Analyzing personal color became extremely popularized in the 80's. This is when my grandmother, Renae Knapp, studied under Robert Dorr who discovered the Blue Base/ Yellow Base Color System. This is also when Seasonal Color Analysis became a hot topic amongst color enthusiasts.
There are many people today that subscribe to the seasonal color analysis and base their wardrobe choices on the color palette of their "season". While there are a lot of truths in this color theory, it hasn't been scientifically backed like Robert Dorr's, and it excludes a number of people.
Seasonal Color Analysis Basics
When getting your colors read according to the seasons analysis, they first take into account your undertone, whether you are warm or cool toned. What does this actually mean? Being warm means you have yellow undertones, and cool means you have blue undertones. This is largely disregarded in the seasonal analysis, as we will explain later.
If you are cool you are either summer or winter, and if you're warm, spring or fall.
Taking it a step further, you are categorized as either light or deep (light or dark). So if you have light skin and light eyes you are thought of as light, and dark eyes and dark hair you have more depth and are put in the deep category.
Therefore, having cool undertones and light features will make you summer, while warm undertones and light features makes you spring. If you have deep features and cool undertones you are winter, deep features and warm undertones you are fall.
There were only 4 categories until it was realized the seasons chart didn't take into consideration chroma, or the saturation of color. This is when it was made more complex and 12 seasons were born.
Issues With Seasons Color Analysis
There are a few issues with the seasons color analysis. First of all, although they categorize the seasons according to your undertone first, when you look at a palette of cool colors, such as the winter palettes, there is a mixture of "cool" and "warm" tones. They mix keys like crazy. Having knowledge of the blue base/ yellow base system under my belt, it is wild to me that seasonal color analysts mix the wrong hues so regularly when creating color palettes.
Also, this system does not work with darker skin tones. If you have dark skin and dark eyes, you will automatically be categorized as a deep winter. However, there are plenty of people with dark brown or black skin that have warm and golden undertones.
Lastly, the seasons color palettes limit you on color! When the color wheel is divided so greatly among seasons, there isn't much to choose from.
The Blue Base/ Yellow Base Color System
The blue base/ yellow base color system is the simplest way to choose colors that look great on you every time. It doesn't need to be complex.
This color system is scientifically proven from decades of intensive research by Robert Dorr. He conducted studies on individuals from all races and all age groups. By analyzing hair colors, skin colors, eye colors, purchasing preferences, and personalities, Robert Dorr concluded that everyone is born blue or yellow based.
The cool part is, you are naturally drawn to the colors in your spectrum. Chances are you are already wearing the colors that look great on you, but having more knowledge of this system will help you look absolutely stunning every time.
There are many individuals that believe they are neutral, a combination of warm and cool, blue and yellow. They may be on the cusp, but when it comes down to it they are either blue or yellow based. They may look okay in either spectrum, but will look dynamite in the right one.
If you have olive skin, you have a blue undertone with a yellow overtone. Put on a blue based color and the yellow in your skin will neutralize. You are blue based.
Whether the seasons analysis resonates with you or the blue base/ yellow base system, I wish you all the best in your color endeavors. May we all be harmonious and honor the natural beauty we were born with.
Thanks for reading!