What color of clothes would best fit my complexion.
May 17, 2010 10:03 AM   Subscribe

FashionFilter: Apparently I have a 'winter' complexion. What colors should I be wearing?

I've got dark brown hair, although my temples are now quite silver (silver sounds better than gray). My cheeks have been described as 'rosy,' so I've also got that going for me. And my 5 o'clock shadow usually shows up around 3pm.
posted by bstreep to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to the color schemes that were popular when I was young: intense colors with a blue undertone. Lots of jewel colors: greens, blues, and purples. Bluish reds. Also intense black and white. You should avoid yellowy greens, orange, mustard yellow, and any colors with a "warm" or yellowish undertone. Wikipedia's list is here along with more information about the rest of the color families.

The "rules" are just guidelines, though. You should start looking in those families, but if there's a color you don't like or think looks awful on you, wear something else. Also, while most people favor one season over another, they may only have tendencies in the yellow or blue family, i.e., you may technically be a winter but lighter summer colors may also look good on you.
posted by immlass at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2010

I'm a winter (female). If I were a guy, I'd go for black or gray for a suit, with a pure white shirt (or those awesome true-blue ones). For everyday, I'd go for navy blue, true blue, and other blues; forest green (like the ask.mefi green); reds, purples, burgundy. No orange, yellow, coral, beige.

I poked through the preview pages of Color Me Beautiful on Amazon and it says (again, for women), "clear colors and sharp contrasts." White, black, true gray; navy & burgundy; primary colors (but no yellow unless it's lemon-yellow). Emerald green, pine green, all sorts of blues, royal purple. "No orange, gold, rust, peach, orange-red, yellow-green, beiges, browns."

On preview, what immlass says.
posted by dywypi at 10:23 AM on May 17, 2010

Are you certain you are a winter? I think rosy complexions are usually summers. Caucasian Winters tend to be pale or olive (also black and asian complexions are often winters.) But sometimes it can be hard to tell. I'm a rosy summer with silver streaks in my hair but I could swear I see golden tones in my complexion and hair as well (which would make me a spring, but spring colors look awful on me.)

It does sound like you are a cool season, though, which would be summer or winter. Winter is good in clear, vivid jewel-tones, icy pastels, pure white and pure black.

Summers are good in navy, soft white, soft charcoal, and colors that are soft, cool and bright... watermelon pink, bluish greens, aqua, most shades of blue including denim.

One thing to keep in mind is that the most important place to make sure you are wearing the right color is near your face. A winter guy would look perfectly fine in blue jeans or khaki pants if his shirt and jacket are his best colors.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:24 AM on May 17, 2010

I'm also a "winter" but have very pale skin, dark hair and eyes. I wear black, gray and shades of cool pink and plum mostly. Since I do not have much natural rosy color, the pink/plum adds brightness to my face. Since you a) have rosy cheeks and b) are a guy, pink might not be an option for you (I know guys who wear pink and look fantastic, but it's not for every man! Or every workplace).

One of my friends with rosy cheeks and a "cool" complexion (though she's a "summer") wears a lot of blue. You don't say what color your eyes are. Light-eyed people (with blue, green, light hazel or gray eyes) often look their best when they match their eye color or, for hazel or blue/green eyes, one of their eye colors.

For you, white or light blue near your face would probably suit you. What doesn't go with cool complexions are earth tones (yellows and oranges are notoriously hard to wear).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:44 AM on May 17, 2010

When I had my colours done many long years ago (summer!) I was told that everyone can wear just about every colour, it's just the shade that differs, eg. where an autumn could wear beige, you'd go more for a taupe. So winter/summer shades have a blue undertone, and spring/fall colours have a yellow undertone. Winters wear strong clear colours - black, white, scarlet red, lemon yellow, bright blues, emerald green. The difference between the winter/summer and autumn/spring combos is that the one is stronger versions (winter/autumn)and the other is softer, more pastel, versions (summer/spring) of the same colour palette.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:17 AM on May 17, 2010

What ThatCanadianGirl said, and also Mizu's really excellent answer to my question about dressing with colors.

That said, my boyfriend has brown hair and rosy cheeks and looks awful in every shade of red that I've been able to find in stores. Sigh. YMMV.
posted by tantivy at 12:13 PM on May 17, 2010

Get a used Amazon copy of Color for Men. I like it a lot, and I'm female. It's a great book - accept no substitutes!
posted by jgirl at 12:39 PM on May 17, 2010

Response by poster: This is all great stuff and exactly the type of advice I was hoping to find. You all get gold stars! (Or classy blue stars, depending on your complexions)
Time to clean out my closet since I've got a lot of earth tones in there that aren't doing me any favors.
BTW, my eyes are a dark hazel if that helps.
posted by bstreep at 2:30 PM on May 17, 2010

Seconding a used copy of Color For Men. It has a great color chart for each season. The idea is that you take the chart for your season with you when you go clothes-shopping and look for colors that resemble the colors in your chart. Just walk down the aisle in a big discount store like Marshalls and you'll pick up the idea.
posted by exphysicist345 at 10:56 PM on May 17, 2010

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