This week, I had a lovely friend ask me about how color theory, especially her skin tone, applied to her wardrobe.
Her question reminded me of a time when I worked in a styling boutique in San Francisco called NAME. A wonderful woman walked into the boutique with a stack of color cards. You know, like a key ring of a small collection of paint chips from Home Depot.
Showing me the colors, she was ADAMANT to stay in the specific tones/hues that she had paid a lot of money to get recommended on… years and years and years ago!!!
I had difficulty convincing her that she COULD choose other colors. She felt SO CONFINED to following the exact color pallette that had been prescribed to her.
Have you ever felt confined to specific colors when shopping? Like there’s so many “rules” about tones and “color seasons, that you can hardly think?
So… I propose to make colors simple. And I mean… REAL simple.
I don’t advise we throw everything out about skin tones and color theory. Let’s just take what’s most important.
What I gather, most importantly, is that you have an OVERTONE and an UNDERTONE. Your overtone, is your skin tone (white, dark, black, peach, etc.). Your undertone, is the subtle color that lies beneath the topical surface of your skin that your veins give you. This is usually either cool (blue), warm (green), neutral (mix).
What you want to FOCUS on is your undertone.
If you have BLUE VEINS: you look better in cooler colors. Shades of blue, lilac, and greens are stunning on you. For your hair, go for an ashy brown, or a more platinum blonde.
If you have GREEN VEINS: you look better in warmer tones. Reds, camel, golden yellows are gorgeous on you. For your hair, go for a reddish brown or a golden blonde.
If you have MUDDLED MIX: you are neutral. Dance up and down right now because you just won the color lottery and can ANY color.
Now, let’s match your skin tone with your CLOSET.
Your wardrobe should focus on 4 colors
How many colors SHOULD be in your closet and what ARE they? What I’ve found most successful is….. Drumroll please……. 4 Colors!! (4 caaaaaaarefully chosen colors)
The first 2 colors should be Black and White. This is your base. For 2 reasons: Firstly, style-wise, it is chic, timeless, seasonless. The second reason is because black and white are super practical and insanely versatile. (let’s avoid headaches at all costs- we don’t need to stress in the morning about matching and styling a new outfit).
The 2 other colors in your closet (I like to call “assisting colors”) should look nice on your skin tone and also match your individual personality.
For me, my two secondary colors are blue, and a soft, blush pink. I’m a neutral with tan skin, so these cool colors balance my blemishes. They also connect well with my calm but fun personality and flatter the cool undertones in my skin.
Play with texture and prints
You might be thinking, “wow, that sounds like a pretty boring closet to have only 4 colors”. I agree… it sounds boring, but it’s not.
First off, you don’t have to go absolutely NUTS sticking to this (it’s just majority of your closet should go by this).
Second, I recommend you play with TEXTURE rather than color. Texture adds a lot more dimension and intrigue to your look than color does. The eye isn’t appeased by just color, texture is JUST as important.
To make your look even MORE amazing, I recommend you also play with PRINTS because they transform colors to look completely different.
There you have it. With your skin tone, I recommend sticking with black and white, then adding two colors that match your undertone, and then play with patterns and prints. This is a playful way to have fun with your closet.
And that. Is. it! Wooft!!
The goal of this is too simplify your closet while flattering your body. Cannot wait to hear what you think!