Looking for just the right evening dress can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. One easy way to ensure that you look your best is to pick the right color for your dress. Understanding which colors look good on you requires a few simple tricks, and then you’re on your way to looking your best all the time—especially at that special evening event.

Things You Should Know

  • Use the color of your skin, eyes, and hair to choose a complementary color scheme for your dress.
  • When in doubt, black, gray, white, and red can work with basically any skin tone.
  • Take the season into account when choosing a brighter or darker shade; lighter colors do well in warmer weather, while darker shades are more popular in winter.
  • Don’t overfocus on the color—the shape and cut of a dress matters, especially if you’re going to a formal event.

Finding Out Which Colors Flatter YouDownload Article

  1. 1
    Consider your coloring.[1] The combination of your skin tone, natural hair color, and eye color will determine which colors tend to look good on you. This process can seem a little complicated, but once you’ve done it, finding clothes in the right colors will be much easier for the rest of your life.
  2. 2
    Determine your undertone. To find out your undertone, no matter what shade your skin is, turn your hand palm up and look at your wrist. If your veins look green or yellow, you are warm toned. If they look purple or blue, you are cool toned.[2]
    • If you have cool undertones, you tend to look best in cool colors like blue, gray, and silver.
    • If you have warm undertones, you tend to look best in earthy, warm colors like brown, gold, and dark green.
  3. 3
    Determine whether you’re dark or light. Once you know your undertone, use your natural hair color to help determine whether you’re dark or light. This will help you further refine which colors look best with your undertone.[3]
    • Dark-Cool: You have cool undertones and dark hair without reddish highlights. Try bright, vibrant jewel tones like turquoise or indigo. Avoid warm pastels, like peach and soft pink.
    • Light-Cool: You have cool undertones and blonde or light brown hair without reddish highlights. Try pale, cool colors like baby blue and lavender, and avoid saturated, earthy tones.
    • Warm-Dark: You have warm undertones and brown hair with reddish highlights or dark red hair. Try earthy, saturated colors like gold, olive, and rust. Skip the bright red shades.[4]
    • Light-Warm: You have warm undertones and blonde hair with reddish highlights, bright red hair, or golden blonde hair. Try soft, pale colors like ivory and powdery pink. Skip harsh, saturated colors like deep black or navy.[5]
  4. 4
    Consider your eye color. Nothing is more dramatic in style than wearing a dress that brings out your eyes. You can also match your dress to your eye color. For example, if you have deep blue eyes, you could make them stand out with a deep blue dress.[6]
    • Blue, green, and hazel eyes look great when paired with lighter colored dresses.
    • Dark, earthy shades tend to make brown and very dark eyes look nice.
  5. 5
    Remember that some colors look good on most people. Black or darker shades of gray are another failsafe, and there’s a shade of white or off-white that flatters just about everyone. There’s even a shade of red for every skin tone.[7]
    • All it takes is to match your undertone. For example, a warm red will suit a warm undertone, while a cool red will suit a cool undertone.
    • If white looks too stark on you, try going a shade darker, like ivory. If black looks too harsh, try a dark gray instead.
  6. 6
    Try on new colors. Shade (light/dark) and undertone (warm/cool) are not iron clad rules; plenty of people fall somewhere in between, and some colors can look good with unexpected shades and undertones. Bottom line: if you see a color you like, try it on. It just might look fabulous on you.[8]
    • Spend some time trying on different dress shades in the fitting room and getting a feel for how certain hues look on you.
    • Photograph of yourself in different colored dresses. Sometimes, it's easier to decide what looks good based off of a photograph than a reflection in a mirror.
    • Consider getting other people's opinions, but remember to take them with a grain of salt. There's a difference between honest, helpful advice and hurtful bullying.

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