HOW TO

HOW TO | Wear the Right Colours for Your Skin Tone

Just like finding the right haircut for your face shape— selecting hues that work with your complexion is often easier said than done. With such a kaleidoscopic spectrum of shades on offer, it’s no mean feat sorting the wheat from the chaff. But if you want to shave some time off your shopping rounds or buy more confidently online, then it’s worth acquainting yourself with a few fundamental rules when it comes to knowing the tones that are sure to complement you.

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Fair/Pale Skin:

Find yourself constantly looking for somewhere to shade from summer sun? More freckles than a speckled goose egg? Or, at the very least have red, blonde or light brown hair? Chances are you’re the proud owner of a milky pallor.

Colours 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 colour to your complexion. Darker colours like grey, brown, burgundy, bottle green, navy and bolder shades of blue will all work well as these shades contrast with your skin tone.

Colours To Avoid:

Avoid soft, pastel shades or bright colours 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.

Olive/Medium Skin:

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 colours than those with fair skin or ‘cool’ complexions.

Colours To Wear:

While most colours 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 warm sand if you’re opting for light neutrals, or try a bolder shade of purple (such as magenta) rather than mauve, for example.

Colours To Avoid:

Since your skin will likely have yellow or green undertones, it’s wise to avoid wearing shades of these colours 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. 

Darker Skin:

Much like those with medium skin, when it comes to finding colours that suit you, guys with darker skin have won the genetic lottery and can try their hand at pretty much any hue without much need for trepidation.

Colours To Wear:

The world, gentlemen, truly is your oyster. The colour 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. Be mindful of adding balance to your outfit with a colour that will hold the look together. In practice, that means not spinning the colour wheel like a mad decorator, but choosing a single pop of colour or two that complement rather than compete with each other.

Colours 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 ‘blending’ into your skin. While black and navy are two key colours 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.

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