prom dress feature

Color Matters: Choosing Your Best Dress Color for Prom

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black girl in cutout mermaid sequin prom dress with feathers

Image by Peaches Boutique

In 1980, a fashion phenomenon swept through the United States and the world: Color Me Beautiful. Based on a still-in-print book by Carole Jackson, the philosophy centers around identifying yourself as a season (winter, spring, summer or fall) and finding the most flattering clothing color perfect for the season.

Unquestionably, visiting the Internet is a great way to check out latest seasonal styles and the colors available. You can find fabulous prom dresses online.

Seasonal color choices may have been brought to the collective pop cultural consciousness by Color Me Beautiful, but fashion magazines, stylists and personal shoppers continue to apply the philosophy.

But what if you are planning to attend prom and still don’t have any idea which color wear? Worry no more because Peaches Boutique in Chicago displays the trendiest and stylish prom dress colors that are perfect whatever season it is.

Four Seasons

Jackson’s color system simplified the previous seasonal color analysis by Suzanne Caygill. While underlying skin tone is the basis to make a more refined decision, the four season basics are direct from Jackson’s watershed book:

Winter: skin tones dominant in this category (and a person may have more than one) ` “Very white, “White with delicate pink tone,” “Beige (no cheek color, may be sallow),” “Gray-beige or brown,” “Rosy beige,” “Olive,” “Black” (blue undertone), “Black (sallow).

Summer: “Pale beige with delicate pink cheeks,” “Pale beige with no cheek color (even sallow),” “Rosy beige,” “Very pink,” “Gray-brown,” “Rosy brown”

Spring: “Creamy ivory,” “Ivory with pale golden freckles,” “Peach,” “Peach/pink (may have pink/purple knuckles),” “Golden beige,” “Rosy cheeks (may blush easily),” “Golden brown”

Autumn: “Ivory,” “Ivory with freckles (usually redhead),” “Peach,” “Peach with freckles (usually golden blonde, brown),” “Golden beige (no cheek color, needs blush),” “dark beige, coppery,” “Golden brown.”

The Mighty, Mighty Over- and Under-tones

Jackson’s season colors are the most successful in retail. She even created this sample wallet that women could carry around with them while they shop and hold up to the item or clothing in which they are interested. Today, there’s a direct selling company and a customized website that allegedly create a “unique color palette” for each person.

One of the simplest ways to determine your skin tone is to check if your veins are primarily green, then you have warm skin tone. It is recommended to find dresses with a yellow tint because they will look best on you.

Warm colors include reds, oranges, yellows and yellow greens. If you’re looking for accessories, go for gold jewelries.

If your veins are blue or purple, you have cool undertones and blue undertones look best on you. Favorable colors on cool undertones include true greens, blue and purple. Your jewelry should be silver-colored.

Don’t forget to consider your main skin tone, too.  Look for colors that are flattering and can create a contrast in the brightness in your skin. Dark-skinned people, no matter what their undertone, look good in saturated oranges and yellow. Meanwhile, “jewel tone” colors are great for most fair-skinned people; look for clothing in ruby, amethyst and emerald.  

Sussing it All Out

But it may help if you just keep these” rules” in mind as guidance.

  • To truly tell what dress color looks good on you, try it on.
  • Avoid clothing that’s the same as your skin color. Remember: contrast is your friend.
  • Make a mental note when people compliment on how a color looks well on you.
  • Neutrals are another option. It’s actually the natural color of your hair.
  • There will be colors that “reach across the aisle” — meaning, that look on “cool” and “warm” people. For example, burgundy is one of those one-color-fits-all.

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