’Tis the season for tropical vacations and outdoor activities, meaning that your skin is getting peak sun exposure this time of year. (Not to digress too much, but don’t forget the SPF!) To take full advantage of your seasonally sun-kissed skin, we did a little investigation into what colors will best accentuate your tan. And what better source to consult than a professional color expert? Kate Smith, president and chief color maven of Sensational Color, is the ultimate guru on color trends and how they interact (check out her fascinating articles about which colors to wear for different occasions). We picked her brain to find out exactly what we should wear post–beach day. While you probably could’ve guessed that white would be on her list, there are four other color families that she prescribes for their tan-accentuating powers.
Keep scrolling to find out what they are and what she has to say about each, and then shop our picks from each category. (Swimsuits and cool sundresses abound!)
“Lemon yellow, lime green, or juicy orange are bold hues that will enhance the healthy glow you get from spending a little time in the sun.” — Kate Smith
This little marigold bikini is cute as can be.
Wear this with a white crop top to make your skin glow even more.
Pack this in your travel bag for seaside date nights.
“Watermelon, melon, berry, or just about any pink draw attention and contrast beautifully with bronzed skin.” — Kate Smith
This under-$100 dress is too adorable to pass up, in our opinion.
We’d pair this sweet little top with a pair of wide-leg white jeans.
Pixie Market is the best for of-the-moment tops that won’t break the bank. Case in point, this guy.
“Bright white is great for cool skin tones, but off-white is better for those with naturally golden skin tones. Since both white and off-white are very light, they make the color of your skin appear darker.” — Kate Smith
Meet your new “summer Friday” shirt.
We’re digging the front button detail on these.
This top is a Who What Wear editor favorite.
“Just about any shade of blue complements a tan. The warmer blue-greens and turquoise can be especially attractive against the glow of sun-kissed skin. The lighter shades of blue give more contrast making a tan look deeper.” — Kate Smith
The lattice back of this one-piece is a showstopper.
We’re not sure that a shirt more flattering than this exists.
It doesn’t get flirtier than this little number.
“Coral and warm shades of pink add to the warm, rosy tones of a tanned complexion.” — Kate Smith
This polo-neck detail had us at hello.
Tip: J.Crew has the best selection of coral pieces every summer.
Wear this over a fitted white tee for a casual-cool vibe.
What’s your favorite hue to wear during the summer? Tell us in the comments below!
Opening Image: Style du Monde