Every fall, without fail, people around us start chanting “Ooh you’d look great in jewel tones” or “I can’t wait to get some pieces in jewel tones.” It’s like a seasonal allergy that won’t let you stay home from work. They’re not wrong. Jewel tones are wonderful and they do look good on us. The secret is they look good on everybody.
But what exactly qualifies as a jewel tone? In short, jewel tones are indeed colors that resemble gemstones. Not diamonds though. We do not advise crystal-clear, translucent clothing.
Here is a short list of some of our favorite jewel tones and which will look best on you (we know, they all look good on everyone, but there’s still a best for you).
A super-saturated blue that can be both light and dark, so long as it’s vivid. It actually comes from the Greek word for blue. This one is truly the Miss Congeniality of the jewel tones. Everyone can get along with it – though it certainly doesn’t hurt to have blue eyes or very dark and cool skin and/or hair.
A rich deep green with a slight coolness. In antiquity, Emeralds signified eternal youth and fertility, so watch out, you might be swatting off unwanted suitors in this color. Emerald will really pop on people with light, pinkish complexion, and is a classic staple for redheads.
A cool, muted, sometimes even smoky purple. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that Amethyst gems could ward off the ill effects of drinking too much wine. We’re guessing the same cannot be said for clothes of that color though, so be warned. Excellent for those who are naturally more warm-toned.
A vivid, saturated red, that’s got an almost undetectable level of pink to it. A true showstopper, it’s no wonder the Sanskrit word for ruby means “king of precious stones.” Pair this with white or black accessories to let the color shine. This color warms up duller skin.
Some legends say that Topaz can dispel enchantment, but we suspect it’s you who will be bewitching those around you in this color. The vibrant, warm, and rich yellow of Topaz really complements honey-colored skin, but looks equally good on those of us that are paler.
No, not technically a gem, though there are plenty of gems that can be this color (pink sapphire, tourmaline, etc.). This one will be especially good if you think time has been unkind to your skin; it reinvigorates complexion to be livelier.