How To Wear Bold Wardrobe Colors On Dark Skin

As a dark skinned woman who has a very colorful wardrobe, I’m often surprised when other black women stop me on the streets with compliments but insist that they “can’t get away with" wearing the same colors. Say what?!

I’m not trying to brag here, but dark skin looks good in literally every shade so it makes no sense to me when women are convinced that they should always play it safe.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily think walking around looking like a giant neon marker at the office is appropriate nor fashionable but you can certainly explore far beyond black, brown and other darker hues on the color wheel.

Like with anything else, wearing bold colors is all about presentation. No matter the season, a bold colored top, bottom or accessory can have you looking stylish, original yet simple and classy.

The following are my favorite wardrobe shades and tips on getting away with bold colors on that deep melanin of yours:


This is a shade I see many dark skinned women shy away from because of it’s loud, obnoxiousness. It’s contrast with dark skin can attract a lot of unwanted stares. However, this is a color choice that has a lot of originality and potential.

For the modest: Go warm. Butterscotch, honey, yellow-gold and mustard yellow colored garments are the perfect way to ease this striking tint into your closet. If you’re not ready to do it big, then a yellow belt, handbag or jewelry statement piece is the way to go.

For the edgy: Be BOLD! Pineapple, lemon and banana yellows are more your speed. Be fearless in a sunny yellow top or pea coat for the winter.


Despite being my favorite color, pink can look very juvenile which is why it’s usually reserved for babies and young girls. But there are ways to look mature and chic in this popular shade.

For the modest: The deeper and softer, the better. Magenta and rose pink are best choices with this one. A smoky, rouge pink blouse or cashmere sweater is perfect for the Valentine’s Day office party.

For the edgy: Go hot! Fuscia and hot pink will satisfy your inner Barbie. To stay away from looking too adolescent, bright pink items like pea coats, casual jackets, scarves and handbags are the way to go.


No, you don’t have to look like a big ol’ walking pumpkin when wearing orange. The key is the undertone and garment type.

For the modest: Apricot, burnt or rust orange pairs incredibly with dark skin. A tawny orange sweater with dark brown slacks is a perfect combo for the workplace.

For the edgy: Screw it and go all out! Tangerine and mango orange are the perfect shades for you. A bright, sunset colored dress is just what you need to turn heads in the club.


Admittedly, blue wasn’t always one of my favorites because it can feel so depressing. But I’ve learned that blue clothing on dark skin can be fun and regal!

For the modest: Royal, midnight blue and zaffre will suit you. With these tones you can get away with a classy, one piece dress, handbag or pump, the options are limitless.

For the edgy: Make a little bit more noise and go with a true blue or an electric blue for your fashion items. A cute, fitted, bright blue leather jacket or an azure colored neck scarf could be the perfect accessory to your winter get up. A sheer blue cocktail dress is also good for the summer.


Red can be sexy and seductive or elegant and chic depending on how you rock it.

For the modest: A deep scarlet, ruby or berry red is calm yet striking on dark skin. These colors on a blazer or a coat is the perfect way to show your festive side for February, the month of love.

For the edgy: Crimson and candy apple red are your calling! There’s nothing that says HOT more than a firery pair of red boots over black tights and a fitted black dress.


I mean seriously, who doesn’t love white on dark skin? But before you get too excited, know that white can be overkill on your style if you don’t portion it properly.

For the modest: If you don’t necessarily want to look like a light bulb, chiffon, eggshell and the off whites are the way to go. There’s nothing classier than an elegant, ivory or lace dress for a fancy brunch or dinner. A linen colored turtleneck shawl also looks beautiful for the cold season.

For the edgy: Chill out! Daisy, frost and snow are the type of whites that will tickle your fancy. There’s nothing that compliments the winter better than a nice, porcelain white, Olivia Pope style coat or cotton colored boots. In the summer, bright white swimwear, fitted dresses and halters look remarkable on dark skin.


This shade is one of my favorites because it’s so versatile and complimenting to dark skin.

For the modest: Go dark. Shamrock, pine and hunter green are some of the many darker tints to this shade that looks good on almost any item of clothing. Juniper and basil green colored sweaters, slacks, boots and handbags will always add a nice, classy and fashionable pop to your attire.

For the edgy: Stay cool. Mint, pear and lime green are up your alley. I’ve found that brighter greens go well on accessories such as neck ties, earrings, belts and costume jewelry.


Be careful because it’s easy to resemble Barney in the color purple! The key here is not to overdo it. The trick is not to go purple from head to toe.

For the modest: Mulberry, wine, and plum purple look beautifully rich on dark skin. These deep purples look great in sweater dresses, coats, hats and all winter outerwear. They also look great in jewelry such as earrings and big costume jewelry.

For the Edgy: Orchid, iris, lavender and the cooler side of purple is what compliments you. A periwinkle skirt, shawl or handbag is the perfect look for spring or summer. Of course a lilac colored coat is also an eye catcher for winter months.

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