In Color

Color Analysis: the 4 seasons and the 16 subgroups

In one of the first posts of this blog, I had already talked about the magical power of Color Analysis.

It is a fascinating subject, which can help us in choosing clothes and accessories, but also make-up and hair coloring: for this reason it is the first, essential, step of image consulting.

It is not a simple analysis: it requires technique, experience and professional materials (the famous drapes).


Today I want to try to explain in a simple way which are the four seasons and the relative subgroups.

First of all, I advise you to take the test to find out if you have warm or cold colors, to make a first skimming.




Before assigning the palettes to the types of women, let’s start from a premise: the name given to these four categories is completely conventional, so it has nothing to do with your month of birth or with the summer or winter wardrobe.

Simply, they are inspired by the colors of nature in those four phases of the calendar year:




VALUE: light


Spring women have these same chromatic characteristics, so you work by repetition, by harmony.

It is the most varied palette, both as a type of women and as colors: we will find both beige / apricot and blue, but always warm and bright. Enemy colors: gray and black.

What sets them apart from summer, but also from autumn women, is the fact that they hold up strong colors very well, thanks to their typically radiant complexion.





VALUE: light


Summer women typically have delicate colors: they can be blondes, but also with light brown hair.

Pastel, powdery and mother-of-pearl shades suit them very well.

On the other hand, colors that are too vivid and aggressive, especially in warm and orange shades, are not good at all on them.





VALUE: deep


Even the autumn palette is quite heterogeneous: we go from brunettes like Madalina Ghenea to blondes like Nicole Richie, passing by redhead like Julia Roberts.

What they have in common is the warm undertone and above all the medium-low intensity: apart from the Deep sub-group (Madalina Ghenea), which also look good with stronger colors, the others will prefer the soft tones of autumn woods and the colors of spices.

WARNING! Brown hair does not mean an autumn: if you do not like beige, if the shades of green make you uncomfortable and orange is your enemy, then you are not part of this group!





VALUE: deep


It is the most widespread season, at least in our parts and in the Mediterranean basin in general.

It includes the olive-skin and black hair women  (Salma Hayek), but also those with lighter skin and gem eyes (Megan Fox).

The Cool type (Natalie Portman) is very tricky because it has more delicate colors and has a medium-low intensity. It’s easy to put it in the autumn group for her brown hair, but as I said “brown hair does not mean autumn”; so stay focused on his porcelain skin and the fact that orange and beige are her enemies.




As you have noticed, the theory of the 4 seasons is a bit reductive: it claims to include the whole world in only four categories!

In the last thirty years in fact, various tonal theories have been born that have widened the range of types.

In practice (and in simple words), each season is divided into 4 categories, depending on its dominant characteristic.

FOR EXAMPLE: the winter season is cold, dark and bright. But inside there are women who are particularly dark; others that are particularly cold; others still, which have a high intensity and are particularly bright.

To these three subgroups, the absolute or true palette is added: the one that contains in a rather homogeneous way all the characteristics of the season, in terms of undertone, value, intensity and contrast.



Here are the SUBGROUPS of each armocromia season:

SPRING: Light; Warm; Bright; Absolute

SUMMER: Light; Cool; Soft; Absolute

AUTUMN: Deep; Warm; Soft; Absolute

WINTER: Deep; Cool; Bright; Absolute


As you will have understood, it is a very complex analysis, which must necessarily be done live, with natural light, without make-up or tan.

I tried to explain it in simple words and I hope to have been exhaustive, without too many technicalities.

Many other tips, in my daily column on my Instagram Stories: ask me a question, I answer (almost) all your doubts!




If you are intrigued by a live Color Anlaysis consultancy, you can send an email to and book your session: Italian Image Institute collaborates with a network of image consultants throughout Italy and beyond.

Otherwise, you can enroll in the Self Styling course and you will receive a color analysis directly from me, along with a consultation on face, body and style.

Finally, if you want to learn the technique, take a look at my next Armocromia course: it is the first module of the Image Consultant and Personal Shopper course.


Rossella Migliaccio
Italian Image Institute

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