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The cruel side of colour can make you feel ‘miserable’. And also we all know that it is possible to get some style points by trying out new hues. But, like choosing the right haircut for you face shape, finding shades that match your skin tone can be difficult. There are so many shades to choose from, you may be scratching your head wondering what colors you should wear. Some of you will disagree. They say it’s not rocket science. It’s just a matter of fitting something on and measuring it in a changing mirror before buying. To a certain extent, you are correct. It’s possible to save time shopping online or make your purchase more confidently online by knowing some basic rules about the colors that will complement you.


To answer the daunting question of which colors you should wear, delete all bookmarks that you created for online quizzes that are based on complex algorithms. You should also get rid of any guides that claim they are doing you a favor by giving you a season. While these might be entertaining for a while, knowing that your skin is “winter” is not very useful when it comes time to take action. Second, look at your forearm. You will need to identify whether your skin is light, dark, medium or olive in order to best determine which colors should be used as the core of your wardrobe. After that, let’s get to the good stuff: a guide on how to find the right colours for you.


Are you constantly searching for shade from the summer sun and are you a fair/pale skin? Are you more freckled than a speckled goose eggs? You might have light brown, red or blonde hair. You might be the proud owner a milky complexion.


Colors that contrast with your skin tone and pale features will bring out your skin’s colour. Daniel Rhone, a personal stylist and shopper at Selfridges, says that darker colours are best to base your outfit on. As these colours contrast with your skin, darker colours such as grey, brown and burgundy, navy, and bottle green will work well. Avoid bright, pastel colours and soft shades. You could look like a cadaver if you don’t use the right lighting. This is also true for neutrals. Instead of choosing white, light beige, or stone, opt for richer shades like sand, camel and khaki. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use colour to express yourself. Rhone says that you don’t have to mix dark colours with light colors. While red is not the best choice for a rosy-cheeked, pale complexion, it can be used in bold colours like crimson.


If your skin is olive-toned and tends to toast in the sun, you may have a ‘warm complexion’. This suits a wider range of colours than people with fair skin or a ‘cool’ complexion.


Although most colours work well with medium skin tones, it is possible to make your skin look even more beautiful by choosing shades that are a little darker or lighter than the middle. What does this mean? If you prefer light neutrals, choose pale beige over warm sand. Or, go bolder with purples (such as magenta or mauve). Rhone says that a lighter palette is also recommended, with white the best choice to highlight your skin tone. Rhone says that this is not a limited choice of stark shades. For a unique look, pair white jeans with a dark jacket outside of the sun.


Your skin may have yellow or green undertones so it is best to stay away from wearing colours too similar to your skin. You don’t want to look sloppy. Your skin should blend with your clothes. You should consider mocha brown, olive, mustard and olive as the best hues to give your skin a boost. You’ll need to be able to pull off more complicated looks such as pastels-on–pastels or all-white.


Much like people with medium skin, men with darker skin can find the right colour for them.


All the world is yours. Your skin’s colour is well-suited to blend with a wide range of shades and hues. It doesn’t have to be washed out as easily as comparatively pale skin tones. There are some caveats to this. Rhone advises that you should not wear bright, bold colours such as cobalt or jade green separately, but it is a good idea to add balance to your look with a color that will keep the outfit together. This means that you don’t have to spin the colour wheel like a crazy decorator, but rather choose a few colours that compliment each other.


Brown is a no-go. Brown will not contrast well with your skin and cause your look to ‘bleed’ into your skin. This is similar to how pastel colours wash out pale skin tones. Black and navy are the two most important colours in a man’s wardrobe. They make up the majority formal and corporate wear. However, it is worth limiting their use to maximize your versatile skin tone.

Rhone says that style is about self-expression. She advises clients to wear the colour they like with confidence. It’s important to be mindful of colors that go well together.

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