Signature Style Series: Finding Your Signature Color

This post was inspired by a friend of mine who asked, on her Facebook status, “how do I find my color?”  It’s a really great question and one that all of us should be asking if we haven’t already found our color (2).  And, since one of our YCS 2013 Fashion Resolutions is to only wear the most flattering clothing, there is no time like the present to figure out your most flattering colors.

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There are tons of different ways to find your color, but I’m going to help you find yours in just a few simple steps.  It only requires a little bit of time and will pay huge dividends in the end.  One thing to keep in mind – just because a color is not “your” color, that doesn’t mean that you can’t wear it.  By all means, wear it! Especially if you love it.  Wearing “your” color simply flatters you the most by bringing out natural tones that complement your complexion.

How to Find Your Signature Color in Three Simple Steps

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Step 1. Put on gold jewelry – preferably earrings and a necklace.  Look at yourself critically or snap a picture.  Then, put on silver jewelry.  Look at yourself critically or snap a picture.  Which jewelry was more flattering?  The silver or the gold?  It’s ok if you have to go check again.  So which is it?  If it’s gold jewelry, you’re “warm” and if it’s silver you’re “cool.”  There are some other ways to tell if  you’re warm or cool like looking at your eye color or hair color.  But I’ve found that this is the easiest and fastest way to do it.

Generally speaking, if you’re “warm” you’re going to test Step 2 with yellow, red, or orange.  If you’re “cool” you’ll test Step 2 with blue, green, or purple.  Other colors (like pink) will be null and void . . . for now.

Step 2.  Choose 2 shades of one color from the suggested list above and put try them on.  I would recommend trying one pastel color (like lavender) and one bright/bold color (like royal purple).  Which color is more flattering on you?  If it is the lighter, pastel color then you are a “cool with cool undertones.”  If it is the bolder color then you are “cool with warm undertones.”  The same goes for warm tones.  If you look better in a lighter, softer color (think soft yellow) then you’re “warm with cool undertones.”  But, if brights look better (think neon yellow) then you’re “warm with warm undertones.”

Step 3. Play Dress-up!  Now that you know if you’re cool or warm and whether you’re undertones are cool or warm, it is time for you to road test some colors.  These are some colors that I would start with based on your tone:

Cool with cool undertones – baby blue, icy blue, lavender and mint green.

Cool with warm undertones – soft yellow, baby pink and peach.

Warm with cool undertones – teal, royal purple and emerald.

Warm with warm undertones – sunny yellow, magenta and tangerine.

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Whether it’s in your own closet or in your favorite store, pick out pieces with these colors and see which ones REALLY make you look good.  A great way to do this is by trying scarves.  They are close to your face, so the flattering qualities will be evident almost immediately.  If you’re having a tough time figuring out which color is exactly right – try a couple that are in your palette and wear them out.  Take notice of which hues garner more compliments.  Those are going to be the colors that will be your signature.

It is important to note that whatever your skin tone you can find a shade of ANY color that is flattering.  The tips above are just suggestions to get you started.  If you’re cool with cool undertones don’t avoid red, for example.  Try fire engine red or deep red, like oxblood.  So, use the tips above to get you started and then go wild picking out your most flattering color.

A final note: Black, white, brown and grey all count as neutrals (as do animal prints in my book – but that’s another post for another day).  This means that, for the most part, no matter what your tone is, you’ll be able to wear those colors.  The one exception is white.  Cool tones will look good in crisp, clean, stark whites.  Warm tones will find that off-white colors like eggshell or winter white will be more flattering.

Now that you have a strong foundation, you can be well on your way to always looking stylish.  If you really want to hurt ’em, check out Curvy CEO’s series on how to dress for your body type.  A figure flattering frock in your signature color will pretty much make you unstoppable.

Be sure to check back in, let me know if you found your signature color! And send pics!  We love pics here at YCS!

Your Chic is Showing,

love erika

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