How to Define a Personal Color Palette

Defining a personal color palette

Defining a color palette that suits your clients’ style and personality allows them to maximize their wardrobe, dress better, and shop smarter. The color palette varies depending on each person’s skin tone, hair, and eyes. Finding the harmony of those tones leads to a palette that enhances one’s natural beauty and uniqueness.

Knowing which colors suit each person helps create their personal brand and match their wardrobe with their identity. The color palette provides specific nuances and undertones that show people’s best features. It is not about “right or wrong” color, but about which shades and combinations work best for every person.

The personalized color analysis that image consultants do is based on finding the set of colors that best suits each person. That applies to building a wardrobe with clothes of those colors advising their clients on which hairstyles, makeup… suits them.


Creating a client’s own color palette allows them to make the most of the wardrobe. The color palette doesn’t limit people, but rather boosts their creativity when dressing up. It will simplify the decision making to get ready every day.

Components of the color palette

  • Base colors: Every functional wardrobe needs a base color apart from black and white. The base colors are the foundation of the outfits, and that the person can wear on any occasion. These are present on practical pieces like shirts and pants.
  • Accent colors: The accent colors are the ones that accentuate the style in the outfits. These colors stand out and give a shot of color to the most neutral or classic color sets. They can be present in some key pieces, such as a blazer, and in accessories like scarves or shoes.
  • Patterns and prints: The prints, cuts and textures are elements that add versatility and originality to the closet. The colors in the patterns and prints should also suit every person’s personal color palette and be easy to combine with the rest of the wardrobe.


Natural skin tone

Start by identifying the tone of the client’s skin, to know if it is a warm or cold tone. It is precisely the tone of the face that determines whether warm colors (reds, pinks, oranges) enhance tanned people more than cold ones (blue, green, purple), which suit people with a paler skin.

Color palettes

An effective trick consists of bringing a silver and a gold fabric closer to the face and see which one flatters the client. If it is gold, then warm colors will suit the individual best, while if it is silver, cool tones will look best.

Color value and intensity

A person who is light blonde with light skin has a light chromatic value, and therefore will be enhanced by tone-on-tone combinations in light colors. If, on the other hand, the person has olive skin, dark eyes and hair, they will be enhanced by more intense and dark shades. In the middle, there is a great variety of combinations and possibilities.


Contrast has to do with the color of the eyes and hair and how much they stand out from the skin. The contrast in the tones of the skin, eyes, and hair is a key factor for choosing prints and color combinations in the wardrobe.

  • Light skin with very dark eyes and hair create a high contrast that is enhanced with color block combinations.
  • Light skin with light eyes and dark skin with dark eyes create low contrast, so it is best to choose more subtle combinations and patterns.


The natural harmony of each person is determined taking into account the color of one’s eyes, hair, and the tone of the skin. Based on how these standard colors are, people are classified into warm and cold tones.

Every person has a specific color palette with more cool shades like blue, gray, and black or warm shades like beige, ivory, and burgundy. There are also neutral colors that suit most people regardless of their skin, eyes, and hair tones: gray, black, white, and beige.

Warm-toned skin tends to have a yellowish, peachy, and golden tint, while cool-toned skin strips to pink, red or blue. Another trick is to look closely at the veins on the wrist. If they are bluish or purple, it is likely that the tone is cold, but it will be warm if they look more green. In case the eyes are brown, amber or hazel, they tend to combine with warm tones, while people with cold tones tend to have blue, gray or green eyes.

Cold tones

People who have pale skin that don’t usually tan, light eye color whether they are green, blue, or gray and hair color that contrasts with the skin like intense brown, light platinum blonde, and redheads.

Cold colors are those that have a greater amount of blue in their composition. In the colorimetry to dress these colors are turquoise, green, violet and the shades of magenta, and fuchsia.

Warm tones

People with tanned skin; brunettes, sallow, golden, brown eyes; hazel, light and dark brown, or dark blonde hair.

Warm colors are those that have a greater amount of yellow in their composition, such as: yellow itself, beige, earth tones, light pink, orange, and reddish tones.

When a color flatters someone, it means that it highlights their best features. Something that is very flattering is that the colors, whether warm or cold, contrast the skin tone. That is, if the skin is fair or light, choose a color in an intense tone and if the skin is brown or tanned, choose a color in a light tone. For instance, pastel blue is suitable for summer when people get more tanned, but in winter a navy blue is better.


Having good knowledge about color and knowing how to use it in clothing brings a lot of style and sophistication to any look. Neutrals are the easiest to combine because they all match with each other and the rest of the colors. Therefore, it is convenient to have a good base of items in neutral colors.

Chromatic circle

To expand the color combinations, choose a color in the chromatic circle and go straight to the color in front of it. For instance, dark green pants combine well with a wine-colored shirt. If the pants are navy blue, an orange jacket and a shirt close to earthy colors will always be a great combo.

The colors that are in opposition within the circle combine with each other and complement each other 100%. Close colors that are attached either to the right or left or to the inside of the circle also match. These combinations are more subtle.

Based on that, it is always appropriate to have at least 5 or 6 colors in the closet. When having a personalized color palette in the wardrobe, it is much more efficient to mix and match clothes.

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