Color for a Dress

Girl with red hair
Q: Ok, I have homecoming dance coming up and I don’t know what color of dress to get. I have dark red hair/burgundy (dyed) and light skin and dark brown eyes. Please help!
A: The answer to this depends a lot on the type of impact you wish to make. Generally speaking, color selection can create one of two effects – either to soften and complement a color or to enhance and showcase a color. Making a suggestion on color for you would be much easier if I were able to make an in-person evaluation of your “color type”.
However, since I cannot do this, I will share with you to technique of determining your own color type. You will need two pieces of jewelry – one silver, one golden – of a specific type (bracelet, earrings, necklace, etc.) Put on the jewelry as indicated by type and make a comparison between the two metals. One of the metals should appear brighter and stand out against your skin. This metal will represent your “color type”.
A silver color type covers what was traditionally classified as Winter or Spring types, while the gold color type encompasses those who were previously classed as Summer and Autumn types. The silver individual looks best in cooler shades and colors – frosty pinks, blues, lilacs and soft pastel colors all suit the silver color type. The gold individual looks better in warmer colors – reds, oranges and earthy browns as well as deep jewel tones.
So, after performing your own color type test and determining whether you are a gold or silver color type, we can take a look at selecting the right color for you based on the effect you want to create. One effective way to create a dramatic look is to select a color that will contrast and enhance your hair color.
If you are planning to wear a special hairstyle, this can be especially effective. Given your dark red hair color, I would suggest an emerald or jade green if you are a gold color type and a teal, mint or sea foam green if you are a silver type, to achieve this effect.
Some women, however, prefer a more subtle approach, in which case you want to select a color that will compliment the hair color. In this case, you should consider orange or peachy tones if you are a gold color type and lavender or purple tones if you are a silver color type. Each of these is simply one step removed from the red of the color wheel and will compliment the red of the hair without creating such a dramatic contrast.
The actual shade and tone of the color will depend on the fabric of the dress and the color palette in use by the dressmaker. But this should give you a starting point from which to begin your search. Here’s wishing you the very best of luck and a wonderful homecoming experience.
Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock
See also:
Color matching
Clothing tips for redheads