True Spring: The Ultimate Guide

True Spring colour gradients

True Spring colours are like sunshine.

They make me think of a tropical island: turquoise water, yellow sand, lush green leaves and juicy fruit.


The palette

True Spring colours are sunny, clear, joyful, lush, and vivacious.

In our 12 tone chart, True Spring is the tone of complete warmth and brightness, which influences the two Light tones (Light Spring and Light Summer) and the two Bright tones (Bright Spring and Bright Winter). To all four it contributes lightness and brightness and warmth, which looks like sunshine and fun and exuberance. 

So where do True Spring colours sit on the 3 dimensions of colour?

They are completely warm, so they contain yellow undertones, but no blue undertones at all.

They are high in chroma (saturation).

Finally, while the colours range from light to medium-dark, the palette overall is medium-light.

Compared to True Autumn, these colours are brighter and lighter overall, but share temperature (warm).

Compared to Light Spring, these colours are warmer, brighter, and slightly darker overall. 

Compared to Bright Spring these colours are warmer, softer and slightly lighter overall.

True Spring colour dimensions

True Spring colour dimensions



If you’ve just discovered that you are a True Spring, and you’re learning how to create a True Spring wardrobe, congratulations! These are fabulous colours. 

There’s no black or white here, so this may be a big transition if you have a wardrobe full of them.

To replace black you have browns and greenish greys. The darkest of those greenish greys is on the cover of your TCI fan, and that’s the closest you have to black. If you can find it, great!

Otherwise, avoid black. It is one of your worst colours — cold and dark while you are warm and light, a night sky while you are sunshine.

Cream is your version of white.

Beyond these lovely warm neutrals you have an abundance of gorgeous, happy colours, which you can combine however you like. They will all look beautiful together — that’s the point of a harmonious palette.

To inspire you, some combinations are shown on the last arm of your TCI True Spring fan, some on the classic palette shown above, and some here:


And here are some examples of outfits for women and men in True Spring colours:

Related: Men’s Fashion in 12 Tones

The styles of these outfits are simply what I can find in these colours, but don’t forget, you can use your colours in whichever styles work for you.

For more inspiration, True Colour has a 12 Tone True Spring Pinterest Board showing wardrobe ideas for men and women, as well as these blog posts: 

Cashmere Pashminas for Springs

12-Tone Spring Style Hypothetical Part I

12-Tone Spring Style Hypothetical Part II


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)

The classic example is a grey or black suit with a white or light-coloured shirt or blouse, and an accent colour in a tie or jewellery. 

True Spring is far from this traditional palette, having no black or white, and being lighter overall.

There are, however, darker options in the palette, particularly in the brown, grey and blue areas; and plenty of warm neutrals, including beiges and creams on the lighter end. Some of the lighter peachy colours can also read as neutral in the context of the palette.

So it’s certainly possible to create neutral and/or relatively high contrast outfits in these colours.

There are some combination suggestions on the last arm of the TCI True Spring corporate fan, and here are some more:


For more on corporate clothing, see True Spring/True Autumn 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 True Spring, but there’s one that clearly isn’t? Does it matter?

Yes, but how much depends on the size of the element, and how close the colour itself is to yours.

In the first pattern below, I’ve created a tropical fruit print using exclusively True Spring colours. In the second I’ve added a fig in Soft Autumn colours. In the last I’ve used the Soft Autumn fig colour to cover the background.


The first is perfect for you.

In the second, the fig doesn’t have the bright, tropical feel of the rest of the pattern, but it’s small and you could just about get away with it.

The last is clearly wrong. The disharmonious colour is too disruptive and covers far too much area. The overall feel is no longer sunny and bright.


Metals, jewellery, watches and glasses

The best metal for True Spring is gold. In general, a light, shiny gold is better than a rich, deep gold. Rose gold can also work if it’s a very peachy version of that metal, but most rose golds are a little too cool, better for Light Spring.

Because you require absolute warmth, silver is disharmonious with you and your colours.

Beautiful stones for True Spring jewellery include coral, turquoise, sunstone, andesine, carnelian (particularly faceted), citrine, golden beryl, tsavorite and spessartite. 

Glasses frames can be gold, or any colour in the palette. Colourful frames are especially successful on Springs.


Hair colour

True Spring hair usually has a yellowed warmth to it, whether it’s golden blonde, strawberry red or maple 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 True Spring palette.

True Spring neutrals

Your creams, beiges and browns are perfect for eyeshadow. 

Brows are usually best in one of your greenish greys, or browns if your hair has a reddish tone. 

Mascara and eyeliner are brown. Avoid black. I know it’s easier to find, but it kills the warm glow of your natural colouring.

There are some images in the pinterest board below which black mascara or liner, but that’s only because it’s hard to find any makeup looks without them. Trust me, use brown instead.

True Spring greens, blues and purples

Less neutral options abound, and can look surprisingly natural on a True Spring face.

The peaches, corals and yellows can make beautiful eyeshadows.

And the tropical greens and blues are lovely in eyeliners, especially if they’re picking up your eye colour.

True Spring reds

Blush and lip colours come from the red, peach, coral and orange area of your palette. The peaches are usually more understated, natural lips, while the brighter oranges and corals make more of a statement. All will work on you, but most women will find their perfect shade is somewhere within this range, so trial and error may be necessary.

Related: Makeup Looks in 12 Tones

True Spring does sunny, glowy makeup effortlessly. Products that are wet-looking, like lip gloss, cream blushes or some shimmer eyeshadows, are particularly natural on you.

Very matte, opaque products will usually look too dense and heavy on your skin. Particularly for foundation, look for thinner or sheerer formulas if you can.

Be careful with bronzers — make sure the colour has Spring freshness and not Autumn richness, which will look dull and heavy on you. Look for peachy rather than burnt orange.

And choose highlighting over contouring. The first adds light and lift, which harmonises with your colours, while the latter adds depth, more appropriate for Autumns.

You can see the products I use for True Springs, plus curated palettes and eye looks, in my post True Spring 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. 

For True Spring, suits can be in brown, greenish grey, cream or your dark, but bright, blue. Shirts can be cream or beige (avoid stark white), or one of your accent colours for a more tropical feel. Or you can use those accents in your tie and/or boutonnière, for a slightly more restrained version.

A wedding dress in cream or shell will look classic, while containing enough yellow to harmonise with you. The peaches are also lovely options.

If you want to go all out, you can make your entire wedding themed in True Spring colours. They make for a fun, warm and bright wedding, which will make your guests feel like they’re celebrating with you on a tropical island. (For extra credit, get married on an actual tropical island!)


Living spaces

True Spring feels joyful and exuberant, and choosing these colours for decorating will bring that feeling into your home.

Be careful of wall colour. Most whites chosen for painting are too cool, and indeed it’s been hard for me to find images for the Pinterest board below where an appropriate cream has been chosen. Get that right and you can absolutely create a tropical paradise indoors.


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True Spring: The Ultimate Guide — Everything you need to know about the True Spring tone