A green for all seasons: how to wear this color trend

Green is one of the biggest fashion color trends this year, and I’m pretty jazzed as it’s one of my favorite colors! Green reminds us of nature, and is said to evoke a sense of calm and optimism.

How to wear green by season: a guide for choosing the best shades for your coloring.

It can be a tricky color to wear, though. In the right green we can look healthy and vibrant, but the wrong shade can make us look sickly or muddy. I’ve put together a quick guide by seasonal color palette to help you find best greens for your coloring.

How to wear green: the best shades for each seasonal color palette

Green is a mix of blue and yellow pigments. When there is more blue than yellow, the green will be cool. More yellow than blue results in a warmer green. If you are a Summer or Winter, you will want to stick with the cooler greens. Springs and Autumns will look best in warmer greens.

Most seasonal palettes have a range of greens, from pale to deep. Which of the greens within a seasonal palette will work best for you will depend on factors like your own contrast levels, and what you wear them with. And personal preferences, of course. This is meant to be a general guide.

A caveat: colors can look different on a monitor than in real life. I have not seen all of these pieces in person, so am going by how they appear on my monitor.

Seventy crepe jersey top in spring green.

SPRING

If you are a Spring, your colors will be warm (yellow-based), splashy, and clear. For your best greens, think new leaves and those first shoots of grass. Colors range from seafoam to a warm apple green to a deep leaf green. Spring greens have been hard to find until recently. Left, this top is a good example of a yellow-based, clear Spring green. Avoid: blue-based greens (emerald, holly) or greyed shades.

More Spring greens

Chico's sandwashed maxi dress in light jade green (summer).

SUMMER

The Summer palette is soft and cool (blue-based). For your greens, think jade, duck egg, and pastel aqua shades. This dress is a good example of a medium green within the Summer palette. Avoid: greens that lean more yellow, or are clear/deep.

More Summer greens…

Talbot's embroidered gauze top in olive green.

AUTUMN

Autumn colors are warm, earthy, rich, and can be soft or vibrant. Greens in the Autumn palette range from sage to avocado to moss to bronze to olive. The embroidered top to the left is in the medium of the range. You lucky Autumns have a LOT to choose from now! Avoid: cool greens (emerald) or splashy Spring greens.

More Autumn greens…

Cece tie neck blouse in emerald green (winter).

WINTER

Winter colors are cool and clear, often bright and highly contrasted. For Winter greens, look for shades of emerald and holly. The dark emerald top to the right is a good example. There are also some icy green pastels in the Winter palette, but they can be hard to find. Avoid: yellow-based greens, or greens that are soft/smoky. Winters need clarity in their colors.

More Winter greens…

For those who have asked, yes I will be launching in-person color analysis services. I’m just working out some logistics and formatting, and will announce once I’m ready to start working with clients.

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28 Comments

  1. I love these color posts. 40 years ago (or more???) when I graduated from college, my mother paid $50.00 so that I could have my colors done. At that time, and for our family – that was quite an investment. But I loved the experience and still have my swatch wallet that gets quite a bit of use. I am a summer – and that green dress has been ordered and is on its way to me! Thank you Susan!

    1. Same for me! I still have my colors from decades ago and they still work. I like that you showed the greens for the different (colors). I’m a summer and usually find green difficult. But my sister gave me a sweater for Christmas — it has just the right amount of blue in it so it’s flattering.

  2. You have done it this time Susan! I love this. I’m at the beginning of my journey of wanting to wear my seasonal colors. This post is exactly what I’ve been searching for. Can’t wait for you to start accepting clients. Thank you!

  3. I’m not fond of green, particularly near my face. My go to color is blue as I lean cool in my coloring. But I look good in mint green, and one of my best colors is a gray-olive green. It compliments my complexion and hazel eye color beautifully. The gray-olive green is not an easy color to find as most olive colors lean towards yellow green, so I scoop up the tops and jackets in that color when needed, and when they’re available.

  4. Years ago I went thru Color Me Beautiful. I was a Spring and have somewhat followed those guidelines for the last 40 year! Love seeing your choices!

  5. Loved this post and would love to see you do this with other colors ! Super helpful. I’m a Winter and rarely wear green but you gave me some great ideas.

  6. This is a great article. I’m a Paint Box Spring. I had my colors done in London by Red Leopard after I saw your article about the process. Even when you know your colors it’s sometimes difficult to figure out nuances. However seeing the colors of each season together is a great visual that really shows the differences. Good luck in your new venture.

  7. After, I diagnosed myself as a Summer last year, I found my closet was full of Spring clothes that I loved and couldn’t bear to get rid of. I let my closet make the diagnosis, and I have been a happy Spring ever since. It was the pastels that threw me off — I need strong color near my face. A jewel tone from the “wrong” pallet works better for me than pastels from the “right” one. Would you discuss the effect of the color strength when determining your color pallet?
    Also — did I miss the packing recap from your trip to Paris and London? I look forward to those.

  8. Super helpful post Susan, thank you. Very nice to see the different shades to help guide. I’m a soft autumn, but as I am greying some of my go to colours arent working as wel, especially as I’m not very grey yet, just a mix of folder and grey tones. Any guidance on that with respect to which palate I should look more to, since I know are letting your hair sparkle too?

  9. I’m excited to hear you’ll be offering your in person color analysis Susan! I’d like to be on the list

  10. Thanks for this, Susan. I was born a Winter, and apparently, my mom used to wrap me in an emerald green towel because I looked good in it (LOL). Today, many decades later, I’m washed out. I wonder if aging changes the intensity of the colors we look good in.

  11. This was fantastic! You’ve done a great job showing the variations for each season! This is what I’ve been looking for and it was soooo helpful. Looking forward to more of these posts. Thank you!

  12. Amazing post! Recently was told that Im a Winter. Please continue to show color as you’ve done today. Looking forward to following you on your newest
    adventure.

  13. Thanks for the information regarding greens… very well presented… and that’s exactly why a Kelly green dress recently went to consignment !
    I am a soft Autumn ( Red Leopard with Manina in April) ,and can wear some spring greens. Funny how colours work for each individual.

  14. That summer grey-green is hard to find. On the positive side, it’s the color of my eyes. One negative with green, it brings out any greenish tones in blonde hair. It’s a trade off.

  15. Frustratingly, many colour analysis web pages base everything on original hair colour or hair that is covered by a cloth. There are very few photo examples of women with grey or white hair. As a newly grey Winter I’m struggling with depth and intensity. I have found I still need bright, but perhaps lighter, though not as far as Icy (too light). Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Angela, check out my friend Josephine’s blog, Chic At Any Age. She is naturally silver/gray and wears lots of bright cool colors, and might provide some inspiration.

      1. Thank you, I do follow Josephine, she chooses her colours well and recently spectacularly wore a gorgeous green. I seem to think she was a blonde summer but perhaps now chooses brighter tones for her lovely grey hair.

  16. Hi Susan,
    I have followed you for a number of years now. I watched you give up black & moved to your lovely spring colors. I was in London last spring visiting my daughter & grandkids. I took my daughter Ryan & myself to Red Leopard for a color & style. It was for Ry’s 40th & my 65th birthdays. Turns out I am a paintbox spring & Ry is an autumn. My question for you is what colors do you consider your neutrals.?
    Thanks,
    Jami

    1. Hi Jami, thanks! I’ve planned to do some posts on neutrals for different seasons, but at the moment my neutrals are mostly brown, camel, ivory, denim (not too faded/icy). In the cooler months I also wear some Bright Navy.

  17. Such great information Susan, thank you. I read somewhere that everybody looks good in green yet it’s a hard colour to sell, probably because we can’t figure out which one to wear !

  18. Now I am totally confused. If I look at all your greens I am as well a spring as an autumn…
    Greetje

    1. Some of the Spring and Autumn greens are close, and can cross over between the two seasons. My green Herno jacket is in between Spring & Autumn greens.