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Picking The Perfect Color For Your Dress

Dec 26, 2007
As color has a tremendous emotional impact and effect on moods and appearance its importance in fashion designing is without question; and because of its importance it is well to learn how it should be used with different women's coloring.


Following are some suggestions for the use of colors of fabrics with various colorings of skin tone and hair. Do not feel bound by these, just remember the color of the wearer's dress should not overshadow her natural hair and skin coloring.

Pale Blondes With Pale Skin: Light green, blue green, light and dark blue, blue violet, lavender, pink, dark brown, light orange, neutral red or red orange, blue gray, light gray, cream or flesh white, shiny black. Avoid intense colors or dead black.

Vivid Golden Blonde - Rosy or Cream Complexion: Colors slightly grayed or softened, blue, blue violet, violet blue, soft green, blue green, black, off-white, gray, pink, beige-tan, soft red, red orange, yellow. Avoid colors that are neutral or very intense.

Neutral Semi-Blonde - Dark Ash Blonde - Fair Skin: Soft colors but not too low in value, medium greens and blues, soft blue, blue green, blue violet, soft reds and red orange, soft pink, dark brown, creamy white, shiny black. Avoid very pale pastel tints and warm intense colors.

Medium Brown - Medium Fair Complexion: Black when trimmed with white, brown, dark gray, warm white, blue green, low intensity blue or green, dark red, soft orange or yellow, ecru, natural beige. Avoid purple, somber colors, or very intense colors.

Brunette - Dark Brown or Black Hair - Pale, Fair, or Ivory Skin: Various shades and hues of red or orange, medium - dark - or warm green, light or dark tan, cream white, medium blue green, neutral dark blue, warm gray, dark red purple. Avoid light blue, bright green, pale violet, blue purple, bright pink.

Dark Brunette - Dark Brown or Black hair - Skin Golden Brown, Olive, or Copper Colored:

Low value (dark) clear red - blue - or green, dark neutral orange, maroon, dark tan or gray, cream white, black velvet. Avoid the same colors mentioned for previous type.

Pale Red Hair - Pale Transparent Skin: Blue, blue gray, gray, blue green, brown, light or dark tan, light or dark gray, green, purple, ivory white, black. Avoid bright very intense red, orange brighter than hair, red violet, rose pink.

Bright Red Hair - Vivid Complexion: Soft medium green or blue green, dark blue, blue gray, ivory white, light tan, dark gray. Avoid bright red or orange, purple or rose pink, yellow green.

Mixed Gray Hair - Pale Skin: All soft colors, dark blue, black only when accented with color near face. Avoid: bright yellow, natural beige, light greens or blues, and all intense high value colors.

Gray Hair - Pale Skin: All soft shades of most warm or cool colors, shiny black, dark gray. Avoid: Brown, tan, dull black, white, light gray.

White Hair - Pale Skin: Pastel tints, all shades and tints of low intensity red from flesh to maroon, soft blues or greens, creamy white, black. Avoid: Tan, brown, dead white, yellow green.

Complexion Variation:

Sallow skin - avoid bright blue and unrelieved black.
Sallow skin but coloring is cool - soft cool colors, blues and greens, creamy white accents near face.
Sallow skin but coloring is warm - soft warm colors, yellow orange to red.

Florid Complexion: can be subdued by dark values. Avoid complementary colors near face.
Color of complexion and cheeks can be EMPHASIZED BY ACCENTING OR CONTRASTING with color; also by cream white near the face.

To accent the color of eyes avoid a large expanse of a similar color near the face unless it is substantially subdued and darker or duller than the eye color - with contrast the eyes seem brighter. Exception: A small accent of bright or very intense color near the face of the same hue as the eyes will make the observer conscious of that color which will make the eye color seem brighter by reflection.

Use these colors as a guide and you will choose the right color for yourself or your client every time.
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