The skin tone is an often-overlooked factor when deciding on the color of your next shirt purchase. It does come into play subconsciously, when you stand in front of the mirror trying on that swanky new shirt, wondering if it looks good – and oftentimes, for men, that is sufficient.
There are certainly no hard and fast rules to what colors you can or cannot wear. After all, experimentation spices up life, so if a color catches your eye, try it!
On the other hand, if you wish to cut down on the time spent in the fitting room the next time you go shopping or are looking to shop online, where trying it on beforehand is not an option – you can follow a simple guideline to ascertain the color palette that suits your skin tone best.
Skin tones are categorized by the seasons –spring, summer, autumn and winter. The season you belong to is in turn determined by the tone and contrast of your skin.
If you have a “warm” tone, your skin has deeper undertones of gold and yellow with visible veins appearing greenish. A “cool” tone means your skin is pale or dark with pink or blue undertones and the veins will normally look blueish.
Now that you’ve determined your tone, it’s time to check your contrast. If you have “clear” skin, it means there is high contrast between your hair, skin and eyes with slightly translucent skin. “Muted” skin is indicated by less contrast with ash tones that appear softer in color.
You can count yourself as spring if you are warm and clear. You may likely have light/strawberry blonde or auburn hair with light blue or green eyes. Your skin is extremely light and you may be freckled and/or have rosy cheeks.
Pale, soft colors look best. Colors like ivory, peach, true reds, clear blues, camel, light pink, coral, golden yellow, golden brown, aqua and bright greens are flattering.
Dark and dull colors. Black and white may also be too much of a contrast for your skin tone.
You are summer if you are cool and muted. Your skin is pale and pinkish or you have a complexion that easily tans. You’re a natural/ash blonde or have brown hair and light eyes.
Pastels, neutrals, and muted colors look best. Colors like lavender, rose, mauve, pale yellow, and light blue are flattering.
Black and orange. Any intense, vivid colors may be too harsh and drown out your summer skin tone.
A warm and muted tone and contrast means you fall under autumn. You likely have light golden skin that burns easily under the sun with brown or blue eyes. You may have red/brown/darker honey/golden blonde hair.
Earth tones that are rich and muted look best. Caramel, beige, burnt orange, gold, dark reds, olive, ivory, camel and rich brown are flattering.
Cool shades give a pale appearance. Clear, bright colors and black and white will make you look faded while pink is usually extremely unflattering.
The winter is cool and clear with stark, dramatic skin. Asians, Africans and Caucasians with very pale skin and dark hair all find themselves in this category.
True white, true black, cool grays, navy blue, deep reds, bright pinks, jewel tones (emerald, royal blue, royal purple), and icy pastels are all flattering.
Beige, orange, gold, brown and other washed out shades would make you look faded and ashy.
If you’re a more visual person, then you can look at this guide from Effortless Gent for reference where (in order of appearance) Conan O’Brien is a “spring” skin tone, Justin Timberlake is a “summer” skin tone, Adrian Grenier is an “autumn” skin tone and Will Smith is a “winter” skin tone.