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  1. #1

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    Colors That Match Pale Skin?

    Hey, Fashionbeans, I'm a new member. I've been reading the AskMen's Style Bible lately to gain some fashion sense before revamping my wardrobe. I finished the book a little while ago but am left with a few questions, especially as it relates to coordinating color with skin tone. I've done some more reading online and looked at the color article in the sidebar at this subreddit and still don't know where I stand in terms of matching colors to my (very pale) skin tone.


    Here's an example of some of the confusing advice I hear. The AskMen's Style Bible advises very dark skinned guys to wear colors like pink, white, khaki, baby blue and grey. It justifies this advice in terms of how the former colors contrast and complement dark skin tones. It advises dark skinned guys to avoid dark colors because they're too similar to his skin tone. Makes sense. But, for very pale skinned guys like myself AskMen advises wearing light blue, brown, beige, off-white, and bold blue to blend in with their skin tone. This doesn't make sense. Why should one skin tone look good with contrast and the other with similarity?


    It gets even weirder. The Style Bible advises pale skinned guys to avoid the colors red, pink, orange, yellow, and purple. However, the very next section in the book advises pale skinned guys to wear... red, yellow, and orange! What gives? I feel like I'd have an easier time getting fashion advice from tarot cards or chicken entrails. I've done some poking around online and keep stumbling on this dubious "season" method of coordinating with your skin tone, where each type of skin tone is assigned a "season" of the year and you're supposed to wear colors to match that season or something. It honestly sounds more like some New Agey feng shui deal than advice based on serious aesthetics.

    Can you give me the 411 on coordinating color with skin tone or am I going to have to raid a KFC dumpster for those entrails?

  2. #2
    Nat

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    Welcome aboard Danny.

    I am no expert I'm afraid. But the best advice I can give is to experiment, and see what works for you. Just be honest with yourself about what suits you, and never buy something if it doesn't suit, no matter how much you like the item. If you can't be honest with yourself, take a trusted friend/girlfriend.

    Also, I'm not sure that it's only about skin colour - I think hair and eye colour come into it too. I am naturally quite pale, I have blue-green eyes and light brown hair. I find that "autumnal colours" look good on me - browns etc. But also blues and pastels, so I don't think the rules are that hard and fast - back to experimenting with what works.

    I tend to swerve black, as it can make me look washed out, and large blocks of very bright pinks/purples etc. Apart from that, most stuff works imo.

    Sorry there is very little science behind what I'm saying! Finding what suits can take a while and be a bit trial and error, so stick with it.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    MarcLager's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Also, I'm not sure that it's only about skin colour - I think hair and eye colour come into it too.
    Indeed. Dark skinned people usually have brown eyes and dark brown or black hair. Fair skinned can be anything from black and dark brown or blond to red haired, all the shades of blue and brown eyes. Simply basing colours on skin tone is a failure to begin with.

    In my experience the shade of the colour is more important than anything. So, there's no real easy rule on what to wear. And most importantly, there's no one else but you who can tell what colours you'll feel comfortable in.

    My advise would be to browse a bunch of look books, find guys with the same skin and hair colour as you. Check out the colour combinations that you like. Then try to emulate that. They don't have to be wearing the same style of outfit that you are aiming for, it's the colour schemes you're after.

    But I'd love to hear what those chicken entrails have to say, so please consult them as well!
    Last edited by MarcLager; 09-07-2013 at 12:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Nat

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcLager View Post
    My advise would be to browse a bunch of look books, find guys with the same skin and hair colour as you. Check out the colour combinations that you like. Then try to emulate that. They don't have to be wearing the same style of outfit that you are aiming for, it's the colour schemes you're after.
    That's a good idea.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Welcome aboard Danny.

    I am no expert I'm afraid. But the best advice I can give is to experiment, and see what works for you. Just be honest with yourself about what suits you, and never buy something if it doesn't suit, no matter how much you like the item. If you can't be honest with yourself, take a trusted friend/girlfriend.

    Also, I'm not sure that it's only about skin colour - I think hair and eye colour come into it too. I am naturally quite pale, I have blue-green eyes and light brown hair. I find that "autumnal colours" look good on me - browns etc. But also blues and pastels, so I don't think the rules are that hard and fast - back to experimenting with what works.

    I tend to swerve black, as it can make me look washed out, and large blocks of very bright pinks/purples etc. Apart from that, most stuff works imo.

    Sorry there is very little science behind what I'm saying! Finding what suits can take a while and be a bit trial and error, so stick with it.

    Good luck.
    Good advice, Nat. We sound like we have similar bodily color-schemes. My hair is light brown and my eyes are blue. I don't have a lot of experience judging what sort of colors might look good on me, but my own experience is similar to yours, I think I've noticed myself looking better than usual in blues and browns. I think I look good in the shade of blue on this Pillsbury dough boy T-shirt.


    Quote Originally Posted by MarcLager View Post
    Indeed. Dark skinned people usually have brown eyes and dark brown or black hair. Fair skinned can be anything from black and dark brown or blond to red haired, all the shades of blue and brown eyes. Simply basing colours on skin tone is a failure to begin with.

    In my experience the shade of the colour is more important than anything. So, there's no real easy rule on what to wear. And most importantly, there's no one else but you who can tell what colours you'll feel comfortable in.

    My advise would be to browse a bunch of look books, find guys with the same skin and hair colour as you. Check out the colour combinations that you like. Then try to emulate that. They don't have to be wearing the same style of outfit that you are aiming for, it's the colour schemes you're after.
    Thanks! I have been trying to take my hair and eye color into consideration. I've got light brown hair and blue eyes. That is a good idea about the look books. Maybe I could try looking up male models or celebrities who match my description and see what they look like in different colors. Does anyone know of any male celebrities or models who have pale skin, light brown hair, and blue eyes and have a lot of that sort of material out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcLager View Post
    But I'd love to hear what those chicken entrails have to say, so please consult them as well!
    I'll get right on that. :P

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