When it comes to fashion and style, finding colors that are flattering can make a big difference in how you look and feel. Some colors tend to look great on most people, while others are more hit-or-miss depending on your individual coloring and preferences. So is there one universal color that flatters everyone? Let’s take a closer look at how skin tone, hair color, eye color and personal style play into how colors look on different people.
How Skin Tone Affects Which Colors Look Best
Your skin tone is one of the biggest factors that impacts how clothing colors appear on you. The undertones in your complexion will play a big role. There are three main categories of skin tone undertones:
– Warm – Yellow, peach or golden undertones
– Cool – Pink, red or blue undertones
– Neutral – A balance of warm and cool undertones
People with warm undertones tend to look great in warm, richer colors that complement their skin. Colors like peach, coral, olive green, gold and red generally are flattering. Meanwhile, those with cool undertones shine in cooler hues like berry, emerald green, magenta and royal blue. Neutral complexions are versatile and can typically wear both warm and cool shades well.
While a wide range of colors may look nice on you, the most universally flattering are those that match your dominant skin undertone. Wearing colors with undertones opposite to yours can make your complexion appear dull or washed out. Having a neutral skin tone gives you more flexibility.
How Hair Color Impacts Your Color Choices
Along with your skin, your natural hair color also influences which shades highlight your beauty. Blondes, brunettes, redheads and those with black hair often look best in different hues.
For blondes: Soft muted colors like pastels, dust rose, seafoam, and icy blues and greens bring out blonde hair beautifully. Pure white, steel gray and darker neutrals like camel and navy are also striking. Avoid choosing colors that are too overpowering and bold.
For brunettes: Richer, deeper tones in jewel tones, candy pinks, magenta, and tomato red help brunette hair pop. Neutrals like chocolate, caramel and olive also look lovely. Lighter shades like baby blue can overwhelm darker hair.
For redheads: Clear cool colors like emerald, sapphire and fuchsia complement red hair. Some shades of purple, orange and green near the hair color can also be pretty. Stay away from peach, coral and rose which can clash.
For black hair: Because there is such a stark contrast, nearly any color looks great with black hair as long as you enjoy the shade. Pure red, soft yellow, cobalt blue, violet and emerald all help make black hair stand out. Avoid matching black hair with black clothing, which can appear harsh.
How Your Eye Color Affects Colors
The natural color of your eyes is another factor that impacts how clothing colors complement your look. Certain shades can really make your eye color pop.
For blue eyes: Blue eyes really come alive against warm, rich colors like orange, peach, camel, gold, red, purple and pink. Cooler shades of blue, green and gray also bring out blue beautifully. Lighter shades tend to wash out blue eyes.
For green eyes: Earthy tones like mauve, maroon, eggplant, olive and plum make green eyes shine. Neutral shades of brown, taupe and gray also enhance green eyes. Avoid lighter pastels that can make them appear more muted.
For brown eyes: Because brown eyes are so rich, they look amazing in most colors, especially bold saturated hues. Royal blue, emerald, teal, red, magenta and purple especially make brown eyes pop. Lighter pastels are less striking but can be pretty for daytime.
For hazel eyes: Since hazel eyes contain a mix of undertones, earth tones in greens, browns, golds, camels and reds make them stand out. Gray, navy and magenta are also flattering. Lighter tones are better for hazel versus very dark shades.
How Personal Style & Preferences Play a Role
While your physical coloring certainly impacts what colors suit you best, personal style preferences also play a big part. Not everyone looks best in the colors technically recommended for their skin, hair and eye color tones. The colors you are naturally drawn to and feel confident wearing are equally important.
If you adore how you look and feel in bright jewel tones for example, rock them proudly even if your complexion analysis suggests muted earth tones are more theoretically flattering. Likewise for those who can’t get enough of soft pastels or all black everything. You want colors that reflect your personal essence.
When narrowing down your best colors, strike a balance between what works for your coloring and what aligns with your personal aesthetic. If you color outside the lines of what’s prescribed for your features, adapt colors with different saturation, brightness and contrast levels to make them work for you.
Putting It All Together
Finding your most flattering colors requires taking all of these factors into account holistically. Your skin tone, hair color, eye color and style work together to determine what shades help you look and feel your best.
Analyze how colors interact with your entire coloring, not just one factor. For example, a rich blue may look dynamite on a brunette with fair cool skin and blue eyes who loves jewel tones. The same blue could be overwhelming on a different brunette with warm olive skin and hazel eyes who prefers softer neutral colors.
When trying new colors, view them in natural light and take photos for an accurate representation. Seeing colors against your face for real rather than on a swatch or screen is key. You want flattering shades that feel like an authentic representation of you.
Go-To Colors That Look Great on Most People
While not every color works perfectly on every person, there are a handful of versatile shades that come close to being universally flattering. These colors tend to complement most skin tones, hair colors and eye colors nicely.
A deep navy blue is one of the most versatile colors that flatters nearly everyone. Its cool undertone works with most complexions, and it’s neutral enough to coordinate with any hair color. Navy also brings makes eyes pop. This versatile blue is a staple.
2. Olive Green
The muted green tone of olive flatters those with warmer undertones, while its earthy hue complements cooler complexions as well. Olive works nicely with all hair colors and eye colors to bring them out. It’s a great go-to neutral.
This rich shade of reddish-purple looks gorgeous on most people. Its touch of red lends itself to warmer skin tones, while the purple base works with cooler complexions as well. Cranberry makes blue and green eyes shine, and adds depth with brown and hazel eyes.
4. Forest Green
Deep forest green is universally perfect for cooler complexions, but its richness can also complement warm skin when paired strategically. It brings out the green flecks in hazel eyes and the blue tones in darker eyes. Forest green is adaptable while still making a bold statement.
5. Charcoal Gray
Charcoal gray manages to be neutral yet striking at the same time. Its muted cool tone flatters most complexions and hair colors. Charcoal also enhances all eye colors by creating contrast. This versatile gray transitions seamlessly from day to night.
|Color||Skin Tone||Hair Color||Eye Color|
|Olive Green||Warm & Cool||All||Green & Brown|
|Cranberry||Warm & Cool||All||Blue, Green & Brown|
|Forest Green||Cool||All||Hazel & Brown|
Tips for Finding Your Personal Best Colors
Determining what clothing colors truly enhance your appearance and express your style requires some trial and error. But here are some tips that can help guide you:
– Analyze your natural hair, eye and skin colors in natural lighting without any makeup on to identify your base undertones.
– Drape various color swatches against your face or try on sample clothing and view in sunlight, not indoors.
– Pay attention to how certain colors make you feel, not just how you visually look. Confidence is key.
– Don’t overload on too many colors at once. Start with one focal color that flatters you and build the rest of your look around it.
– Step outside your comfort zone to experiment with new hues you may not have considered before.
– Enlist trusted friends and stylists to give you honest feedback about how colors look on you.
– Look to celebrity hair and complexions similar to yours for color inspiration.
– Snap photos of color combinations you try on. Review and compare to see what works best.
– Look for colors that enhance your favorite facial features instead of clashing or competing with them.
– Think about the context where you’ll wear certain colors, like work versus weekends.
– Mix, match and layer both warm and cool tones if you have a neutral skin tone for versatility.
How to Use Your Best Colors for a Pulled Together Look
Once you’ve zeroed in on which shades are your personal superstars, it’s time to start working them into your wardrobe and appearance. Here are some tips for using your best colors strategically to pull together a harmonious, confident look:
– Make one of your best colors the focal point of your outfit, like wearing a cranberry blouse with neutral pants or a navy dress with nude heels.
– Add pops of your best colors with accessories like belts, scarves, bags and statement jewelry.
– Tie together complementing colors in the same color family, like navy pants with a lighter blue blouse.
– Anchor your look with neutrals like black, white, gray, tan or cream then sprinkle in your colors.
– Pay attention to color placement, like wearing a colorful top balanced with neutral bottoms.
– Combine multiple flattering colors in one look by layering tops, jackets, cardigans and scarves.
– Use your most flattering colors near your face, like wearing a shirt, scarf or blazer in a standout hue.
– Make sure the intensity of the colors suits the occasion, saving neon brights for casual weekends.
– Experiment with monochromatic looks featuring various tones of one of your best colors.
– Maximize the impact of seasonal colors like emerald green by choosing flattering complementary shades.
– For extra confidence, infuse your best colors into your hair, makeup and nail polish.
While no single color is universally perfect for everyone, some shades like navy, olive green, cranberry, forest green and charcoal gray come close. Finding your most flattering colors requires analyzing how different hues interact with your skin tone, hair color, eye color and personal style preferences. With some thoughtful experimentation and guidance from the style savvy, you can discover a color palette that makes you look and feel your very best in any situation.