Clothing Colors that Flatter Your Skin Tone

You may have a favorite color that you’d just love to wear, but every time you pick up an item from the clothing rail at the store, you look in the mirror and think ‘this just doesn’t suit me.’This is often due to one main reason: it’s all dependent on skin tone. Clothing colors can either brighten your skin tone or completely wash you out when paired against certain skin tones, hair colors, and eye colors. It may take a little trial and error to discover what’s best for you, but we have put together a short guide to give you some helpful hints.

The ‘white paper test

Before you can make any decisions on which colors are best suited to your skin tone, you need to do the ‘white paper test.’Your skin tone can change dramatically throughout the course of a year for a number of reasons, including the likes of sun exposure or skin conditions which may cause reddening. There are also undertones to your skin which can influence its overall appearance.

Ensure your face is completely free of make-up or lotions which could go on to affect the results. Wash your face and wait at least 15 minutes so that the temporary redness from washing has time to fade. Also, be sure to take the test within natural daylight rather than artificial light, or you may find that you come to an inaccurate result.

Hold the white piece of paper up to your face and compare it against the tone of your skin. If you find that your skin has a yellow or light brown hue, you’re considered to have a warm skin tone. If your skin has a rosy pink or blue tinge, you have a cool skin tone. Finally, if your skin appears gray in hue, it’s likely you have a neutral skin tone.

If you suffer from a skin condition such as acne or rosacea or have recently been exposed to sunlight which has caused you to tan or develop redness, ask someone to hold the piece of paper behind your ear for the best result.  

Colors for warm skin tones

If you have been blessed with a warm skin tone, you should opt to wear bright and bold colors which are warm in hue, such as the likes of orange, coral, red, dark pink, amber, gold and yellow. With that being said, it may not be the best idea to mix and match too many colors at one time, but instead, a single pop of color to an outfit will really compliment your look.

Try and avoid brown tones as it can really wash out warmer tones in the skin and perhaps steer clear from black and navy. While the latter two are most commonly worn for work, try and keep personal clothing items to a minimum as they can often appear muted against the skin which is warmer in tone.

Colors for cool skin tones

Those with cool skin tones are best to choose colors inspired by winter or the ocean. You guessed it; pale blues, lavenders, greys, while bolder colors such as emeralds, deep purples, blues, and even pinks are equally as complimentary.

Try and avoid tones such as reds, oranges, and yellows, as they are extremely likely to wash out paler skin tones.

Colors for neutral skin tones

For those with neutral skin tones, there is a certain element of freedom to wear pretty much any color on the color wheel, which makes for extremely easy styling. However, it would be best to stick to softer tones as opposed to loud and bright hues. Colors such as magenta and royal blue can appear too harsh against the skin, so opt for neutral coloring such as coffees, grays, black, subtle yellows and pinks that offer a hint of color without being too overbearing.

Colors for anyone

Although each person has their own unique skin tone, there are still colors which can be worn by anyone, providing they strike the correct balance between cool and warm. For example, anyone can pull off bright white, if there are no subtle warm or cool undertones which can affect how it appears against the skin. Likewise, teal offers a clever blend of green and blue that is suitable for both the summer and winter seasons. Finally, if you believe that navy or black just isn't your color, dark purple acts as a fantastic alternative to bringing out the very best of any skin tone without too much intensity.

Dressing well is centered around the colors you choose to wear, so next time you’re on a shopping spree for new clothing, try out a few different shades that are deemed suitable for your skin tone by using the tips above.