• TheFineRefine

How to Determine your Contrast

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

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I've been on the journey to dress better for most of my adult life. While some people, it seems, are just born with this natural ability to define and express their style, I was born without that ability. I was born a scientist, a nerd, a bit of an awkward goose.

So being the nerd that I am, I started to approach style and beauty from a logical point of view.

That's when I met COLOR THEORY. Understanding color theory has changed the way I dress forever.

If you're anything like me putting a LOGICAL twist to dressing up will be a gamechanger for your style.

In this post, you'll learn the art of CONTRAST and just how useful it is to determine the colors that complement you best!

Let's be clear... You CAN wear whatever color you want. You CAN look good in any color.

BUT! it's incredibly useful to know which variation of the same color will look best on you.

In this case, contrast is especially important because it will determine whether you'll look better in muted colors vs clear colors.

  • Muted Colors - Any color that has more GRAY added to it and less PIGMENT.

  • Clear Colors - High PIGMENTED colors with little to no GRAY added to it.

  • If you are a LOW contrast individual (also known as Soft) then Muted Colors will compliment you best and ADD to that softness.

  • If you are a HIGH contrast (also known as Sharp) then Clear Colors will compliment you best and add to that sharpness.

So which am I?

High Contrast Individuals

High contrast or Sharp individuals have a distinct difference between their hair color and skin color.

Dark or Heavily Pigmented Hair + Light Skin Tone

Light or Desaturated Hair + Dark Skin Tone

Related: How to Find your Power Colors

Low Contrast Individuals

Low contrast or Soft individuals have similar hair color and skin color.

Dark or Heavily Pigmented Hair + Dark Skin Tone

Light or Desaturated Hair + Light Skin Tone

Medium hair colors + Medium Skin Tone

Still need help figuring out your contrast. Check out some of the examples below!!

Related: How to Always Look Put Together

For Example:

The woman in the picture is LOW CONTRAST or SOFT. She, of course, can wear both of these shades of green very well.


The more MUTED shade of green (TOP) complements her skin tone and hair color much better than the CLEAR shade of green.

The muted shade adds to her softness.

The clear shade takes over and becomes the focal point.

Shop Green Belted-Wrap Coat

Another example:

The woman in the picture is a High Contrast individual.

The CLEAR shade of red complements her skin tone and hair color much better than the MUTED beige.

High Contrast or Sharp Individuals wear deep colors very well without being upstaged by the color itself. Clear colors help elevate that high contrast.

Keep in mind your CONTRAST can easily change if you dye your hair.

Shop Red Crew Neck Sweater

Be sure to check out the third installment of my Color Theory series:

Choosing your Power Colors!



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