(Editor’s note: This post about best bikini colors for your skin tone was updated with new images and more skin tones in April, 2017).
We acknowledge that after having read the title of this post, you may still be cringing. For most of us, the last thing we want to even begin thinking about right now is putting on a swimsuit. Maybe you’re still beating a hasty retreat to the gym to work off the last of the holidays. Maybe your skin is so dry it’s flaking off. Or maybe it’s just so darn cold where you live that you have a challenging enough time trying to stay warm while changing out of your jammies in the morning.
No matter what the reason, we sympathize. So, consider this guide to swimsuit colors a wee seed that we’re offering for future reference. Read it, bookmark it, and read it again in a few months.
From Light to Dark Skin — The Best Bikini Colors for Your Skin
Deep breath, hold your nose, and jump!
Very Light Skin with Light Blond or Red Hair
Soft colors tend to work best. If you go with something really bold, you’ll make a statement for sure, but you may end up showing off your pale side. Try soft pinks, blues and beiges. Greens and blacks are hit or miss, depending on the shade and whether your skin is on the warm side or cooler.
Redheads tend to look amazing in white (yes, white!) and cobalt blue.
The colors you should avoid are orange and yellow.
Creamy Light Skin with Dark Hair
You, Snow White, have a natural contrast with your dark hair and fair skin. Your best bet will be any color in the blue family. Reach for navy, turquoise, baby blue as well as emerald, fuchsia and plum. It’s a good idea to leave the orange and white suits on the rack.
Medium-light Skin with Brown Hair
Play up your warmer side with rich earthy tones and deep reds. Stay away from fleshy peach and beige tones, as these will likely wash you out a bit. And very dark colors like black and grey can have a similar effect.
Olive or Light Brown Skin with Medium Brown or Dark Hair
You lucky girl! You have a range of swimsuit color options. For one, black swimsuits look fabulous on you. Blues will also be stunning. For something different, try army greens or burnt oranges. You can also wear a bold and colorful print with some white in it to enhance the depth of your skin color.
You’ll miss if you reach for swimwear that’s smack in the middle between soft and bold. Colors like brown and gray are just too blah for you.
Light Black Skin with Dark Brown or Black Hair
You get to have fun with color. Bright yellows and jewel-toned pinks and purples will look marvelous on you. Those bright or dramatic colors will create contrast and really pop.
Stay away from any color that’s too close to your skin color. Beige, olive green, medium-brown and even gold aren’t the right choice for you.
Caramel Skin with Brown or Black Hair
Caramel-skinned beauty, you have a built-in glow that you can play up or down with the right suit. Deep oranges, for example, will bring out the golden character of your skin tone, as will a warmer purple or teal. But cool aquas and mint greens and even a navy also look stunning on you.
The colors to steer clear of are olive green and yellows.
Very Dark Skin and Dark Hair
Pastels will look marvelous on you! Baby blues, minty greens, soft pinks and pale yellows as well as light grey will be your best choices when it comes to choosing swimwear. As for orange, white and brown, unless the suit is the most perfect fitting piece of lycra you’ve ever put on your body, leave it behind in search of most sorbet-oriented colors.
There, that wasn’t so terrible, was it? While bathing suit shopping may be low on your Favorite Things To Do list, at least we can all agree on one thing: summer is an absolutely lovely time of year and if you have a swimsuit that makes you feel like a million bucks, the season will be that much more enjoyable.
Need more inspiration? Take a look at our guide to budget swimsuit brands.