As you begin the search your wedding dress, you immediately discover how many options there are: silhouette, necklines, fabrics, laces, beading and amount of detail – the list goes own!
When you finally find yourself in “the” dress in the shop, pay some attention to its color – even though it might just look like some kind of white at first.
Intriguingly, it isn’t just about style. To ensure bridal look perfection, also consider the influence color actually has.
And we will tell you how it works, so carry on reading!
When I was searching for my dress three years ago, I was advised by a consultant to avoid ivory, which puzzled me as I knew it was popular. Trying a creamy ivory dress, it was clear – I looked yellower – even my hair! It turned out there was too much golden hues going on at the same time which bounced off my skin, and I needed to balance my undertone with a “colder” fabric color.
I had no idea how complex it could be to find the best dress fabric, and decided to investigate further. That is why I want to share this, as Brides-to-be are already full of planning to-do’s and challenges to solve!
- Why does fabric color matter?
- Lets learn about the difference between skin shade and skin undertone
- How can you tell the difference between warm and cool skin undertone?
- What wedding dress color suits my skin undertone?
Why does fabric color matter?
The result of choosing the right color is that the dress will make the best out of your complexion and overall look, especially when the photos have developed. The perfect dress will fit your body and style, and the perfect color will make your skin glow and complete the picture.
When dress shopping, look for a dress in a color that will not make your skin look dull or too yellow, or orange if you have darker skin.
You might find that some dresses make you look grey, or even a bit blue. This means you are wearing a “cold” color and probably have a cool skin tone!
Even just a subtle difference can make a big improvement!
Lets learn about the difference between skin shade and skin undertone
“Skin shade” refers to the color of the actual skin, such as Dark, Brown, Olive, Medium, and Fair skin. We also know this as our complexion.
“Skin undertone” refers to the deeper tint of our skin, the overlay filter so to speak. It is not an actual color you can see, but a hint of warmth, cool or neither warm or cool, which is known as balanced.
What looks good is only dependant on your skin undertone.
Actual skin color – complexion – does not matter!
Most wedding fabric color guides recommended wedding dress colors according to skin shade categories: Dark, Brown, Olive, Medium, and Fair skin for example. But this is terribly excluding to those of us who are something in between, why its so much better – and more accurate- to judge based on undertone.
This way results in broader variations from bride to bride – you might find that you are not “cold” just because you have fair skin, and vice versa: just because you have brown skin, it is really possible that you are not “warm” like you first thought!
So again: it is not what shade of skin you have – the pivotal factor is your SKIN UNDERTONE.
Therefore, when you look for a dress, the shade of your skin does not determine of how good the fabric looks.
Please ignore guides or consultants that suggests darkness or fairness, your ethnicity or tan influences the beauty and compatibility of your dress fabric at all – it doesn’t! The science has evolved and proved differently!
How can you tell the difference between warm and cool skin tone?
There are three different undertones – cool, warm, and balanced.
Knowing yours is helpful for many more reasons such as your wardrobe staples, the right foundation, eyeshadow and lipstick color – even hair color!
HOW TO FIND OUT YOUR SKIN UNDERTONE:
Find a natural indirect light source, by a window for example. Look at the color of the veins on the inside of the middle of the underarm, half way from your hand to elbow. Don’t look on your wrists – the color there will always be purple or blue for everyone.
Hold up your arm in the natural light and determine the predominant color, looking at the veins at the middle of your arm. You might need to “pull” the skin back a little to expose the vein if it hard to see at first.
- If your veins appear on the green or even yellowish side means you have a warm skin tone.
- If they seem blue or purple-blue, means you have a cool skin tone.
- If you can’t tell if your veins are green or blue, they might just look dark or brown, you are likely to have a balanced skin tone. If you have an olive complexion, you might fall into this category, but any persons skin shade could be balanced.
(Note that you’re veins aren’t actually the color you see—they only look it because you’re seeing them through your skin)
Skin undertone, is different from skin shade (complexion).
Skin shade/ complexion = the most apparent shade of your skin, which is what the eye immediately sees. For example dark, olive or fair skin.
Undertone = Your skin shade can have an undertone which is either warm, cool or balanced, what can only be defined by taking a deeper look using the vein method that we explained.
You can have either skin complexion, but your skin undertone could be warm or cold, irrespective of skin shade. Interestingly, your undertone could remain the same even if you are tanned.
Undertone is highly individual and can be different for two people with the same complexion!
What wedding dress color suits me?
The basics of it is to balance out your skin undertone with the opposite “temperature” color. Doing so, you’ll achieve an equilibrium that will complement and not amplify your natural color.
You have warm undertones (green veins):
Cooler colors such as pure white, pink, lavender and any blueish tones which will work well.
You can also wear off-white, champagne, blush and grey as these are neutral and go with all tones.
Warm undertones are complemented by cooler and neutral colors such as pure white, off-white, blush, champagne, mauve, blue and grey.
You have cool undertones (purple/ blue veins):
Go for warm fabric hues such as ivory, cream and nude which will complement you beautifully. All neutral colors will also work!
If you have cool undertones, warm and neutral fabric colors such as off-white, ivory, cream, blush, grey, champagne and nude is great.
You have balanced undertones (hard to tell a vein color):
You are blessed with a harmonious appearance in whichever fabric color – may they be warm, cold or neutral!
Having a balanced undertone means you can pull off all colors – lucky you!
Neutral undertones are complemented by all wedding dress colors: from pure-white, off white, ivory, blush, blue, mauve, mink, grey, champagne, nude, and etc. Both cool, neutral and warm fabrics are complementing on you.
Neutral fabric vs balanced skin tone
Having a balanced skin tone doesn’t mean you need to wear neutral color fabrics only – they are all good.
=Balanced skin tone – wear any fabric
Some fabric colors are neither warm and cold – those are called neutral colors. A neutral fabric color can be worn no matter what your skin tone happens to be, which means it is a safe option for everyone.
=Neutral fabric – works for any skin tone
Print these charts to arrive at the wedding dress salon appointment well prepared!