The Three Colors You Should Never Wear

Color and the ones we wear are on my mind more than ever these days for many reasons. I know it to be a tonic for our moods and have found my own wardrobe sadly lacking lately, just when I need it to cheer me up. I’ve been digging back into my color theory books and chatting with color consultants who all have varying ways to determine a woman’s best personal colors.

Let me start by saying there is no right or wrong way to type a person’s colors and the variety of ways seems endless. Part of my training to be an image consultant included color and how to determine a person’s most flattering colors. The system I learned was based on the teachings of Suzanne Caygill. Your personality and essence was an important feature in determining what colors and styles harmonized with you.

I am getting several color analyses done (virtually) and will keep you posted. I’m not sure color typing translates that well online because of lighting and variations in monitors but we shall see.

While I put more of my thoughts together about our colors, I thought I would share the 3 colors every woman should avoid. It doesn’t matter what season or color type you’ve been slotted into, these are universal and just a good idea.

Also – Personal Color Analysis: Is It For You?

Here are the three colors you should never wear:

A Color You Really Dislike

I suspect many of us have looked at the fabric or paper fan of colors we’ve been told are flattering for us, and see colors we don’t like. I certainly have. Don’t wear them. Wearing a color that you instinctively dislike is like taking bitter medicine. Research shows that the colors you wear affect your mood so if you dislike a color, wearing it won’t make you feel confident.

My color fan is too old to be of any benefit to me and contains many colors I would never wear. Those colors may have flattered my coloring, back in the day, but I disliked them so I never bought anything in them.

A Color That Drains You

The color that leaches life from your face and makes you look and feel older than you are. For many women, that’s black but it could also be a heavily saturated or bright color that’s too vibrant for your personal coloring. I like to say it enters the room before you do and so you feel overpowered by it. It could also be too pale for your complexion which makes you look and feel washed out.

Any Color With Bad Memories

Life is certainly too short for this. If you had to wear a certain colored uniform to school and it still gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t wear it. If a certain color reminds you of a sad, traumatic, or tragic experience, I suggest you give it a pass. Our clothes should excite us and bring us joy.


  • I love red but I never wear it because it feels overpowering.
  • I never wear orange because it makes my skin look sallow.

I don’t have a color with bad memories, do you?

What color do you avoid at all costs?

Be well, be kind, and wear what makes you feel confident.




  1. I had my colors done in the 80’s by “Color Me Beautiful”. I was cast as a vibrant summer. I really don”t like those colors…. I like Spring colors. So often I find myself going into the brighter colors . I think it has to do with my personality. I REALLY want to have my colors redone. Too bad we can’t see the colors of clothes and touch them at this point in time.

  2. Im a natural redhead now blonde… look horrible on anything beige but White is great . Beige tones wash me out . I tend to stick to thr colors that don’t make me look older or washed out .black ,white , red coral burgundy , tones of blue , teal, aqua , green or dark brown.
    Have no idea what color chart consultant would say but I’d love to know …

  3. Bad memories – I graduated as a nurse years ago. People stayed in the hospital so long in those days, they would bring their own PJs. Young women having babies would bring all kinds of adorable nighties. But green!!! Pale green pajamas, hospital room colors, fluorescent lighting and post surgery paleness, all combined make people look so awful it made me feel ill and continues to this day. And mustard causes the same feeling of illness. Personally, I love coral and teal. But then, I have read these colors look good on nearly everyone.

  4. My colors were done about 30 years ago and I was an Autumn. I still gravitate to those colors even though there is a lot of grey/white in my dark blonde hair and my complexion is lighter. They are the colors that just feel right to me.

  5. I had my colors done with Color Me Beautiful years and years ago and they typed me as a summer. About 10 years ago I had my colors done by Kerry Jones of Indigo Tones. She was amazing. She draped me and took skin tones into account and found I was a Soft Autumn. She also factored in my style and helped me determine the type of dresser I am. As a result it helped clarify what really looks great on me. Shopping is SO much easier and all the things in my closet ‘go’ with each other….no more orphans.

    1. I’m so excited Jennifer that you’re exploring your colors. I think the whole subject is fascinating!

  6. Suzann Caygill did my colors many years ago. Although I am now gray they still seem to work. I do avoid the brown…have switched to taup. Do some black and white. I am one of her summers. Colors for the most part are grayed or muted. Still wear pinks, peachy pinks, pure to blue grays. Would love any update available.

  7. I don’t wear greens too much… wore green scrubs every day in the operating room for 38 years, so don’t tend to choose it in my at home wardrobe.

  8. My least favorite colors are neon, super bright intense colors, then beige, black, brown, and earth tones. I am a summer. When I was on a trip to Italy, every time I took a pic of myself ( pale, pink skinned) near the earth toned walls ( which are beautiful) I looked awful! My husband who is Italian skinned looked marvelous! I found one white wall, and finally felt “ right”. The colors were making me sad, so I do think colors have a huge impact on us. If I had a color I didn’t like in my consultation, really look good on me, I would try to make friends with the color somehow. I realize it’s only my mind, that keeps limits on me, not the reality.

  9. I used to wear red a lot as it suited my dark hair at the time. But I had several traumatic life events happen when I was wearing red and, irrational I know, I never wear red now.
    I would be interested in getting an online color analysis done, as my hair is lighter these days.

    1. It’s interesting that you noticed the connection between red and those experiences. I will share who I use and my thoughts about the process soon.

  10. I never wear brown. When I was young, I attended the newest of a bunch of Toronto private schools and the board members wanted a unique look so we had to wear a brown and beige uniform. When the school launched, we had to sing a song called Children of the Brown and Beige (I’m serious!) For years, I could wear nothing in those tones and have only recently considered camel because I love the Max Mara coats so much. I tell you, it scarred me for life! lol Xx

  11. I love color! I had my colors “done” many years ago. I went to an excellent color analyst who draped me with various colors. It was a wonderful experience and I have used the colors in my “Spring” palette to great advantage since. It was well worth the time and money. The analyst was experienced and charming. Through the years I have used this knowledge to create outfits that I love. It has given me great confidence in my clothing choices. I highly recommend it!

  12. Thanks so much for this post, Jennifer. I always learn so much from your expertise. I also like reading the the replies with your responses.

    I, like many of you, was color typed by Color Me Beautiful in the 80s. I was a summer. I remember not liking the colors so much (don’t really remember what they were). I looked at the charts and tried to make myself fit some of the other color types (dumb, I know). I love the autumn colors but they don’t do anything for me. I wear lots of black and try to add color or sparkles with a tank or jewelry. Definitely need to have colors done again. I will be interested to see what you learn.

  13. I did the brown, beige and rust thing in the ’80s. May I never see these colours again! Wrong colours for my colouring (I’m cool/bright colors) and I shiver when they are in the vicinity…

  14. I avoid pastels in general and white because they wash me out, and I really dislike “baby” pink and “baby” blue because they feel infantilizing on me. I prefer a coral pink or even a “dirty” (greyed?) pink, and greyed blues or deeper blue shades. Also kelly green looks awful on me and I’m not a fan of burgundy. I was typed as a Strawberry Spring many, many years ago. I hope to make it to Red Leopard for an update within the next year.

  15. Green! My school uniform from age 4 to 16. We even had regulation green knickers!! I am the product of a convent boarding school in England. Terrific education, but all that green finished me off for life:)

  16. Fascinating! I had my colours done back in the 80s. I was in my 20s and had only ever wore blue shades because my mother loved them in me. I wanted to have more colour in my life so off I went for an analysis. At the time I was Called a pure summer. Recently a friend learned to do a different version and asked me if she could do my colours. She said I was a cool clear winter. So they agree on cool colours and I have noticed as my skin aged I had to reduce the lighter colours. I have done research and realize that isn’t really much of a change. My favourite colour to wear is red, as long as it includes none of my most dreaded colour orange! Thanks. I love learning more about colour and making it work in my wardrobe.

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