What Prom Dress Color is Right for You?

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Ok, it’s almost time for prom — and here at #FavianaHQ we are constantly surrounded by gorgeous dresses (so we know your struggle with regards to choosing just one!). When picking your perfect prom look, be sure to go with the style that fits your body and color pallet best. This has everything to do with color as it does with cut.  Now, the real question: how do you sort through the endless array of colors that are available?

Anyone can wear any color they want, don’t let anyone tell you that you “can’t” wear something. That said, some colors are simply easier to pull off than others. There is a high chance that there will be one color that will not do anything for you, but fortunately there will be a few colors that will look absolutely fantastic; all depending on your personal color pallet, overall desired look, and preference. I’ve got a few Faviana tips that may help narrow down which colors complement, you, specifically.

Understanding Color

As we perceive them, colors elicit from us a range of emotions and visual effects. Red excites, while blue calms. These divergent effects can be attributed to these colors having different “temperatures”. The color wheel is divided into warm hues and cool hues. Generally, warm colors are reds, oranges and yellows which generate energy, and are associated with sunlight and heat. Cool colors are greens, blues and purples which prompt serenity, and are associated with water and coldness. This is why red excites while blue calms. Depending how they are mixed or paired, colors relate to each other in different ways which have an even greater range of effects on the viewer.  Analogous colors, on the other hand, are next to each other on the color wheel.  They typically have the same temperature and produce harmony easily. This color coordination can be very pleasing to the eye if there is enough differentiation between the colors. Complementary colors are opposite from each other on the color wheel; one is warm and one is cool and therefore produce the highest contrast. If theses colors are balanced well in controlled amounts then the effect will be vibrant.

Perception is everything.  Too many similar colors will be perceived as too bland and boring. Unbalanced contrasting colors will be perceived as too chaotic and overwhelming. The most visually appealing color combinations are those that balance between warm and cool.

Keep reading for the surefire Faviana Tips that will help you choose a color!

Go With “Your” Color

ef163ae7-d2fe-4125-a2a3-c82023a7e0b4Faviana Style S7596.  From L to R: cool undertone, neutral undertone, warm undertone.

With color theory in mind it is time to consider your personal color palette.

Skin tone plays a huge role in how a color looks on you. Rule of thumb; you shouldn’t go with the color that is the same as your undertone pigment but you should go with colors that have a similar temperature as your undertone. For example my skin has a yellowish undertone pigment cool undertone temperature so I shy away from most yellows or champagnes. However, I look great in cool jewel tones like sapphire and emerald. Confused? Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

First, you need to figure out what your own undertone pigment and temperature are. Below I explain a series of tests which work on any skin type that you can perform yourself to help you determine this.

Base Pigment

Pinch the back of your hand for a moment, whatever color you see, that is your base! If you see pink or rosy, certain pinks might make your skin seem dull. If you see peach or a bright red, reds might make you seem feverish. If you see a greenish-yellowish hue then yellows and greens could make you look sickly. If you don’t see any color in particular or you just see white, it might mean you are neutral. In this case further testing is required.

Try comparing your skin to pure versions of various colors. If you think you have a red base pigment, then hold your hand to something pure red. If you do actually have a red undertone, then you will detect a similarity between your hand and the red object that you would not see if you compared your hand to yellow, green or pink. If after doing these tests, it is still unclear what your undertone pigment is, then it means you have a neutral undertone pigment. In this case neutral colors like beige or black have the potential to wash you out.

Skin tone shades

Undertone

The way to discern the undertone temperature is the Vein Test. Look at the veins in your wrist, if they appear blue then you have a cool undertone and if they appear green then you have a warm undertone. If you can’t really tell what color your veins are, whether they are definitely blue or definitely green, then you have a neutral temperature.

If you can’t see your veins then another way to tell is by using the White Test. In this test you look at your complexion compared to plain white background. You can do this test by standing in front of a plain white wall, or wrap white towels around your neck and hair, or simply hold a plain piece of paper next to your face. Anyway you do it, you just need to have a clear look at your freshly cleaned face in a mirror compared to plain neutral white (meaning it cannot have a yellowish tint) in natural lighting. If your skin seems shadowy and you can see that your veins seem more pronounced, it means your undertone is cool. If your skin seems more even toned then that means you have aa warm undertone.

Example: The three ladies in the picture above (Style S7596)  are fairly similar in skin color to one another but essentially they each have a subtle difference in undertone. The one to the left has a cooler undertone, the middle has a neutral undertone and the one to the right has a warmer undertone.

Recap

Wearing the same color as your base pigment, meaning not having enough differentiation of analogous colors, will be bland. Wear colors that are the same as your undertone temperature.  Wearing the opposite temperature may be too strong of a contrast and can appear overwhelming.

Hair color will also have a large influence on the colors you look best in. Brunettes can wear a range of shades (luckily!) but they tend to dazzle in red. Blondes turn heads in black as well as bright, cool colors. Red heads charm in pastels, and turquoise! Those with hair dyed technicolor can showcase that color with white or have the unique opportunity to have a look that matches their locks! If you are going to dye your hair or get highlights before your special occasion make sure you take that into consideration when shopping; you wouldn’t want your new do to clash with that Faviana dress you fell in love with!

Helpful Hint:  Think about your current closet — which pieces of clothing do you get the most compliments on? Choose colors that you have been told flatter you!

Remember The Whole Picture

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If you do not already have a specific color in mind, decide which accessories, shoes, or makeup ideas jump out at you! This process may inspire you to go with a more relaxed color.

If you prefer gold jewelry, then go with a warm color to compliment your statement piece, and vice versa for silver jewelry. If you have a bright shoe in mind, you could go with a dress that matches them exactly or you could opt for white in order to show them off. If you want to wear bold make-up, go with a more subdue version of “your” color. If you want your make-up to be subtle, then don’t be afraid to go with a more saturated dress color. It’s all about balance.

Helpful Hint:  Still looking for inspiration? Choose a celebrity whose tones are similar to yours. Check out some of their best looks and determine which colors you think would look just as jaw-dropping on you!

Have Fun With It!

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Ask yourself what color do you like best, which colors do your eyes naturally gravitate towards first?  More important than the color you choose to wear is how you feel in the dress that you pick. If you love how you look in red but this simple guide says you should wear cool tones just disregard it! If you feel like a million bucks you don’t need me to tell you what you should wear! Look for a dress that’s red carpet worthy and does you justice. You wear the dress, the dress shouldn’t wear you!

Helpful Hint:  If you’re caught between two colors and you just can’t decide which one you like better, try the “3rd Party Test”. Show a friend or relative (who you know will give you a straight forward answer) your two color options and ask them which one they think would look best on you. Make sure not to ask which color they like better because their personal preference may affect the results of the test. If you feel a slight twinge of disappointed with his or her response, then you have your answer- it’s gotta be the other color! This method has always worked for me.

Searching for a specific color or dress? Check out our color search option on Faviana.com.

Looking to find out which color is best for your prom or homecoming? Check out our blog post “How to choose the perfect color for your prom or homecoming dress!”

Check back for more awesome fashion tips from your favorite Faviana team. Be sure to send us pictures of your favorite prom styles and colors. Hashtag #Faviana to be featured on our Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

I hope you found these tips on picking the best color for “you” helpful! If there are any specific topics you’d like me to write a blog on, comment on our Facebook page or Tweet us!

XoXo,

Qxiara

Faviana

Glam & Gowns is a blog curated with content written by authors from Faviana. Here you will get the latest tips and trends on all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

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