How to Best Dress for your Skin Tone

Graphic of a girl deciding between pastel colored and highly saturated colored clothing.

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right pieces for your wardrobe. One of the most important, yet underrated factors in creating a closet that is most flattering for you are the colors that you’re wearing. Some people stick to a favorite color and buy everything in it, while others stick to neutrals and find ways to dress them up or down with accessories. But did you know experts have devised strategies to uncover exactly what colors work for you? Don't leave it up to chance when you can know for sure. Read on to find out what colors the experts say will have you looking your best. 

Here's what you should do to determine what colors work best for you.  

Look at Your Skin 

Skin tone is determined by the amount of melanin in your skin. While your skin can be fair, medium, or dark in color, your skin’s undertone can be cool or warm, and this has little to do with your skin color. It is your skin’s undertone, and not your skin color in general that dictates what colors will work best for you. Cool-toned skin has pinkish undertones, while warm-toned skin has yellow or golden undertones. Often times, it is hard to tell whether a person has cool or warm undertones. Luckily, there are so many different methods to figure it out.  

The Foundation Test 

image of cartoon woman applying make up on blog post how to dress best for skin color.

Dab a pink-toned foundation on your skin, and then dab a yellow-based foundation on your skin, and whichever one blends better is your undertone! If yellow blends better, you have a warm undertone, and if the pinkish foundation blends better, you have a cool undertone.  

Another Method: Look at Your Veins 

Look at the veins in your wrist. If you can see blue veins, you are likely a cool tone. If you can see green veins, you are likely warm. In the rare case that you can’t tell, then congratulations—you are neutral! Neutral skin-tones hit the lottery when it comes to dressing for their skin tone because almost every color works for them, whereas warm and cool tones have to be a little more strategic about the colors they wear.  

Still Unsure? There’s One More Thing to Consider 

Another way to determine your skin tone is by looking at your nail beds. This method is simple, and it's pretty accurate! If the color of your nailbed is red / pink, or blue-toned, then you have a cool skin tone. If the color of your nails is peachy or gold, then you have a warm undertone. 

There’s more... 

In addition to considering your skin’s undertone, you can also determine If you are a light or a dark type, and match your complexion to a given ‘season’ that applies to a palette of colors that would enhance your features and overall look. A lot of online blogs overcomplicate this process, but we'll keep it short and sweet!

If you have a cool undertone, you’re either a summer or a winter. If you have a warm undertone, you’re either Spring or Autumn. Ask yourself the following questions to determine which one you are. 

Image depicts a quick to determine whether your skin tone is autumn, winter, spring, or summer.


Here's Patchington's very own, custom chart showing colors that best correspond with your skin undertone and season. 

chart depicting skin tone, color type, and colors that work best for skin tone.
chart depicting skin tone, color type, and colors that work best for skin tone.


A Further Breakdown: 


If you're a warm Spring, you have a clear, warm undertone. Cream, peach, golden-yellow, light orange, and bright colors such as lime green, lemon yellow, and coral will look best on you. It's recommended that you stay away from dark, overpowering colors. 


outfit ideas for women with a warm spring undertone. dress for your skin tone.


Click to Shop the Cha Cha Dress

Click to Shop the Coral Slub Dress

Click to Shop the Poncho 


If you're a cool Summer, light and cool colors will look best on you. Try out sky blues, aqua, powder pink, and light gray. Consider pastels, and keeping dark colors further away from your face. Avoid overpowering colors and highly saturated warm tones. 

Outfit ideas for women with a cold summer complexion and undertone. Dress for your skin tone.


Click to Shop The You Pant 

Click to Shop the Tencel Tee 


If you're a warm Autumn, beige, gold, brown, camel, and gold coloring will look best on you. Rich, muted tones will look great on you, but pastels likely wont.


Click to Shop the Poncho

Click to Shop the Sun Wrap


If you're a cool Winter, you'll shine in bold, sharp primary colors. Try out white, black, navy blue, red, and bright pink. The more saturated the color, the better!  Avoid golden and brown hues. 

outfit ideas for someone with a cool winter skin undertone and complexion.

Click to Shop the Poncho

Click to Shop the Cha Cha Dress

Click to Shop the Cap Sleeve Relaxed Print Dress

 To Wrap it Up... 

Here at Patchington, we take care to offer a wide variety of color selections that work for every undertone and season. Kick off your color-complimentary wardrobe by checking out our new arrivals and best-sellers today. 

Tags: Style Tips