As a true summer, here are my rules.
(This post is illustrated with looks I love—on other people. I think every celebrity below looks awesome, even if some of them aren’t wearing their best colors.)
True summer colors are entirely cool.
Orange is always warm, and thus it does not belong in my palette.
There are no reds in my palette, only pinks.
This also means no red lipstick, so I’ll never get to live out my dream of looking like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Oh well.
No “autumn leaves” colors
Rich, warm colors like orange, golden brown, and mustard yellow are the absolute worst on a true summer person.
No olive green
This is a warm green, because there’s a lot of yellow in it. And as you should know by now, anything warm = terrible on me.
No dusty, earthy greens and browns
The faded safari look is great on someone like Gisele Bundchen, who suits the natural style archetype.
On me, it just looks worn out. My best colors are refined and corporate-appropriate—private jet, not Jeep.
I don’t think neons look good on anyone, so here’s Zhang Ziyi looking breathtaking in a not-actually-neon chartreuse gown.
No highly saturated colors
I can wear blue, pink, and yellow, just not when they’re this bright.
It’s not my worst color—anything is better than orange—but it’s definitely not my best.
I sometimes get compliments when I wear black, but that’s because people are either noticing the item itself (it’s wearing me), or my paleness, which is more of a deathly pallor.
(Consider how healthy and alive the women below look in black, even when they’re pale.)
I keep coming back to it because it’s convenient, but I’m instituting a new rule for myself: No more black!!! (At least not near my face.)
No inky blue
It’s tempting to replace black with navy blue, but I have to be careful. Muted navy is good, but pure, “inky” navy is only slightly less terrible than black on me.
No pure white
Pure white is bright—too bright for me. I need cool, muted white, which means tinted with grey.
…Okay, it was too hard to find a celebrity wearing pure white. Below is a warm white, but it looks like pure white on Angela Bassett.
Warm white looks old and yellowed on me, like mildewed lace, but on her it’s divine.
I used to think I could wear gold if only I had a tan.
I was wrong. No matter how much self-tanner I used, I could never achieve the golden goddess look.
And that’s okay! In my best colors, I glow with moonlight, not sunshine.
I appreciate the sight of a spectacular woman in gold—like a Klimt painting—much more now that I’ve stopped trying to emulate it.
Such is the gift of color analysis: Appreciation without envy.