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Choosing the right color palette

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SEPTEMBER 08, 2022

Having a designated color palette can make getting ready in the morning infinitely easier. With the busy schedules all Berkeley students seem to have, who has time to think about what clothes go together well? Curating a wardrobe of pieces that complement your color palette saves you a morning headache. Keep reading for some ideas for clothing color palettes, as well as some tips for finding the colors that are the most flattering for you. 


The first step in finding your ideal color palette is finding your skin undertone. Undertone is typically sorted into three groups — warm, neutral, and cool. These categories have nothing to do with the darkness or lightness of skin color, instead they involve the background warmth or coolness of your skin. You can use your veins to determine your undertone: people with more greenish veins likely have a warm undertone, while those with blue-ish or purple veins have a cooler undertone. Gold is typically the jewelry color of choice for those with warm undertones, while silver is more popular for cooler ones. If you find yourself in the middle of these descriptions, then you may have a neutral undertone. Try comparing your skin color to pictures online, or go into a makeup store for a free color match. 

Earth Tones

Earth tones continue to be a popular color palette, especially for those with warm-toned skin. These colors are typically ones found in nature, such as deep oranges, reds, darker greens, and lots of brown. Try pairing a more neutral earth tone such as tan with mustard yellow as a bolder accent! 

Jewel Tones

Jewel tones invoke ideas of royalty with colors such as sapphire, ruby, emerald, and citrine. These colors allow for color without extreme vibrancy. They are very flattening for those with cool or neutral-toned skin. Play up the fanciness by pairing these colors with metallic jewelry, or keep things more casual by sticking to basic tee-shirts and pants. 

Fall Tones

Another color palette that takes inspiration from the natural world, fall tones include dark orange, dark red, brown, navy, and cream. It combines the browns of earth tones with the rich colors of jewel tones and tends to be most flattering on warm-toned skin. The colors are cozy and perfect for sweater weather!

Spring Tones

Contrasting fall tones, spring tones are light and airy, perfect for cool skin tones. It includes the usual suspects of pale pink and mint, but is also complemented by colors such as light salmon, soft navy, and pistachio. Spring tones are perfect for a flowery picnic or a pleasant walk in the park. 

Sunset Colors

Next time you’re getting dressed, why not model yourself after a beautiful sunset? Think deep purples, warm oranges, yellows, reds, and golds. These are warm colors, so they are typically more flattering for warmer skin tones. Take some golden hour pictures for ultimate California dreaminess. 

Building a Wardrobe

Now that you’ve decided on a color palette, it’s time to implement it! One way to do this is to build what is called a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is, by definition, a closet made up of purely interchangeable pieces. Every tee-shirt goes with every pair of pants, and every blouse goes with every skirt. Capsule wardrobes are designed to decrease decision fatigue and to the amount of excess clothing that can sometimes be accumulated. By investing in fewer, higher-quality pieces, you can avoid falling for microtrends and save money. It might take a bit of planning, but there are several helpful guides that can be found online

These palettes listed above are only a couple of the infinite possible color combinations. Play around with different shades and hues to discover your personal favorites. Experimentation is key! 

"Contact Lauren von Aspen at [email protected]."

SEPTEMBER 08, 2022