The seasonal sub-types - which one are you?


If you've had a personal colour analysis, the chances are that you were given a seasonal designation - Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. Once upon a time this would have been all the information you received, but these days the chances are you were also given a further term to describe what 'type' of season you are, whether that's pastel Summer, soft Autumn, golden Spring or one of a dozen or more other terms.

NB: if you have been analysed in a tonal system and are not sure which season your palette equates to, check our tonal directions page for a translation.

Whatever term is used, the underlying system broadly stays the same - most analysis systems now use what is called a '12 season' or '16 season' system rather than the older '4 season' one, in order to further narrow down the colours that harmonise the most with our own natural colouring and really make us look and feel amazing - when you see the breadth of colours that a 4 season palette entails, it's no wonder that narrowing that down further, either by rating colours and assigning wow colours, or simply limiting the palette, is becoming a more popular option.

Although this process does mean the information you receive during your analysis is even more tailored to you, it can leave you a little confused about what that actually means for you. How can you be a Blue Spring, if blue is cool and Spring is warm? Surely all Summers are soft, so why are you particularly soft? I've tackled this topic before, but it felt like the right time to revisit this subject and really clear up any confusion you might have about what your seasonal designation really means.

I've broken down this rather weighty subject into four posts, one for each of the seasonal palettes. Please do click through and have a read to the one that applies to you, and you may well find it useful to visit the other posts to see what the colours looks like for your neighbouring season.

Cathy on Sep 18, 2021 8:51 AM

I would love to receive your newsletter but can't find a place to sign up for it? I am an autumn...probably vibrant but definitely wear warm colors well and autumn best of all. Thank you - love this website!

Kettlewell Colours: Hi Cathy, there is a newsletter signup form at the bottom of the website in the grey footer area.

Els de Win on Jan 02, 2020 10:24 PM

i like to receive your newsletter

Kettlewell Colours: I have signed you up to receive our emails. :-)

Eurasian Babe on Jun 23, 2019 9:04 AM

Analysed as a True Winter 30 years ago I find I’m drawn to darkest bitter chocolate rather than black as my hair has silvered & my eyes have lightened. Not sure I ‘fit’ into the crossover subtype as yellow is still an anathema to my dual-heritage sallow skin, but this is a really helpful way to consider ‘new’ colours. Thank you! Xx

Dawn on Feb 11, 2019 10:16 PM

Hi I’m a Warm Spring so a crossover with Warm Autumn. Would be great if you could filter by sub-colours when you shop on Kettlewell Colours,

Ellie on Dec 22, 2018 4:38 PM

What is the difference between clear, and deep?

Kettlewell Colours: If you read this blog post, this might explain it for you

Willeke on Dec 02, 2018 12:44 PM


Susanne Singh on Dec 02, 2018 7:26 AM

Paintbox Springs is exactly where I fit into. Thank you for this classification. I was so pleased to receive it. Apple has long been my favourite colour. Please never remove it from your assortment!

Lori Johnston on Dec 01, 2018 7:08 PM

This is so helpful! I am a true Autumn and I find it difficult without seeing the 12 season colours grouped together to find my 'best' colours. It would be great to be able to choose from my true Autumn 'go to' colours knowing that the other Autumn colours will tie in. For me it would make shopping at Kettlewell easier.

Artist Helen on Dec 01, 2018 9:13 AM

Thanks again, Jo, for a really helpful post. I'm a BJW and love it but it explains why Silver and Charcoal work better than Pebble Grey on me, for example.

Colour is complex but so rewarding!

(Btw, Cochineal looks wonderful, so please can BJWs have more than a scarf...?)

Liz Friend on Dec 01, 2018 8:58 AM

Very helpful. Could it be updated each season with the new colours?

Rachel on Dec 01, 2018 8:22 AM

Thank you for such a helpful post! I remember years back my colour analyst mentioning that I was a "brown summer" but I wasn't sure what that meant... until now! xx

Veronika H. on Dec 01, 2018 12:08 AM

Would it be possible to add to the pictures photos with examples? Which one of your models was a Bright/Clear/Sprinter Winter, which one True Winter?

Pat on Nov 30, 2018 2:27 PM

So informative,Jo! Would you say the true autumn colors are medium tone?

Catherine on Nov 30, 2018 7:53 AM

This is a really useful post, thank you. Would it be possible for Kettlewell to produce a list of all the colours that fit the sub categories and update it each time the colours are changed? Perhaps this could have a section on the website like the colour combinations?

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