How to Wear a Colour You Think You Can’t Wear

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

Pattern: Casu Cowl

Yarn: Darn Good Yarn Worsted Weight Merino in ‘Samabyon’

Needles: 5mm (US 8)

It’s so easy to believe a limiting idea – “I’m not good with numbers”, or “I can’t wear that colour”. But when was the last time you actually checked to see if that was true? For example, after my last post about this cowl in progress, I heard a fair number of comments that this was a colour that some felt they couldn’t wear. Which got me thinking, what if I can’t wear peach either?!

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

I spent a fair bit of time thinking about that. I’ve long thought that I can’t wear yellow, but I knit this cowl years ago and I still wear it. What crazy rules are these, that we can’t wear colours that we find attractive?! I’m not buying it. I believe that there is a way to wear any colour, for anyone, but it depends on some different factors.

Keep Cools with Cool, Keep Warm with Warm

I’ve figured out the trick, and it was with this yarn and this cowl that I finally figured out what makes any colour work for your skin tone – if your skin tone is cool, choose a cool shade colour you like. And if your skin tone is warm, then choose a colour with warm undertones.

Go With a Tonal or Variegated

If it’s a colour that you think you can’t wear, don’t go for a flat version of it- go for a tonal, or some subtle variegation. The other shades and tones that are in the skein will help you feel more confident about the colour, and also makes for more fun knitting!

 Wear Lipstick

I know it sounds a little silly, but wearing a lipstick that is similar to the colour (and undertones!) you are wearing can make a big difference. Here I’m wearing a peachy pink lipstick, and I think it works with the cowl. If the colour you want to wear is not in the realm of typical lipstick colour, then stick with undertones only – if the colour you are wearing is green, purple, or blue, wearing a pink lipstick that has the same undertones as your skin, it will look good.

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

Everything Goes with Black

Really. Whatever you colour you think you can’t wear, just pair it with black. It works.

Knit Socks!

If you love a certain yarn colour, but really think that it won’t work no matter how much lipstick or black you are wearing, then knit socks. It never matters if your socks work with your skin tone. Socks are for your own personal enjoyment, you knit them in whatever colour strikes your fancy – cool or warm undertones be damned.

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

This is the first time I’ve knit with a peachy yarn, and I love it- this is a fantastic single ply that doesn’t pill easily, and the colour has SO much depth. It isn’t a flat peach shade at all, but has gorgeous, subtle variegation with peaches, pinks, pale lavender, and even delicate buttercup (I love sneaking in a bit of yellow!). Remember what the yarn looks like? Let me jog your memory:

Darn Good Yarn works with local women in Nepal and India to pay a living wage to help support their families while working from home.  The ability to work from home means that many of these women can work while caring for their children, and there are few opportunities for women to work from home in many of those areas. Darn Good Yarn’s products help families eat better, have proper medical care, and send their children to school.  There is something incredibly wonderful about supporting craft businesses that are working to make the world a better place. And on top of all that, they have the most affordable yarn of the month club I’ve ever seen.

So the next time you are squishing a beautiful skein of yarn but thinking that it’s a colour you can’t wear, think again. I bet you CAN wear it. And if you love it, you should wear it!

This is part two of a two part sponsored post series by Darn Good Yarn. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


  1. Loulou   •  

    Your cowl turned out beautifully! I love it on you.

    Good tips on choosing and wearing colours you don’t usually pick.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks so much, my dear! xo

  2. Great post and all so true. A good excuse to buy more new shades of lipstick. Beautiful cowl and photos as always.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I’m not a big lipstick person, but I find that as I get older it definitely seems to make a big difference in how pulled together an outfit looks! And totally true, I’ve been that person with a knit in the lipstick aisle, holding different colours near it to find something that matches.

  3. Kat   •  

    This cowl turned out lovely! And I love the lipstick tip – although, I’ll use pretty much any excuse to add to my collection!

    • Julie   •     Author

      There’s nothing quite quite lipstick to really make you feel pulled together style-wise. As Coco Chanel said, “IF you feel said, put on more lipstick and attack.” Wisdom!!

  4. Duni   •  

    I read long ago that peach, turquoise, deep purple, true red, and dark green were colors that looked good with any skin tone, and you are right about choosing the right undertone. I’ve never liked peach for myself, but that’s more just the color doesn’t appeal to me as much as brighter colors. I pretty much said “fuck it” to colors I can wear or not wear years ago when I played on a roller derby team whose color was red. I realized the red shirt didn’t look half bad after all so what was I worried about? (For that one lipstick helped, as well ;))
    Anyway- thanks for getting me to reconsider peach as a possibility! The cowl looks fantastic on you.

    • Julie   •     Author

      What an awesome comment, you are so right- who says you can’t wear red? Lipstick totally helps. I had no idea that peach., turquoise, deep purple, and dark green are for everyone- I never wear any shades of blue, but I’m starting to reconsider!

      • Duni   •  

        Blue would look great on you, I’m sure!

      • Brenda   •  

        At the risk of falling into the colours-one-can-and-cannot-wear rut, with your colouring, why on earth not? You and blue would be spectacular!

  5. Tanis   •  

    I LOVE this! You wouldn’t believe how often I hear from people with very set notions of what colours they “can” and “can’t” wear. I think it’s a dated notion and you can wear whatever colour you want! Lipstick and maybe a bit of blush or bronzer helps for sure. I love that shade of peach with your hair! You can totally rock peach – who knew you looked so good in pastels!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Not I! I hardly ever wear pastels, because of exactly what you said- this really old idea that I was too pale to wear pastels. What crazy rules are these?! I agree, it’s old fashioned to think that you can only wear certain colours! xo

  6. Val   •  

    I love this! A beautiful knit, beautifully styled! I always need a little encouragement for certain colours and these tips are fab. Your post reminds me of an old memory. During a visit to the pediatrician when I was 7 or 8, the doctor turned to my mom, pointed to my turtleneck and scolded her for letting me wear mustard yellow! But I’m still drawn to the colour like a magnet and I’ve been hoarding skeins in various interpretations of mustard for years. I’ve been putting off knitting a sweater or a shawl with them for fear they’d make me look jaundiced, but maybe I just need to up my makeup game a bit!

    • Julie   •     Author

      It’s such an old fashioned idea, that only certain skin tones can wear certain colours – I love mustard yellow too!! You can absolutely wear it. That’s crazy that a doctor would actually criticize anyone’s wardrobe choice, especially a kid- you probably dressed yourself and picked out your own clothes! Terrible. Thankfully I don’t think they do that anymore….

  7. Anna Prasad   •  

    What a wonderful post. I love that cowl on you Julie and I think it really suits you. I have always thought that certain colours don’t ‘suit’ me and my mum has potentially said something like it about certain colours. But I love your tips about lipstick and I find as I get older I just throw caution to the wind and as long as I match somehow I feel fine in almost all colours.

  8. miss agnes   •  

    There are so many good points in this post, everything you say about color is true – it’s all a matter of temperature, and hue. So in truth, anyone can wear any color, but not in every hue and tint.
    That being said, this peachy cowl is beautiful and lights up your face so well – your peachy cheeks and auburn hair are highlighted by it. It truly suits you. I’m pretty sure you could rock an entire sweater in that shade.

  9. Kelly J. R.   •  

    You can totally wear peach. This color looks great on you. Thanks for the tips. I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time I’m thinking about stepping outside my comfort zone.

  10. Alina   •  

    It looks great on you! To be honest I can hardly imagine any color that would look bad at you. I am slowly growing out of my black-grey-brown-ivory box and trying to add more color to my wardrobe.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Alina,

      Thank you! I feel like knitters have an opportunity to play with colour a bit more than those that don’t do much crafting, simply because yarn is like paint, just an endless array, so it feels like its worth stepping outside the colour comfort zone once in a while. I prefer those experiments for accessories, though- Sweaters should totally be comfort zone colours!



  11. Tien   •  

    Love this post! I so agree that you can pull off any color that you wish. I used to avoid mustardy yellows and gold thinking that they would look awful with my skin tone. But now I think little pops of gold or yellow in a colorwork project, plaid or stripes are fun and look great. And thanks for including socks in your tips. Playing with bright fun colors is part of the appeal of knitting socks for me. You are rock’in that peachy cowl….the color looks gorgeous with your skin and hair!

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