I recently published a post about how you can choose the metal of your jewelry based on your skin undertone (see that post in that category, Parisian Elegance). Today, I want to share with you how the undertone can help you know what clothes you should buy, and what pieces you should stay away from. Let’s go back to what your “skin undertone” basically is.
What is an undertone?
Let’s simplify the whole concept for the sake of that post. We can divide the overall tone of your skin (I am not talking about the color of your skin, what I am about the say is totally the same for all of my readers, no matter your skin color) into an overtone and an undertone. The overtone is the part that will possibly get a little bit more tanned in summer, but the undertone is the part that lies under the surface of your skin and that will never change in the course of your entire life.
There are basically four different undertones (and you can have any one of the four of them no matter your overtone, and no matter your overall skin color – black, fair &c.):
How can I figure out my undertone?
The question that comes naturally to mind is “how can I find my very own undertone?” and it is actually far simpler than you think. There are dozens of exercises including looking at the color of your veins (scroll Pinterest for that) and putting makeup on, but I am just going to share with you my favorite one and the one that worked for me personally.
You just place your arm (I think it is better given that the skin of your face can have makeup left on it and thus, the exercise won’t be really accurate) in front of a (truly) white surface with natural light (if the light is a little yellow, it just won’t work) and you try to see what color you can see under the surface of your skin. For some of you, it will be really obvious but for others, it won’t. For me, it was really obvious and you will see why in a minute. If the color you see is:
- Yellow/redish/orange: WARM
- Blueish: COOL
- Not really anything noticeable but… skin: NEUTRAL
- A noticeable green: Olive (=COOL)
Now, you have it! Now, let’s see what you can do with it as far as clothing is concerned (it will also help quite a lot with makeup but as I do not wear any, I won’t be very helpful with it).
You may also like: 5 Reasons Why You Should Focus On Your Underwear To Be More Elegant.
How can I use my undertone to dress better?
First, let’s put a disclaimer here: I am not saying by any means that you can’t wear what you want. If you have a “happy color”, a color that makes you feel good, feel free to wear it no matter your undertone. Nonetheless, if you have no clue when it comes to your wardrobe, let me give you some advice based on your undertone.
Moreover, undertone is just a tiny little part of the realm of color analysis. In color theory analysis, you can also find what season you belong to based on your undertone, but also on the color of your eyes and hair, among others. I will put a picture of myself somewhere as it may help: I am what is called an olive-skin (my undertone – green -) Winter (my season based on the color analysis theory).
Why is it easier to pick and outfit (and shop less) once you know your undertone?
Once you know your undertone, you know what colors are best for you. A Neutral can wear any colors, regardless of their warmth. A Cool can wear cooler colors, a WARM looks so good with warmer colors on, and an Olive looks better with cooler colors as well. Thus, once you know what undertone you have, you an start picking clothes that have the right tint for your skin.
You may think it is all a bit overwhelming and that you will never be able to see if a color is warm or cool but let me tell you two things:
- If you have managed to see the undertone of your skin, seeing the undertone of a color will be far easier as the structure tof the color is far less complex that the structure of your skin’s tint.
- The more you try your eyes, the easier it becomes.
Extra tip: I am not a big fan of fast fashion in general, you know it but when it comes to picking the right clothes; it is even worse. There are two places in which you do not want to shop at:
- Cheap stores because the light in there is terrible and will prevent you from seeing the real color of the clothes you are buying.
- The Internet, because yo never know how much the picture has been saturated or contrasted: colors appear slightly (or a lot) different in real life.
You will see that knowing your undertone will instantly make you more minimalist. Why? Because you will stop buying things that suit other people but do not suit you. That is life-changing, especially if you have Olive skin like me.
N.B. Olive skin is a little different as we have a cool undertone (blue) with a warm overtone (yellow), which creates that green hue on our skin. Usually, Olive skin people look quite sick and they do not have much colors on their skin (no redness &c.). If you are likely to look sick in winter, you may be an Olive. I feel like it is a little harder for us to find the best colors, but it is totally manageable and I am a living proof of it.
My Wardrobe Color Palette as an Olive Skin Winter.
Maybe that will give a little inspiration to my Cool and Olive Skin readers. At least, I hope it will help you see that cool colors can be colors that would look warm at first glance (yellow and red in particular) but that are slightly blue (you can see it on the picture). Never assume that a color is cool or warm without looking closely as most colors can actually be both depending on their very individual structure.
I hope that post was somehow helpful and interesting. Let me know in the comments what undertone you think you are. If you are not sure about a piece of clothing, feel free to send me a picture and I will tell you what I think in the limits of what I can decipher through a screen.
I wish you the best of all days,