True Autumn

A Comprehensive Guide

True Autumn is the season that we think of as the ‘typical’ autumn colours – the ones reflected on autumn leaves or the fields of corn and wheat that are ready to harvest.

This colour palette is reminiscent of a walk through an autumn forest – rich, warm, and somewhat muted with an earthy feel to it.

True Autumn is the original Autumn season in the four seasons colour analysis and sits between Soft Autumn and Dark Autumn on the seasonal flow chart. Its opposite season is True Spring, and in contrast to the latter, True Autumn’s appearance is muted and rich as opposed to bright and fresh.

Wardrobe Building Essentials
Everything you need to build a True Autumn wardrobe.


Please note: Do not worry too much if one characteristic of your appearance deviates from the below descriptions. You may still fall into this colour season if your overall appearance matches the profile.

The following images are examples of True Autumns. You may look different but still be a True Autumn.

You are a True Autumn if the dominant characteristic of your overall appearance is warm, and the secondary characteristic is muted.

When you look in the mirror the first thing you notice about your colouring is the warmth that radiates from every feature. Your skin, hair, and eyes all have rich, golden undertones.

In addition, your colouring is soft and muted as opposed to bright and clear. This means that instead of clearly standing out, your skin, hair, and eyes colours complement each other and blend together. The contrast between the features is medium.

The Features

I. Eyes

True Autumn eyes are rich and warm. Often they are a mix of brown, green, and medium gold. The most common colours are deep warm green, olive green, dark hazel, amber, and golden brown. Though rare, deep blue eyes with a teal cast and very warm chocolate brown eyes are also possible (the latter is common for darker ethnicities). Typical for Autumn eyes, you may see swirling erratic borders around the pupil and freckles on the iris.

II. Skin

True Autumn skin has obvious warm undertones – meaning gold looks great against it, but silver looks very disharmonious. Skin tones range from fair to dark (I to V on the Fitzpatrick scale). Freckles are also possible. What’s most distinctive about the skin’s colouring is the bronzy or golden glow it emanates when paired with rich, warm colours. Against true black, the skin may appear yellowish.

III. Hair

Like the other features, the hair radiates a rich warmth. It comes in a variety of shades – from golden blonde to medium golden brown, and auburn. Very dark brown hair is less frequently seen but is also possible (especially for darker ethnicities). When exposed to the sun, True Autumn hair often develops highlights, which can be golden, caramel, bronze, or rusty.

IV. Contrast

True Autumn has a medium level of contrast between skin, hair, and eyes. In the images below, you can see how the hair and eyes are darker against the skin but the contrast is not very strong. In fact, all of the features have a grey tint; there are no truly light and dark areas.

True Autumn vs True Spring

True Autumn and True Spring sit opposite each other on the seasonal flow chart. Both seasons have warm as their dominant characteristic. The distinguishing feature between them is their secondary characteristic – True Spring’s appearance is bright and clear, whereas True Autumn’s is muted.

This means that True Autumn’s appearance is toned down and the features blend together. The level of contrast between the features is also lower compare to True Spring.

True Spring, on the other hand, has a fresh and clear colouring. Where True Autumn features complement each other, True Spring features contrast each other.

The Colour Palette

True Autumn is the heyday of autumn in all its glory. Golden crowns of trees flaunt against a bright blue sky; the fallen leaves show their most beautiful brown, orange, and yellow colours. These are rich, golden wheat fields, warm sun rays, and golden sunsets.

In terms of colours, the following images are representative of the warm, rich colours that are part of the True Autumn colour palette:

The Palette

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True Autumn is the original Autumn season in the four seasons colour analysis and is so the most ‘standard’ Autumn palette. Its colours are somewhat muted, medium-dark, and have a distinct yellow undertone to match the warm skin.

The season falls at the very warmest end of the wider Autumn colour palette. It contains warm greens, golden yellows, orangey reds, and lots of golden browns. The colours are dense, rich, and warm.

Autumn is a season of muted colours. However, the True Autumn colour palette overall appears rich and vibrant. The colours softness is only apparent when compared to a truly bright season, such as Spring.

Colour Dimensions

On the three dimensions of colour, True Autumn has the following properties:


True Autumn’s dominant characteristic is warm and so the colour palette sits at the warmest end of the hue scale. This means its colours contain yellow undertones but no blue undertones at all. Consequently, you will find very few shades of blue (which is the coolest colour of all) on the palette. And you will only see warmer shades of blue – like turquoise, that have a tint of yellow. Instead, there are more yellows, greens, and warm browns, which are naturally yellow-based.


The colours range from fairly light (beige) to fairly dark (deep brown). And while most colours are in the middle of the value scale, there are more that lean towards the darker end.


In line with this season’s secondary characteristic, the colours are medium-low in chroma. This means they are not saturated. However, the colours may overall appear more saturated because our eyes are more reactive to warm colours.

Sister Palettes

True Autumn sits between Soft Autumn and Dark Autumn on the seasonal flow chart. It is at the heart of the Autumn palette, and the colours are somewhat muted, medium-dark, and very warm.

With their opposite season True Spring, the colours share the same warmth but are softer and darker. True Spring colours are vibrant, clear, and more contrasting.

Compared to Soft Autumn, the colours are warmer, brighter, and slightly darker overall.

Compared to the third Autumn sub-season Dark Autumn, the colours are warmer, softer, and slightly lighter.

As sister palettes, Soft Autumn and Dark Autumn both share True Autumn’s characteristics of muted and warm, respectively. This means you can borrow some of their palettes’ colours as they are close enough to the True Autumn colour palette. On the Soft Autumn palette, opt for the darker and brighter shades – such as cardinal or claret red. Whereas on the Dark Autumn palette, choose the lighter colours – such as copper and spinach green.



Even though technically you can combine any of the colours on your colour palette with each other, certain combinations will look much better than others:

True Autumn’s natural appearance blends rather than contrasts. Therefore, the best colour combinations for your outfits are those that complement each other. In addition, your natural colour contrast is medium – so your colour choices should reflect that. What does this mean?

Firstly, avoid combining colours that are overly contrasting, i.e. hues that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel – such as orange and blue. Since your natural colouring is muted, these combinations may be overpowering on you.

Instead, select colours that resemble each other in hue or value. You could, for example, opt for a monochromatic look and combine different shades of one hue – such a light olive green with a darker olive green. Or you could combine neighbouring hues with the same level of darkness – such as a medium orange with a medium peach. Another option is to pair a darker neutral with a lighter accent colour.

Although these combinations have a degree of contrast, they complement each other more. They will therefore also complement your natural appearance.

Even though your palette leans towards the darker end, true black is not the best colour for you since it is too dark, cool, and harsh. In its place, you have dark browns, deep warm navies, and very dark slightly-olive greens.

The best versions of white for True Autumn are slightly yellowed off-whites that are warmer than true white. Variations of beige, cream, and ecru are also good.

Colours to Avoid

Apart from white and  black, avoid cool and toned-down colours – such as pastel pink or ice blue, which clash with your natural warmth and richness, and will make you look off. Extremely bright and vibrant colours will swallow up your naturally muted colouring.

Wardrobe Building Essentials
Everything you need to build a True Autumn wardrobe.

Patterns & Prints

If you are thinking of incorporating some patterns and prints into your wardrobe, consider the following:

The best patterns are those that only contain True Autumn colours – like in the first example below.

If a pattern contains some but not much colour from a disharmonious palette – like in the second example, you can also wear it.

The last example contains too much of a disharmonious colour (a True Winter pink, which is cool and bright), so it’s best left alone.

Since your natural colouring is low- to medium-contrast, opt for patterns that reflect this natural level of contrast rather than ones which are too bold.

In the example below, both patterns are in True Autumn colours and wearable. However, the second pattern displays a higher contrast between the elements and is therefore less flattering.

Great patterns for True Autumn are those that correspond to autumn itself – leaves, wood structures, as well as oval shapes, and unusual and extraordinary effects. Geometric shapes are less common in Autumn patterns – with the exception of retro patterns.

Natural floral patterns – like in the first example, are not your best choice. If you want to wear floral patterns, the flowers should be highly stylised – as in paisley and oriental patterns.

Avoid very small elements in dense arrangements and stiff, square geometric patterns.


The best metals to match the golden and rich colouring of True Autumn are gold, copper, brass, and bronze.

Metals that are slightly less reflective are especially good – such as hammered, oxidised, and antiqued metals.

Avoid silver, platinum, and white gold, which are completely disharmonious and will clash with your natural warm colouring.

A great stone is amber: All shades of it complement the beauty of True Autumn – it’s the perfect ornament!

Greenish, grassy stones also work and will look especially flattering on green-eyed True Autumns.

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