Why Teal is So Terrific

I’m sewing more these days, largely because the retail selection is so frustrating.  But the style lesson from the jacket I just made applies even for those who buy their clothes. It primarily an homage to  TEAL BLUE – the most universally flattering color range for the vast majority of women.

So here’s the jacket:

Pattern is Vogue #9351 and the fabric is raw silk that has been in my fabric stash for at least two decades. The skirt is our ST Ponte, which just happens to be a perfect match.  If you want details about sewing the jacket, you can find those on Pattern Review.

But this post is really about the color Teal.  I’ve gotten a ton of comments on how good I look in that color – which is no surprise.  The teal/turquoise/aqua/jade green color range  — for virutally all light-skinned women and many (though not all) of our darker sisters — is is our most flattering possible color to wear.  Who knew, right?

This color wheel shows you why:  That color family is the opposite (compliment) of our skin tones.  Whether your coloring is warm, cool or in-between, its actual surface color probably falls more or less directly across from the teal/jade range.

Complimentary colors make each other appear brighter/richer/clearer and generally more appealing.  That’s why Christmas red and green, for example, is such an eye-catching combo.  And why sports teams often choose purple and gold or royal blue and orange.

To be clear – each of us has her absolute mountain-top BEST choice from this color range, based on our personal color value and clarity/intensity.  But this family overall is so flattering that even your less-than-best choice in this range is stll going to be pretty darned good.

It is also the ideal color range when you need to put a group of people in the same color – bridesmaids, a musical group, T-shirts for the family reunion, whatever.

I also love the teal range for its ability to play well with so many different neutrals. I keep an eye out for accessories that link teals and turquoises back to black, gray, brown, camel … even taupe and navy. Here are some examples:

  • Teal with charcoal gray – abalone shell necklace as color-link
  • Teal with navy blue – challis scarf as link
  • Teal with black – small square scarf as link
  • Teal with chocolate brown – raku-style necklace as link
  • Teal with caramel brown – print jersey as link
  • Teal with chocolate again – sweater knit as link
  • NOTE: All 6 photos are the same teal ponte.  Getting accurate color reproduction for this fabric seems just impossible.  In our web store we use scanned images for better color accuracy.

I haven’t seen many teal items in ready-to-wear recently, but when they start to show up in the fall I’ll highlight them in another post.

Meanwhile, for those of you who sew, we also carry rayon/spandex matte jersey in multiple variants of this color family:  Bright TealDark TealTurquoise, Ocean, and Jade Green.  You can sew a dress, top and/or cardigan right now and wear it right into the cooler months too.



About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Lucy Beale Partridge on June 3, 2019 at 9:25 am

    I’m sewing up a couple pair of slacks in my eye-color which are shades of teal/aqua. The slacks are as easy to wear as black and add a touch of visual harmony to whatever I’m wearing. The eye color is great as tights for yoga and, again, pulls together my look no matter what color i’m wearing as a top. It’s great to find a new basic other than black for slacks.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:22 am

      Amen to alternative neutrals – glad you found yours.

  2. Therese Braudis on June 3, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Hi, I’m fair,rosy and a little salt and pepper grey. I’d like to believe that teal is a lovely color for me, but when wearing teal on close observation, my skin looks yellow and my hair looks dull. I don’t believe it is a universally flattering color for cool skin tones.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:08 am

      You might experiment with a somewhat brighter/clearer choice from this color family – more turquoise or jade green.

      • Therese Braudis on June 10, 2019 at 2:47 pm

        Good suggestion! I know that turquoise looks good on me as do bright and clear colors. Thanks!

  3. Evie on June 3, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    That looks great! What a lovely color on you and a beautifully sewn jacket.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:05 am

      Thanks Evie – it really is a show-off pattern while being amazingly easy. I sewed it for a specific occasion and on a very short time-line, so was happy that it went together so easiy.

  4. Suzanne on June 3, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    That raw silk jacket is amazing! Just lovely. And the button is perfect.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:41 am

      Thanks Suzanne. I keep a stock on hand of mother-of-pearl buttons in various sizes and shades, beause they have such a classy appearance and – like so many natural materials – have an uncanny ability to blend with a wide range of fabric colors. When I find a square one like this I buy up the entire stock in the store. I also use them when I’m changing out tacky plastic buttons on garments for a client. They just elevate a look to much, don’t they?

    • Elaine on June 4, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      Really appreciate your post on this jacket as I love to sew my clothes. The teal looks great on you and I love the pattern you chose. Could you recommend a teal on your website for a fair, blue eyed blond?

  5. Nancy Nix Rice on June 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    If you mean the ponte knit you could do the regulat TEAL but also check out the softer (color-wise) HEATHER TEAL.
    If you mean the jersey for a softer top or twin set, the one named TURQUOISE would be my suggestion.

  6. Jessica Sager on September 9, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    No wonder I’ve always loved teal on me! It makes so much sense now! I need to save up for a color consult with you, Nancy. You have a gift!

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