The other day on Instagram, I posted about colour and one of my IG friends asked me, “How do you know which colours suit your skin tone?” 

Well, there are a few different options. But first, I’ll touch on why it’s so important to know which ones do.

Wearing colours that suit your particular skin tone can make you look fresh, rested and alive. They can also even out and brighten your complexion.

Wearing colours that don’t suit your skin tone can make you look dull, tired and sickly. They can exacerbate dark circles and the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Who in their right mind would want that?

Sometimes the effects of wearing unsuitable colours can be mild, but other times it can be quite severe – it all depends on the colour or shade and how far off you are. But even if it is subtle, wouldn’t you want to err on the side of looking better than looking worse?

If you’re unsure of which colours suit you best, here are a few suggestions:

Option 1: Colour Analysis

The first (ideal situation) would be to get your colours done professionally (technically called a Colour Analysis). Many Image Consultants and Personal Stylists provide this service. Having a professional identify your colours can be a bit of an investment but it’s a lifelong one.

Another reason to have someone with experience determine your best colours is because some people’s skin tones can be quite tricky and a good match can be hard to determine.

Option 2: Research

The second thing you could do is pick up some books or visit a website that helps you determine your colours – typically done by season.

The only trick with this option is that sometimes the standard rules don’t apply and the results can be misleading. And, of course, if you get it wrong, you’re no further along than when you started.

Option 3: Do It Yourself

The third thing you could do is start playing around with different colours when you’re trying on clothes.

In bright daylight (the best lighting for this), with a clean face (if possible), place one garment at a time under your face to see what happens to your appearance. Do you notice the shadows on your face more? Do you look pale, blotchy or slightly ill? Or does your complexion even out and your skin appear smoother and brighter? Start noticing the changes and over time you’ll begin to see the difference.

My money’s on the professional Colour Analysis – get it done once and get it done right.