Colors That Look Good on Brown Skin

By Mimi Abney

Brown skin tones -- from medium to dark -- are complemented by a palette of colors, from earthy tones such as sand and brown, and bright, vibrant colors such as neon yellow and cobalt blue, to the basics of black and white. Check out some color and style ideas for both medium and dark brown skin.

Medium Brown

Metallics such as copper and gold bring out medium-brown skin tones. Metallics work great as a dress paired with heels, for a nighttime affair, or flats, for a daytime-friendly look. Dove gray, aka medium gray with hints of pink or blue, works on olive skin. If you're more tan or bronze-colored, opt for a dark gray -- think sweaters, blouses and outerwear. For more punchy colors, neons, believe it or not, go great with medium-brown skin. Opt for a brightly colored dress, or a pair of neon jeans with a black or cream shirt for a more edgy, casual look. Earthy colors also work well with medium brown, such as sand, beige and creams, as well as black and gray.

Dark Brown

Dark brown skin --from deep copper to cocoa -- radiates when paired with jewel tones, black and white, vibrant tones such as blues and reds, and softer shades. Jewel tones such as ruby, garnet, emerald and sapphire contrast with dark skin in a complementary manner. Plus, jeweled reds eliminate any possibility of "ashy skin syndrome," according to Red works in several pieces -- a marbled ruby dress for upscale dinners, a red blazer paired with solid colors transitions nicely from office to cocktail hour, and a deep cranberry blouse or casual top can be paired with a skirt or jeans for everyday events. Cobalt blue pops on top of dark brown skin, as do other bright and vibrant colors. Blouses, casual tops such at tank tops, and dresses are a great way to wear poppy colors. And finally, soft pastels -- creamy yellows, powdery blues, mint greens -- stand out again dark-brown skin. Opt for a pastel dress for summer picnics or afternoon parties, or, for a business casual look, pair a pastel yellow blouse with a bright blue or black skirt.