Dressing up properly is an art unto itself. You need to learn how to pick and choose your outfits and pair them with each other and most importantly you need to learn how to choose the right outfit and the right colour for your skin tone. Choosing the right colour might seem tricky business at first, but don’t worry as we are here to help. We would be guiding you through a step-by-step guide as to how you should choose the right colour for your skin tone.
First, let get to the basics.
How to find your skin tone?
Look at the underside of your forearm in natural daylight. If you have a rosy or pink undertone and blue-tinted veins, you have a cool skin tone. If you have a golden or apricot undertone and green-tinted veins, you have a warm skin tone.
What exactly is skin tone?
To put it simply, skin tone is the natural color of your skin. However, it’s common knowledge that the color can change constantly depending on whether it is winter or summer. The term skin tone also refers to the undertone of your skin, not just the skin color. They might be used interchangeably but they’re slightly different.
So whether your skin is light, medium, or dark color, it’s pretty easy to figure out. But what about your undertone?
Basically, there are 3 skin undertones:
- Warm undertone. Warm represents a greenish-yellowish or peachy undertone.
- Cool undertone. Cool represents a bluish undertone.
- Neutral undertone. Neutral undertone means you can’t really discern if there’s a greenish, bluish, golden, or yellowish undertone. That’s okay, it exists, it’s simply a neutral skin undertone.
Now, determining your skin undertone is not that hard! First of all, look at your wrist area. If you look closely and find out you have a greenish and yellowish undertone, that means you have a warm undertone.
If your skin is prone to burning and it doesn’t tan, you’re a cool undertone. On the other hand, if you don’t need sunscreen and you tan very easily, you’re definitely a warm undertone.
Warm skin undertone
If you have a warm skin undertone, you can try out earthy colors and they will always look good on you. By that, we mean colors like brown, green, warm red, mustard yellow, and anything that is quite warm and natural. Likewise, neutral colors like beige and cream that are softer will really suit you. In terms of metallic colors, gold is the way to go.
Cool skin undertone
If you have a cool undertone, you can try out shades of blue, purple, and green. They will work really well for you especially if you choose pastels. So think about a pastel blue, pastel green, maybe pastel pink, or pastel lavender, those are really great colors. In terms of metallic colors, silver or platinum would likely work better for you. So when in doubt, go with that metallic color.
Then there are 3 types of contrasts.
Three types of contrast:
- High contrast men – You’ve got light colored skin, dark hair.
- Medium contrast – Like me, I’ve got medium skin, dark hair, but not black or anything.
- Low contrast men – They usually have lighter colored hair with lighter colored skin.
How to determine your contrast?
1. Take a photograph of your face and then photocopy in black and white (or take a black and white photograph and print it out).
2. Look at the gray scale above and then look at your skin, eye and hair color and match each to a value on the gray scale.
3. If you feel that your skin color is a 2 (far left) and your eye color is a 9 (far right) then you would have high contrast between your skin and your eyes.
4. If your hair was a 3 or 4 then you would have a very low contrast overall and you’d know that it would be best to wear combinations of clothing that also have low contrast.
Points to remember
- Men with high contrast complexions would want a suit that will mirror that high contrast.
- Men with low contrast complexions should go for a suit/shirt combo that creates a more monochromatic look.
How to choose the right colour for your skin tone?
Skin tone: Light, slightly pink
If you have light skin, with a slight pink to red undertone:
- You should wear: warm khaki colors, peach tones, teals, red, bright blues and greens.
- You should avoid: Black and white. The stark contrast will only accentuate the lack of color.
Skin tone: Light, slightly yellow
If you have light skin, with a slight yellow undertone:
- You should wear: You should go for Pastels as they look best on you. Think baby blue, light pink, lavender, pale yellow. Neutrals also look good on you, such as a light beige and heather gray.
- You should avoid: Really striking or primary colors. Also, too much deep, dark color can wash you out. Stay away from all black or all navy.
Skin tone: Tan / Olive
If you have medium, tan or olive skin:
- You should wear: warm colors such as rich browns, orange-yellow, olive green, deep reds, and purples.
- You should avoid: White and black, pastels, any kind of faded color. These don’t work well with your complexion.
Skin tone: Dark
If you have a darker complexion:
- You should wear: Dark colors, they look great on you like black, dark gray, and navy. Rich, deep colors also look good. Think emerald green, sapphire blue, royal purple. Bright white and pastel colors look great as well.
- You should avoid: Earthy tones and washed out colors; these don’t suit you.
When in doubt: Navy blue, black, white, plum and olive green suit most people irrespective of their individual skin tones, so clothes in these colours can be staples in your wardrobe.
When in doubt, selecting the right colour for your skin tone
Always remember, 80% to 90% of your wardrobe should be very simple colors.
Think of those bright colors like a spice. If you’re cooking something, you don’t want to put a whole lot of spice in there. It just needs to add to the flavor, so we recommend white, grey, navy blue, light blue, brown, indigo, which is to be paired with dark colored jeans- black, tan and khaki, grey. Those are considered to be the core colors. They should make up 80% to 90% of your wardrobe.
See, it isn’t all that difficult. Having these points in mind, you can easily find out which is the right colour for your skin tone and curate your clothes accordingly. Hope this article was of help to you.