How to: Colour Matching

Know what you’re working with. Your own skin tone, eye colour and hair colour will affect what colours suit you best.

Warm, cold or dark. If you have pale skin, you will have predominantly warm or cool tones. To work this out, stand in front of a mirror and hold up a blue item next to your face. Then something red. If you look better (healthy, bright, clean) with the blue, you have cool tones. If it’s red, you are warm.

• Cool toned skin suits clean, fresh colours such as blue, teal, violet.
• Warm toned skin is good for rust, red and orange.
• If you have dark skin you can wear bright, bold colours and even pinks and lavenders.

Of course most people can combine colours. The best guide is your own eye, or that of someone you trust. If you put a yellow shirt on and it makes you look pale or jaundiced, then yellow is not your colour.

As a rule, colours that are same as your eyes (or draw a colour out from your eyes) will be flattering. Blue suits blue. Green is good for green. If you have hazel or flecked eyes, you can choose green, gold or chocolate.

Fair hair is best contrasted with darker colours, while dark hair suits light blue or icy tones. Redheads can wear strong colours but in muted tones (i.e. forest green rather than lime).

What do you want your clothes to say and do? Black and navy suits with white or blue shirts are standard business attire.

• Dark colours will ‘reduce’ you, thus making you look slimmer.
• Bright or pale colours will take you forward, bulking you up slightly.

So a man wanting to make his shoulders or chest appear larger could wear a light coloured jacket with dark pants.

• Dark colours are more formal than light.
• A pale suit is best for summer months, as it can appear casual.
• Grey – both dark and light – is very versatile. Not as formal as black, it can match with any colour palette.

Think contrast to add variety to your wardrobe. A good rule of thumb for your suit, shirt, tie combination is two dark and one light, or two light and one dark.

The same goes for patterns. A standard striped tie on a plain shirt is very stylish, as is a plain tie on a striped shirt. You can experiment with pattern if you are confident (matching stripes with stripe for example) but get a second opinion if you are unsure.

When in doubt, opt for neutral colours. Grey, white, beige and black will not stand out in a crowd but they will always look sophisticated.

Posted by Andrew Dobson on 2nd July, 2010 | Comments | Trackbacks

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