While we all know when to avoid things like short skirts and boyfriend jeans, when it comes to colors, the rules can be a little less obvious. That’s why we did some research and invited color expert, More Alive With Color author, and Pantone director Leatrice Eiseman to weigh in and bring you the color dos and don’ts for every occasion.
Scroll through for the lowdown and to shop our color-appropriate picks!
One of the biggest color “don’ts” is wearing white to a wedding. According to Eiseman, wearing white “competes with the bride” on her special day, which is the last thing one should do as a guest.
Joanna August Newbury Cap Sleeve Wrap Dress ($285)
Tibi Satin Strapless Satin-Poplin Midi Dress ($625)
Selected Sharon Fluid Maxi Dress ($118) in Night Sky
For a job interview, Eiseman recommends “the power colors” (gray, black, navy) and nothing too over-the-top. Additionally, she says, “a touch of color in an accent is a good thing that makes you more memorable when many people are being interviewed. “
Similar to wedding etiquette, white should also be avoided for bridal showers, but did you know you should also stay away from red and black? Historically, the color red has had “vulgar” connotations, while black is somewhat of a downer for a celebratory event that usually takes place in the daytime. Not only that, but both colors will stand out negatively in pictures among a sea of lighter colors.
Eiseman says, when attending a funeral “anything too bright brings more attention to you as a person, and this is an occasion to honor the person who passed.” Instead, stick to black or other conservative colors.
French Connection Cassie Drape Full Skirt ($148) in Utility Blue
When it comes to a first date, there are no “don’ts.” Eiseman recommends “wearing the color you love the most and that makes you feel most confident”—and we totally agree!
ASOS Pretty Dress with Soft Lace Up Front ($58) in Terracotta
Derek Lam 10 Crosby Exclusive to Intermix Studded Denim Top ($395)
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of colors, see which is the most flattering for your skin tone!