Best Bikini Colors to Flatter Your Skin Tone

(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).

Best swimsuit colors for your skin tone

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.

Bikini colors for pale skin: pinks, blues and even white!

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.

Navy - Turquoise

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.

For medium skin and brown hair, try jewel tones and earth tones as your best swimsuit colors.

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.

Best swimsuit colors for olive skin: try black, blues or a bold print

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.
Yellow Polka Dot - Magenta

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.

Best swimsuit colors for caramel skin: deep oranges, purples and blues

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.

Best swimsuit colors to wear when you have dark skin

Left: PINK Y-Back Push-up Triangle, $32.95, Victoria’s Secret / Right: High Neck Body Wrap Top, $42.95, Victoria’s Secret

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.

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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on DrLaura.com, Wellness.com and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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