Light Summer: The Ultimate Guide

Light Summer colour gradients

Light Summer colours are airy and delightful.

These colours are a mix of water (Summer) and sunshine (Spring); think beaches, bubbles, rainbows.

Light Summer is a blue sky with fluffy white clouds, on a mild summer’s day. 


The palette

Light Summer colours are fresh, airy, relaxed, fun and uplifting.

In our 12 tone chart, Light Summer falls on the path from True Summer to True Spring. It combines True Summer’s cool, serene palette with a dash of Spring’s bright sunshine.

So where do Light Summer colours sit on the 3 dimensions of colour?

The colours are medium in chroma (saturation).

The colours are neutral-cool, so they contain both blue and yellow undertones, but more blue than yellow.

Finally, the palette is high in value, overall. There are, of course, lighter and darker colours, but the darks don’t go that dark, and most colours sit in the lighter end of the range. It’s important to note, though, that the lightest colours are not here, they’re Winter’s icy lights, closer to white than those in Light Summer.

Compared to Light Spring these colours are cooler, softer and slightly darker.

Compared to True Summer these colours are lighter, brighter and warmer.

Compared to Soft Summer these colours are the same temperature — neutral-cool — but are lighter and brighter.

Light Summer colour dimensions

Light Summer colour dimensions


For more about Light Summer colours, see Light Summer Gamut and The Value of Colour by Amelia Butler from True Colour International.



If you’ve just discovered that you are a Light Summer, and you’re learning how to create a Light Summer wardrobe, congratulations! These are beautiful colours. 

As a Light, your tolerance for darkness is low, so black is very disharmonious with you and your colours. For many, that can be a big change. In exchange, though, you get a palette full of lively, joyful colours.

If the colours feel too much at first, look to your very beautiful neutrals, your chalky whites, blue greys, mushroom taupes and ash browns. There are plenty here to create subtle and elegant outfits.

Beyond those you have range of beautiful colours, like sky blue, periwinkle, cornflower, jacaranda flower, lemon curd and mint. As they’re all harmonious, you can combine them in any way that feels good to you.

Some examples of possible combinations are shown on the last arm of your TCI Light Summer fan, and on the classic palette shown above. And here are some more:


Putting it all together, here are some examples of outfits in Light Summer colours for women and men:

Related: Men’s Fashion in 12 Tones

The styles of these outfits are simply those I can find in these colours, but use your colours in whichever styles that work for you.

For more inspiration, True Colour has a 12 Tone Light Summer Pinterest Board showing wardrobe ideas for men and women, as well as a blog post of palette-matched Cashmere Pashminas for Summers.


Corporate Clothing

When I’m discussing corporate clothing here, I’m talking about more conservative workplaces — if yours is more casual, this may not be relevant for you.

That said, corporate clothing, in terms of colours, usually consists of some or all of these:

  • Neutral colours

  • Dark colours

  • High value contrast (light/dark)

Obviously you have less options for dark colours than other tones, though you can certainly look to your darkest blues, greys or browns.

Neutrals are easier, you have many and they will look professional on you, without diminishing you as dark colours would. 

Contrast can also work on you. You don’t have very dark colours to create high contrast, but we perceive contrast relative to its setting. That means that your darker colours and your lighter colours will appear contrasting on you, though they may not on a Winter.

Your pastels make for excellent shirts or blouses, just be careful not to stray into Winter “icy” territory.

Examples of colour combinations for corporate wear appear on the last arm of the TCI Light Summer corporate fan. Here are some more:


For more on corporate clothing, see Light Summer Corporate Women from True Colour.



Matching solid colours to your fan is one thing; matching patterns can be a trickier task.

If harmonising with the fan is too hard, try checking it against your face. If the colours are right, you’ll see the same effects you saw during your draping, like vitality, happiness, 3-dimensionality and authenticity.

What if most of the colours in a pattern are Light Summer, but there’s one that clearly isn’t? Does it matter?

Yes, but the question is, how much? How perfect do you need or want to be? 

As always, look for harmony between the elements of the pattern, your fan, and you. Some colours, while not in your tone, can be unobtrusive enough to be tolerable. That’s more likely to be the case if the element is small, the colour is neutral, and/or the colour is from a nearby palette.

For example:

In the first pattern below, all the jellyfish, and the water, are in Light Summer colours. In the second, the small purple jellyfish is instead coloured a Dark Winter wine. In the last, a larger jellyfish is in the wine colour instead.


The first pattern is perfect for you.

You can see in the second that some of the effervescence of the pattern is reduced by the presence of the darker colour. Overall, though, so much is right that it could still be acceptable.

Increasing the size of the dark colour, in the last pattern, is just too overwhelming. It’s no longer Light Summer enough to work.


Metals, jewellery, watches and glasses

As a neutral tone, both gold and silver can work for Light Summer, as can some rose golds. Since you are on the cool side of neutral, you may find silver more intuitively comfortable, and it is a more foolproof choice. Golds are better in lighter shades, and also more yellow than orange; deep, rich golds will appear too heavy for your airy colours, and orangey ones too warm.

Beautiful stones for Light Summer jewellery can include pearls, aquamarine, chalcedony, sea glass, turquoise, tourmaline, amazonite, emerald, jade, larimar, rhodochrosite and quartz.

All the metals discussed above can work for glasses frames, as can any of the colours in the palette.


Hair colour

Light Summer hair colours are usually on the ashy side, and range from light to dark blonde to light brown.



Complexion makeup (foundation, concealer, etc.) needs to be matched to your skin. If you have trouble finding or matching foundation, I have a blog post that might help.

The “colour makeup” comes from your Light Summer palette.

Light Summer neutrals

Light Summer neutrals

Your neutral eye makeup colours, for shadow, liner and brows are your taupes, mushroom browns and greys. 

Mascara is grey or blue, harder to find than black, I know, but it makes such a difference.

Light Summer greens, blues and purples

Light Summer greens, blues and purples

More colourful options can come from any of the accent colours in your palette, and often work beautifully.

In particular, some of the pinks make lovely eyeshadows, and the deeper blues are perfect for eyeliner, to bring out blue colours in the eye.

Light Summer reds and pinks

Light Summer reds and pinks

Blush and lip colours come from the red, pink and coral area of your palette. They can all work, but most women find that a particular section of that area is their best, so expect some trial and error to find your own best colours.

Related: Makeup Looks in 12 Tones

Light Summer colours easily create fresh, delicate makeup looks. “Pretty in pink” is the one that comes immediately to mind.

The lighter (or sheerer) lip colours may work better for everyday looks, while there are some surprisingly deep ones for more dramatic effect.

In general, I find Light tones do better in sheer or “thin” products. Your colouring is delicate, fresh and light, and can easily be diminished by heavy colours or products.

Black mascara and liner, obviously, will do this. Most (if not all) bronzers will read as muddy and/or orange on you. And face contouring can also have this weighing-down effect.

You can see the products I use for Light Summers, plus curated palettes and eye looks, in my post Light Summer Makeup Kit.



If you’re getting married, congratulations! 

Wearing your suit or dress and accessories (like a boutonnière or bouquet) in your colours will bring out your best on your wedding day. 

Light Summer suits are perfect in light grey or blue. The taupes can also work, if you can find them. Be careful to choose your fresh, delicate white for shirts, rather than the stark white of Winter.

Your wedding dress could be in one of your beautiful whites, like milk, chalk or white rice. Or you could go for a colourful option, like petal pink, cornflower blue, or lemon cream yellow.

You can also use these colours throughout your wedding, for your bridal party, flowers and decorations, to create a joyful, beautiful wedding, as you can see below.


Living spaces

Light Summer colours are often used in beach houses, because they have a breezy, relaxed, summery vibe, but they can be used in any home to create that same holiday feeling.


Have a question or comment about this post?

Come chat on Facebook


Pin this:

Light Summer: The Ultimate Guide — Everything you need to know about the Light Summer tone