How To Choose The Best Party Dresses For Your Skin Tone

Last updated on : January 03 2023

how to choose a party dress


Ready to freshen up your wardrobe with a few party dresses? Before you hit the mall or pull up your latest online store, stop to make sure you're buying dresses in your color.

Not your favorite color, even though that can be one of your deciding factors. Instead, a color that complements the tones already in your skin.

A lot of us stick to colors that are neutral and easy, which is why it's such a breath of fresh air when we see someone playing with really bright, unusual tones. Playing with color is a gamble - you're either going to get it right and look fantastic or get it wrong and look like you're on death row. 

The best colors for you can be hard to figure out at first, which is why most people settle for "black looks good on everyone."

Don't settle for good, though. You want to find a color that makes you look great. Finding dresses in your shade will make you the center of attention when you walk into any room.

Read on to find out how, or use this handy little table of contents. 

Why Is Knowing Your Color (Skin Tone) So Important?

Okay, you might be wondering. Why exactly is knowing my color so important? Can't I find a dress that fits me well no matter the color?

Technically, yes, you can. But you won't look your best that way.

In theory, you could buy a dress in any color that's tailored to show off your body, and you'll end up with a gorgeous silhouette. The difference will be in how the dress sets off your skin tone.

Dresses in the right colors flatter your skin tone. Believe it or not, this makes a vast, easily visible difference.

The right color makes you look bright, healthy, and vibrant, without needing a shred of makeup on your face. It will bring out the undertones in your skin in a way that gives you a natural glow.

Think of it as a way to highlight the beauty already in your skin.

The wrong color, on the other hand, can make you look washed out, ashy, or sick. In the best-case scenario, it's an effect that's pretty "meh." Instead of complimenting your skin, it's working against it.

You want to find dresses in colors that present you in your best light and nothing less.

Read more: 14 Things The Colors You Wear Say About You

Rufina ginger bandage dress

How Can You Figure Out Your Skin Tone?

The first step to discovering what colors look best on you is figuring out what your skin tone is. It's not quite as simple as just looking in the mirror.

Your skin tone isn't the color that you see at first glance. For our purposes, skin tone is different than skin color.

The Primary Skin Tones 

There are two primary tones that people have: warm tones and cool tones. A few people are harder to place and fall into the 'neutral' category.

If your undertones are yellow or golden, you're warm. If they're more on the pink side, you have cool undertones.

Finding Your Tone 

Figuring out which one you are is easier than you think.

The Vein Test

Start by looking at the veins and blood vessels in the inside of your wrists or elbows. (This is where the skin is thinnest, so it's easier to find them.)

Do your veins look a little green? That's a good indicator that you're a warm color.

Do you see more blue than green? That means you're cool-toned.

If you're staring at your skin trying to figure out if it's green or blue that you're seeing and you really can't tell, you're probably neutral. It just means that you have a mix of both colorings.

For neutrals, your coloring also might change depending on the time of year. To figure out what your color is at any particular time, try the white paper test.

The White Paper Test

The white paper test is just as simple as looking at your veins. Get a blank piece of white printer paper and hold it up to your face and chest in the mirror. Then, look closely to see which colors stand out more on your skin next to a stark white piece of paper.

Seeing blue and pink means you're cool-colored. Green and gold are for -- you guessed it -- warm.

The Jewelry Test

If none of these tests convince you, think of the jewelry you wear most often. Sometimes, we're pretty good at figuring out our undertones without even realizing it.

If you're someone who gravitates towards gold, as you can probably guess, you're a warm color. People with cool tones, on the other hand, tend to like silver better since it complements their skin.

How To Choose The Best Party Dresses For You

First of all, make sure that you're finding a dress that fits your shape. Don't forget that the fit is essential too. Even if the dress is a perfect color for you, it won't have the same show-stopping effect if it doesn't fit you the way it's supposed to.

When it comes down to the color, there is a range that will suit each skin tone. You can wear dresses in both the warm and cool categories, but make sure that you're picking the right ones.

We've broken it down by skin tone type for you below.

Skin tone - Warm Colored

For warm colors, it's probably easy to figure out what colors you should incorporate into your wardrobe. Go for more warm colors: your regular oranges, yellows, and golds. Those will bring out the natural undertones in your skin and complement your skin in all the best ways.

That doesn't mean to chuck out all of the cool colors in your wardrobe. Just make sure that you're choosing cool colors that are a bit on the warmer side.

If green is your favorite color, dresses in a shade of olive have the best chance of looking great against your skin. If blue is more your style, go for a deep turquoise for an eye-catching look.

cornflower blue bandage from the kewl shop

Skin tone - Cool Colored

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you'll need completely different colors. (In fact, it's probably a good idea to stay away from oranges and yellows all together.)

Your go-to colors are bright blues, lilacs, or any jewel tones because they'll look great against your skin. Royal blue and dark purples are also safe bets. The odds are that you'll know which shade is best for you as soon as you put it on.

As far as warm colors go, the bad news is that there aren't a lot of warm colors that suit people with cool undertones. If you love pink, though, the good news is that most shades of pink will look great on you.

Your best bet is to find a bright pink, ruby, or more vivid rose color. These would be safe, warm colors for you. There are tons of pink party dresses out there, and you can be the head-turner pretty in pink.

Peony pink bandage dress from the kewl shop

Ski n tone - Neutral Colored

Neutral colors are probably the luckiest of us all. Because they're a mix of both cold and warm undertones, people with neutral tones can wear almost anything.

Just like cool and warm undertoned people, who have colors they specifically need to avoid, neutral undertones have colors that are not as complimentary. If you're a neutral tone, anything overly flashy probably isn't for you. You don't want to drown out the natural coloring of your skin.

What you can wear, though, more than makes up for the few bright colors to avoid. Neutral-toned folks don't have specific colors in the warm and cool families that they should wear. Just like your skin tone falls in between two major categories, you should also look for colors that are closer to the middle of the spectrum.

All shades of pink are right colors for you, and like the warm-toned folks, you can probably pull off a great olive. Unlike them, though, colors like grey or silver look good on you. Grey washes out people with warm-toned skin, but it's a great...well, neutral for people with neutral tones.

silver party dress

Of course, some colors look good on everyone regardless of their undertones. You usually can't go wrong with black, for example. No matter what skin tone you are, colors like bright red and dark purple are safe bets.

But the best dresses are the ones that are perfect for you in all the right ways -- and that includes a dress color that makes you look like you have an inner glow.

Are Bandage/Bodycon Dresses The Best Party Dresses?

Now that you've read this, you're ready to find dresses that make sure you land on the 'best dressed' list anywhere you go. A natural choice for your next event is a bandage or bodycon dress - the style in the images above. 

Over the years, these dresses have become an indispensable part of every woman’s wardrobe. They work whether you want to wear one for a night out in the town, during a shopping spree with friends, or on a hot first date.

They're a one-size-fits-all solution for your fashionista needs and closet staples for many of us.

You don't need a perfect figure to pull them off either. No matter your body profile or age, these dresses mold your curves like shapewear, hiding blemishes and smoothing where required.

Choose one to match your complexion and read this article on how to choose the best dress for your shape

Frequency Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about dresses and skin tone:

  • How do I know what my skin tone is? There are a few ways to determine your skin tone. One method is the vein test, where you look at the veins in your wrist or elbow and see if they appear more blue or green. You have warm undertones if they appear green, while blue indicates cool undertones. If it's hard to tell, you may have neutral undertones. Another method is the white paper test, where you hold a white piece of paper up to your face and chest to see which colors stand out more against it.
  • What colors look best on warm skin tones? Warm skin tones look best in warm colors like red, orange, and yellow. These colors will bring out the warm undertones in your skin and give you a natural glow.
  • What colors look best on cool skin tones? Cool skin tones look best in cool colors like blue, purple, and green. These colors will bring out the cool undertones in your skin and give you a fresh, vibrant look.
  • What colors look best on neutral skin tones? Neutral skin tones can wear a wide range of colors but generally, look best in cool or warm colors that are opposite their undertones. For example, if you have cool undertones, try wearing warm colors, and vice versa.
  • What Colors Look Best On Pale Skin: Pale skin tends to have a subtle red undertone, which you need to compliment with dress color choice. Try ivory, navy, gray, light reds, and oranges like rose pink, peach, or apricot.
  • What Colors Look Good On Dark Skin: You can't go wrong choosing an earthy color for brown skin. Beige and creams, sand, black, and gray all fall into this color range. Or get bolder with metallics and pop neon. Other safe colors include rust, red, orange, lemon yellow, light greens, light blues, lilacs, and pastels. But avoid colors with dark tinges because they won't reflect your skin, and you'll look two-dimensional. These are colors like maroon, dark blues, and dark browns.
  • What Color Goes With Olive Skin: Olive skin tends to have warm or neutral undertones with tinges of green. If you have light olive skin, your undertone will be cooler to neutral, while darker olive shades have a deeper, more golden undertone. Your color choices include a range of purple, dull pink, maroon, burgundy, dark browns, navy blue, and burnt orange shades. Stay away from greens and pastels, as they will highlight the green color in your undertone.
  • Can I wear black if I have a warm skin tone? Yes, you can wear black if you have a warm skin tone. Black is a neutral color that goes well with any skin tone. However, you may want to avoid wearing black head to toe, as it can wash out your skin tone. Instead, try pairing black with a pop of color to bring out your natural warmth.
  • Can I wear white if I have a cool skin tone? Yes, you can wear white if you have a cool skin tone. However, you may want to avoid wearing white head to toe, as it can wash out your skin tone. Instead, try pairing white with a pop of color to bring out your natural coolness.
  • How To Wear A Sexy Red Dress? Passion, sex, love, and obsession - these are feelings we trigger putting on this bold and fearless color. Red refuses to blend in. It can be challenging to pull off, but it is lovely. Regardless of how you feel, we challenge you to wear and indulge in it - learn how to wear a sexy red dress here.

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