Autumn: the different types

This is the third of four blog posts, exploring the different 'types' of each season. When discussing each season I will try to use the most commonly understood terms of each type, but please do contact us if you feel we've and missed out a term that would help colour analysis clients understand their season.

Week three already! We've already explored the different types of Spring and Summer, so this week is Autumn's turn.

As I always say, it's important to note that your seasonal type is a guide, not a rule book. If you fall at one end of, say, the Summer palette, it doesn't mean you can't ever wear colours from other areas of the palette you may have been given, just that this particular area is the very best part of the best palette for your personal skin tone and contrast level.

This week, we'll be looking at Autumn colours.

True/Leaf Autumn

This is the season we think of as the 'typical' autumn colours - the ones you see on an autumn tree in leaf or the ready to harvest fields of corn and wheat. Neither too bright nor too muted.

Often a True Autumn will look like a 'typical' autumn, with reddish toned hair, light brown or green eyes and fair celtic skin that goes golden in summer. Your best colours are rust red, mustard yellow, medium olive green and mid-browns and camels.

Your best Kettlewell colours: paprika, chilli, light sand, tan, chocolate, chestnut marl, russet, peacock, moss, turtle green, dark olive, old gold, ochre, yellow ochre.

Soft Autumn

Soft Autumn is influenced by the summer palette, since it sits at that end of the Autumn spectrum. This influence lends the Autumn colours an even more muted tendency, and lightens them up.

Soft Autumns might look like Summers, with more ashy tones in their hair or softer eye colour, but they will be brought to life by slightly warm toned soft shades rather than the cool Summer ones. Your best colours as a Soft Autumn are sage green, oyster white, palest old gold and warm grey.

Your best Kettlewell colours: cream, mellow rose, light coral, rose taupe, mole, taupe, mocha, aubergine, heliotrope, peacock, antique teal, blue jade, soft teal, new lime, pebble grey, old gold.

Deep/Dark/Blue Autumn

Deep Autumn is the darkest of the Autumn palettes, sitting at the darkest and least warm end of the Autumn spectrum, without drifting into the cool Winter palette.

Deep Autumns are often initially mistaken for Winters, and may have either a very dark or high contrast look compared to other Autumns. Your best colours are the deep teals, aubergine purples and dark olive greens, contrasted with oyster white or a brighter Autumn colour to add interest.

Your best Kettlewell colours: geranium, true red, poppy, soft white, dark mole, dark chocolate, cassis, aubergine, blackberry, purple, antique teal, marine blue, forest green marl, dark olive, pebble grey.

Vibrant/Warm Autumn

This is the end of the Autumn palette with the most vibrancy and brightness, with many colours that initially look like they belong to Spring, but on closer inspection have the added depth and golden undertones of the Autumn palette.

Much like their colours, vibrant autumns often look like Springs until they are properly analysed, and often have a very light bright look compared to other autumns. Your best colours are vibrant grass green, warm tomato red and the brightest golden browns.

Your best Kettlewell colours: coral, orange spice, geranium, poppy, tan, chocolate, russet, purple, blue jade, aquamarine, soft teal, moss, turtle green, lime, new lime, leaf, saffron, yellow ochre.

Adriel on May 25, 2022 4:54 PM

I took the quiz, however, simply said I am an Autumn. I can wear purple and some lighter grays (dark and charcoal make me look like a corpse), though understand not for Autumns, so I am puzzled.

I have blue eyes with gold flecks, hair color ranges from strawberry blond to dark red, green veins, light freckled skin, though tan in summer (I have Western Slavic ancestry, specifically Pomeranian).

Can you please clarify what kind of Autumn I am?

Sarah on Jan 06, 2022 3:33 PM

What are the updated names of the Vibrant Autumn colors? I can’t find blue jade and that type of green-blue is my best color! Would love to shop your site.

Margaret Hutchison on Dec 22, 2021 2:26 PM

I am 81 and was analysed as a deep autumn many years ago by a CMB consultant. I love those colours. My natural hair colour is chestnut, but since Covid I have allowed it to go grey so am now trying to decide what colours I will look best in, but as I don’t like live shopping at the moment so can’t try things on, Kettlewell looks to be a real find for me, but which deep autumn colours should I avoid now?

Jeni Prickett on Dec 21, 2021 10:22 AM

Finally, information that makes sense! 👏👏👏

I was looking for some info since the 1980’s Colour Me Beautiful book.

Do you also have update as to clothes and/or wardrobe capsules? 😊

Michelle on Jul 09, 2021 9:44 PM

This blog is helpful and it is a joy to read it. Thank you. I am still struggling to know whether I am a dark autumn or a dark winter. Or can you be both? My hair is black, my eyes are dark brown, my skin colour is tan but the colour of my face and my legs are much lighter than the rest of the body. I used to colour my hair brown but as the colour fades, the light brown colour makes me look sick. So, I decided to colour my hair to my natural colour, which is black. The vein test sounds simple, but is actually quite confusing for me. Although the colour of my veins is predominately bluish green, I also see some purple from the small veins. Thanks.

Scarlett on Jan 21, 2021 7:28 PM

I'm a Dark Autumn woman. I was tested a year ago by a color consultant. When I was in my teens I wore all of the colors (pastell colors, baby pink, pure white...) that didn't suit me and still wondered why I don't look as radiant as the other girls :D I love my type and would change it for nothing in the world. It's the most insense and mysterious type along with dark winter.

Edda Whiteside on Jan 11, 2021 4:29 PM

I was originally an Autumn Leaf, but since i grew out my silver/white hair, I’ve been re-rated as a Vibrant Autumn. I was looking on the site and noticed the vibrant/warm colours. I presume that’s what i am, I didn’t realise there were more vibrant autumns.

Lorie Hughes on May 01, 2020 4:27 AM

In response to Linda’s comment/question from June 23, 2016(!), I would suggest that Autumns consider wearing oyster white or soft white with their lighter autumn colors such as light greens, corals, teals, reds, and purples for a more summery feel, along with soft white sandals, etc. Just be careful that the contrast level between the colors in your outfit/prints is appropriate for your coloring. Autumns can look very elegant in the summer with their rich coloring as compared to the “usual” interpretation of summer that includes dressing in baby pastels or very vibrant, contrasting colors that may be better suited to the other seasons in general. You are going to look wonderful in the colors that you know make you glow, no matter what season of the year it is!

Suzy on Mar 26, 2020 8:51 PM

I had a colour analysis done about 20 years ago - and I was an autumn leaf I’ve recently had another one done- and they have said I’m summer - is it possible to change seasons ?

Kettlewell Colours: The short answer is no - it isn't possible to change seasons completely, however your best colours within your palette may change. Have a read of this blog post for a little more information:

Mary McKinney on Mar 10, 2020 1:48 PM

I’m a soft autumn but most of the colors you list as best for me do not appear on your current online chart of available colors. Could you please update to reflect what I could buy from your site? Thank you!

Kettlewell Colours: Sorry this is an old blog post but we intend to update the swatches each season as we realise it is still widely read!

Sonia on Dec 23, 2019 9:24 PM

Hi, i have a quest

mi skin is brunette, hair black and eyes blacks, i can

use black ? or which colors is better ?

Kettlewell Colours: Why not take our Colour Quiz which should help you find out which season you might be?

Gertrude on Oct 29, 2019 10:14 PM

I recently had my colors reanalyzed after 35 years. I was told previously that I was a Spring. I now have been told I am a Deep and Bold Autumn, which seems so much more suitable, although many of the original spring colors still are in my palette. According to Kettlewell, which palette or type would I be focused on? I love your site! Hoping to order some clothing soon. The dropdown for the seasons is brilliant.

Kettlewell Colours: Methods of analysis have changed in 35 years so we would think that your recent re-analysis was more accurate - especially as you say you feel more comfortable in Autumn colours. :-)

Sandy on Sep 06, 2019 4:21 PM

I had a colour analysis done recently and was told I'm a Clear Warm Deep..what season should I be looking at please

Kettlewell Colours: Clear and Warm are dominant so try Spring colours.

Edda Whiteside on Nov 30, 2018 1:24 PM

I’m an Autumn Leaf!

It says that the usual colouring is auburn hair, celtic skin tone, green eyes.

I have mousey hair with a bit of natural gold, fair skin and blue eyes with gold flecks.

Edda Whiteside on Nov 08, 2018 11:26 AM

Hi. I recently had my colours done, and i was told I’m an Autumn leaf! Although a lot of the colours i felt comfortable with, some i didnt! However, on looking up a lot of comments of other Autumn ladies, i have found that most of them have red/auburn hair. I have always thought that autumn colouring was just that, red/auburn/strawberry blonde hair!

Suzanne on Sep 01, 2018 2:06 PM

Why when you state the 'best colours' for someone, do you use colour names that you don't actually have in your colour selection ("Your best colours as a Soft Autumn are sage green, oyster white, palest old gold and warm grey")...?

Kettlewell Colours: Apologies, I'm afraid that that series of blog posts were written some time ago - hence the inclusion of colours we no longer stock. We are planning to revisit these blog posts to bring them up to date. You should be able to find similar colours on our 'Shop by Colour' page for Autumns.

Anne Liddle on May 24, 2018 8:41 PM

Hi, please help! I'm a soft and warm Autumn. Can you advise me best Kettlewell colours please. Thanks. And how to look soft and muted!

Kettlewell Colours: Hi Anne, if you have been told you are soft and warm, then I think you must have been analysed tonally. This does equate to an Autumn according to seasonal analysis. You can find your best colours by going to Shop by Colour in the navigation on our website and then choosing Tonal Directions. You can then go to Soft dominant colours. The advice is "To achieve harmony and balance, you can wear tone-on-tone shades from the same colour group. Darker colours from your palette can be worn with shades that are one or two tones lighter. Use contrast with care and avoid vibrant colours." Hope this helps!

Monica on Oct 22, 2017 4:54 PM

This is super! However I have a bit of a dilemma... I had my colours done a few weeks' ago and was told I am a 'blue autumn', however my WOW colours fall into Soft and Warm autumn. How can this be?

Kettlewell Colours: It may be that the specific combination of colours that your consultant saw as your wow colours involved both soft and warm autumn colours, but she felt your overall palette was more in the 'blue' category (a 'soft blue' Autumn is not unheard of, and you may fall closer to that categorisation). If you feel unsure, do have a conversation with your consultant to clarify.

Aileen Gurbuz on Jul 10, 2017 5:00 AM

Your blog and color palette has been extremely helpful. Unfortunately, I'm Asian and warm toned. I used an app to grab the Red, Green, Blue values of my skin coloring. Lots of red, lots of green, and not so much blue. I fell in the orange-brown-yellow categories. Turns out, I'm a deep warm tone. Cannot wear any of the lighter colors especially gray. Blue is my complementary color so it makes me look like I have dark circles under my eyes and my skin looks greenish bluish. True green is terrible on me since it is the complement of red. And light olive makes me look sickly. I have to wear deep saturated jeweled colors that are dark to bring out the sparkle. Love the blogs, they've been a wonderful help.

Melina on Mar 17, 2017 2:42 PM

Oh, this system is so different from most others! Usually there are 3 subseasons for each main season, not 4, like for Autumns, 1) True/Warm Autumn (those terms are interchangeable, some systems use True and some Warm), 2) Soft Autumn and 3) Dark/Deep Autumn.

But this is intriguing, as I've long been trying to decide between

True and Dark Autumn, both have something that fits me (though the corresponding colour palettes are quite different in other systems!), but from these categories, I feel Vibrant Autumn suits me best...

Suzy on Sep 06, 2016 4:55 PM

Thanks for this. I agree w/Judy Louw from SA, a printable version would be great.

When I was young I was told I was a Spring, then years later, a Spring flowing into Summer, & more recently I was told I was 'Soft, Warm & Light'... all very confusing... thought I was possibly becoming a soft summer as I got older, but I'm really still too warm for that... having read your blogs, I now believe I may be a Soft Autumn...

Liz on Jul 24, 2016 4:28 PM

Yikes! I just took your quiz and it says I'm an Autumn. I'd previously been typed as a Spring (blue eyes apparently separates the Springs from the Autumns) but I don't feel I really fit in either camp. Warm autumn looks like my "type" (or paintbox spring). Either way, it's hard to find clothes in colors that flatter me and it's nice to know I'm not alone.

Anna Steel on Jul 07, 2016 9:18 PM

Love this. As a Blue Autumn, it is great to see it recognised. I have pale skin, dark warm hair and hazel eyes. Being a Blue Autumn is a little different to having olive skin too!

I like to mix it up at this time of year with Gaudi mosaic colours of True Autumn: strong, intense, rich brights like Flame and Saffron (which I've missed that lovely vest!) as I develop some colour in my very pasty skin.

Barbara on Jun 27, 2016 3:02 PM

I always knew I was at the brighter end of the Warm/Autumn palette without being full-on bright spring. I seem to have elements of Soft Autumn too. This blog usefully confirms there are different types within seasons. Thanks.

Judy Louw on Jun 25, 2016 11:50 AM

Please consider a print option for articles like this

Would be handy to take this colour chart shopping

I didn't receive the requested catalogue with my order & the Pound/Rand exchange rate is very high at the moment so can't afford another order just yet


Judy Louw

South African customer

Karen on Jun 24, 2016 7:46 AM

I had a colour review yesterday, 22 years after my initial analysis. Back then I was a Dark Blue Autumn, but over the years my colours have shifted. I can now add the words Deep (which was likely there before, just not verbalised) and Vibrant! Reading this blog it would seem I'm close to both Spring and Winter which, to me, seems very unusual. At least now I know which Kettlewell colours to choose, as I often felt baffled before. Thanks!

Cynthia Metcalfe on Jun 23, 2016 6:07 PM

Found this article about different types of Autumn really interesting and helpful. Thank you!

Linda on Jun 23, 2016 1:41 PM

What can autumns wear best in Spring and summer without looking so fallish?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.