Is your skin tone cool or warm? Certain colors of clothes will just pop on you and really flatter you because it complements your skin tone. There are plenty of colors you'll be able to wear well. But you'll find that if you know what your skin tone is and dress for it, there are certain colors that will just stand out on you and get you more compliments. Image credit: motherofthebrideoutfits.co.uk.

Is your skin tone cool or warm? Certain colors of clothes will just pop on you and really flatter you because it complements your skin tone. There are plenty of colors you'll be able to wear well. But you'll find that if you know what your skin tone is and dress for it, there are certain colors that will just stand out on you and get you more compliments. Image credit: motherofthebrideoutfits.co.uk.

Do you want a rainbow of colors in your closet that all look fantastic on you?

Of course! That is the goal of all this color mumbo jumbo.

Why colors look great on one person and not so great on another is because of a person's unique skin tone. Some colors (like pink) can flatter almost anyone because they come in many shades. Others (like catawba) are very specific to certain skin tones.

Understanding how to wear the right colors for your complexion is just another image tool that will help dressing stylishly and confidently much easier for you.

In my last article, we established what skin tone you were, whether it was warm, neutral, or cool. However, if you're still a bit confused, this "seasons" palette is sure to clear it up for you.

I found this awesome color guide infographic from motherofthebrideoutfits.co.uk. It visually showcases the 12 seasonal color palettes making it easy for you to determine whether you are warm or cool and which season you are. A big fat thanks to them!

Using the Seasons scale and palette to determine which colors look good on you.

So let's explore skin tones a little deeper using the "seasons" scale and guide you on the best wardrobe colors for you based on your hair, eye color, and skin tone.

This infographic says it all, really, and does triple duty with the color analysis.

Summer and winter are the cool skin tones, while spring and autumn are the warm ones. Again, this scale is not about how pale or dark you are. This scale is based on your undertones and establishes if you are a warm type or a cool type.

Don't be imprisoned by your color palette

Here's my caveat. Like I said in the last article, don't go overboard with how strict you stay within your color palette. For example, I find this chart a little confining as each category limits the colors you are "allowed" to wear to a certain depth and hue. These might be the best colors for you but they are certainly not the only flattering colors for you.

I still think the best way to choose clothing items for yourself is to choose according to styles you like and the way they fit you. Then look at the color.

If you love an outfit and it flatters your figure you will most likely rock it because it flatters your figure, you enjoy having it on your body, you feel confident in it because you like it, etc...The color would have to be so horrendous on your skin to outweigh those other factors.

However, on the rare occasion, you will find items that look great on the rack and fit you well but really won't look good with your skin tone. You should not buy those items. But it most likely won't happen that often.

Your best colors are going to make you look and feel good, though.

That being said, our clients do feel empowered whenever they discover their best colors. It's a relief and a pleasure for them to know that wearing an actual color can help them look and feel sophisticated, attractive, and stylish.

As you see how colors work on you, or don't work, your style "eye" will advance. What you think you like now may be different 6 months from now.

I have personally seen many a client's subconscious thinking shift (because of their style education). Their tastes evolve and become more refined to what actually looks great on them without them even recognizing there is a change in their taste.

I recognize their evolution, however, because I started the process off in their closets before their image education. I saw what they were choosing for themselves before we started their image refining journey.

Eventually, they naturally gravitate and feel attracted to colors that look attractive on them. They get to the point where they almost never pull outfits that don't complement their skin tone, almost like they are magically not attracted to them anymore.

Study the seasonal color chart above and discover what category you fall under. Taking note of your very best, most complementary colors can make dressing attractively a whole lot easier.

You also may find that your skin tone falls into a blend of seasons. So, you get to have a couple of the season palettes work gorgeously on you.

Stores typically offer clothing colors during each season that reflects this scale.

In shops, we'll usually see rich earth tones in the fall, crisp icy colors in the winter, regenerative colors in the spring, etc...

The seasons scale is easy to follow because the colors that typically go with those seasons are generally what looks good on you. So once you establish your season, it's a little easier right there to figure out your colors.

Dressing in a trend that clashes with your skin tone.

Some color trends just won't look good on you. For example, a few summers ago we had a huge neon comeback.

There are a lot of people who cannot do neon yellow, for example, but it was everywhere in the stores. If you want to wear neon yellow, but it clashes with your skin, what to do?

If that's the case, you could incorporate the color trend into your accessories. If the color clashes with your skin color, then don't wear it next to your skin or just wear a splash of it. You could wear a neon colored belt with your dress or jeans. Or your shoes could have some of the color trend in them. Or a bracelet. Or a watch. Or a tie.

If you like a color, don't forsake it altogether. Find a way that makes it work for you. There is always a way that works.


Choosing clothing colors that flatters your skin tone is easier than most initially believe. The first step is to determine whether your skin tone is warm or cool. Further color assessment against your hair, eyes, and skin will allow you to further define your warm or cool category.

Learning how to dress with color trends will make it easier for you to dress stylishly. Build a wardrobe of colors that harmonizes with your complexion and you will find that your closet automatically becomes full of easily mixed and matched outfits that you will always feel confident wearing.

If you're ready to find out more about a customized and personalized image consultation for you or a loved one, let's get started! If you are not in Los Angeles, Denver, or Singapore, our consulting services are also offered via internet video conferencing or telephone.

The Shopping Friend is a team of image consultants, personal stylists, shoppers, and coaches dedicated to elevating and improving our customers' and clients' lifestyles and careers through image, communication, and etiquette tools.

Book recommendations for deeper analysis of your skin tone and colors.

For more in-depth color analysis that you can discover yourself, you'll like these books below.

Color Me Beautiful  is my top recommendation because it is timeless in it's color advice, even though it was published in the 80's. The styles are dated, but most of the advice is as sound today as it was 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the original edition is mostly geared towards Caucasians. Most other ethnicities were not considered and Asians and Blacks were generally placed into the Winter category.

Color Me Beautiful's Looking Your Best was written later and represents people of color well. I don't think it replaces the original book but it does have some gems in it. They explain body types clearly and easily. They also explain that all skin tones, no matter how light or dark, can be cool or warm and so then can fall into any season of the four seasons. The authors broadened the basic four seasonal color palettes into 12 (3 for each season). Some find this helpful since their personal coloring is a seasonal blend instead of a clear identification of Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter.

Color Your Style, by David Zyla is a more recent book that also addresses all ethnicities. It doesn't have any pictures which some people like and some really don't like. People who like it say that since there are no pictures, there is no need to question 'off ' ink tones.

Not having pictures allows for a much more personal approach to the system. No visual examples means a person must put his/her own interpretation on the advice - which is the point, after all -- to learn to express oneself. People who don't like this book think some of the advice is not relatable to their lifestyles. That it is more suited for glamorous celebrity lifestyles.

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