Seasonal color analysis enables fashion-conscious consumers to find clothing that’s most complementary to their features and skin tones through color psychology and color wheel analysis. Seasonal color analysis depends on color theory, which is used as a practical guide for analyzing how color works in the fashion, design and art fields.

Humans have intensely studied color since Sir Isaac Newton first learned how light refracted in the 18th century, and color theory has since evolved into a critical component of our daily lives. Today, the fashion industry still uses Carole Jackson’s seasonal color theory to create unforgettable looks and color palettes. 

What Is Seasonal Color Analysis?

Seasonal color analysis refers to the process of examining a person’s skin tone, eyes, hair and lips to create a color palette that compliments them best. The practice gained popularity in the 1980s when American color theorist Suzanne Caygill combined color psychology with seasonal palette theory.

Caygill’s model became immensely popular among color professionals and inspired psychologist Carole Jackson to write the book “Color Me Beautiful.” By creating seasonal palettes that matched her clients’ features and skin tones, Jackson inspired fashion-forward individuals to create curated wardrobes. 

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How to Determine Seasonal Color Analysis

To determine your seasonal colors, analyze your skin next to a piece of white paper and determine whether you have a cool or warm undertone. Does your skin appear more comparatively blue or yellow next to the piece of paper? Those with cool undertones are summers or winters, and those with yellow undertones are springs or autumns. The rest of the formula depends on the color of one’s hair and goes as follows: 

  • Winter (Cool undertones with dark hair): If you match with winter palettes, colors such as true blacks and whites are some of your most flattering hues. Due to the winter palette’s contrast, rich jewel tones should be a closet staple. Those with a winter complexion should avoid middle-of-the-road colors and earth tones.
  • Summer (Cool undertones with light hair): Summer tones are best suited for quiet colors, including blue-grays, heathers and rose-browns. Soft pastels and cute colors such as baby blues, soft pinks and icy whites are also perfect. 
  • Spring (Warm undertones with light hair): Those with spring tones look best in cheerful colors such as aqua, salmon and turquoise. Warm neutrals like off-white, khaki and stone are the perfect fit. Blacks and whites, bright shades and pastels should be avoided.
  • Autumn (Warm undertones with dark hair): Autumn tones look best in earthy shades such as golden browns, olives and warm grays. Like springs, they should avoid blacks and whites, bright shades and pastels. 
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Enhance Your Seasonal Color Analysis With Spectrophotometers From HunterLab

For over 60 years, HunterLab has redefined the impossible and committed itself to objectively quantifying color. We help brands ensure they meet the highest industry standards across the board so their products always uphold their reputation. Our spectrophotometers help you analyze the richest colors and identify the best complementary hues for you or your clients.

Contact us online to learn more about what our spectrophotometers can do and how we can help you.