Colors shouldn’t be complicated, right? But, it seems when creating a color palette for any reason, from clothes to wall paint, it suddenly becomes an intricate ordeal.
Let’s play the G-rated mom version of “I’ve never.” Eat a chocolate if any of these are true…
- I’ve never bought an item of clothing that looked beautiful in the store but hideous on me.
- I’ve never bought a shirt that was my favorite color that made me look seasick.
- I’ve never put on a neutral that everyone was wearing and looked suddenly old/tired/plain.
- I’ve never bought a trendy color and immediately hated it.
I just ate 4 chocolates, how about you??
To sum it up, not every color is flattering on every body! Your eyes, skin, and hair have a story to tell about your personal coloring. These details can take time to figure out, but while you’re sorting out your color season, rest assured that there are a set of colors that are universally flattering for EVERYONE!
Below are four neutrals and six colors that you can wear today and look gorgeous, even if you don’t have any idea if you’re warm, cool, light, dark, bright, or muted!
Table of Contents
Navy is the universal cool neutral. Less harsh than black and more soothing than brown, navy is a flattering color for every skin tone. It is a cool muted blue that leans toward purple. You can see on the color spectrum that it contains purple, blue, gray, and veers towards black. As a neutral, navy works with every other color, even black when done carefully. You could easily build a wardrobe based on navy as a primary neutral, as it is found abundantly in most clothing items.
Charcoal brown is a second option for a dark neutral that is universally flattering. It is a warm neutral brown that leans towards orange. As you can see on the color spectrum, it is less dark than navy, and sits between gray and umber. Although flattering on all seasons, the warm seasons of spring and autumn may be more drawn to this toasty shade. As a neutral, charcoal brown will go with most other colors, including black. If you are creating a capsule wardrobe, it may be difficult to find enough pieces in brown as a base.
If you’ve ever put on a stark white shirt and hated it, then soft white is likely just right. Lacking any true hue, soft white is less bright than true white, and may have elements of gray. It is different in ivory, as ivory contains yellow tones. Soft white is universally flattering for everyone, although some autumn types may prefer a deeper ivory or cream. It is useful in spring and summer wardrobes as a light and airy neutral, and goes with all colors and neutrals.
Stone gray is a lovely universal light neutral. It’s soft light gray that leans towards blue. Lacking the mid range of true gray, stone gray is more suited to all seasons, such as the bright seasons that cannot wear many muted colors. As a neutral it works well with all other colors, from orange to turquoise.
Cobalt blue is a universally flattering blue color. It is a cool medium-deep blue that sits in the primary blue section of the color spectrum. A shade deeper than true primary blue, cobalt is a fantastic color for all. It mixes well with bright colors, muted pastels, and all neutrals.
Jade Green is one of my favorite universal colors. It is a neutral medium green, and leans a bit towards blue rather than yellow. Not to be confused with kelly green, it is still a far cry from turquoise or teal. Although it leans slightly cool, that doesn’t prevent anyone from looking lovely in this envious shade. It pairs best with slightly cool neutrals like black, navy, gray, or white. When mixing with other colors, jade looks lovely with pinks, yellows, blues and purples.
Periwinkle is one of two purples found in the universal colors. It is a cool soft purple that leans towards blue. It is situated between gray and shocking violet on the color spectrum. Although designated as universal, clear spring and clear winter will likely find this a bit muted for their preference.
Watermelon red is a neutral medium red that leans toward orange. It is on the far end of the warm side of the color spectrum. It is lighter than true red and can appear both pink and orange toned on different people. Watermelon is a powerhouse color suitable for all, and can be a statement color at any time of year. It pairs well with yellows, blues (especially turquoise), purples, and lighter shades of pink. It also works with all neutrals.
Turquoise is another of my favorites of the universally flattering colors. It is a light neutral blue that leans towards green and can be adjusted lighter or darker to be even MORE perfect for all individuals. For those with blue or green eyes turquoise should be a staple in their wardrobe, as it accentuates the natural coloring. It is lovely with all neutrals, and can be mixed with pink, yellow, or green for a fun look.
Medium purple is the last of the universal colors. It is a neutral medium purple that leans toward pink/red. Unlike periwinkle that was previously featured leaning towards blue, medium purple is a bit more saturated. It finds a home between plum and royal purple on the color spectrum. Medium purple mixes well with all the neutrals, but looks better with some than others. It can be paired with pinks, blues, reds, and greens for a soothing color blend.
Find Your Best Colors
When you first start digging into seasonal color analysis it can often seem overwhelming finding the best colors. Going back to these universally flattering colors is a safe way to transition to creating a color palette for your wardrobe.
If you’re ready to move into finding your best colors, access the free color palette tool below.
Get Your Free Color Palette
So tell me below, which of the universal colors is your favorite?
PS I am officially old because I actually had to google the rules for “I’ve never.” Face. Palm.
Stacey is the owner and creator behind Radiantly Dressed. She is a certified image consultant and AICI member focusing on creating simplicity in wardrobes via color and style.
1 thought on “Universally Flattering Colors: 10 Colors for Every Season”
I just love NAVY 😇