Fall Fashion

Fall Fashion: A Beginners Guide to Wearing Yellow

Yellow can be an intimidating color to add to your wardrobe if you’ve never worn it before. How many times have you tried on a yellow piece and grumbled to yourself that it just doesn’t work? As complicated as it may be to incorporate a little bit of sunshine into your wardrobe, yellow is incredibly popular during spring and summer. Whether you prefer bright spots of lemon to highlight other colors or you want to make your entire outfit all about that mustard shade, check out some top tips that will help you make it work.

1. Find Your Shade

Not every shade of yellow works with every skin tone and hair color. Going to a physical store to compare shades against your skin can show you which types of yellow work for you. As a general rule of thumb, the fairer your skin and lighter your hair, the more red you want in your yellow. You’ll want to avoid pastels and stick to ultra-saturated hues.

Every skin color has multiple undertones to it. Some people have olive or gold undertones, while others have ivory, pink, red, or even blue hues mixed in. This undertone hue will help determine what yellow is the right shade for you.

How to Find Your Skin’s Undertones

How to Find Your Skins UndertonesWhile your skin tone may change over the years or the seasons, like when you get a tan, the undertone is always the same. There are three basic tones: warm, cool, and neutral. The easiest way to find your skin’s tone is to check your veins. If they’re greenish, you probably have warm undertones. See lots of blue and purple in your veins? You’re looking at cool undertones.

To discover which side of neutral you fall on, you’ll need to try on some clothes. If you look best in stark blacks and whites, you’re on the cool end of the spectrum. For those who look better in brown, tan, or ivory, you’re on the warmer end of neutral.

  • Cool undertones should head towards lemon, pineapple, and honey yellows
  • Warm undertones need to aim for banana, flaxen, and daffodil yellows
  • Neutral undertones have a lot more flexibility that ranges from amber to custard cream

2. Mix and Match Colors

Mix and Match ColorsOnce you’ve figured out which yellows work with your skin and hair, you should find other hues to mix and match it with. Some of the best colors to wear with yellow include gray, white, and washed-out denim. These are simple shades that make it easy to throw on a yellow top with casual jeans or slacks.

You can also get more bold with your color preferences and explore how yellow works with complementary shades like navy blue and deep purple, as well as analogous colors like chartreuse green or marigold orange.

The colors you choose to pair with your yellow clothes can balance out the bright shade or act as a neutral backdrop that lets yellow be the star.

3. Start Small

Start SmallStill nervous about adding yellow to your wardrobe? Start small and add simple accessories as bright pops of color that bring an additional level of interest and uniqueness. Whether you choose to go with a pair of butter yellow shoes, bright gold jewelry, a mustard-hued purse, or some dandelion sunglasses, you can’t go wrong if you start off subtle.

As you get more comfortable with this bold shade, try on a flowing yellow blouse and work your way up to a sundress or a romper. If you put on an all-yellow outfit and find that it’s too much for your taste, you can tone it down by breaking up the daffodil field with a belt or a light cardigan in black, white, brown, or navy.

4. Play with Patterns

Play with PatternsEven after incorporating lots of yellow into your wardrobe, you could still be avoiding solid colored pieces. That’s no reason to give up on yellow! Patterns and prints are a fun way to keep the sun shining throughout your wardrobe. Consider some of these striped styles for dresses and tops:

  • Yellow and White Hairline Stripes
  • Blue, Red, and Yellow Block Colors
  • Grey and Yellow Vertical Candy Stripes

From thick stripes to thin ones and from vertical to horizontal designs, there’s a lot of flexibility here. You can even move away from stripes and more towards color blocking.

Looking for other patterns that work great with yellow? Florals are an obvious choice! A field of sunflowers on a black background or a spray of daffodils on a sky blue setting look gorgeous on a fit and flare summer dress. You can also reverse the colors and throw on a piece with flowers in any other color with a yellow background instead!

5. Soft Fits

Soft FitsIf you’re looking to soften the impact of yellow even further, look for yellow pieces that have a softer flow and fit them. Anything loose can minimize the harshness of some hues of yellow and give you the opportunity to layer the piece with other colors. Look for ruffled blouses, wide-leg pants, and tunic tops to help you rock this bold look.

6. Your Style

Your StyleIt doesn’t matter whether you start small or you dive into a pool of yellow head first, stay in touch with your personal sense of style to make sure you’re always comfortable in what you’re wearing. If you’re buying brand new pieces, don’t go alone! Tow along someone you trust to help you find pieces that make you look good and feel great. Step a little out of your comfort zone and you’ll be surprised what happens.

It’s time to embrace yellow wholeheartedly now that you know there is a right shade for you. Jump on this yellow school bus and take it all the way to the end when you start shopping today!


A fashion consultant and freelance writer, Rachel Kelly have a knack for picking out the perfect outfit for every occasion. She enjoys working with fast-growing clothing companies, such as Saved by the Dress and covering the latest trends on the runway and the street. She knows the importance of finding styles that make you feel confident and strives to help others find their perfect fit!