This image and feature image: Photography by Our Carousel Studios
When you start shopping for your dream wedding dress there are two essential things you must look for: a design that enhances your natural silhouette and a colour that lifts your complexion.
When it comes time to shop for your wedding gown you’ll have a good idea of the shape of your body; apple, pear, hourglass etc. But do you know what tone your skin is? Colour expert Adam Buechner emphasises that colour is the first thing that people notice about you. “Wearing the right colours in makeup, clothing, jewellery and even hair keeps your appearance in harmony and balance, consequently it will make your eyes look brighter, your complexion will look clearer and your teeth will look whiter,” he says.
Before you start shopping for your wedding dress it’s absolutely essential that you discover whether you have a cool or warm skin tone. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science! It’s simply a matter of looking in the mirror and taking note of your eye and hair colour. “Customarily, cool people have eyes that are blue, grey, or green and have blonde, brown, or black hair with blue, silver, violet and ash undertones. Conversely, warm-toned women usually have brown, amber, or hazel eyes with strawberry blonde, red, brown, or black hair. Their hair tends to have gold, red, orange, or yellow undertones,” says Stylecaster’s Senior Editor, Perrie Samotin.
If you’re wearing a colour that doesn’t complement your skin tone, it’s almost immediately obvious, as you’ll look washed out, tired or even sick. Colours that do enhance and complement your skin tone will give your skin, lips, cheeks and eyes a new brightness and vibrancy; they’ll bring out colour in your face and will make you look healthy, happy and full of life. Indeed, every bride wants to look healthy, happy and full of life on her wedding day.
One of the oldest tricks in the book to determine skin tone is simple: Do you look better in white or cream? If white brings colour to your face, you’re a cool tone, but if you look livelier in cream, you’re a warm tone. With this in mind you can start shopping for your wedding gown with a little more knowledge under your belt. But don’t be fooled; every designer’s interpretation of colour is very different, hence it’s always advisable to wear the dress in natural light to ensure it’s the right shade for you. If you have any doubts discuss them with your designer; they are experts when it comes to shape, style and palette.
Beauty blogger, Robin Black explains another fail-safe method of identifying your skin tone: “One way to determine the undertone of your skin is to look in a mirror while holding a piece of white paper next to your face. If your skin looks yellow, gold or red in comparison to the white paper, then you have a warm skin tone. If your skin looks pink or bluish, then you have a cool tone.”
Geraldine Quinnell, designer at Q’nique Bridal, emphasises the fact that there are a plethora of white and ivory shades; just because the label says ‘white’ it doesn’t necessary mean ‘pure white’. “Whites can vary; some whites can have a blue/mauve tint for example, while other can have a yellow tint but still be called white. Every bridal designer uses their own specific fabrics and the whites can vary so if you are trying on a gown in cream or ivory and want to order it in white always check the designer’s white fabric before ordering. There are also a myriad of shades called cream or ivory. They can vary from just off-white to a rich buttery cream and all the shades in between, too many to count!”
Surprisingly, Geraldine sells white gowns to only five per cent of her brides! Her biggest sellers are ivory (an off-white that most people consider white) and pearl (a dusky pale pink). “When ivory lace or tulle is over the top of the pearl it creates a gorgeous soft blush tone that suits many complexions. Most brides aren’t so sure about the thought of wearing ‘pink’ but when they compare the ivory to the pearl colour and see how it lifts their skin tone, it’s often the colour they choose.”
And if you’re concerned that you’re groom will be disappointed that you’re wearing an ivory wedding dress in lieu of his ideal white, take note of Geraldine’s advice. “If I’m at a wedding where the bride is wearing ivory or cream I always ask the groom what he thinks of the colour of her gown. Without doubt he will say she’s wearing a white dress.”