blue or sea green, choose a True Summer colour that makes you feel most confident. make sure you feel like you at your best.

    True Summer Wardrobe Colour Combinations

    True Summer Wardrobe Colour Combinations

    As you have a medium contrast level, you look best in colour combinations that are also of a medium contrast level.

    The good news is that all the colours you have in your cool summer palette can mix and match with each other, so when it comes to outfit building, True Summers can expect easy and fast outfit building.

    When using these colour combinations, think head-to-toe with your outfit and experiment with the colours with different fabrics.

    Below are some of our favourite True Summer colour combinations:

     True Summer colour combination

    True Summer Wardrobe Workwear Colors

    True Summer Wardrobe Workwear Colors

    Worry not, as there are plenty of alternatives to wearing black in a corporate setting.

    Let’s start with your True Summer neutrals. As a True Summer, you look great in dark grey, dark green, soft white (such as seashell), light blue grey and darker blue colours. 

    These classic colours are also easy to mix and match, so you can create endless looks with just a few pieces. 

    If you’re looking for something slightly bolder, consider the purples, pinks and reds in your palette. 

    These colors are still muted so they are great for making a subtle yet powerful statement without going overboard.

    True Summer vs True Winter

    We have found that for many clients of ours, it can be hard to differentiate between True Summer and True Winter colours when shopping. 

    It can be easy to assume that True Winter colours would be the direct opposite of the True Summer palette. 

    However, this is not the case - both True Summer and True Winter are cool seasons, yet there is a clear distinction in their boldness and intensity.

    While True Summers opt for cool, soft, muted tones, True Winters stand out with deep, striking hues. 

    Don't purchase these colours

    Despite this, both True Summers and True Winters possess some of the same range of the undertone spectrum, making them fairly similar in terms of their coolness.

    True Summer FAQ’s


    Absolutely not! For True Summers, it’s important to remember that loud colours are not necessary to ‘brighten up’ their look.

    After years of helping True Summer clients who had previously worn warm and bright colours, we can’t stress enough how True Summers’ natural beauty stands out in a subtle and understated way when embracing their cool palette - much more so than if they were to go for bright and warm colours. As you have blue undertones, choose dove-grey over orange any day!


    This is a question we get asked a lot, and The good news is that it will not – no matter if your cool skin tone changes due to tanning or ageing. 

    This is because True Summer colours are perfectly in harmony with your cool skin and the contrast level between your hair, skin and eye colour.

    So if you're a True Summer, you can look forward to a lifetime of wearing flattering colours - no matter your age, or when you get grey hair! Therefore you can have the confidence to invest in classic pieces that will last for years to come.


    Yes, many True Summers do have dark brown eyes. It’s more common that True Summers have light blue or light grey hazel eyes, but this is not always the case. 


    Speaking purely from our experience as stylists, we see many True Summer clients. Overall True Summer is a fairly popular colour season. 


    Yes, you can. It is a misconception that skin with cool undertones cannot darken in the sun. 


    Yes, True Summer and Cool Summer are two different names for the same colour season.


    Yes, you can be a True Summer and have blonde hair.

    True Summer Seasonal Colour Palette

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