If you’re of a certain age (ahem) then you’ve likely already “had your colors done”. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain! Seasonal color analysis, Personal color analysis, Skin tone color matching, Sci/Art, or whatever the kids are calling it these days, are all based on what colors look great on you and make your skin glow. It’s not a new concept and was developed by artists in the mid to late 19th century.
The procedure involves trying on different swatches of fabric – or if you’re DIY-ing it, you try on different colored jewelry, lipsticks or the “vein test”, to get your skin undertone. Have you ever wondered why you look great in jewel tones but pastels wash you out? It’s because pastels aren’t part of your personal color palette. Your personal color palette extends to your underwear too!
Most people buy clothes, accessories, makeup and yes, even lingerie, based on the color. When shopping in store, maybe you grab that purple satin robe because you just adore the color purple. You buy the robe, love the color, but notice you don’t wear it as much as the other robes you have. You just can’t put your finger on why you don’t reach for it (fit issues aside!) but you know when you put it on, it looks kind of wrong. Maybe your best friend or the model wearing the lingerie you purchased online looks absolutely radiant in it. You, by contrast, look yellow and jaundiced, your dark circles stand out more, or maybe the purple is simply blah and boring on you. Believe it or not (and many don’t believe in this concept!) but the right shades of color can complement your natural coloring to look healthier, sexier and more powerful.
Color analysis for fashion doesn’t begin and end there. There are other elements to consider, like the value and intensity of color. I’m by no means an expert, but I can recommend a few things and give you some tips to get you started. Additionally, I plan on making this into a series of posts, if you’re interested? Leave me a comment if this helps you at all, I’d love to read your feedback.
Tip 1. Consider the model
When buying lingerie online, consider the model wearing it. Some brands use different filters or lighting that misrepresent the color of the item, which can be tricky. Ideally, the picture should show the item’s true color. You’re looking at if the model’s skin tone (and sometimes hair and eye color) match yours. Maybe she’s not an exact match, but pretty close. A brand isn’t going to pick a model to wear a garter dress, for example, in a color that makes her look tired. If it’s the wrong color, they’ll pile on the makeup and change the light temperature just to make her look more awake. They’ll have to Photoshop the heck out of the photo. If she has your features/skin tone, does the fabric color look like it sits naturally on her or is it jarring and look like it’s “jumping” off her skin? This doesn’t always help, because two people can look completely different but look good in the same color palette. And sometimes a brand only has one model to show off a collection.
Tip 2. Check out the color name
Sometimes the lingerie is sitting all by itself in the photo. There’s no model to show it off, or it’s being worn by a dressmaker’s dummy. Consider this: Is the item “tomato red”, “burgundy”, “salmon”, “peach”, or “blush”? Does it say that anywhere in the item description? These are all clues. But what if it’s just “red” or “pink”? If you’re an artist or have an eye for colors, you can tell if the garment is a blue red, a yellow red or a true/neutral/primary color red. But for the rest of us, you can try a Chrome browser extension or Firefox Add-on or some other image editing program with a “color dropper” function. I personally use this Chrome extension. It tells me where that color sits on the color wheel. Is it more on the cool side or warm side?
Tip 3. Pick colors that look good on everyone
There are certain colors that look great on everyone, no matter their skin tone. These colors are a mixture of warm and cool so are neither warm or cool.
They are: teal, navy, soft white, blush pink, and stone.
To a lesser extent, these colors may also work: a medium plain purple, violet, hot pink, turquoise, periwinkle (depends on the shade) and emerald green. These are great if you’re buying a gift for a friend or SO! You’ll also notice that a designer’s lingerie collection often offer only the former colors. It’s also why that mustard yellow bra is sitting on the clearance rack.
There’s so much more I’d love to write about, but dear reader, are you interested? Do you already have a personal color palette? Or do you think this is all just a bunch of nonsense and wear what you like?