Which is the Best Color Orange for You?
If orange is the new black, we might be in trouble! The color orange is polarizing as you either love it or hate it. This is most likely because it’s not an easy color to wear and absolutely does not look good on everyone. Orange is best left to those with warm skin tones – Autumns and Springs. However, orange color combinations can be used for just about anyone in small doses.
What’s the best orange for you? Before we determine that, let’s talk a bit more about the color. Orange is made from red and yellow, so it blends the power and energy of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. This results in an energetic and stimulating color that evokes a sense of joy and creativity. It’s also seen as the color of changing seasons, so it’s a color of transition. The varied hues of orange also have varied meaning. Peach and coral are seen as friendly and soothing while red-orange is associated with passion or aggression. The gorgeous golden orange colors of fall are often associated with vitality and wealth. When you wear orange, you personify a feeling of vibrance, spontaneity, and adventure.
Unfortunately, not everyone can wear the traditional version of orange and still shine. What it truly comes down to is, which version of orange – if any – is right for you? The answer to that question is determined by your season. If you aren’t sure of your season, you might consider a personal color analysis
Orange By Seasonal Color Palette
It’s hard to take photographs that adequately show the variances in the orange color that looks best on each season, but believe me they exist! From the pictures below, I think you can see that Autumn (left) is the only season that gets a true orange color whereas Spring has the most variations of orange and they are generally more coral in tone. The reason that Summer and Winter are missing from the pictures is that they do not get orange at all. It is simply too warm of a color for those cooler seasons and people
We’ll start with Autumn, because it’s the season most associated with orange and true orange. All Autumns have at least two versions of orange in their palette. Autumns receive a lot of orange in their palette, because it’s a beautiful color on warm skin tones. Autumns will do well in many versions of orange, but their best versions are the toasted oranges of fall versus the spring corals. Soft Autumns look lovely in the softer, pinker versions while True, Deep and Warm Autumns all get darker versions and look great in true orange.
- Soft Autumn: Muted Apricot, Salmon
- Warm Autumn: Light Orange, Muted Apricot, Deep Coral, Orange, Toasted Peach
- True Autumn: Pumpkin, Orange, Pure Orange, Bright Orange, Terra Cotta
- Deep/Dark Autumn: Orange, Terra Cotta
As a darker, cooler season, Winters do not look their best in any version of orange. Some Bright or Clear Winters, do well with bright coral. The orange equivalent of fuchsia.
Springs tend to be orange people or yellow people, so although each Spring sub-season receives versions of orange, the best versions are often quite individual. Having said that, the listed versions will all go well with Spring colors, so even if it’s not the best, it is still a great color for all Springs to accessorize with. Since Spring tends to be a lighter, brighter season, oranges that are harmonious with Spring color palettes lean to coral. Bright or Clear Spring receives a bright coral While Warm, Light, and True Springs receive receive corals, peaches, and apricots. The best orange by Spring Sub-season:
- Clear/Bright Spring: Bright Coral, Warm Coral
- True Spring: Light Apricot, Pastel Peach, Peach, Medium Apricot, Cantaloupe, Bright Peach, New Coral, Coral, Toasted Peach
- Warm Spring: Light Apricot, Medium Apricot, Muted Apricot, Deep Peach, New Coral, Coral
- Light Spring: Light Apricot, Pastel Peach, Medium Apricot, Bright Coral, Warm Coral
Like Winters, Summers do not receive any versions of orange, because it is simply too warm for them. Additionally, for Summers, orange is too intense. Light Summer, since it’s a lighter, brighter season than the other Summer seasons does receive a color called Coral Pink. This is basically a pink with some warmth in it and is not truly related to Orange. Compared to Light Spring’s Coral (left), you can see that it is much more pink than coral.
Making Orange Work For You
If you’re wondering what color to wear with orange and/or how to wear orange if it’s not in your season, have no fear as it’s pretty easy to pair. For interest, try an analogous or complementary color scheme (see post on color schemes). Pairing orange with burgundy would be analogous while pairing it with blue would be complementary. Cobalt blue and true orange are often used for school colors, because it’s really energetic. If you’d like a more subtle version, then pairing orange with denim works great!
If you are a Winter or Summer, then orange is a color that you probably avoid, but you can still have fun with it. For Winters, pairing a navy dress with an orange belt, purse, or shoes is a classy, but exciting combination. A more subdued combination, but that still provides drama to an outfit, is to pair your orange accessory with a wine or burgundy outfit. Summers have even more trouble with orange, because it’s often too vibrant for them along with being too warm. Summer’s best orange, as an accessory, is a muted coral or apricot. I like pairing coral shoes with a chambray dress – great combo for a Summer.The key for both Summers and Winters is to avoid orange near your face, so an orange belt, but not an orange scarf or sweater.
How do you feel about orange and what are your favorite orange color combinations? I’d love to hear in the comments.