Colour your Wardrobe

Many of us love the idea of wearing bright colours but find it difficult to put colours together. It’s easier to wear neutrals or fall back on the “white with anything” option. Which is a real pity because the colours we wear affect our mood and give strong signals to others about our personality. Before making any expensive mistakes, here are a few tips to help you choose the right colours for you.

Coordinating your wardrobe becomes simple when you understand that colours have relationships which either strengthen or soften each other. The “Colour Wheel” is a great way to visualise this.  As we all know, the three primary colours are red, blue and yellow and they mix together to form all other colours.  The secondary colours are orange, violet and green.

The Colour wheel shows how colours relate to each other.
The Colour wheel shows how colours relate to each other.

Colours that sit side-by-side on the colour wheel are considered to be “Analogous” or similar to one another. Analogous colours tend to work well with one another and often have the effect of subduing each colour slightly which makes the overall effect more “tonal”. Putting yellow together with green will make each look less bold. Try blending varying shades of the same or similar colours to create an elegant look.

Colours that are positioned opposite one another are considered to be “Complementary” colours. The complementary colour of a primary colour (red, blue, or yellow) is the color you get by mixing the other two primary colors. So the complementary color of red is green, of blue is orange, and of yellow is purple. The colours “complement” each other and make both seem bolder.

Beware of being a little too bold!
Beware of being a little too bold!

You do need to be careful to consider tone when putting complementary colours together.  Whilst bright red and deep green do work together, you risk looking like the Christmas Elf if you go overboard!A muted green and burgundy will look much more considered. Use complimentary colours to accent your outfit – a yellow shirt under a classic blue suit or a plum scarf on a lime green cardigan.

Muted colours can look very rich and elegant

Colours are considered “cool” or “warm” and you will find that one temperature will suit you more than the other. Your best friend is the mirror. Try lots of shades and notice the effect it has on your face. One colour will make you look luminous whilst another might have a negative effect.

Are you Cool or Warm? Click on picture to learn more
Are you Cool or Warm? Click on picture to learn more

Make sure you have a drawer full of scarves that really suit you, then you’ll always have the solution to hand.

Gorgeous Scarves at Ash & Dans

When in doubt, let nature to be your guide. We all love to see a rainbow and can see the way colours blend into each other.  Notice how different shades of green or blue work together.

The rainbow shows colours in their most pure form.
The rainbow shows colours in their most pure form.

And never forget that neutrals (which are not actually colours) are the basis of any wardrobe. White, black, grey, cream, or beige will work with almost any colour and add glamour to any outfit.

Happy colouring!

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