Fair-skinned people are best suited to blue clothes, study finds

Forget the little black dress! Fair-skinned people are best suited for BLUE clothes, while people with tan skin tones should opt for orange, study finds

  • Scientists Asked Volunteers to Choose Clothing Colors Suitable for Different Skin Types
  • Findings suggest skin tone may determine color preferences for our clothes
  • This may be due to a link made between hot climates and darker skin tones.










If you often struggle to decide what to wear, a new study suggests you should take inspiration from your skin tone.

Researchers in Scotland have found that fair-skinned people are thought to be best suited to blue clothing, while people with tanned complexions are said to look best in ‘warm’ shades of orange and red.

Fashion designers and salespeople tend to advise clothing colors to complement a client’s personal appearance, such as a blue dress for a pale-skinned person.

Now, the new study finally offers scientific evidence to show that this is indeed considered attractive in the eyes of observers, like a partner on a first date.

In the experiments, fair-skinned people (left) were found to be best suited to blue clothing, while people with more tanned skin tones (right) were said to do better with “warm” orange and red hues. report experts from the University of St Andrews.

COLORS AND THEIR ASSOCIATIONS

Red: caution, anger, love, warmth

Orange: warm, autumn

Yellow: happy, fun, young

Green: nature, calm, good luck

Blue: stability, professional, cold, confidence, intelligence

Mauve: wealth, mystical, decadent

Brown: rustic, practical, warm, vintage

White: sterile, innocence, peace, truth, cleanliness

Noir: sophistication, death, night, contemporary

Source: NSO

“Clothing is important for self-esteem and psychological health,” said study author Dr Reiner Sprengelmeyer, from the University of St Andrews.

“The global fashion industry is worth trillions of dollars and color is a major factor in choosing clothes, so it’s important to discover rules that help people look their best.

For the study, the team recruited 160 participants to give their opinion on what colors suit different faces in photos.

The researchers used 12 facial images of white women captured under standard lighting – six fair-skinned and six more tanned.

The measurements confirmed that the tanned group had darker, more yellow skin, reflecting higher levels of melanin, a skin pigment.

Differences in human skin color are primarily based on melanin, but also on hemoglobin – the protein found in red blood cells – and carotenoid pigments.

Using custom software, participants could change the color of the simulated clothing to match each of the 12 target faces.

“We gave participants a whole range of colors to choose from,” said lead author Professor David Perrett.

“In addition, colors could be adjusted in brightness or saturation (vividness).”

Participants had to match different faces to the color they thought best matched the person's skin tone using special software.  Participants could choose any color displayed in a rectangular rainbow (pictured)

Participants had to match different faces to the color they thought best matched the person’s skin tone using special software. Participants could choose any color displayed in a rectangular rainbow (pictured)

Despite the full range of hues available, participants tended to focus their choice on blues and reds or orange-reds.

A total of 75% of participants thought blue shades looked better on fair-skinned women, and similarly 75% thought orange/red looked better on darker-skinned women.

“To our surprise, there was also good public agreement about which colors went best with which skin tone,” Prof Perrett said.

The study claims to provide the first scientific evidence that skin tone underlies the aesthetics of clothing color.

The presence of melanin - a pigment responsible for skin color - causes the skin to darken

The presence of melanin – a pigment responsible for skin color – causes the skin to darken

One possible explanation for the results is an association in people’s minds between warm climates and darker skin tone, and conversely between cool northern climates and fair skin tone.

People subconsciously associate “cool” colors (blue) with a cool climate and therefore may choose blue for fair-skinned people, while red is associated with warmth.

Future research should examine clothing color against a full range of melanin levels defined using spectrophotometry – a technique that uses different wavelengths of light.

The study was published in the journal Perception/i-Perception.

SCIENTISTS FIND NAVY IS THE MOST RELAXING COLOR BUT TURQUOISE AND PASTEL PINK ALSO HELPS BEAT STRESS

Navy blue is the most relaxing color, according to a 2019 study.

Researchers at the University of Sussex say surrounding yourself with blue clothes, objects and accessories could help you live a more relaxed life.

Calm is most inspired by dark blues, turquoises and pinks while Luxury colors include purple, orange and white.

Researchers asked 26,596 people from over 100 countries to name their favorite color. They then determined which word they most associate with that hue.

Some of the most common words related to colors were happy followed by calm, bright, warm, sky, sea, cool, vibrant and summer.

Specifically, the survey revealed that people around the world associate the colors of “strong” with shades of blue, red and orange.

Calm is most inspired by dark blues, turquoises and pinks, while notions of the future are most often associated with shades of green.

Luxury colors included purple, orange, and white.

Advertising

Elizabeth J. Harless