Topic of Conversation

Color Me Pretty

Q: My New Year’s resolution was to wear more color. It’s now February and I definitely haven’t incorporated anything more adventurous than navy into my wardrobe. I have no idea what will look good on my fair skin. Any ideas for what might look good?

Lots of women find themselves in a similar situation where it’s a safe bet to buy  the dress in black as you’re more likely to have pieces in your closet that already match your new purchase. It, however, is a trap! The only reason you have a black handbag, shoes and belt to match your dress is because you’ve used the same mental justification in the past for purchasing said “practical” black accessories. Now you’re left with a wardrobe of exclusively black everything.

Props to you though for breaking this cycle with your resolution! Spring’s trends feature a lot of refreshing new hues: orchid purple, bright royal blue, spicy orange and tangerine. The overwhelming task at hand though is which colors will you actually wear? Your skin tone is an important deciding factor as your black separates will match any of the following color suggestions.

Step number one is identifying your skin’s undertones—not skin tone, undertone. Unlike your skin tone which can get tanner or paler throughout the year, your undertone, or the color or shadow of your skin that lies beneath, is constant and unchanging. This step-by-step guide by will help you identify if your skin is cool, warm or neutral.

If you have a cool undertone, pale colors with cool or blue undertones will flatter your skin best. Grey, black and stark white stand in beautiful contrast to your skin but, when it comes to adding a splash of color, shades of blue from pale sky to deep ocean blue or a metallic silver should be your go-to.

Warm undertones look stunning in Earth tones like chocolate brown, burnt orange and warm red. Think of autumn’s color palette and work within that spectrum for your wardrobe. As for jewelry, warm tones are the most apt at pulling off rose gold metallics.

Neutral undertones have the best of both worlds being able to pull off the cool and warm sides of the color wheel. We recommend dipping into the pastels though for a springy alternative to white. When in doubt, jewel tones like sapphire blue, amethyst purple and emerald green are universally flattering.

Thankfully, your predominately black wardrobe will have you poised and ready to match any new colors that you may introduce into your clothing repertoire. If not, well then it sounds like you have a good excuse to go shopping!