The phenomenal seasonal color analysis system originated in the 1920s through home economics university classes. In the 1970s books began to appear about how to identify the most flattering colors to wear, and in 1980 Carole Jackson released Color Me Beautiful. Her seasonal color analysis method set off a firestorm of excitement about personal color. Interest in personal color analysis has since settled down, but it has never faded away. Wonderful, older and newer books on seasonal analysis are still available at Barnes & Noble and Borders book stores.
People can become very passionate about color, and if they've invested time, energy and money into exploring the 12-palette seasonal color analysis method, they can become strongly opinionated, so we might as well jump into the deep end of the subject.
First of all, let me say I don't view seasonal color analysis as the definitive solution. Carole Jackson doesn't either. By her own admission she believes this system to be imperfect. A recent quote by Anna Villaruel of The Chic Fashionista reported one of the flaws, "because ethnic women have less variation in hair and eye color, the Carole Jackson system often leaves out Latinos, Asians, Africans and Mediterraneans," In walking her readers through seasonal analysis, Anna begins by stating, "Seasonal color analysis can be a little bit tricky to understand..."
I found that to be an understatement. In fact, I find the process to be impossible. There can be no certain conclusion. Words that came to mind as I read through the analysis process were "ambiguity," "opinion," "subjectivity," "complexity," "imprecision," "uncertainty," "guessing," "frustration," "undefined terms" and "maze." (Yes, some of these words are redundant, but they came to mind, nonetheless.) I believe that reasonable people could very easily arrive at different conclusions about an individual's proper category placement with the seasonal approach to personal color analysis.
Look at some of Anna's phrases which are designed to guide a person in deciding whether she/he is a Light, Clear or Warm Spring:
"if you're a Spring you probably have..."
"warm in complexion, but...brighter with light to medium color intensity"
"light blond, medium brown, golden or reddish highlights"
"golden or peachy undertones"
"your colors are hard to find because they can never be muted or too dark"
"you should choose colors that are 'alive' with a hint of gold--meaning balance between muted and dark"
"if you get tanned you can wear the lime green and sometimes some of the Autumn colors"
"the same thing happens if you dye your hair darker"
"lighter or darker eye color"
And to help identify Clear Springs, look for skin tone that is "bronze, deep warm brown, brown-black, light peach or porcelain."
A gorgeous color fan of "accurate quality color swatches" is available for purchase once a person has identified their proper seasonal category. My question is, accurate by what standard?