Whilst the concept of ‘getting your colours done’ might seem as dusty as seventies-era Tupperware (although to be fair, there was a divine shade of marigold in that range), there is something to be said in educating yourself in and outside of neutral horizons. Yes, black is slimming and yes, white on white is an instant refresher, but a splash of cobalt on the right skin tone is akin to a lightning bolt to the face (in a pleasant way, of course). If you’re stuck in the dark ages, read on for our guide to switching into technicolour.
1. YOUR SKIN TONE RULES YOUR COLOUR ZONE
First up: dive into your make-up bag. The tones that suit your face most definitely apply to your wardrobe, and provide key hints at what suits you – does an emerald eyeshadow pop off your lids? Or a blue-based red lipstick? All signs point to cool, which means bolder colours favour you (but more on that later).
As in everything within the fashion bubble no strict rules apply – by all means break the mould if you fawn over yellow as a redhead – but it’s all in the manner in which it’s put together. Breaking up colours with neutrals closer to your face or introducing them within accessories allows you to play a lot more freely across the spectrum of skin tones, so you’re not competing with your complexion 24/7.
If you’re warm…
– Your skin tone has a greenish or yellowish undertones, or you’re naturally olive (in which case – we’re quietly envious).
– Your hair colour ranges from dark brown to dark blonde (naturally – not out of a bottle).
– You suit yellow-based neutrals and ruddy tones: think oranges, reds, coppers and yellows.
– Your standout shades are essentially those of a tropic climate: think turquoise, deep forest greens, magenta, coral and bold yellow.
If you’re cool…
– Your skin tone has a bluish undertone (check your veins if you’re not sure), so predominately fair or very dark.
– Your hair colour ranges within the above – black, deep brunette or icy blondes and redheads.
– You suit blue-based jewel tones: think regal blues, sapphire, emerald and rich purples.
– Your standout shades are quite shocking, almost highlighter shades: think Schiaparelli pink (see here), cerulean and fire-engine reds.
If you’re neutral…
– Your skin tone is a little hard to determine from the above – it’s a mixture.
– Your hair colour is a natural mix – blonde with ashy streaks or a cocktail of warm brown tones.
– You suit colours that sit in the middle of the spectrum: softer tones in general work best on your complexion, so think light peach and dusty pink.
– Your standout shades are quite nature-based: think peony pink, sky blue and jade green.
2. START OFF SUBTLE
So you’re all equipped with your colour guide – now what? Before you run off and buy every piece of Millennial Pink (aka the colour of 2017) imaginable, work it back in with your everyday essentials and get comfortable. Make an approachable introduction with clean, block colour separates – blue and pink are huge for summer, so hone in on the tone that works for you and build on an otherwise all-black or all-white outfit.
Country Road silk cami, $139, countryroad.com.au.
Witchery shirred pleated skirt, $129.95, witchery.com.au.
H&M ribbed jumper, $59.99, hm.com/au.
Tibi satin top, $745.82, net-a-porter.com
Sheike Voltage dress, $139.95, sheike.com.au.
Veronika Maine drapey sleeve top, $139, veronikamaine.com.au.
Roland Mouret crepe midi skirt, $499, theoutnet.com.
3. DRESS TONALLY
It’s a bold statement to make, but surprisingly the easiest to style – if you can pull together an all-black look in under 0.5 seconds, you can definitely pull together a head-to-toe pink or red. Stick to block colour and simple, clean silhouettes; any fussy design details become amplified in colour, so soft tailoring is your best bet. If you’re game, clash complementary tones – blue-based reds pop against teal blues and pinks, or jewel-toned purples and luxe emeralds marry together beautifully.
Country Road pleated dress, $249, countryroad.com.au.
H&M knit dress, $89.99, hm.com/au.
Staud taffeta top, $309.72, net-a-porter.com.
Self Portrait lace dress, $369, matchesfashion.com.
For those who still can’t bear to break away from the black, we stand with you – and hand you a pop-colour pair of sunglasses for good measure. Just a hint of the right colour can speak volumes, so look to your accessories for a subtle nod to life outside neutrals. Shoes, bags, jewels, you name it – layer up on a tonal outfit and make it your own.
Jimmy Choo Romy suede pumps, $576, matchesfashion.com.
Valentino Rockstud heels, $1,399, davidjones.com.au.
Oroton Avalon cross body handbag, $295, oroton.com.au.
Christian Dior sunglasses, $724, davidjones.com.au.
Furla Metropolis mini cross body handbag, $380.84, shopbop.com.
Senso Freya sandals, $265, senso.com.au.
Le Specs mirrored sunglasses, $87, matchesfashion.com.
feature image via pinterest