Here’s our detailed guide to finding the colours that work for you.

We highly believe in the idea of wearing colours you really love because if there’s a favourite colour you have and you wear it, you wear it with confidence and it manifests. With that being said, you may have observed that several colours appear nicer to others than when you’re the one wearing them. However, not all men don’t have the proper knowledge about why it’s that way and how they can change it. 

You’ve probably tried on an outfit or a piece of clothing, just to discover that for some reason it didn’t look right? It may be that the shades involved weren’t flattering your complexion. Still, it’s not purely about aesthetics. Figuring what works for you and using it to your benefit can make you feel more confident. Plus, manipulating colours in definite ways can even make others see you as being more bold, confident, friendly or loyal. The ability of what colour can do should never be underestimated. But if you really want to control it for yourself, you’ll have to establish where you sit on the skin tone spectrum and keep your wardrobe correspondingly. Here’s our detailed guide to finding the colours that work for you. 

Figure Out What Your Tone Is 

Basically, a skin tone is the natural colour of your skin. This may sound pretty obvious but the colour can actually change all the time depending on whether it is the winter or the summer. Today, the term skin tone also refers to the undertone of your skin, not just the skin colour. Normally, they’re used interchangeably but they’re a bit different. 

There are two ways to think about skin tone and dressing. First is the lightness and darkness of your skin, the other one is the undertone. Even if your skin is light, medium, or dark colour, it’s easy to figure it out. 

Three Skin Undertones 

It’s a bit harder to identify your undertone, but here are the common three skin undertones. 

  • Warm Undertone. Warm is defined as a greenish-yellowish or peachy undertone. 

  • Cool Undertone. Cool is having a bluish undertone. 

  • Neutral Undertone. Neutral is when you can’t identify if there’s a greenish, bluish, golden, or yellowish undertone and there’s basically nothing present that you can make out. It’s okay because having a neutral skin undertone exists. 

#1 Pale/ Fair Skin (Cool Undertone) 

Are you always looking for a place to shade from the summer sun? You got a lot of freckles, or you have at least red blonde or light brown hair. Possibilities are that you’re the proud owner of a  milky parlour.  

Right Colours to Wear 

If you have pale skin and light features, then you can stick to hues that literally contrast with your skin tone. This will bring some colour to your complexion. We highly recommend basing your outfits around darker colours, which you can combine with lighter colours. You can lean on darker colours such as brown, burgundy, grey, bottle green, navy and bolder shades of blue will all work together as these shades contrast with your skin tone. 

Wrong Colours to Avoid 

You could look like a corpse in the wrong lighting at least. Make sure that you avoid soft, bright colours, pastel shades or bright colours as these will only wash you out further. This is the same for neutrals also; so rather than white, light beige or stone, you may pick bolder shades like sand, camel khaki and slate grey. 

However, this won’t mean that you can’t express yourself through colour. It only means that you have to mix light colours with dark ones. Although red is a rich shade, it’s not the best colour for the ruddier, rosy-cheeked pale person. It can work for more alabaster pale skin tones when worn in bold shades like crimson. 

#2 Olive/ Medium Skin (Warm Undertone)

You’re on the medium skin if you’ve got olive-toned skin that tends to tan rather than toast in the sun. Warm complexion suits a much bigger spectrum of colours than those with cool undertones. 

Right Colours to Wear 

Although almost all colours work with a medium skin tone, you can be sure that you will look best by option for shades that are either a bit brighter or darker than the middle ground. You may choose pale beige rather than warm sand if you’re going for light neutrals, or opt for a bolder shade of purple like magenta than mauve, for example. 

We highly suggest a lighter colour palette, with white as the obvious choice to accentuate your skin tone. When it comes to the sunny season and outdoors, you may wear a pair of white jeans with a dark jacket for a remarkable look.  

Wrong Colours to Avoid 

Your skin normally has yellow or green undertones, it’s just right to avoid wearing shades of these colours that are too close to your skin tone. Here, you don’t want to end up looking nude, for example, having your skin blend in with your clothing. The colours you should give the heave-ho include pistachio, olive, mustard, and mocha brown. For a more difficult look like all-white or pastels-on-pastels, check if you’re tanned enough (closer to black rather than green olive) to carry it off without looking washed out. 

When it comes to men with a skin tone any darker than olive has hit the colour-matching jackpot. Dark-skinned people are capable of playing with almost any colours they choose and have the work attractively. You are pretty lucky since your skin can perfectly complement a rainbow of potential hues and combinations. 

Alongside using browns slightly (you want to avoid looking ashy or naked) and being aware of keeping things balanced. 

#3 Dark Skin 

Right Colours to Wear 

Compared to men with lighter complexions who tend to look washed out by light-coloured clothing, dark skin doesn’t experience the same problem and provides a natural contrast that looks extremely amazing.

You are able to wear pastels, pale shades and whites without any negative aesthetic consequences. Bright colours also work amazingly! You can explore using one vividly-coloured piece in otherwise simple style for best results. 

Wrong Colours to Avoid 

Like what we’ve previously mentioned, shades of brown can be worn, but should be used sparingly. It’s also okay to put a shirt or T-shirt into the mix, but try not to go out heat to toe.

Although black is really dark, it’s a great option so don’t feel like you’re required to avoid it. As a matter of fact, it’s considered to be one of those unique colours even if it’s near to your skin tone, wearing an all-black outfit can still look good. 

#4 Neutral Skin Undertone

Lastly, you can identify whether you have a warm or cool undertone, you are probably on the neutral side. This means that you get to enjoy the best of both worlds. You are free to wear simply all the colours and it will still work for you. But this doesn't mean that you get to wear anything. You also have to consider the contrast levels. 

Universally Flattering Colours 

It doesn’t matter what skin type you have because good news is, there are three colours that are considered to be universally flattering. Colors such as dark purple, true red, as well as green, are the universal colours. You may also use these colors and incorporate them into your accessories. 

Author Bio: Ivandrea Ollero is a daytime writer for Northern Menswear, an online streetwear store run from Manchester that provides quality service 24hrs a day and 7 days a week. She is also a content crafter who researches and writes custom content about travel, fashion, finance, business, home improvements, health, and beauty in order to provide helpful information and tips for her readers. Ivandrea graduated from St. Scholastica's College, Manila, with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2016. 


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