Skin-tone colours for women with European heritage include the colours of beige, champagne, very soft pink and apricot. If you have darker coloured skin, your colours are medium to solid brown and blacks.

These colours are dangerous in fitted or semi-fitted styles. They look fantastic up close when you are looking at yourself in the change room mirror dressed in these colours. You get the same reaction when you are standing close to someone else dressed in these colours. Women dressed in skin-tone colours in magazines look fabulous most of the time.

The problem comes with distance and background. Other people see you stepping out of a car, across the room, in a doorway or across the street. The further away you are from them, the less they can see the difference between your skin and your skin-coloured top. You can appear to be naked on the top half of your body. People will shake their heads and look twice at you.

The same thing can happen when you stand or speak in front of walls that are close in colour to the colour of your skin or you have family photos or publicity shots taken against these backgrounds. The result can be very embarrassing and upsetting when you finally see the photos.

Take out any of your bras in beige, apricot, pink, pale pink or dark brown, depending on your skin colour. Put it on and stand as far away from a mirror as possible. There is a very good reason these colours are called skin-tone.

Break up the flat surface of the colour. Find tops or dresses with texture like large frills that are very obvious. Small textured details will blend in from a distance. Find a top or dress that mixes the skin-tone colour with one or more other colours or patterns, especially over your bust area.

A jacket in any of these colours is not a problem if it is worn over another colour and you can see that colour or pattern down the middle of your body. A skin-tone jacket, trench coat or modern coat really draws attention to your face and makes your whole being shine confidently.

Buy a handbag or shoes in one of the colours that match or blend with your skin. They are a summery look and provide a wonderful contrast to dark colours any time of the year. Skin-tone shoes or boots make your legs look longer and slimmer. Do not wear matching shoes and handbag together. It is not a modern look. Wear one or the other as a standout feature.

Look for a skin-tone coloured scarf to make your face appear brighter and healthier. Buy a beige-coloured necklace strand and wear it with your choice of any colour pendant. From a distance it will be the pendant that stands out. Mix a neutral coloured beaded necklace with black or dark-coloured beads for a dramatic effect.