Color can be a cruel mistress. A large portion of us realizes that we could remain to win a couple of style focuses by giving shades outside our customary range of familiarity a go. However — like finding the correct haircut for your face shape — choosing tones that work with your complexion is frequently more difficult than one might expect. With such a vivid range of shades on offer, it’s no mean feat sorting the wheat from the chaff.
Presently, some of you will undoubtedly disagree, saying it’s not actually advanced science, yet just an issue of giving something a shot and sand sizing it up in a changing room mirror before you buy. Also, to a degree, you’re correct. Yet, in the event that you need to shave a break your shopping rounds or purchase all the more unhesitatingly on the web, at that point it merits familiarizing yourself with a couple of basic standards with regards to knowing the tones that are certain to compliment you.
First step; Erase the bookmarks you made for those online tests dependent on as far as anyone knows advanced calculations. Furthermore, scrap those aides that believe they’re helping you out by naming you with a season (truly, WTF?). These may be fine for a little light entertainment, yet realizing your skin is ‘winter’ isn’t too valuable with regards to taking action.
Secondly, take a look at your forearm. To best judge on which hues should frame the center of your wardrobe, you’ll need to determine whether your skin is pale, medium/olive, dark. Once that’s out of the way, read on for a blow-by-blow guide to finding the colors that work for you.
Find yourself constantly looking for somewhere to shade from the summer sun? More freckles than a speckled goose egg? Or, at the very least have a red, blonde or light brown hair? Chances are you’re the proud owner of a milky pallor.
Colors To Wear
If you’ve got pale skin and light features; then hues that clearly contrast with your skin tone will – quite literally – bring some color to your complexion.
“I’d recommend basing your outfit around darker colors, which you can combine with lighter colors,” says Selfridge’s personal shopper and stylist Daniel Rhone.
Darker colors like grey, brown, burgundy, bottle green, navy and bolder shades of blue; will all work well as these shades contrast with your skin tone.
Colors To Avoid
Given that, in the wrong lighting at least, you could be mistaken for a cadaver; you’ll want to avoid soft, pastel shades or bright colors as these will only wash you out further. The same goes for neutrals too; so rather than white, light beige or stone, choose richer shades such as sand, camel, khaki and slate grey.
“This doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself through color. It just means you have to mix light colors with dark ones,” adds Rhone.
Red, though not best suited to the ruddier, rosy-cheeked pale person; it can work for more alabaster pale skin tones; when worn in bold shades like crimson.
If you’ve got olive-toned skin that tends to tan rather than toast in the sun; then you have what’s known as a ‘warm’ complexion which suits a much wider spectrum of colors than those with fair skin or ‘cool’ complexions.
Colors To Wear
While most colors will work with a medium skin tone; you can ensure you look your best by opting for shades that are either a little brighter or darker than the middle ground.
What does that mean exactly? Choose pale beige rather than the warm sand color if you’re opting for light neutrals; or try a bolder shade of purple (such as magenta) rather than mauve, for example.
“I’d recommend a lighter color palette, with white being the obvious choice to accentuate your skin tone,” says Rhone. It’s good news, then, that the stark shade is no longer limited to linen. Outside of the sunny season, try a pair of white jeans with a dark jacket for a standout look.
Colors To Avoid
Since your skin will likely have yellow or green undertones; it’s wise to avoid wearing shades of these colors that are too close to your skin tone.
What you’re trying to avoid here is ending up looking nude i.e. having your skin blend in with your clothing. Hues you should probably give the heave-ho include pistachio, mustard, olive and mocha brown.
For trickier looks like all-white or pastels-on-pastels; make sure you’re tanned enough (closer to black rather than green olive, if you will); to carry it off without looking washed out.
Darker Skin Tone
Much like those with medium skin, when it comes to finding colors that suit you; guys with darker skin have won the genetic lottery; they can try their hand at pretty much any hue without much need for trepidation.
Colors To Wear
The world, gentlemen, truly are your oyster. The color of your skin is perfectly positioned to marry well with the vast majority of hues and shades. As it doesn’t run the risk of being washed out like comparatively pale skin tones.
With that said, there are a couple of caveats. “Having a license to wear bold, bright colors like jade green or cobalt blue is great. But be mindful of adding balance to your outfit with a color that will hold the look together,” advises Rhone.
In practice, that means not spinning the color wheel; but choosing a single pop of color or two that complement rather than compete with each other.
Colors To Avoid
Brown is pretty much a no-go. Much like how pastel shades wash out paler skin tones; brown won’t contrast clearly enough with your skin, resulting in your look ‘bleeding’ into your skin.
While black and navy are two key colors in any man’s wardrobe (making up the majority of formal and corporate wear); it’s worth keeping these to a minimum to really make the most of your especially versatile skin tone.
“Personally, I don’t subscribe to a color chart that dictates how you should dress based on your skin tone,” says Rhone. “Style is, and always has been, about self-expression, and I always advise my clients that if there is a color you like, go and wear it with confidence. That said, it’s worth being mindful of colors that work together.”