How to Find the Best K-Fashion Outfits for Your Skin Tone
First of all, what is colour analysis? Also known as personal colour analysis, seasonal colour analysis, or skin-tone matching, colour analysis is used within the cosmetics and fashion industry to determine the colours of clothing and makeup that harmonises with and flatters a person's skin complexion, eye colour, and hair colour.
Before you try to find which colours work best for you though, you need to determine what your personal colour is. There are various different ways to do this, but seasonal colour analysis is most commonly used in South Korea.
Here are the steps to help you find out which season you are:
First, you need to determine whether you have a warm or cool undertone. One of the easiest ways to find out is by looking at the colour of your veins on the inside of your wrist. A warmer undertone has more yellow in it, which would make your veins appear more greenish. On the other hand, a cooler undertone has more blue in it, and would make your veins seem either bluish or purplish.
If some veins appear greenish and others appear bluish, you likely have a neutral undertone. An advantage of being neutral-toned is that you will be able to look good in both warm and cool colours, and hence will have a lot more options when styling outfits. However, while most colours do not look unflattering on your skin, depending on whether you’re a warmer neutral or a cooler neutral, there will still be certain colour palettes that suit you better.
The four seasons
Now that you know whether you’re warm-toned or cool-toned, you can move on to determining which season you are. Each season has its own unique colour palette, and this can be observed in landscape photography or paintings in different seasons.
From the photos, it’s easy to see that spring and autumn (both on the left) are more warm-toned, while summer and winter (on the right) are more cool-toned. So now that you know whether you have a warm or cool undertone, as well as which seasons are warm-toned and which seasons are cool-toned, how do you find out which season you are?
That depends on how dark or light your overall colouring is!
Overall colouring refers not just to how fair or tan your skin is, but also to the colour of your hair. Of course, most Asian people have dark hair, so the lightness or darkness of your hair might be difficult to make out. However, if you’re one of those people with naturally brown hair or jet black hair, then finding your season will be much easier!
If you’re a fair warm-toned person (and have noticeably warm brown hair), then you’re most likely to be compatible with a summer colour palette. If you’re warm-toned but slightly more tan, then you will most likely suit an autumn colour palette.
This is the same for the cool-toned seasons as well. If you’re a fair cool-toned person (and if your hair is an especially dark black), then you will suit a winter colour palette. And if you’re a tan cool-toned person, then your corresponding season is summer.
If you’re finding it difficult to determine which season you are, don’t fret. There are many women in Korea who consult professionals in order to determine which seasons they are, as well as what colours work best for them. But that doesn’t mean you have to visit a professional as well. While that is definitely an option, another method is trying out the colours of the two seasons you’re torn between and see which colour is more flattering on you.
So what are the colours of each season? Let’s find out!
When it comes to spring, bright and vibrant colours surely come to mind first. Spring is the warmest and brightest season (in terms of colour), and the spring colour palette consists largely of light and bright colours. If spring is your colour palette, then you don’t have to shy away from bright colours—in fact, you should try to incorporate more bright colours into your wardrobe, because they look great on you!
Hide Color Sleeveless Point Crop Top in Yellow, retailing at SGD32.90 at StyleupK
Opwee Youth Feeling Crop T-shirt in Sora Blue, retailing at SGD45.90 at StyleupK
While bright, the autumn colour palette is not as bright as spring. Autumn is commonly associated with darker, earthier colours, such as deep reds and orange-tinted yellows—reminiscent of the colour of the leaves during the season. If autumn is your colour palette, this means that warm but muted colours are most flattering on you. Other than dark, earthy greens and browns, you can also go for burgundy and mustard yellow.
Hide Tube Crop Top Cardigan in Wine, retailing at SGD45.90 at StyleupK
Veteze Studio Mini Skirt in Green, retailing at SGD55 at StyleupK
The colour palette for summer may be counterintuitive for most people. Because summer is commonly associated with holidays and having fun, bright and happy colours often come to mind first for many people when they think of summer. However, the colour palette for summer is actually cool and muted. If summer is your colour palette, then you look great in pastel colours! Other options for you include beiges and light browns.
Born Champs Tie Dye Back Wave T-shirt in Pink, retailing at SGD52.90 at StyleupK
Motive Street Rib Point Sweatpants in Indipink, retailing at SGD55.90 at StyleupK
When looking at photos of white snow over dark green coniferous trees, it is clear that winter is a season of high contrast. If winter is your colour palette, then you are most likely fair-skinned. Thus, you look best in cool and bright colours. Cool colours include blue and purple, and brighter versions of these colours (as opposed to pastels or muted versions) stand out best against your complexion. You also look good in navy and black.
Heart Club Smocking Crop Blouse Top in Black, retailing at SGD69.90 at StyleupK
Hide Tie Dye Slit Long Skirt in Navy, retailing at SGD105.90 at StyleupK
Beyond colour palettes
Once you’ve found your colour palette, styling your outfits and buying new clothes will become a lot easier. But colour palettes should only be taken as a guide, and should not limit your fashion choices in any way. After all, fashion is all about having fun, and it wouldn’t be fun to wear the same few colours all the time.
The seasonal colour palettes can be used as a guide for the bulk of your outfit, but you can keep things fresh by layering or accessorising with colours outside of your season. For example, the winter outfit shown above is quite dark overall, consisting of a black cropped top and a long dark navy skirt. This outfit can be livened up with a light blue handbag.
Not only will a light blue handbag make for the perfect statement piece when styled with a dark outfit, the varying shades of blue across the different clothing items also turns the whole outfit into a monochromatic look, which is a great way to show off how fashion-savvy you are.
Alice Martha Oble Bag in Blue, retailing at SGD119 at StyleupK
There are also certain colours and accessories that look great on anyone and everyone. For example, chunky white sneakers are a quintessential aspect of Korean fashion, and people can be seen rocking a pair no matter what their seasonal colour palette is.
23.65 V2 Triple White Platform Shoes, retailing at SGD140 at StyleupK
Tote bags are another accessory that can be styled with any outfit. Not only are tote bags convenient, they are also a great way to dress down your outfit, and are the perfect choice of bag for a casual outing. They also come in many cute designs too!
Neonmoon x Sanrio Rainbow Melody Tote Bag in Beige, retailing at SGD39.90 at StyleupK
Sometimes, it may seem like there are a lot of rules in fashion—from what to wear, to what not to wear—and it may be overwhelming. However, at the end of the day, these are only guidelines to help you find clothes that accentuate your natural beauty and assets, and need not be regarded as hard rules.
At the end of the day, you’re free to dress in whatever colours you like. However, it would be good to keep these seasonal colour palettes in mind for those special occasions when you want to look extra good.
Have you learned a little bit more about what colours suit your complexion best? Shop for clothes that flatter you at StyleupK today! StyleupK is an online Korean fashion platform that ships worldwide.