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Color's that look good with pale skin

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by IDH, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. IDH

    IDH Senior member

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    During the winter months my skin gets really pale, and certain color clothes can wash me out (white, light grey). At the minute I have saved up money to invest in lots of new winter items, but I'm woried to buy things incase they make me look too pale.

    I have dark hair, blue eyes and very pale skin. Can anyone in a similar situation please recommend certain colors - and also tell me ones I should avoid? Sorry if this is a daft question - but it's just a big concern for me, I'd really appreciate any help.

    IDH
     


  2. acecow

    acecow Senior member

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    I have brown hair and find that all shades of brown, beige, green, blue and purple work really well with my complexion.
     


  3. IDH

    IDH Senior member

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    Ok thanks - Are you really pale too?

    do you avoid any?
     


  4. acecow

    acecow Senior member

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    Yes, I'm a redhead. Quite pale. I avoid having black too close to my face (e.g. black shirts = bad, black v-neck = OK). Other than that I don't really avoid any colors, because I'm devilishly handsome and charismatic.
     


  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would avoid rays of sunlight.
     


  6. southbound35

    southbound35 Senior member

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    I'm not very, very pale, but I'm definitely a bit pale in the winter months. Light grey and white wash me out as well. I agree with acecow in that "brown, beige, green, blue and purple" work well. I think burgundy can work well, though brighter reds don't work for me at all.

    Another thing to consider is on the opposite end of the darkness spectrum. I think dark navy, dark charcoal, dark chocolate brown, and black can also be tough as they create such a stark contrast. I have better luck with mid-blues, mid-greys, mid-browns. One way to work the darker colors into your wardrobe is to wear them as layering pieces with complementary colors between the "bad" color and your face (e.g., you could wear a light blue or purple collared shirt under a chocolate brown v-neck sweater). Also, you can possibly wear a cream shirt in place of a white shirt, which can minimize the washed out effect without losing the nice contrast a white shirt can provide against darker shades; this suggestion can be dicey, though, depending on your exact complexion.
     


  7. DLester

    DLester Senior member

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    You want sufficient contrast between your skin/hair/eyes and the rest of your clothes. Avoid pale beige, very pale heathery grey (although most grey should be fine) and anything with a pronounced jaundiced yellow undertone unless it is a very deep color. Who wants to wear jaundiced clothing anyway though.

    Wear blue, of course, all shades of purple except the lightest, and jewel tones (sapphire, ruby, emerald). You are probably better off with stronger colors generally.

    You should be able to get away with black and white -- the starker the white the better. I am pale and wear them all the time. A white shirt will have good contrast. No "white" person is actually white, not even an albino. If it is off-white, you will look like crap.

    Try a white shirt with a jewel-colored cardigan over it.

    You sound like a "winter," so google color seasons and see what the rest of the internet has to say. I am kind of between seasons personally and can't follow any of that color season stuff rigidly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011


  8. DLester

    DLester Senior member

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    I find that people look worse when there is insufficient skin/clothing contrast.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011


  9. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    I am rather pale, with a pinkish tint. My sister is ever more pale than me, but her skin has a yellowish tint. What I'm getting at is skin does have different tints, even if it's really pale. This changes what looks good on you. For me, blue has perenially been my favorite color for clothing. I think it works well with my skin. Also, green and sometimes purple/red seem to work. I'd stay away from really dark colors, especially black in more dressy situations. It can make you look like a ghost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011


  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My best friend is a redhead, and he has the pale skin. He is a stylish guy and honestly I don't think skin/clothing colors matter at all. The only color he doesn't wear is black, but that is pretty much everybody right? It seems to be something that people who are more self-conscious about their skin think matters, but it doesn't. Anybody, with any kind of skin can benefit from classic color combinations and items that are of good taste.

    He does prefer to walk on the shady side of the street in the summer, though.
     




  11. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    As someone who has a reasonable training in history, fine art and the scientific method, I have to say that this the whole 'four colour types' thing is a load of prime bullshit. It's not much better than the mediaeval 'four humours' analysis of personality. The business world is infested with all kinds of contemporary equivalents of bunko artists who peddle these sorts of 'theories'. The only solution to finding what suits you is to try different colours, shades and hues out, see what you think and see what people who matter to you say. That's it. So, I also agree with PatrickBOOTH, except about black, which can be absolutely fine too for many people - I think we in western countries are all just rather overly affected by the associations of black with firstly, cheap suits, and secondly, death (maybe not in that order!).
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011


  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would also add to that, keep Andy at Andy.
     


  13. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Taupe, Olive, Olive Drab, Kelley Green, Pink, Lavender French Blue will all make you pale faces (myself included) look fabulous.
    Patterns such as Window Pane, Gingham or Tattersal can also liven you up.
    Avoid colours such as Orange, White, Black, Pale Green, Medium 'battleship' Grey next to your pale skin.
    Avoid plain shirts altogether or at least liven them up with a vest or sweater and wool tie.
    You can gain some colour by 15 min sun exposure, even in winter. A lunchtime walk will provide this.
    Welcome to Styleforum.
     


  14. IDH

    IDH Senior member

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    Im having a hard time trying to find a winter coat in a color that will look good with my skin tone. All the ones I like seem to be black, grey or navy.

    Do you think the following would look ok:

    http://shop.uniqlo.com/uk/goods/069592 (in beige)

    and this:

    http://shop.uniqlo.com/uk/goods/070296 (In black - If I was to wear it with a scarf that is a color better suited to my skin?)
     


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