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How do you wear beige without looking washed out?

Beige is a versatile neutral color that can work for many skin tones, but it does have a reputation for washing people out. The key to wearing beige well is choosing the right shade and pairing it with colors that complement your complexion. Here are some tips for wearing beige in a way that flatters you.

Choose the right beige for your skin tone

Not all beige is created equal. The depth and undertones of a beige can vary widely, so it’s important to find one that works with your skin. Here are some beige shades that typically flatter different complexions:

  • Fair skin: Lean towards light beiges with pink undertones. Stay away from yellow-toned beiges.
  • Light or medium skin: Look for light to medium beiges with peach or golden undertones.
  • Olive skin: Warm medium to tan beiges with golden or olive undertones are most flattering.
  • Darker skin: Deeper tan, caramel and brown-beiges suit darker complexions best.

When trying on beige clothing, pay attention to whether it makes your skin look sallow or glowy. The beige should bring out the best in your skin, not wash it out.

Pair beige with colors that complement your skin

Beige on its own can make some complexions look dull. But pairing it with strategic pops of color can bring your whole look to life. Here are some color combinations that complement different skin tones when worn with beige:

Skin Tone Complementary Colors
Fair Soft pink, seafoam green, light blue
Light Coral, mint green, pale blue
Medium Cobalt blue, magenta, emerald green
Olive Rich teal, plum, mustard yellow
Dark Royal blue, fuchsia, burnt orange

Wearing beige with any of the colors above will make your skin glow. You can incorporate these hues through tops, jewelry, bags, shoes or even makeup.

Use beige to create a neutral base

One way to make beige work for you is to use it as a neutral base. Then build your outfit around beige staples that you pair with brighter accent pieces. For example:

  • A beige trench coat with a striped tee and red lipstick
  • Beige trousers with a jewel-toned silk blouse
  • A beige wrap dress with turquoise statement earrings

Grounding your look in beige keeps it neutral and versatile, while strategic pops of color make it vibrant and stylish.

Add visual interest with beige textures

Beige fabrics in different textures also help prevent the color from looking flat. Interesting beige textures include:

  • Bouclé
  • Tweed
  • Chunky knits
  • Satin
  • Suede
  • Denim
  • Linen

Pairing beige with black or white textured fabrics can also keep your neutral look from being one-note.

Wear beige head-to-toe strategically

An all-beige outfit can elegantly elongate your frame. But too much of a neutral shade can also be unflattering on some. Here are tips for wearing head-to-toe beige successfully:

  • Choose beige pieces in a variety of textures – pairing beige linen pants with a wool sweater, for example.
  • Break up the beige with a statement print or accessory in a bold hue.
  • Opt for a beige ensemble with cool undertones if you have pinker skin. Golden beiges suit olive complexions when doing head-to-toe.
  • Add definition and curves with a belted beige dress or trench.

If wearing all beige washes you out, add a scarf, bag or blazer in a deep color like navy or emerald.

Accessorize to add interest

Accessories also provide the perfect opportunity to inject extra color and personality into a beige outfit. Some ways to accessorize beige include:

  • Statement earrings or a cuff in a bold complementary hue
  • An on-trend beige bag with colorful accents
  • Pointed-toe shoes in a vibrant blue, red or pink
  • A colorful floral scarf paired with a beige coat
  • Fun patterned socks peeking out of beige trousers or skirts

Even touches of gold, silver or rose gold jewelry can make beige feel more luxe and put-together.

Play with beige tones

Beige is anything but boring when you incorporate dimension by layering different beige tones. Try pairing:

  • A tan trench coat over a cream sweater
  • Mushroom pants with a warm greige top
  • An oatmeal cardigan atop a sand-hued dress

Mixing up your beiges adds subtle visual interest while still keeping your overall palette neutral. Throwing a pastel into the mix – like blush pink or mint green – makes for an even more dynamic beige look.


Beige gets a bad rap for being boring or wash-out inducing. But when worn skillfully, it can be incredibly chic and versatile. The key is choosing a shade that complements your skin, pairing it with colors that bring out your glow, and adding interest through textures and accessories. With the right styling, beige can be beautiful, polished and anything but bland.