Color Theory: Dress Better Using the Art of Color

Did you know that color and its relation with your skin tone and your clothes can make or break an outfit? you might think that the color suits you. You go on to buy a mountain of that one color calling it your favourite. But, in reality that color might be doing little to enhance every bomb feature you’re blessed with!

Alexandra in her video on the art of color states that ‘Color theory is the largest underlying factor in looking your best or your worst’. Colors that dont compliment you can bring out the worst possible features of your face like your under eye bags and pigmentation.

The rule is: colors that match the undertones of your skin make you look more radiant and healthy

Justine Leconte

Let’s start with the basics. What is the difference between skin color and skin tone/undertone?


Justine Leconte explains that ‘Skin color/tone is what you see when you look in the mirror, without thinking about it too much in natural daylight.’ Your skin tone is in a change of constant flux through the seasons. This is because of the tan you acquire and lose.

On the other hand, your undertone never changes. You don’t notice it quickly and it’s what makes your skin cool or warm. To understand what undertone your skin might have, Justine prescribes three tests. Do them in natural sunlight by a window!

1. Look at Your Veins at your wrist

If your veins are on the blueish-purple side, you’re probably cool toned. If your veins are on the greenish-olive side, you’re warm toned.

Pro tip: If you aren’t sure if you fall on either side, Justine suggests that you might fall in the middle. This implies that you’re neutral. So try the next method.

2. Use a White Sheet of Paper

Take a sheet of paper and hold it next to your face and chest. Compared to the paper, if your skin looks reddish, it implies that you have blue undertones. Blue = cool-toned. If your skin looks yellowish, you’re warm toned.

Pro tip: Justine recommends clipping your hand behind and wrapping a white towel around you to make this easier.

3. Using Silver and Gold Jewelry

Hold the piece of jewelry close to your neck and test which makes your skin look more radiant. Here, if silver makes your skin look radiant and healthy, you’re cool-toned. If it’s gold, you’re warm-toned.

What if you can’t really tell even after these tests? – Justine suggests that you might be neutral. This means that you’re lucky and you can carry off any color!


NEWS FLASH: When it comes to clothing, shade and color are not the same. An example of shades is every kind of foundation in a foundation line. Every foundation has the same base color but different shades.

Clothes with warm tones or darker shades of color complement warm skin tones perfectly. On the other hand, clothes that have more of a cool tone or white aspects go well with lighter skin tones. Look at the two pictures below to see what this means.

Embed from Getty Images

This MET Gala dress which is white with a cool tone does not compliment Rihanna’s naturally warm-toned skin.

Embed from Getty Images

This warm toned dress matches Rihanna’s skin undertone.

Justine gives another example: a cool blue might suit a cool-toned person better than a warm blue. However, bronze or golden might have too much yellow and overwhelm your skin, thus making the clothing piece the center of attention. The same bronze and other earthy shades might look great on a warm-toned person.

Color theory: warm and cool tones
Alexandra explains how a warmer shade of brown looks better on her warm skin tone as compared to a cool toned pink

Clothes that perfectly match your shade are the best, because they help tone down underlying properties of your face like acne that you might not necessarily want to enhance.

Pro tip: Always keep your eyes out for the undertone of your skin which is either cool or warm.

Your clothes should have the same undertones as your skin.

Alexandra Beth

The entire process might seem daunting. It might get tricky to tell the difference in the tones of different colors. The only way to master the art of color, Justine says, is to practice and train the eye.



  1. Rhema Joseph
    August 15, 2020 / 9:08 pm

    I absolutely love this article! Thank you for this!

    • pitypangs
      August 17, 2020 / 11:37 am

      We’re glad. Thank you Rhema!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *