Regardless of your clothing style, an important part of classy dress is creating an outfit that stands out while suiting you and the environment you are in. To ensure that you cover all of these areas, you should understand what colour schemes suit both you and your environment.
Before going any further, take a look at your eye, skin, and hair colour. Consider not only the prevalent colours, but also the undertones to your hues (for instance, gold or green flecks in your eyes, highlights in your hair, and warm or cool skin).
Because it covers a relatively small area, eye colour is flexible with a variety of colour schemes. Although coordinating with it won’t completely make or break your outfit, doing so correctly can help draw out your natural beauty. The best ways to coordinate with eye colour include complementary (for example, red outfits with green eyes) and matching or monochromous.
Especially if it is longer, hair can be a bit more of a challenge. While you want to be sure it ties your outfit together well, you usually don’t want to match it with significant pieces of clothing, especially tops since the two will blend together.
Below are a few general colour schemes, along with outfits for inspiration and reference.
Light hair: pastel colours, browns, solid colours, greens
Red or auburn hair: solid colours, pastels (especially blue and pink)
Medium brown hair: greens, yellows. Either bright or pastel colours may work well depending on skin tone.
Dark brown or black hair: brighter colours, reds, purples, light tan/white
Depending on your skin tone, you may find that certain colour schemes don’t work, or that unexpected ones do. These references are simply a rule of thumb.
As a side note, with brightly dyed hair, you will need to be more mindful of clashing and complementary colours. Because they can take a wide range of colours, brightly died hair needs to be considered on a case-to-case basis.
Between the nearly infinite possibilities of shades and the need to distinguish between warm and cool, perhaps the most challenging aspect is to coordinate skin tone.
Depending on your hair colour, there are some general guidelines. If your hair and complexion are both lighter and less contrasting, then pastel colours will work best. If your hair and complexion are darker or stand out from each other, then brighter colours are optimal. However, not all people fit completely into one of these sets of features. Because of this, you should consider each aspect of your features separately to gain a true understanding of what works for you.
There are cool and warm skin tones, which are best with a specific palette. While warm skin tones tend to have a yellow or greenish undertone with the veins under the wrists having a light green colour, cool skin tones tend to have a pink or bluish undertone with the veins under the wrists being blue or even purple. If it’s hard to tell which one you are, you likely have a neutral skin tone, which allows you to have a lot more variety with clothing options.
Below is a general rule of thumb for warm and cool skin tones, along with visuals.
Warm skin tones: green, brown, mustard yellow, warm reds, peach, coral, gold, olive
Cool skin tones: blues/purples, darker colours such as emerald green and navy. Pale yellow, cool red, white, and grey.
At this point, you’re ready to experiment! Try on some outfits in your closet with the colour schemes suggested, and consider how they work with your eyes, hair, and skin.
Plan for the Event
Once you have a good knowledge of the colour palette that suits you, you are ready to assign certain colours to the events you are wanting to attend.
For more formal events, you should focus on having one relatively solid or plain colour. To keep from appearing overly flashy, avoid bright colours. If you want to stand out or need to avoid pastels, you can also do muted colours, such as certain shades of red and purple.
For parties and similar events, you are likely going to want to do the exact opposite, as your goal is to stand out. Although bright colours are generally associated with such events, you can even make pastels work if the outfit design itself stands out.
In both scenarios, you can use solid colours such as black and white easily.
Once you suit yourself to the event, consider what you want to communicate through your clothing. Do you want to appear elegant? Then, depending on which one suits you better, pastels and solid colours are good options. Do you want to appear bold? Again, depending on suitability, bright colours or overall stark contrast (for example, black and white, or clearly complementary colours) will communicate this.
As always, below are a few examples of how you can nail both the elegant and bold look with a variety of colour palettes.
Now that you know what colours suit you, you are ready to nail your fashion look and make a customized wardrobe. ForeverHerDay has a vast array of clothing options designed in a wide range of styles, all designed for people looking for classy yet affordable clothing. Check out our International and Europe/UK clothing options for more information.