Fashion is a very personal thing. Over and above the trends and all the discussions about what’s in and what’s out each season, fashion at its core is about who you are as a person. Even A-list Hollywood actresses who have access to the best designers get it wrong at times. Just because it’s a designer dress doesn’t mean it will make you look like a million bucks. You need to know your body and your skin tone, what works and what doesn’t work for you. Every skin tone and body type has colours that look fabulous on it and colours that lead to less-than-satisfactory results.
Knowing which colour looks best on you is the first crucial step towards becoming a fashionista who gets it right every single time. Let us first look at colour and how it works with your skin tone.
Your skin tone has some influence on the type of colours that will look best on you. Let us first split colours into two broad categories—warm colours and cool colours.
[Also Read: clothing colors for pale skin]
Here’s an image to illustrate the two categories.
Typically, warm colours look best on dusky/dark skin tones while cool colours look great on fairer/paler skin tones. Let this be the basic understanding of colour that guides your clothing choices in the future. Have you ever looked washed out or overly dull in a photo for no apparent reason? Look again to see if you were wearing a colour from the wrong side of the colour wheel. When fair skinned people were warm colours, they run the risk of looking pale and washed out. Similarly, when dusky people wear cool colurs, there is a very high chance that the colour will look overly stark, making them look dull and dim. So always choose colours that will suit your skin tone.
While Bipasha looks quite dashing in both the above pictures, the red dress does bring out a warm glow to her skin and suits her better than the green, wouldn’t you agree?
This is no secret: dark colours give an illusion of a slimmer figure. So if you are bottom-heavy, then you may want to opt for dark trousers or skirts to make your body look more proportionate. Lighter colours are more suitable if you want to make your body look curvy and full. Also, dark colours make you look mature while light colours give a more youthful appearance.
Another thing to keep in mind is to stay away from glitter and sequins if you are overweight. Sequins tend to reflect light and highlight all your faults. So if you are aiming to look slim, you may want to go in for subtler options.
It’s not just your clothes that need to work, what about your makeup? The same warm colour/cool colour concept applies to your makeup as well. Are you still hunting for that perfect shade of red lipstick? If yes, then you need to apply the colour concept to the undertone of the red shade. If the red has a blue undertone, then it is going to look great on fair skinned women. If in contrast, the red has an orange/warm undertone, then it will suit dusky skin tones. For instance, check out Angelina Jolie’s bright/cool red and Beyonce’s warm/burnt red. The shades go perfectly with their respective fair and dusky skin tones.
Now imagine if they had swapped the colours. Nah wouldn’t look too great, would it? So knowing your skin tone and which colours go with it could make all the difference between being a rock star in the spotlight to being a wallflower who no one notices.
So does that mean you should only ever wear colours that are listed in your side of the colour spectrum? Well, not necessarily. What we’re trying to achieve is a full understanding of the workings of colour in respect to one’s skin tone and body type. Once you’ve mastered that, you can then go ahead and push the limits and experiment. If you are bold, you could also try color blocking. As we mentioned earlier, fashion is, after all, a very personal thing.