Fashion For Real Women

The Importance of

Color Analysis

You probably own a few outfits that always garner comment whenever you wear them. It could be something as simple as "You look great today!" or as obvious as "Wow! That color really brings out your eyes!" It doesn't matter how old the garment is or how many times you wear it, you feel good in it because it always gets you noticed. It brings you confidence.

On the other hand, you've also probably worn clothes when people have said, "Are you feeling okay today?" Or perhaps they said nothing-even if it was a new outfit and you waited for kudos that never came.

So what's the difference? Color.

Or more specifically, the way that certain colors interact with your skin tone to make you appear vibrant and healthy--or pale and washed out.

Now you may have heard about color analysis before and wondered what it was all about. Maybe you've even had your "colors done" at one point, and either loved or hated the results. Perhaps you've heard stylists on television say things like "Color doesn't matter; anyone can wear anything." And after all was said and done, you're either skeptical or completely confused.

Allow me to "cut to the chase."

All colors are made up of the three primary colors-red, blue, and yellow. Yellow is warm, blue is cool, and red is neither cool nor warm, but "in-between." When you add yellow, you get a warmer tone; when you add blue, you get a cooler tone.

Human beings can likewise be classified as having either "warm" or "cool" undertones depending on their unique combination of melanin, carotene, and hemoglobin. The undertone you're born with never changes; it simply deepens with a tan and fades with age.

So based on your yellow or blue undertone, you'll look best in colors that are either yellow or blue based.


Your skin, hair, and eyes react to the colors around them, absorbing colors that match your undertone and reflecting colors that oppose it. It's why some brides look great in white but others look better in ivory. And it's why you look great in some colors and completely washed out in others.

Wearing the "right colors:"

  • Makes your eyes sparkle
  • Gives your skin a healthy, flawless appearance
  • Makes you look younger
  • Increases your self-confidence

Wearing the "wrong colors:"

  • Dulls the skin, hair, and eyes
  • Magnifies skin imperfections
  • Makes you look older than you are
  • Makes you appear heavier than you are

So why don't we instinctively know which colors look best on us?

Actually, we do. We're naturally drawn to the colors that suit us best. Unfortunately, we may have been unduly influenced over the years by parents, siblings, or peers who have different coloring than us. Combine that with the Fashion Industry showing its latest "must haves" twice a year with little regard to this concept, and you could have a closet full of clothes with colors you can't wear.

So it behooves you to "have your colors done" (or do it yourself), if for no other reason than to stop buying colors that don't make you look your best. 


Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of "Wardrobe Magic," an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at  .  Color Analysis

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