Dear Kathi,

I enjoyed your recent article about power colors. I am Hispanic and wonder whether there is more specific advice about my darker skin tone. Also, I am sure that there are few African American readers who would like to know what to wear for their skin tones. After all, not all of us are blond haired and blue eyed.

Thanks for your help, Claudia

Claudia,

Your question is justified and I am sorry that I didn’t include more information about your skin type into the ‘power color’ equation. Wearing the right colors enhances your skin tone, makes you look younger and healthier, brightens your hair and eyes and makes you look more stylish.

To get to the root of which clothing colors are your ‘power colors,’ you need to understand what your real natural coloring is, as we often change our hair and even eye color these days. It is sometimes best to go back in time. What was your hair color as a pre-teen? Remember that time in life before your hair colorist became your best friend?

To see your true skin tone, look at your face without make-up in a mirror. Go outside in natural light if possible. Look for warm or cool skin undertones in your face.

If you can’t determine warm or cool by looking at your face, look at the inside of your wrist. If the veins look green, you are have warm skin undertones. If they appear bluish, you are cool-toned.

These cool skin tones have pink, reddish or blue undertones:

• dark brown
• brown
• pure olive
• medium with faint pink or no color in cheeks

Black skin with cool blue undertones can be very dark or have a soft grayish tone if fairly light. Black or brown skin with cool blue undertones is enhanced by bold, vivid, primary colors or icy, cool pastels. Consider wearing cool colors such as black, true white, blue reds, royal blues, fuchsia, lemon yellow, hot pink and blue greens.

These warm skin tones have golden undertones:

• very dark brown
• brown
• golden olive
• medium

Black, true gray and navy make great base colors for black, brown or olive skin with warm, yellow and golden undertones. More colors that complement your features are aqua, turquoise, evergreen, tangerine and orange-based reds.

To confirm whether a color is working for you or against you, look at yourself against a white or off-white background. When you first try on a new color, ask a good friend for an honest critique. Friends can usually provide an undistorted opinion about the colors you are wearing.

Once you know which colors are best for you, it is time to go through your wardrobe. Separate the clothes that embody your new-found ‘power colors’ from the rest of your wardrobe. Discard and donate all clothes that no longer epitomize your new image. If you can’t bring yourself to part with a few of the old items, at least put them towards the back of the closet. You might get away with wearing them if they are not near your face. Each day as you dress, concentrate on the ‘good’ color clothes and ignore the ones that do not flatter.

Over time, you will discover the rewards of wearing clothes that actually work for, and not against, you. It will become very easy to let go of the old clothes as you bring in the new. Have fun discovering your power and don’t hesitate to write again with additional questions.

Thanks for writing and don’t hesitate to write with any other specific questions.

Want to learn more about what clothes work best for your body? Check out this special report ~ The 18 Essential Wardrobe Elements For Women

Need more information for your specific challenge? Please submit your question in the comment section below.