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You are currently viewing How to Dress for Your Skin Tone (Made SIMPLE)

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Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and colours.


So, it is only natural that, to look awesome, we all have to dress slightly differently.


In regards to colour, your goal is to wear pieces that complement your natural skin tone, and to avoid wearing colours that don’t.

But you may be thinking something along the lines of: ‘I’ve never paid attention to the colours that I’m wearing, but still look awesome!’.

Well, that’s probably due to the fact that colour is not super important when it comes to style. It’s more important to wear things that you enjoy.


However, if we’re talking aesthetics, then some colouring choices will look better than others.


By the end of this article, you will know how to dress for your skin tone, so you can make sure you are maximising your stylish impact.


How Can You Identify Your Skin Tone?

Most guides on the internet tell you to identify your skin ‘under tone’, and from this suggest colours that will look good on you.


In my opinion, under tones are a hassle.


What colours you should wear can simply be determined by your skin colour, which I will refer to as your ‘skin tone’.

To keep this as simple as possible, I have outlined 5 skin colour groups. You should select the one that is nearest to your skin tone, and keep it in mind:


Skin tone chart.



The Hard Rules on Dressing for Your Skin Tone

Colours should complement your skin tone.

To do this, you must equally avoid:

  • Overpowering contrast (Colours overpowering your skin tone)
  • No contrast (Colours blending into your skin tone)


It’s really that simple. Stick to those two rules, and you’ll be fine.


So, if you have fair skin, you would want to avoid wearing black as it is an overpowering contrast.

Conversely, you would also want to avoid wearing light pastels as they would blend in and create no contrast.


Now that the basics have been outlined, it’s time to get into what colours you should wear for you skin tone.


Fast Track


How to Dress for Your Skin Tone

How to Dress for Fair Skin

Colours You SHOULD Wear

You should seek to bring medium contrast into you outfits.

You can do this by introducing darker pieces such as navy, brown, burgundy, olive and dark green.

Generally, neutrals are a no-no. If you want to bring in colour from that palette, then you should introduce pieces with a darker hue, such as camel or khaki.

You will be fine with lighter, non-pastel colours, such as sky blue and lilac. However, these won’t look as good as richer shades.


fair skin tone chart to know how to dress for your skin tone.


Colours to AVOID

As mentioned earlier, you should avoid light pastel shades and super bright colours, as they will wash you out. They do not create enough of a contrast. (And are usually ugly.)

You should also avoid colours as harsh as black, as they will create too much of a contrast.


chart of colours not to wear for fair skin.


How to Dress for Olive Skin – How to Dress for Your Skin Tone

Colours You SHOULD Wear

With olive skin, you fall in between the spectrum, giving you the freedom to wear a wider variety of colours.

As a rule of thumb, you should wear shades that are not at the same ‘intensity level’ as your skin tone. For example, burgundy, richer reds or bright pink.

These are still creating a contrast opposed to something such as medium red, which would be at the same intensity of your skin and blend in more.

Shades of green (that aren’t olive) help to enhance your natural colour and make it pop.


olive skin tone chart to know how to dress for your skin tone.


Colours to AVOID

Stay away from medium intensities of colours which will blend in with your skin and wash you out.

Also, avoid is olive, as it, as you’ve probably guessed, doesn’t create enough of a contrast.


chart of colours to avoid when you have olive skin.


How to Dress for Light Brown Skin

Colours You SHOULD Wear

You should gravitate towards darker ‘safe’ colours, such as navy, burgundy and dark green.

For a bit of colour, you should introduce richer shades into your wardrobe, such as royal blue.


chart of colours that look good on everyone so you know how to dress for your skin tone.
These are colours that all skin tones can wear.


Colours to AVOID

Light brown is a beautiful, rich colour.


Therefore, in my opinion, it is the hardest to dress for.


This is because it is very easy to clash with the natural vibrancy it provides.

Even though your skin tone is, in theory, darker than someone with perhaps an olive tone, the specific brown tint would not agree with lighter colours.

For this reason, you should stay away from light colours and pastels such as sky blue or bright yellow, and let the skin tone speak for itself.

On top of this, you should not wear clothing in olive, brown, orange or medium to light reddish tones, as they do not provide enough of a contrast.


how not to dress for light brown skin tone chart.


How to Dress for Brown Skin – How to Dress for Your Skin Tone

Colours You SHOULD Wear

People with brown skin can bring in lighter colours without fear of being washed out, as they have a darker baseline.

They are able to look equally as awesome in darker colours as they are in lighter colours.

You should lean towards light pastels, like creamy yellow and light blue, in addition to the ‘safe’ darker colours.


brown skin tone chart to know how to dress for your skin tone.


Colours to AVOID

You should stay away from colours that are close to your skin tone, as they will blend in and wash you out.

These colours include dark brown earthy colours, and some members of the red family.

Wear anything apart from your skin tone.


How to Dress for Black Brown Skin

Colours You SHOULD Wear

Guys with black-brown skin also look incredible in pretty much any colour.

This goes all the way from the ‘safe’ darker colours, to lighter, brighter and bolder colours, such as pink or different pastels.

One colour that I personally feel looks incredible on black-brown skin is black.


Colours to look good on black brown skin chart.


Colours to AVOID

You do not have to worry how to dress for your skin tone – but you have to use your power of colour invincibility wisely.


With great power comes great responsibility.


So, no mixing multiple bold colours together – each colour might look dank on you individually, but together, not so much.

And, in line with all the rest of the previous advice in this article, you will want to stay away from super low contrast colours, such as brown.

Wear anything apart from your skin tone.


A Note on Colours

It is important that you apply these colouring rules to the top half of your outfit, around the areas of skin exposure.

For your trousers, you are not particularly tethered to a specific colour as they are away from skin exposure, and don’t run the risk of contrasting too much or too little.

You should instead make sure that your trousers match well with your shoes and the top half of your outfit, and are in line with the outfit’s colour scheme.


Colours that Look Good on EVERYONE

I’m pleased to say that the clothing that you already own are likely of ‘safe’ colours (unless you’re a clown – then you’re doomed) which look incredible on every skin tone.

These include:


The universal colours that look good on everyone chart.


You will notice that these tend to be darker and richer, and is because they provide contrast for pale skin, and don’t clash with darker skin tones.

If you stick to these colours, you won’t have to worry how to dress for your skin tone, as you really can’t go wrong.


Helpful ‘How to Dress For Your Skin Tone’ Infographic

How to Dress For Your Skin Tone Infographic



So now you know how to dress for your skin tone.


It’s really not that difficult.


When you know what colours work for you, you can start to take advantage of the information to maximise the impact of your ensembles.

However, there are three other factors that you may want to consider when choosing what colours to wear in your outfit: your hair colour, eye colour, and the colours in the rest of your clothing.

When you understand how these factors affect what colours you should wear, you will be able to streamline your outfits and always be the most stylish man in the room.

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Really too good


So nice post! Love this informative post. Thanks for nice post.