A Guide to Dressing for Your Skin Tone

On the left, a dark-skinned woman with brown hair in a floral skirt and burgundy sweater and jacket. In the middle is a medium-skinned woman with black hair in jeans and an off-white blouse and jacket. On the right, a light-skinned woman with red hair in olive slacks and a brown and tan polka-dot top.


Whether you’re refreshing your closet with new looks or just picking out a fabulous OOTD, there’s something to be said about choosing colors that make you look and feel your best. And we’re all for wearing whichever hues give you the biggest confidence boost, but leaning into shades that complement your skin’s undertone, is just another way to highlight your natural features. Actually finding your most flattering colors can feel a bit like a mystery (especially with a whole Pantone rainbow to choose from), but don’t worry! Scroll on for our simple explainer on how to find your most complementary hues.

Chart of warm and cool skin tones

First things first: what is your skin’s “undertone,” and how do you identify it? While skin tones range from fair to dark, undertones are the cool, warm or neutral tinges within your skin tone. We like to think of it this way—your skin’s tone may vary from season to season (especially if you’re soaking up the sun on vacation) but your skin’s undertone never changes. 

There are a few simple ways to ID your skin’s undertone. Looking at the veins in your wrist is one: if your veins appear to be blue or purple, you probably have a cool undertone, while if they look more green, you likely have a warm undertone. 

You can also try the white T-shirt test. Grab a true white shirt, find a spot of natural light, and hold the shirt up next to your face. In comparison to the optic white, does your complexion look pink or rosy? You’re likely cool toned. If your skin looks more yellow compared to the bright white swatch, your undertone is warm.

Now that you’re equipped to identify your skin’s undertone, scroll on to find your favorite colors, and the hues that’ll best complement your complexion. One thing to keep in mind: there are always exceptions to the rules, and the only rule we follow is this: if you feel amazing in your clothes, then rules are meant to be broken! 

On the left, a dark-skinned woman with brown hair wearing a floral skirt and burgundy sweater and jacket. On the right, a light-skinned woman with blonde hair wearing olive pants and a red hoodie. Below them, five circles in shades of red.


Red—it’s the fiery hue that inspires confidence and passion, and we’re firm believers that anyone can pull it off. It’s all about choosing shades from the red spectrum that jive with your skin’s undertone, whether you’re adding a bold new top to your lineup, or turning heads in an all-red-everything ‘fit.

 Reds for warm undertones

If your skin has warm undertones, similarly warm hues tend to complement your skin best. Colors like brick, cherry, raspberry and crimson belong in your closet, as they’ll bring out the golden tones in your complexion.

Reds for cool undertones

If your skin has cooler undertones, you’ll want to put these standout shades on your radar: poppy, ruby and scarlet. Orange- and pink-tinged reds will bring some warmth to your complexion—and heat up your style in no time. 

On the left, a light-skinned woman with blond hair wearing a teal coat over blue jeans, and a black white sweater with a white cap. On the right, a medium-skinned woman with brown hair wearing a blue and white floral dress and tan boots. Below them, five circles in shades of blue.


Now for the blues (the good and stylish kind). If you’re into a serene palette, you’ll want to embrace this ultra-soothing color in a shade that enhances your undertone. From electric to pacific, dive into this sea of flattering shades, below. 

Blues for warm undertones 

While blue is a cool color, there are still shades within the spectrum that look flawless against warm undertones. Hues with a little yellow in them—dark turquoise, teal blue or robin’s egg blue—will still make you look, and feel, radiant. 

Blues for cool undertones

If you’ve got cool undertones, the world of blue is your oyster. Sapphire, cobalt and ice blue are among the colors to add to your repertoire, as they’ll balance the natural rosiness in your skin. Pastels pair beautifully with cool undertones, so don’t pass up that powder blue sweater you’ve been eyeing. 

On the left, a medium-skinned woman with black hair wearing jeans and an off-white shirt and jacket. On the right, a light-skinned woman with red hair wearing olive pants, a brown and tan polka-dot shirt, and a tan sweater. Below them, five circles in neutral shades.


Every closet needs a collection of tried-and-true neutrals. It’s a timeless color palette that mixes and matches with virtually everything, from denim silhouettes to punchier pieces. And luckily, within the vast neutral family there are shades perfectly suited for every complexion. 

 Neutrals for warm undertones

When it comes to choosing complementary neutrals, think warm for warm and cool for cool undertones. Earth colors like sand, sepia, caramel and deep tonal reds will all enhance the peach or golden casts in your skin.

Neutrals for cool undertones

Cooler neutrals like taupe, nude, blush and dove gray will look soft against your cool complexion. Opt for a blush sweater, which will enhance the healthy pink glow of your skin, or go monochrome with an all-taupe ensemble. 

Let Stitch Fix help find your color match

Let our Stylists help find your new go-to color palette. Take your style quiz, schedule a Fix and get ready to receive an array of shades that will complement your warm, cool or neutral skin tone. Try on your new colorful styles in the comfort of your own home. Pay for what you love, and send back the rest. Shipping and returns are always free, and there’s no subscription required.


A New Way To Shop

Stitch Fix connects you with personal Stylists to send you looks you’ll love.

Get Your Fix

Need expert fashion advice?

Get a personal stylist

Want more tips, trends & insider news? Follow @stitchfix on Instagram