Coco Chanel once said ‘the best color in the world is the one that looks good on you.’ Easier said than done, it seems. Let’s face it: Black is the go-to color for almost everyone. Many of us are home in the simple, classic black and white pieces on a rack while completely ignoring colors with names like fuchsia or chartreuse.
What if we used this New Year to change that? Why are bright, fun colors so often overlooked? We are secretly terrified of styling them the wrong way. Every woman has her own set of color matching rules that has been passed down – most of them restrictive, involving more “don’t”s than “do”s. But in reality, you can wear more colors together than you think. Hence, this easy guide to matching colors will have you fearlessly rocking colors you never thought you could wear or wear together.
Introducing: The Color Wheel
How to Match Color: The Basics
Red, blue, and yellow are known as the primary colors. All other colors come from a combination of these three hues. Primary colors can work great for a monochrome look, which means styling an outfit using only one color. This idea seems basic, but when executed correctly, appears modern and chic. Utilizing only one color lengthens and streamlines the body.
If the monochrome look isn’t your thing and you want to get a little more daring, you can also mix primary colors in one outfit, as seen below:
Finding complementary colors is simple: Pick any color on the color wheel (for diversity, try a secondary or tertiary color, i.e. any color that isn’t red, yellow, or blue), and trace your finger directly across the circle to the opposite portion of the wheel. What you will find is that the colors directly line up and appear to be opposites of one another. Some complementary pairings are: orange/blue, violet/yellow, turquoise/maroon.
Analogous colors are even easier to find on the wheel than complementary colors. Just pick any one color on the wheel, then choose the color to the right or the left of the original — you have found your palette. Hues that are similar to one another on the color wheel create a harmonious and cohesive look. Take a look at my post where I combined red and pink together!
So you’ve mastered the color wheel. You know how to pair a killer lemon heel with a navy romper. Sometimes, though, situations require more subdued and conservative looks. For example, as much as you would love to wear your summery brights year round, your boss isn’t exactly a fan of the color wheel (bummer!).
When you have to tone down the rainbow, try adding just a pop of color to your ensemble. Keep a neutral palette by using black, navy, or cream, and add just a hint of color in the right place. Fashion is all about self-expression and versatility.