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Bright vs Soft

This concept is the foundation to Your Color Style™. We're going to dip our toes into some color theory in this chapter. Understanding the Bright vs. Soft concepts will make the rest of your color analysis process super easy.

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One of the biggest reasons a color may not look good on you is because you may be wearing the wrong chroma of that color.

“I can’t wear blue,” a client once told me. “I have a blue sweater, but everytime I wear it, I look washed out.”

When I asked to see the sweater, I learned that she was wearing the wrong type of blue. Her sweater was a pretty muted blue. It had a lot of grey in it. It was very soft. My client’s coloring had a lot of brightness and she really needed the brighter colors.

When we found a bright blue top for her, she lit up.

This happens all the time. The brightness or softness of a color is one of the most important things to consider when understanding if it is going to flatter your natural coloring and tone.


Chroma is the clarity of the color. A clear color is a color that has pure chroma. Meaning there is no grey added to it. It’s not muted.

You can add black to a clear chroma color to darken it and you can add white to it to lighten it, but the color is still considered to be clear.

Below is clear chroma red ranging from dark to light.

A soft color is a color that has muted chroma. The colors are greyed or softened.

You can also add black to a soft color to darken it and add white to lighten it.

The color range below is of muted reds.

Colors that look best on you will be in alignment with your natural coloring and tone. If you have soft coloring, then softer colors, like the muted reds above, will look best on you. If your overall coloring is clear and bright, then clear brighter colors will look best on you.

The Your Color Style™ Color Wheels

In the Your Color Style™ system there are two main color wheels. A bright color wheel and a soft color wheel.  You will wear colors from one of the color wheels. As you’ve learned above, the bright color wheel consists of clear chroma colors and the soft color wheel consists of muted colors.

When I type someone as “Bright” it means that they wear colors from the bright color wheel BEST. And when I type someone as “Soft” it means that they wear colors from the soft color wheel BEST.

Examples of BRIGHT people

Examples of SOFT people

Now, let's learn if you are Bright or Soft based on your level of intensity...