By Kimberly Law, AICI CIP

Every season designers introduce new colors and styles in their collections; and this season is no exception. Although it can be tempting to buy some of the latest fashions for the new season, don’t buy anything without considering the colour. The truth is, not all colours look good on everyone. And even the most flattering clothing style will be unflattering in the wrong colour. Before adding any item to your wardrobe, analyze the colour to be sure the colour complements your skin and hair colour.

Seek Professional Guidance with a Colour Analysis

The best way to be sure what colors are best on you and to be confident every time you get dressed is to have a professional colour analysis by a professional image consultant. They will show you what colour elements are more flattering on you. They will also give you a colour palette that you can take shopping with you to compare against pieces that you are considering adding to your wardrobe. Until then here are a few tips and tricks to use when choosing your clothing colors:

Take the Pinch Test

Everyone has an underlying skin tone. Some of us have warm tones, while others have cool tones. This will have a major bearing on what colours look good on you. Often, if you pinch the skin on the back of your hand, the earlobe or the tip of your finger, the underlying color will be revealed for a few seconds. In general, people with blue, rosy, pink or red violet undertones look best cool colours. Those with golden, peach, coral or bright warm red undertones do well warm colours.

Compare Colours

Take a selection of fabric colours that are warm, cool, light, dark, muted and clear. Stand in front of the mirror in a well lit room with natural light. Place each one around half of your face and chin. You’ll find that some colours tend to make you look pale, yellowish, unhealthy or otherwise not as complimentary. Analyze these colours to see what they share in common. Are they warm, cool, light, dark or muted? These are the colour elements you should NOT be using in your wardrobe. The colours that make your cheeks glow, eyes sparkle and that compliment your hair are the ones that should definitely be included in your wardrobe.

Compromise with Buffer Colours

Occasionally we are attracted to colours that aren’t particularly flattering on us. Black is a great example of this. Many of my clients like to wear black because they think it makes them look slimmer and it makes a great neutral to coordinate with other colours. However the reality is that black is a very harsh colour that can wash many of us out. When you want to wear a colour that you like, but it doesn’t particularly flatter your skin tone, you can still wear it successfully by adding a buffer colour next to your face. Scarves, jewelry and tops make great buffers when worn in flattering colours.

Knowing which colours look best on you is only the beginning. Now you need to make sure that your future wardrobe is made up with these colour elements. As you build your wardrobe this season, go through your closet and give away or donate clothing items colours that don’t work for you. When purchasing new items always take colour into consideration. You will be amazed at how much more flattering your outfits will be and how great you will look!

Kimberly Law, AICI CIP, owner of Personal Impact Image Management is a Certified Image Consultant, specializing in helping clients make the best impression possible, including personal appearance and etiquette. Sign up for Image Matters & receive FREE articles. Or learn more about how to look your best in our Personal Impact eBook Series.

Kimberly Law AICI, CIP

Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

aiciimageconsulatant aicicip

Founding Director of

Institute of Image Training & Testing International (IITTI)


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