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What color profile is soft autumn?

Determining your color profile can be an important step in choosing flattering clothes, makeup, and hair colors. One such profile is the soft autumn palette. In this article, we’ll explore what defines the soft autumn color profile and help you figure out if it’s the right season for you.

What is a Soft Autumn?

The concept of color analysis and unique color profiles was pioneered in the 1970s by color expert Carole Jackson. Her 12-season color system categorized people into “seasons” based on their skin tone, eye color, hair color, and overall coloring. According to this system, soft autumn is one of the four autumn sub-seasons.

Soft autumn is characterized bylow-contrast, warm, and muted coloring. People with soft autumn color profiles tend to have warm undertones in their skin, eyes that are hazel, green, or light brown, and hair that is strawberry blonde, golden blonde, ash blonde, or light brown. Overall, there is a soft, delicate quality to their coloring. Their skin is neither extremely fair nor dark.

Defining Characteristics of Soft Autumn

Here are some of the key characteristics of those with a soft autumn profile:

  • Neutral skin undertone – Neither pink/rosy nor golden
  • Low to medium contrast between hair, eyes, and skin
  • Eyes are hazel, green, light brown, or gray
  • Hair is blonde to light brown
  • Fair to medium skin tones
  • Tans easily
  • Looks best in warm, low saturation colors

The soft autumn palette is dominated by warm, muted shades. You won’t find bright, clear colors here. Let’s look at the colors that comprise the soft autumn seasonal palette.

Soft Autumn Color Palette

The soft autumn color palette contains warm, earthy hues interspersed with a few cool pastels. Here are some of the essential colors in the soft autumn seasonal profile:

Warm neutral base colors

  • Ivory
  • Camel
  • Oatmeal
  • Beige
  • Bisque
  • Honey
  • Fawn
  • Peach

Muted warm colors

  • Sage green
  • Olive green
  • Hazelnut
  • Dusky rose
  • Terracotta
  • Clay
  • Paprika
  • Butterscotch

Cool pastels

  • Mauve
  • Soft gray
  • Seafoam green
  • Cornflower blue
  • Lilac

Black, off-white, cream, and linen can work as neutral base colors. For accessories, bronze, brass and gold metal tones pair well with this palette.

To help visualize these colors, here is a sample soft autumn color palette:

Warm Neutrals Muted Warms Cool Pastels
Camel Hazelnut Mauve
Oatmeal Clay Seafoam
Bisque Terracotta Cornflower

How to Know if Soft Autumn is Your Season

So how do you determine if you’re a soft autumn? Here are some tips for figuring it out:

  • Analyze your features: Look at your hair, eye and skin color. If you see mostly warm and muted characteristics, soft autumn is a possibility.
  • Drape yourself: Drape different colored fabrics around your face and look in the mirror. Which colors make you look healthy and vibrant vs. tired and sallow?
  • Test your metals: Try on gold, silver and bronze jewelry. Which metal tone looks best against your skin?
  • Try on colors: Wear soft autumn colored clothing near your face. Do you look radiant or washed out?

The very best colors will enhance your features and make you look alive. The wrong seasonal palette will seem “off” and drain your complexion.

Soft Autumn vs. Other Seasons

How does soft autumn compare to other seasonal color profiles? Let’s look at how it contrasts with a few others:

Soft Autumn vs Soft Summer

Soft summer is similar to soft autumn with its muted, low contrast palette. But soft summer’s coloring leans much cooler with an icy undertone to the skin, cooler hair and eyes, and a palette dominated by blues, mauves and icy pinks. Soft autumn is decidedly warmer.

Soft Autumn vs Warm Autumn

Warm autumn can sometimes be mistaken for soft autumn since both are warm-toned seasons. But warm autumn is higher contrast between hair, eyes and skin. Its palette also includes clear autumnal colors like pumpkin orange, rust red, and camel yellow which are too saturated for soft autumn.

Soft Autumn vs Light Spring

Light spring is a high contrast spring season. Its palette contains clear, bright winter colors that would overwhelm soft autumn. Light spring also leans cool with lighter hair and blue eyes, compared to soft autumn’s hazel eyes and warm brown hair.

So you can see soft autumn is distinctive among the 12 seasons. Identifying someone as a soft autumn means they specifically suit warm muted shades.

Soft Autumn Style Guide

Once you’ve determined you’re a soft autumn, how do you make the best color choices? Here are some tips for clothing, makeup and hair colors:


  • Choose earth tones like olive green, rust orange, mustard yellow
  • Try warm neutrals like peach, camel, mushroom
  • Incorporate some cool muted shades like mauve, seafoam green, dove gray
  • Avoid black – opt for charcoal or chocolate brown instead
  • Stick to muted jewel tones like amber, amethyst, garnet


  • Eyeshadow – stick to matte warm browns, taupes, plums
  • Blush – apricot, camel, burnt sienna
  • Lipstick – brick red, rosewood, peach, mocha
  • Avoid icy pinks, blues, frosty finishes

Hair color

  • Golden blond, ash blond, strawberry blond
  • Warm medium to dark brown
  • Auburn red and copper
  • Lowlights in chestnut, caramel, hazelnut

Avoid extremely light platinum hair or inky black hair, as these tones are too harsh. Highlights should stay within the warm golden to reddish range.

How to Use Your Seasonal Palette

Finding your soft autumn seasonal palette is just the first step. Here are some tips on how to incorporate it into your wardrobe:

  • Gradually transition: You don’t have to overhaul your wardrobe all at once. Slowly phase out unflattering colors and replace them with soft autumn hues.
  • Use colors near your face: Prioritize wearing your seasonal colors near your face – blouses, blazers, scarves, makeup.
  • Add pops of color: Use small accessories in vibrant colors from outside your palette to add visual interest.
  • Try different shades: Don’t limit yourself to the few colors in your swatches. Explore different shades within your seasonal hue family.
  • Go with your gut: Use your seasonal palette as a guide, but ultimately wear what you feel great in!

Finding Your Most Flattering Colors

Determining your color profile can feel like unlocking the secret to your best look. When you dress in colors that harmonize with your natural coloring, you look more vibrant, healthy, and confident.

Soft autumn is one of the warmer, more muted seasonal palettes. If you feel the soft autumn colors resonate with your personal coloring, use it as a guide to choose your most flattering clothing, makeup and hair colors. With the right knowledge, you can highlight your natural beauty.

Do you think you could be a soft autumn? Try draping some fabric swatches and see which hues make you shine! Discovering your seasonal profile can be the first step to loving the way you look.