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8 Best Colors to Wear If You Have Fair Skin

Stylists say that these hues are the most flattering for your skin type.

If you have fair skin, you know that it can be tricky to find flattering shades. You want something that stands out without washing you out but also doesn't overwhelm you entirely. Is this a constant struggle for you? Fear not, stylists have a few recommendations for the best colors to flatter your fair skin.

"Color palettes for fair-skinned people take finesse. Finding a middle ground is the sweet spot, which sounds easier than it is," says Elizabeth Kosich, certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling. "Seasonal trends and 'it' colors often misguide our wardrobe choices, leaving us with mishmash closets full of never-worn pieces. My advice? Find your optimal color palette, be disciplined, and never deviate."

To help you achieve that "middle ground," Kosich and her fellow stylists recommend reaching for certain colors. Read on to find out which eight shades work best with a pale complexion.

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8 Best Colors to Wear If You Have Fair Skin

1. Navy blue

woman in navy blue
superelaks / Shutterstock

One color you can't go wrong with when you're fair is navy blue. This deep shade provides a nice contrast—and you may want to reach for it instead of something black.

"In a world where black has become almost everyone's power neutral, fair-skinned people should reconsider. Black is too harsh against translucent, fair skin and overwhelms the wearer," Kosich says. "Instead, try black's lighter, brighter cousin, navy blue. It's still a power neutral that means business, but won't drown you out."

If you know your skin's undertone, you can narrow down your choices even more. Those with warm undertones should reach for bright navy blues, Kosich says, and those with cool undertones will fare better with midnight blues.

If you don't know your undertones, Brigid Stasen, an elite stylist at Bridge Your Style, recommends visiting a reputable cosmetics counter, where a professional cosmetician can likely help you identify yours for free!

2. Neutrals

older man wearing taupe
digitalskillet / iStock

If you don't typically go for neutrals—out of fear that they might wash you out or if you think you need to rely wholly on colors—Kosich encourages you to switch it up.

"While neutrals are boring to some, they are very exciting on fair-skinned people—especially the exotic, lighter ones," she explains. "Try taupe over chocolate, pewter over charcoal, and stone over beige. Pair with a pop of color that's in sync with your seasonal color palette and watch how you shine as the star of the show, not the colors."

Stasen also cites neutrals as good options, specifically if you have fair skin with warm undertones.

READ THIS NEXT: The Best Colors to Wear If You Have Blue Eyes, According to Stylists.

3. Earth tones

older woman wearing terracotta colored dress
NeonShot / iStock

In the same vein as neutrals, earth tones are also flattering for fair skin. According to Ra'el Cohen, co-founder of ThirdLove, you'll want earth tones like camel and light brown.

"[These] provide a gentle contrast against fair skin, creating a warm and natural look," she says.

Hailey Rizzo, style expert and owner of the fashion and beauty blog Feeling Good as Hail, suggests warm earth tones such as terracotta, olive, and sienna.

"They formulate a glow that gives fair skin a heightened radiant appearance," she says. "These tones give a subtle contrast when mixed with fair skin, which helps enhance the wearer's features without being 'too much.'"

In addition, these shades are versatile, Rizzo says, meaning you can "embrace warmth and depth all year round."

4. Olive green

man in olive green jacket
ViDI Studio / Shutterstock

Of those earth tones, Kosich specifically suggests olive green for those with fair skin.

"It's a deep hue that (miraculously) does not overpower fair skin like other deep colors. Instead, it is supportive, complimentary, and an enhancer of appearance," she says, noting that there's more variety to this color family than meets the eye.

"There's a spectrum of olive green, so choose a shade that matches your contrast—dark olive for those with high contrast, medium olive for medium contrast, and light olive for anyone with low contrast," Kosich explains.

READ THIS NEXT: The Best Colors to Wear If You Have Gray Hair, According to Stylists.

5. Pastels

woman in pastel pink
Look Studio / Shutterstock

If you have fair skin, certain pastels can wash you out, explains Aimee Carr, Voodoo Makeup founder, medical esthetician, beauty activist, and makeup artist. "You want to add a bit of contrast from your skin to your outfit or makeup color," she notes.

But according to stylists, certain pale pastels are actually some of the most flattering colors for you.

"Try mint green or periwinkle for universally flattering colors, or wear a pastel that best supports your undertone," suggests Kosich. "Try peach or soft yellow if your undertone is warm, or lavender or light pink if it's cool. Pair any pastel with optimal neutrals like taupe, pewter, or stone for a match made in heaven."

Carr adds that light blues, light pinks, and mauves can "provide an overall soft and beautiful look."

6. Watermelon red

woman wearing watermelon red shirt
Black Lollipop / iStock

Another of Kosich's fair-skin-friendly hues is watermelon red, which she describes as the "perfect power color" for these folks.

"It's a neutral medium red that compliments warm and cool undertones alike, making it both flattering and versatile," she says. "Despite it being lighter and less saturated than deeper, darker reds, it still packs a big punch."

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7. Dark tones

older woman wearing black turtleneck
izusek / iStock

Is black or grey truly your signature color? Rizzo says that you can still make both colors work with fair skin, but she has a few tips to make them stand out.

"These tones allow for a sense of sophistication and elegance added to fair skin," Rizzo says. "I love to deck out black or grey pieces with gold jewelry to add some bolder elements. On the other hand, you can also style dark tones with jewel tones for the perfect balance of colors and neutrals."

8. Jewel tones

woman in dark purple dress
triocean / Shutterstock

Speaking of jewel tones—they don't work for everyone. However, if you have fair skin, stylists say you're in luck.

"If you're looking for a pop of color that won't wash your fair skin out, jewel tones are exactly what you need," Rizzo says. "Rich and luxurious tones give a beautiful contrast against fair skin, adding vibrancy and depth. Colors like emerald green, sapphire blue, and amethyst purple bring a layer of intensity that other colors don't against fair skin."

According to Stasen, these jewel shades are best suited for people with cool undertones, as they thrive in bolder colors.

As a bonus, you can add jewel tones to your makeup. Carr suggests deep greens and purples. "These shades complement the skin so nicely and add a pop of color to your wardrobe or overall look!"

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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