Slaying the tones right!

By A. Akmal
Tue, 03, 21

Confused about what colour combinations to opt for your big day outfits? Here’s a style guide for you to make things easier…


Did you ever spot someone wearing a dress and it looked bomb, but when you try it on, it doesn’t flatter you as much? You may sometimes hear people talk about how blue is ‘their’ colour, or how they look awful in peach. Well, the reason may be that colour can be a cruel mistress, and the colour of your dress may not be flattering to your skin tone. Most of us know that we could stand to win a few style points by giving hues outside our comfort zone a go, but – like finding the right haircut for your face shape – selecting hues that work with your complexion is often easier said than done. Especially when you’re looking for a wedding dress.

Ali Xeeshan’s ‘Numaish’ not only presented a social message but also a bold use of colours.
This sequined ensemble is best complemented with subdued accessories & subtle makeover.

As you begin the search your wedding dress, it won’t take long until you discover how many options there are available, from silhouette, necklines, fabrics, laces, beading and amount of detail – the list goes on! If you have recently started the oh-so-exciting but also overwhelming search for the perfect wedding dress, don’t panic! Don’t let the plethora of wedding dress colours make your bridal shopping difficult! Choosing between typical reds, maroons to the modern creams and champagne, and all those other seemingly subtle colourway options can seem daunting and yes, at times, confusing. But breathe easy, we’ve got you covered. This week You! takes a look at the recently concluded Bridal Couture Week in Lahore and share some tips on how to choose the right colour for your big day outfit…

Umsha by Uzma Babar’s collection ‘Zeenat’ embodies the poise, regality and grace of today’s bride. Whether you’re a warm or cool toned bride, and love pastels, this is a style inspo for you.

Finding your true colours

First things first, you need to figure out your undertones: whether you’re warm-toned, cool-toned or neutral. The skin on your wrist, elbows, and temples is very thin and has blood vessels close to the surface. If your skin colour is light enough, you’ll be able to see the veins through the skin in these three locations. If you have blue veins, your skin tone is cool, and if they're green, your skin has warmer tones. If you can’t tell, it’s probably neutral. But then, on top of that, you also might have a peach or olive undertone.

Madeeha Shoaib’s ‘The Enchanted Island’ showcases the traditional embroidery in a red-on-red bridal - paired with a classic bun & glowy base.

Warm undertones look better in gold jewellery, whereas, cool undertones look great in silver jewellery. Generally, warmer skin tones look flattering in warmer colours (like red, orange and yellow) and cool skin tones look flattering in cooler colours (like blue, green, purple). So, does that mean that you’ll always have to stick to a warmer or a cooler pattern? Not at all. Sometimes, you just have to tweak things up a little bit so you can rock your favourite colours!

Sometimes a gorgeous colour doesn't much doing and Haris Shakeel’s ensemble from ‘Ghazal’ reflects that. The green stones in the jewellery accentuates the outfit even more.

The warm tones

The best colours to dress warm skin tones richly reflect nature. Go for green, brown, ivory and, mustards or yellow-green. Other warm tones that you can work with are reds, maroons, corals, peach, ambers and golds also look stunning. If you are going for a cool-toned look, try warmer versions of cool colours like olive, orchid, moss and violet-red. When it comes to embroidery, remember that gold glistens against the warmth in your skin tone. Even if you are using cool colours, you can make it work by adding elements that suit you, like adding gold work – either in matte gold, rose gold or the shiny yellowy gold.

Zara Shahjahan uses a mix of corals and warm pinks to present a traditional look with a modern touch.

The cool tones

Most people with cooler undertones will probably have a fair or pale skin tone, or have light features. So, to accentuate those, darker colours will look very flattering, such as emerald green, navy and bold shades of blue. The reason to choose these colours comes down to creating an attractive contrast with your fair skin. For those with a darker skin shades, lighter colours will create that contrast but darker colours will look equally gorgeous.

So, the best colours for cool skin tones are on the cool end of the colour spectrum. The top colours to wear include emeralds, deep purples, lavender, pink, ice blue and bright blues. If you want to incorporate a warmer colour into your outfit, you can use extremely pale yellows, rose reds and rubies. More neutral colours that work include bright white, grey and navy. Moreover, when choosing the kind of work to opt for, choose cool metals like platinum or silver rather than gold or copper. You’ll also want to avoid wearing orange, strong yellow and tomato red. These colours will clash with your skin and keep you from looking your best.

Faiza Rehman’s ‘Peony Dream’ incorporates a perfect mix of contemporary and traditional for the brides. A softer look for brides, dewy skin & loose curls, are seemingly the hottest trend of the season.

The neutral tones

Now, let’s talk about the lucky ones who’ve got it all! If you don’t have a clear warm or cool skin tone, the clothing world is your oyster. Colours for both warm and cool skin tones will work great for you. Pulling from both sides of the colour spectrum, you’ll have the widest variety in colour choices that will make you shine. However, if you opt for a bold colour, complement it with a subdued colour to balance it out.

When looking at wedding outfits specifically, colours like mauve, dusty blush, champagne, mint, and blue lagoon look amazing on someone with a neutral skin tone. They’re vibrant without being overpowering, which are usually the best colours for people with neutral skin tones.


Text: A. Akmal

Hair & makeup: N-Pro and N-Gents

Photography: Ahsan Qureshy and Haris Usmani