Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Mix Colors in Your Wardrobe: Using the Color Wheel as Inspiration

Today's lesson is brought to you by my little friend, the Color Wheel

 When I was in college I took several interior design classes hoping that I could become a master decorator.  The first week the professors usually beat us with the fact that interior designing and decorating were two very different things.  My mistake.  The second week was then designated to learning about color schemes.  Now I never really paid too much attention during this part of the class because I had passed the first grade and knew my colors, but I've recently started to look at it again for color inspiration for my outfits. 

There are many types of color combinations that can be utilized when getting dressed in the morning, but I'm not going to bore you with the tetradic color scheme.  Let's just stick to the basics for today, shall we?

Monochromatic Color Scheme
With a monochromatic color scheme, your outfit will consist of different items that are the same color but varying shades and tints.  Going head-to-toe with the same color can seem overwhelming, but it is a bold way to proclaim your love for your favorite color.  Here are some examples of monochromatic color schemes:
Breaking up the color with some neutral basics, like a tan belt or silver shoes, is a great way to dial down the drama of a monochromatic outfit. 

Analogous Color Scheme
Similar to the monochromatic color scheme, the analogous color scheme utilizes colors from within the same color family.  In layman's terms, colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.  This one is my personal fave, because this color scheme always seems to work.  No worries about clashing or being too "matchy-matchy" here.  Here are a few examples.
In my opinion, you can never go wrong with the yellow/green combo, and the red/pink combination is such a classic and feminine mixture of colors.  Mixing in some patterns that incorporate both colors helps to bring the look together.

Complementary Color Scheme
A complementary color scheme includes items that are opposite each other on the color wheel.  In general, these are the boldest combinations, and the most fun.  I love the mix of blue and orange (any War Eagles out there?) and yellow and purple.

That concludes today's lesson class!  Tomorrow when you're wondering what to wear (or for my fellow bloggers who pick out their outfits the night before), take a look at the color wheel and get inspired.  No boring neutrals allowed tomorrow.  Go crazy with color!

What's your favorite color scheme or combination?


Anonymous said...

Love the examples you posted! great post!

Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

jenni wells said...

This is such a fun (and helpful) post!!

Ms. Peach Plus said...

Thanks for reminding me of such a valuable lesson!

Lorena said...

You make me want to run and get many, many colorful pencil skirts :)
I have slowly added color to my very black, white and beige outfits... one step at a time.