One of the most powerful styling tools you have at your disposal, and the first place I like to start when talking about fashion, is color. It’s something that surrounds you every day and is already hanging in your closet. Not only do colors carry with them certain associations that can help you attract the things you want and make stronger style statements, but they can also visually alter your look in dramatic ways.

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You’d be surprised at how a simple color change can...

  • Help you look more alert.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Visually brighten you up.

On the flip side, if you’re wearing a color unsuited to your specific complexion, it has the potential to....

  • Wash you out
  • Highlight imperfections like dark circles or fine lines
  •  Cause you to appear run-down when you aren't.

This is why it’s so important to know which colors work best, not only for your physical makeup, such as your skin tone and features, but also for specific circumstances. When you use color to your advantage, to accentuate your features instead of compete with them, and to reinforce your messages, it will further articulate your style speak. Best of all, it’s a great place to begin building a flattering wardrobe, since you can start with items you already own.

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Warm if by land

To state the obvious, warm colors evoke feelings of warmth: fire, heat, etc. I like to take it a step further and call these the land colors. Think of rolling hills, lush harvests, golden sunsets, the vast landscapes of deserts, and rich red earth. These are your browns, orange-reds, dusty yellows, and earthy forest greens.

  • AUTUMN: Autumns are part of the warm category, with green undertones, and often have low-contrast features. Not all but a majority of people with brown hair and brown eyes fall into this category, as do most classic redheads. They may appear to have an overall rich, spicy coloring. If you are an autumn, you look best in earthy as well as muted warm colors, such as spicy reds, burnt oranges, moss greens, and deep plums. Your best neutrals would be cream and dark chocolate brown. Celebrity Autumns include Susan Sarandon, Beyoncé, Julia Roberts, and Eva Mendes.
  • SPRING: Springs are also part of the “warm” complexion category, with green undertones, and they tend to have low-contrasting features. Many springs have an overall clear, golden coloring and look best wearing golden browns, corals, peaches, yellow greens, and aquas. For neutrals, go with ivory instead of white and golden brown instead of black. Celebrity springs include Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Reba McEntire, and Rashida Jones.


Cool colors, on the other hand, are meant to conjure feelings of cold, ice, etc. I call these the sea colors. Whenever I envision the cool color palette, my mind immediately goes to deep ocean waters, the jewel tones associated with sunken treasures, and all the blues, emerald greens, and purples associated with this.

  • SUMMER: Summers also fall under the cool category but generally have a low contrast between their hair, skin, and eye color, meaning everything is similar in intensity (e.g., light eyes paired with light hair). Summers may be referred to as having a “soft and subtle” appearance and seem to have a more neutral (sometimes beige in lighter skin tones) coloring. They can lean toward presenting an overall ashy tone rather than a golden one. If you are a summer, you look best in cool, muted colors, including most blues (blue-gray, periwinkle, etc.), lavender, pastel pinks, and browns. When it comes to neutrals, opt for sand or soft white and slate gray or charcoal. Celebrity summers include Farrah Fawcett, Rihanna, and Jodie Foster.

  • WINTER: Winters are classified as those cool people with blue skin undertones, who usually possess a high contrast between their hair, skin, and eye color. This typically means they have darker hair and lighter skin and eyes. Their coloring can be referred to as crisp and distinctive, and they look best in similar bright, deep colors, such as navy, emerald green, hot pink, and true red. As far as neutrals, winters should wear stark, crisp white and clear black. Celebrity winters include Elizabeth Taylor, Courtney Cox, Brooke Shields, Anne Hathaway, and Ann Curry.