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Tomima Talks: Choosing Your Lingerie Color

Hello there,

For many women, lingerie is thought to be utilitarian – practical, useful, necessary. That can include sleepwear as well. But they can be so much more if you’ll let them. Killer lingerie and sleepwear choices are those where you’ve taken into consideration all your personal assets – eye color, hair color as well as your complexion. After all, you already do this when selecting makeup colors. So, consider going outside your traditional lingerie and sleepwear color palettes and find some new hues and tones that will complement and highlight your natural beauty and features. Here are some ideas and guidelines.

Best Colors to Complement Your Eyes

Consider the color of your eyes the next time you choose lingerie and sleepwear. The right shade can make your eyes stand out.

Blue eyes – The cliché is that any shade of blue will accentuate your eyes. While this is sort of true, specific blues are super flattering. The pale muted and more powdery blue shades work best. Also, mixing browns with these blue tones is a winning combination. Other standout colors with baby-blue eyes are grays, peaches, and terracotta; with these last two being from the orange family, which is both the opposing and complementary color to blue.

Green eyes – Any green for the green-eyed lady works. Reds and prints combining hues of red and green are simply outstanding. Olives and earth tones, too, make green eyes pop.

Hazel & Brown eyes – The color brown is created by combining all the colors of the rainbow. Therefore, every color looks fabulous with these eye colors – especially earth tones and animal prints. But more than any of the other eye colors, hazel and brown eyes wearing rich intense color shades like purple, orange, green, and gold really make peepers pop.

Best Colors to Complement Your Hair

Take your tresses into consideration, too, when considering a new lingerie or sleepwear hue.

White & Gray – The instant fabulous lingerie colors to wear with white and light-gray hair are black, navy, and pure white – not ivory or cream. Also stunning are jewel tones like sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purples, garnet magenta, and turquoise. Not so great would be trying to exact-match your hair color because it can look aging. And greens and yellows can halo into your hair giving it a similar shade.

BlondesPastels tend to look the best with blonde hair. The light pinks, baby blue, lavender, butter yellows, and grassy greens do not overpower the light nature of the hair color. Wearing darker lingerie colors with blonde hair can take away your soft appearance. It can age you and wash you out. That said, a true crimson red, violet, or turquoise are all undeniably eye-catching on any blonde.

Redheads – Sassy saturated bright colors – especially green – and strong earth tones are outstanding lingerie colors on redheads. And almost any animal print is stunning. Not so great are orange, yellow, purply reds, most pinks, and yellowish greens.

Brunettes & Darker – Dark hair looks wonderful with strong colors, earth tones, and colorful prints. Though light colors, too, will work, they don’t give you much of a punch when standing in just your lingerie. Navy blue, hunter green, red, burgundy, and purples are guaranteed to flatter. Also, strong animal prints. Bottom line: vibrant colors and prints are sure winners with your hair color.

Best Colors to Complement your Complexion

A woman wearing lingerie perfectly matched to her complexion, in reality, looks a little odd. I know this to be true because I’ve seen this phenomenon many times in our studios. For a split second, you think the model is naked and without some basic body identifiers. But, put a slightly darker nude shade on her, and she now has some contour which is more flattering. Again, like makeup, contouring increases our attractiveness. If skin-toned lingerie is your desire, select a shade a little darker than your natural complexion. It will enhance your curves and draw the eye more to your assets. By contrast, wearing a skin tone lighter than your own will draw the eye to your skin.

We’ve discussed eye and hair color, but obviously, your complexion is also an important factor to consider in choosing lingerie colors, since it’s the first layer of clothing put on against your skin. And who knows when someone will see you wearing nothing more?

Light complexions – This complexion tone does best in pastel and powdery colors. Neon hues and skin tones that closely match your complexion should be avoided. But, should you also have contrasting hair and eye color, you can also venture out into brighter and bolder lingerie colors for a more dramatic look – especially in your sleepwear.

Mid-range complexions – Women with mid-range skin tones – which include olive and tan skin – look terrific in rich colors like rust and forest green, because they beautifully complement the warm undertones in your complexion. But also, be guided by your hair and eye color.

Dark Complexions – Ladies with darker skin can very effectively wear darker colors of lingerie and sleepwear. Again, animal prints too are a big win. Of course, both pastel and darker tones will work on darker complexions, but brighter intense hues will really pop. Alternatively, light-colored bras and panties will offer a stark contrast to your skin tone which, too, can be alluring.

Interesting Facts about Specific Lingerie Colors

White – The color white is the most popular lingerie color worldwide. But not in the USA. Why? Because American women are somewhat obsessed with making sure their undergarments appear invisible under their clothing. We are the only country obsessively wearing skin-toned lingerie. But, we do wear a fair share of white sleepwear.

White lingerie gives a clean and fresh look, but it does have its drawbacks. True white lingerie is actually dyed white. Over time this dye yellows. Even bleach can’t make it white again. White also easily stains. But for you nursing mothers, nothing hides a little breast milk leak or spit-up like a white nursing bra.

Beige/Nude Names – In our new world of political correctness, many lingerie manufacturers were under attack for labeling flesh tones “nude”. They responded by giving new, and many would argue nonsensical, names to colors intentionally created to mimic our complexions. Some have gone with coffee analogies; latte, café au lait, and cappuccino. Others are inspired by nuts: walnut, chestnut, toasted almond. Adding “rose” to the color name is popular: rose dust, blushing rose, rose perle. Names are coming from foods: chocolate, amaretto, soft toffee. Then there are names that make little sense: Satellite, Chai, Fawn. The good news is our color filter assigns each of these color names to either “Nude (Light)”, “Nude (Medium)” or “Nude (Dark)” to help you more easily find the shade you are looking for.

Black – Black is not really mentioned in my conversation above. That’s because it really goes without saying; black lingerie looks fantastic on every woman. So, we all should have black lingerie in our lingerie drawers. It’s sexy. We look polished wearing it. We look thinner. The eye is drawn to our assets. Men love it. And a black bra strap peeking out from under any color never looks bad.

Red – A New Zealand Scientific study found that red is the color that makes all of us the most attractive to others. But, for men and women, there are different reasons. The study found that women are attracted to men wearing red because it signals to us he is a good provider and higher up on the social ladder. Men, on the other hand, are attracted to us wearing red due to simple primal biology.

Should you be in Spain on New Year’s Eve, it’s tradition to be wearing a new pair of red underpants to seal in good luck for the coming year.

Yellow – I was in Peru over Christmas one year. Visiting the markets, I was stunned to see all these yellow underpants for sale. Not a great color on anyone. Well, our guide explained that wearing yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico is said to bring you good fortune. The yellow color is symbolic of gold which to these countries means wealth and money. But there’s a catch; you need to receive your new yellow pair as a gift to lock in your future success.

Brown – Did you know the color crowned “The ugliest color in the world” is Pantone 448C? Described as a “drab, dark brown” shade that many claim feels like dirt or death is now the color used in 14 countries on generic cigarette packaging. As you can see from the swatch below, it is kind of an olive brown. Am I the only one who thinks it’s really attractive? I actually wear this color and love it!

Wearing lingerie in colors that are the most attractive on you may not be seen by others very often, but it is seen by the most important person – YOU! Keep your color choices a secret or share them with others. Either way, you’ll know you’re looking your best.


Tomima Founder & CEO

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