How-To Fashion Guide: Colour and your Complexion

Have you ever wondered how to dress correctly for your skin tone? How many of us even know what our skin tone actually is? Sure, everyone knows their ethnicity. But within every ethnicity, all over the world, skin tones have cool, warm and neutral tones which can dramatically affect the way the colours you wear affect your appearance.

So, how do you figure out your own skin tone and what are the rules around dressing for it?

Fashion and your skin type

I thought I knew my skin colour. What’s my complexion got to do with my skin tone?

Well, everyone’s skin has a tinge that’s either golden or cool. Golden complexions are the “warm” tones and there will be a slightly yellow tint if you hold a piece of white paper up to your skin in natural light. If your skin tone is “cool”, you will notice a slight blue tint when you hold up the piece of paper. A few people really can’t figure this out. If this sounds like you, it’s possible you have a “neutral” skin tone. This opens up the whole spectrum to you, but caution against going for the brightest variation of any colour as your best colours are the ones that fall in the more subtle shades.

We always say, when choosing what to wear the number one rule is, do what makes you feel your best. But since we’re looking at a very specific, often confusing part of how to look great, we’ll try to get a bit more scientific here. It’s quite easy really. Once you know your skin’s undertone, try to match it with the colours that you wear.

 

How best to approach matching tone on tone

To wear the season’s hottest colours doesn’t mean you should rush out and invest in an entire new wardrobe every few months. Keep wearing your favourite wardrobe staples but mix them up with accents that you can buy seasonally, like a great scarf or handbag in winter, and in summer some statement accessories like fun earrings or strappy coloured sandals. There’s no reason that anyone can’t wear any colour, as long as the colours right next to your face correspond to your skin tone.

Examples of models and their skin tones

In the pictures below, Layinah and Eden are both warm-skin tones while Dumisa has cool skin. Thus, Layina and Eden will look amazing in warm, golden colours and neutrals such as fawn, camel and creamy white. Dumisa will be radiant in cooler tones with an icy quality and neutrals such as black, navy, dark grey and pure white.

 

 

Dressing for your personality

While your skin tone might match certain colours, your personality might not. What will happen if you’re a quieter, more introverted person and you wear a colour that’s too “loud” for your personality is that your outfit will “wear you”. You’ll stand out like a sore thumb and seem out of place. If you’re flamboyant and yet you wear colours that are washed out and insipid, you’re personality won’t match-up and there will seem to be something off-keel.

My number one tip for always being on trend in terms of colour is this: buy the majority of your wardrobe staples, the expensive bits, in your suitable “neutrals”. Then, seasonally buy the odd piece in the fashionable colours which you can then use to modernise your look.

 

To wear the season's hottest colours doesn't mean you should rush out and invest in an entire new wardrobe every few months. Keep wearing your favourite wardrobe staples but mix them up with accents that you can buy seasonally, like a great scarf or handbag in winter, and in summer some statement accessories like fun earrings or strappy coloured sandals. There's no reason that anyone can't wear any colour, as long as the colours right next to your face correspond to your skin tone.
To wear the season's hottest colours doesn't mean you should rush out and invest in an entire new wardrobe every few months. Keep wearing your favourite wardrobe staples but mix them up with accents that you can buy seasonally, like a great scarf or handbag in winter, and in summer some statement accessories like fun earrings or strappy coloured sandals. There's no reason that anyone can't wear any colour, as long as the colours right next to your face correspond to your skin tone.

Colour and your complexion: dressing for your skin type