What colors suit your skin tone?

Updated March 23, 2017

Light, medium or olive and brown are the three main skin tones. Caucasians generally have porcelain, light-skinned complexions. Latinos, people of mixed race and Asians generally have an olive or medium skin tone. African-Americans and Indians have a brown complexion. While some colours can look great on one skin tone, they can make another skin tone look ruddy or washed out. Flatter your skin tone by working complementary colours into your wardrobe.

Light skin

Light skin tones look good in pastels and some strong colours such as dark blue. Work beige, nudes and browns into your wardrobe. For a pop of colour, look for navy blue or baby blue, lavender, lemon and light pink. Steer clear of bright purple, red, orange, yellow or bright whites. Black clothing washes out light skin so avoid it. Harsh colours are not flattering for light skin tones. Remember blue clothing brings out blue eyes and green clothing brings out green eyes.

Medium or olive skin tone

Medium and olive skin tones look good in earth-toned clothing. Flattering colours include black, nude, beige, khaki, navy, dark reds and pink. Dark brown, lime green and olive-green are not flattering for olive skin tones. Also stay clear of gold and oranges. These colours can make your skin look sallow. Take care not to wear anything that matches too closely with your skin's hue.

Dark skin

Dark skin tones look great in white, khaki, grey, light blue, aubergine, bright red, orange and pink. Black, turquoise, bright green, dark brown and navy blue are not flattering colours for those with dark skin. If you have to wear black, work in a piece of clothing that is a complementary colour. For men, ties work well for this purpose and for women, think scarves, belts, shoes and purses. Look for clothes that accentuate dark hair and eyes and cause a contrast of colour.

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About the Author

Based out of Kansas, Holly Smith has been an active writer and reporter since 2003, working primarily in online news. She has written for "Kansas Liberty News" the "K-State Collegian" and worked as an on-air reporter for "Manhattan Matters" and the "Educational Communications Center." She holds Bachelors of Arts in print journalism and electronic journalism from Kansas State University.