The Ultimate Color Guide for Summer

The Ultimate Color Guide for Summer

Brighter sun, cheery colors! Summer is here, and it’s time to figure out what kinds of colors match best with this fabulous season. Each season has a unique color palette. At different times of the year, the earth tips toward or away from the sun. This not only changes the duration of our daylight hours but also how the light looks; sometimes, it’s warmer or colder or brighter or muted. Plus, as the seasons change, the natural world also changes colors, creating settings where certain colors just seem right for a particular season.

All seasonal palettes include all colors, but the tones are a little different. Summer definitely has some brighter colors, but the tones actually don’t have as hard of a contrast as the winter palette. Think of an alluring red hibiscus blooming in its hunter-green bush, a field of orange poppies against a soft blue sky, or a chaotic mix of yellow lemons, magenta grapefruits, and lime-green limes. They are certainly brighter than the spring palette but more muted and softer than the winter palette. Neutrals for summer are ocean grays, foamy creams and whites, and sandy browns. Silver tends to be the best jewelry choice to go with summer colors since the cooler tones tend to dominate the season. If you are a summer complexion, any summer color combination will go well with you. If you are a different seasonal complexion, check for overlap between summer colors and your color palette.

For Reds

Reds in summer are easiest to find in fruit. Raspberries, for example, when ripe in June and July, are an eye-catching yet muted color. Watermelon is a little pinker, especially as you eat toward the rind, but it is also a delectable summer hue. In line with the idea of pink, the shades found in pink lemonade work with the season, and if you need something a little brighter, we break out pink flamingo lawn decor and floaties around this time of year for a reason. Powder pink, like the kind found in bubble gum–flavored ice cream, is also a pleasing summer color. A cute dress in this color could work not just for summer but for other seasons as well. Red can be a strong color, so using it for a top or an accent color might be the best way to go.

For Oranges

Orange is a difficult color to pull off for any complexion. But if you really want a summer orange, look for the lighter colors like that of peach-flavored ice cream or a cantaloupe. You can also try oranges that are just this side of yellow, like the color of a poppy petal with the sun shining through it. Your best bet is to have orange as one of the colors in a pattern, perhaps a floral-patterned blouse. Good luck!

For Yellows

Picture lemons and sunflowers. For this final color on the warm side of the color wheel, you don’t want to go too dark into mustards. If you want darker, go with an ashy brown or gray. Lemonade yellow is a delightful summer shade, as is the yellow of a sunflower in full view of the afternoon sun. Since the right shade might be hard to find, try to discover it within a pattern as recommended for orange. Light yellow against a clear blue makes for a nice soft summer contrast.

For Greens

At last, we reach the cooler side of the color wheel. When you think green, think tropical jungle. Sporting a sensory overload of greens, there are the lighter yellow-greens of palm fronds and the darker hunter green of the shadowy underbrush beneath the trees. Look beyond the trees for the sea greens on the shore. Besides the ocean itself, the best visual inspiration for these greens is green sea glass tumbled into smooth pieces perfect for a summer keepsake. If you want an even gentler green with a little more yellow, the light green found on the inside of a lime is also a nice summer color, particularly in a light men’s or women’s cardigan overlayer.

For Blues

Speaking of the sea, one can’t mention the blue-green of a tropical beach without talking about turquoise. The color of the waves stretching in the sunlight before they crash on the shore and the darker shades of the deep when you get beyond the break. The colors of the sea reflect the sky, so a proud sky blue should likewise have its place on the summer color palette. If you can find this color in a pair of men’s or women’s jeans, you can get a good color match for the season.

For Purples

We return to food for these visuals. The deep magenta of pomegranate seeds spilling from their newly opened home is a purple that works well with summer. A delicious purple plum not only tastes good but is a good purple color for the season. If you want something a little lighter, try a light lavender or a gentle periwinkle. Purple can be powerful, so don’t be afraid to make it the center of an outfit with an eye-catching purple skirt.

Now that you have all of the summer colors, get out there shop around, and see which ones look best on you!


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