How To Determine Which Clothing Colours Look Best on You

Woman wearing a red dress

Choosing fashion colours that you love and that love you back, can be tricky.

By deciphering which skin tone and undertones we have can make it so much easier to choose the perfect colour.

Here, we take a look at how to do this by yourself as well as the effect this has on how colours look against your skin.  

Shopping can be tricky at the best of times.

We’re constantly thinking about fabrics and price points, as well as the dreaded question of what styles and shapes suit your body type.

But, whats tricker to find is what colour will look best of you. 

You might have noticed that a specific shade of blusher you’ve tried in the past is not exactly flattering on your skin tone.

Looking at the wide variety of blusher options available at the make-up counter, without help, we often just choose the shades we like the best.

However, as we each have our own skin tone, which gives us our natural complexion, not every colour on offer is going to be for us.

This is very much the same with fashion.

Some people will suit the newest mustard yellow trench coat that is sweeping Instagram, but many will not.

It’s very much the same with shades of red and deciding if black (and white) is actually flattering on us.

One of the most difficult colours to narrow down is grey.

With so many colour varieties within the grey spectrum, it can be very difficult to select which shade from soft pastel grey to graphite is the one for us.

So, why is it this complicated?

It all comes down to our skins undertones.

Here, we’ll take a look at what undertones are and work out how to narrow down to your specific type.

When you’ve figured this out, you can see how this impacts the way different colour varieties look on you and allow you to always choose the most flattering shades when it comes to beauty and fashion.

What Are Different Undertones? 

Woman wearing a yellow dress and heels and holding a bagFirstly, let’s look at what an undertone actually is.

If you’ve seen articles and discussions about both skin tones and undertones, you might have wondered whether there is a difference between the two.

And you’d be right.

Our skin tone is the surface level colour of the skin.

Therefore, we’d be referring to being light or dark skinned and everything in between.

Our undertones refer to the natural colours and tones underneath the surface of your skin, which can be a whole spectrum of shades.

Skin Tones

Your surface skin tone, otherwise known as your complexion, is the colour you see instantly when you look in the mirror.

This, in general, will be fair, light, medium or dark.

Fair skin tones are extremely light and will tend to burn when in the sun.

Light skin tones are slightly deeper than fair with a little more colour to the surface of the skin.

Medium obviously lies between light and dark, so is quite a wide spectrum of shades and dark is the deepest complexion.

Undertones

Undertones refer to the shades of colour underneath the initial surface of the skin.

These are what determines and impacts which colours actually suit our skin tone.

You will also use your undertones in your skin to determine which makeup shades are flattering, especially when it comes to selecting items like foundation.

There are three general undertones; warm, neutral and cool.

Warm undertones will show golden colours, including yellows and peach.

Neutral undertones tend to be more olive shades, which is almost a blend of warm and cool together.

You’ll be able to see more green and brown undertones under the surface of the skin.

Cool undertones tend to have pinks, red and even blue tones to the skin.

Deciding on both your skin tone complexion and your undertone will really help you to select the best and most flattering colour choices.  

How to Determine Your Skin Tone and Undertone

Woman wearing a colourful bright dress

There are ways you can determine your own skin tone and undertones without having to visit either a professional make-up artist or skin tone expert.

Determining Your Skin Tone

You’ll most likely know what skin tone you fit in to.

Whether your skin tends to burn or tan well when on holiday can tell you if you’re fair or light, as opposed to medium or dark.

When you know this, a good look into the mirror can decipher between your final two options.

You can also refer to your regular foundation, which although might not be perfect for your undertone, will be close enough to your complexion in terms of light or medium.

Determining Your Undertones

Determining your skin tone can be slightly trickier because of the larger amount of options you need to consider.

Here are some hacks to discovering your own specific undertones.

Look at Your Veins

Veins can actually tell a story about the undertone shades in your skin.

Turn over your wrist to look at the underside of your lower arm and try to determine what colour your veins mostly appear.

Purple and blue tones of your veins will mean you’re more likely to have cool undertones.

Green-looking veins usually equal a warm undertone and if you’re struggling to tell the difference, it’s most likely because you’re a neutral undertone.

Do You Tan?

Much like with your overall complexion, whether or not you easily tan in the sun can help determine your undertones.

Those that tan easily and quickly are usually warm undertones and those who turn red in the sun tend to be cool.

Also, bear in mind, dark complexions can be both cool or warm even if they tan or don’t tan well.

The Paper Test

Grab a plain white piece of paper and hold it up against your face with no make-up.

Those with cool undertones in their skin will see bright skin, that looks great next to the white.

Not so flattering, warmer undertones will look dull and sallow in comparison to the white paper.

A neutral undertone won’t be able to see much difference with or without the paper next to the skin.

There are some other simple tricks to try to see your undertones.

Test gold and silver jewellery; gold looks best on warm skin and silver on cool.

Also, take a deep look into your eyes. Your eyes correlate with your undertones so if you have warm or cool flecks of colour through your eyes, you’ll get some extra hints.

How Does Your Skin Tone Impact What Colours Look Best on You?

Woman wearing a bright yellow dress

The colours and tones within your complexion can hugely affect what colours suit and flatter you best.

Wearing a shade around your face, especially underneath the chin that does not suit you can cause you to look tired, washed out and even older.

This is simply because certain colours work best with others. For example, you wouldn’t pair a warm yellow skirt with a cold charcoal grey sweater because the combination of tones doesn’t work.

This is the same with pairing with your skin.

What Colours Suit Your Undertone?

Different colours work best with different undertones of the skin, hence why sometimes you’ll put a sweater or a lipstick on that you feel drains you or, equally, can make your skin pop.

Now that you’ve discovered which skin tone and undertone you are, let’s take a look at the colours that will suit you best and be most flattering for your complexion.

Warm Undertones

If you decided you have warm undertones in your skin tone, the best colours for you to wear are now also warm hues.

Think oranges, warm reds and yellows, as well as golden tones like amber and brass.

You can still wear colours that feel a little cooler, you just need to select the right hue.

So, when it comes to greens and blues, go for deep emerald and turquoise tones and avoid icier shades of these colours.

Cool Undertones

Cool tones look fantastic in bright but cool hues.

Think royal blue, candy pink and lilac.

This kind of skin tone also looks great in pure white and soft, pastel greys.

If you’re a fan of dark colour, try navy instead of black, which will give your skin an extra lift.

Skin with cool undertones should try to avoid oranges and yellow, which will work against the coolness of the skin and look slightly off.

Neutral Undertones

Neutral tones could be seen as easy or difficult.

In some ways, you can’t really tell if you’re warm or cool toned, so in theory, you suit everything but might feel that no colours in particular really make the skin pop.

Neutral undertones actually really suit pastels, so it’s a good rule of thumb to shop lots of pastel blues, pinks and soft lilacs.

Greys and off-whites also look great but try to avoid bright pops of colour like red and hot pink, which tend to overwhelm the skin tone.

No matter which complexion you are, there is a huge range of colours that will naturally suit you best.

With no skin tone being better than another, just different, this is a great way to find fashion and beauty products to really suit and flatter your natural skin.

Now it’s time to have a major closet and make-up clear out and rid yourself of the shades that don’t suit, making way for a brand-new wardrobe of clothes that truly look best on you.

Woman wearing a red wrap dress in a field

Wrap Dresses: Choose the Best Wrap Dress for Your Body Type

Whether you’re petite, curvy, short or tall, there’s a wrap dress to flatter each body type. But, with so many different cuts and styles of wrap dresses, you need to make

Woman wearing comfortable green dress and holding a slogan mug

How to Dress Professional and Comfortable for Work

Dressing both professional and comfortable at work can be the ultimate styling task. However, there are certain fashion pieces that can instantly make this job simpler whilst maintaining your style.

Woman wearing an orange print wrap dress

Wrap Dress: 13 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Wrap Dress in Their Capsule Wardrobe

If there’s one thing that your wardrobe needs, regardless of what you do for work and how old you are, is a wrap dress. Wrap dresses are not just a

A capsule wardrobe of hanging clothes

Capsule Wardrobe Planner, How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe In 2018

  Creating a capsule wardrobe requires you committing to a more focused and minimal selection of trans-seasonal clothing, which you can then sprinkle with trend pieces. By selecting the most

Woman wearing a black polka dot wrap dress

Wrap Dresses: 15 Ways to Style a Wrap Dress to Wear It All Year Long

A wrap dress is one of the most versatile pieces of women's clothing that has a truly timeless and flattering style. It is a popular dress silhouette for women of

Woman wearing a modest black dress with a gold bag

Modest Formal Dress: How to Dress Modestly to Formal Parties and Events

Struggling to find the perfect formal dress for an upcoming party? Finding stylish but covered up outfits can be one of the toughest challenges when trying to dress modestly. Some

A plus size woman wearing a blue top and stripy trousers

Dressing For a Big Bust: Modest Style Tips for Fuller Breasts

Dressing for a large bust and looking modest can be near impossible if you don’t know what you are doing. Women come in all shapes and sizes, however for those

Woman wearing purple dress during pregnancy in field

How to Stay Fashionable During Pregnancy

Your pregnancy should never put a stop to your personal style. Dressing well when you want to and maintaining your confidence is important during this time of change. There are

Woman wearing modest fashion clothes with stripy trousers and holding pink backpack

How to Shop for Modest Fashion Trends of 2018

When it comes to style trends in 2018, modest fashion has been one of the hottest buzzwords in the industry. From dresses with longer lengths and long sleeves to cover-ups,

Pregnant woman wearing a black bodycon dress

How to Wear a Bodycon Dress Whilst Pregnant

As if being pregnant and prepping for your baby’s arrival isn’t stressful enough. Choosing maternity wear can be a difficult and daunting task. However, it is possible to be comfortable

How to Style a Graphic T-shirt All Year Round article by Hydridfashion.com

How to Style a Graphic T-Shirt All Year Round

Your graphic T-shirt is your best friend when it comes to all year-round styling. A great tee can be paired with so many combinations and style, making it the perfect

Woman who has lost weight stretching the waist of her jeans to see how much she has lost

Manage Your Wardrobe When Your Weight Fluctuates

The unpredictability that comes with fluctuating weight can pose as a challenge when it comes to forming your wardrobe. Many women experience fluctuating weight, but it doesn’t mean your wardrobe

Woman wearing modest jumpsuit and sitting near pink wall

How to Dress More Modest for Your Body Type

Dressing for your body type in an elegant and modest way is all about learning your own body type and becoming accustomed to your shape. A-lines work perfectly on apple,

Woman wearing modest fashion stripy dress and standing by wall

Stylish Modest Clothing A 2019 Guide

Modest clothing can come in many forms from evening wear to everyday office attire. Options for modest dressers are now growing and you can find stunning and stylish options at

Woman wearing a white dress malfunction which is being lifted by the wind as she tried to hold it down with her hands

How to Avoid Embarrassing Dress Malfunctions

From exposing your underwear by accident to a rip, there are certain embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions that can occur from time to time. However, there are a few simple solutions you

Bride on her wedding day walking with bridesmaids and wedding guests wearing black dresses

How to Wear a Black Dress to A Wedding

To wear a black dress to a wedding requires just a few simple alterations to your accessories and styling choices. This ensures that it’s both appropriate for the occasion and

Woman wearing a black fur coat with a dress for cold weather

How to Dress for The Races During Cold Weather

When the invite comes to attend the horse racing during the cold weather months, immediately plan to wear your longest, thickest winter coat. All you need is some simple planning

Yellow shoes on feet in the air

What Shoes to Wear with A Sheath Dress If You Hate Heels

Hating heels doesn’t have to mean limited options when choosing what shoes to wear with your sheath dress. Today, flats are just as stylish as heeled shoes and with the

Capsule wardrobe of clothes hanging on a clothes hanger

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe This Summer

Creating a capsule wardrobe requires dedication to committing to a more focused and minimal selection of trans-seasonal clothing, which you can then sprinkle with trend pieces. By selecting the most

Modest Clothing Essentials to Stay Stylish Everyday

Who said modest clothing essentials have to be boring? Being modest doesn’t have to impede your sense of style. But, any good style starts with the basics. So, whatever your

Woman wearing a red pencil dress and heels near a window with curtains

What Color Pencil Dress Best Suits Your Skin Tone?

Black is often the go-to choice for many people, but what about when you want to wear a bit of color? Have you ever spotted that perfect pencil dress, perhaps

The History Of The Pencil Dress – From Pilots to Pop Culture

  The pencil dress is a timeless piece and a staple for every wardrobe. Flattering and modest, yet with a slight edge, pencil dresses are a wonderful creation. They’re incredibly

Woman wearing a black, low neck dress

Modest Dressing: How to Make a Revealing Dress More Modest

Have you ever fallen in love with a trendy dress, then had to put it back on the clothing rack because it’s too revealing? Well, now you won’t have to.

Woman wearing a yellow dress and heels and holding a bag

How To Determine Which Clothing Colours Look Best on You

Choosing fashion colours that you love and that love you back, can be tricky. By deciphering which skin tone and undertones we have can make it so much easier to

A woman wearing professional workwear and giving someone a handshake

Dress Comfortably and Professionally at Work in 2019

There are certain fashion pieces that can instantly make this job simpler, whilst maintaining your style, alongside some select fashion hacks to help make your favourite work looks more comfortable

Woman wearing a red suit and sitting on stairs

Women’s Suits: How to Choose and Style a Suit For Your Body Type

Whether you’re thinking of the power suits of the 80’s decade, the twin set suits of classic Chanel or a stuffy and comfortable trouser suit, deemed professional rather than stylish,

Woman sitting at her office desk at work and wearing a red dress and heels

How to Wear Your Work Dress in Many Different Ways

From your favorite statement work dress to the everyday little black number that never lets you down, work dresses can sometimes become repetitive. By layering your work dress with different

Woman wearing yellow bodycon dress with grey shoes and sitting on stairs

How to Wear a Bodycon Dress Modestly

Bodycon can work stylishly for a modest fashionista when both the fabric and fit is just right. You just need to ensure that the fabric is thick, high-quality and stretchy

A pink umbrella on a rainy day

How to Handle A Day at The Races in The Rain

If you’re all set for a day at the racecourse but the forecast is set to rain, there are several ways you can ensure your stylish outfit remains suitable for

Woman wearing formal clothes and holding a clutch bag

Transform Your Work Dress From Day to Night

For the times you need to transform your dress from office to evening wear, simply add a few simple changes to your look and you’ll be ready to head straight

Woman wearing a blue headpiece to a race

What Headpiece to Wear with Your Dress at The Races

From wide-brimmed hats to fascinators and headbands, there is a plethora of choice when it comes to choosing the perfect headpiece to wear with your dress for the races. Select

Woman wearing pink suit and sitting on stairs

How to Style and Accessorize a Suit

Whether you’re thinking of the power suits of the 80’s decade, the twin set classic Chanel or a stuffy and comfortable trouser suit, suits have always been a factor for

Woman wearing a classic black dress with a scarf and necklace

How to Glam up a Classic Black Dress with Color

The classic black dress is a staple item for every wardrobe, but sometimes you need that extra pop of color  It is also a great canvas since it is so

Woman wearing white sheath bridesmaid dress and holding a bouquet of flowers

Sheath Bridesmaid Dresses for Every Style of Wedding

The sheath is a classic shape, perfect to accommodate almost every bridesmaid's body shape and all wedding styles. Choosing the perfect sheath dress means considering your own tastes, as well

Woman wearing pink dress with coat and jumper on top to transition for season

Use Transition Dressing To Replace Your Summer Work Dresses This Fall

Some days are harder to dress for work than others, however, when two seasons transition, it can become even more challenging. The changeover between summer and fall can be a constant

Woman wearing a bright yellow sheath dress and holding a purse

Choose the Perfect Sheath Dress for Your Body Type

Simple, elegant and versatile – the sheath dress is an essential item that can be worn to suit a variety of different occasions. A sheath dress is a reliable option

Woman standing near wall full of colors in white sweatshirt and glasses

How to Know What Colors Look Best on You

Choosing fashion colors that you love and that love you back, can be tricky. By deciphering which skin tone and undertones we have can make it so much easier to

Couple wearing formal dress and suit for the races

The Do’s and Don’ts for Dressing for The Races

When it comes to dressing for the races, elegance and style should be at the very top of your priorities. Considering the specific dress code for the event is key

Woman wearing tight purple dress in field

How to Wear a Bodycon Dress for Over 40s

The bodycon dress isn't just for younger woman. Contrary to popular thought, passing the 40-year mark doesn’t mean you have to adopt shapeless fits. Aging can herald a series of

Lady wearing white jeans and cardigan while holding coffee cup

How to Wear White Jeans for Every Occasion

Be bold, mix it up and embrace white jeans this summer. Wearing white jeans don’t have to be a risky move anymore. When styled right, a pair of white jeans

Stay Cool in Black Dresses This Summer

Black dresses exude elegance and style in an unspoken way that other colors cannot. Whether it’s a chic, satin slip dress, a simple, cotton T-shirt or an edgy leather biker

Woman wearing a blue, retro, vintage wiggle dress

What is a Wiggle Dress?

History has proven this time and again that different eras have had their own favorites, be it in terms of the cut, fabric or shape. At some point in fashion

Women wearing sustainable dress and sitting on the grass holding a flower

Sustainable Clothes Shopping on A Budget

It has long been considered fact that ethical or sustainable fashion in any way is much more expensive than regular fashion. While this, of course, can be true in some