Fashion Tips

Here’s How You Can Colour Coordinate Your Clothes Like A Pro

Do you also feel that your wardrobe is all black, blue, and white, and there is hardly any other colour you can find in there? If yes, you are not alone. Most of the people choose only some particular colours again and again because they are just not sure how well they can mix and match different colours in an outfit.

So, allow me to take your moment and lay down some universally accepted colour coordination rules which are backed by science.

THE COLOUR WHEEL

The rules are based on the colour wheel which was discovered by none other than Sir Issac Newton. But before talking about the rules, let’s understand the basics of the colour wheel.

Between 1666 and 1672, Sir Issac Newton proved that the light refracts into a rainbow spectrum and actually transformed the same on to a circle, called Newton Disk. People who were looking for colour harmony found the ‘Newton Disk’ to be very useful. They iterated his version and came up with the present-day colour wheel.

Step zero of learning about matching colours or creating ‘colour harmony’ is to understand the colour wheel. The colour wheel itself is an illustration of colours put together in a circle to show which colour combinations work well together and which ones don’t. In short, the colour wheel lets you create harmonious colour schemes.

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The rules are easy to follow and are based on the distribution of different hues around the colour wheel. The colour wheel shown above has twelve colours/hues, which are divided into three categories, and each colour/hue has four tints. Tints are the colour variations made by adding white to a base colour/hue. Three categories are –

  • PRIMARY COLOURS

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RED, YELLOW AND BLUE

These colours are the backbone of colour palettes and the mother of all colours. The primary colours can’t be mixed from other colours.

  • SECONDARY COLOURS

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ORANGE, GREEN AND VIOLET

These colours are different combinations of primary colours. Red and blue make violet, yellow and red make orange, and blue and yellow make green.

  • TERTIARY COLOURS

Combine a primary and secondary colour, and you get a tertiary colour.

THE COLOUR COORDINATION RULES

Now coming on to the rules, here’s what I have summed up which may help you in a more sorted colour matching for your next outing. We will start with the most radiant ones, followed by the safest choices.

1. PAIR ANY TWO PRIMARY COLOURS

Primary colours are vivid and if you are ready to experiment, why not start with this straight-forward but the peppiest colour mixing. The best part about matching the primary colours is that in spite of being bold when used in a natural hue, they harmonise well with each other and draw desirable attention to you and your outfit

While pairing the primary colours, make sure the patterns don’t clash.

Buy Levi's Blue Skinny Fit Jeans

Shop at Myntra | Levi’s Blue Skinny Fit Jeans
Complete the look by pairing this pair of jeans with a yellow t-shirt and white sneakers.

  • Opt for lighter tints if you don’t want to go too bright

Of course, for less screaming attention, you can pair the lighter tints. For example, instead of a natural red opt for its lighter tinted version.

Buy Esprit Blue Denim Jacket

Shop at Myntra | Esprit Blue Denim Jacket
Complete the look by pairing this jacket with a pink dress and white sandals.

  • Let one primary colour prevail over the other

If at all you have second thoughts about pairing the bold primary colours within an outfit, you can easy things out by letting one colour predominate the other. For example, you can pair a red coloured monochromatic dress with yellow coloured pumps and earrings.

Buy Esprit Red Shift Dress

Shop at Myntra | Esprit Red Shift Dress
Complete the look by pairing this dress with yellow bellies and yellow earrings.

2. PAIR COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS

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Complementary colours are the colours that lie opposite to each other on the colour wheel. The high contrast creates a vibrant and prominent look and makes both the colours enhance each other. For best pairing, pick similar shades and tints. The most popular combinations are orange and blue, red and green, and yellow and violet.

P.S. – Shades are the colour variations made by adding black to the base colour/hue. On the other hand, tints are the colour variations made by adding white to the base colour/hue.

Make sure the paring pieces have the same darkeness/brightness (shades/tints) to make them really work well together.

  • Pair dark with dark

Buy Forever 21 Orange Printed Top

Shop at Myntra | Forever 21 Orange Printed Top
Complete the look by pairing this top with blue jeans and white sneakers.

  • Pair light with light

Buy Forever 21 Olive Solid Cargos

Shop at Myntra | Forever 21 Olive Solid Cargos
Complete the look by pairing this pair of cargo with a pink top and black bellies.

3. PAIR WARM WITH WARM, COLD WITH COLD

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Warm colours are bright and bold such as red, orange and yellow while on the other side of the wheel you will find the cooler tones such as blue, green and violet. While the warm colours are vivid and energetic, cold colours are soothing and give an impression of calmness. For the best harmony, mix warm with a warm, and cold with a cold. But you can always 

  • Pair warm with warm

Buy Esprit Pink A-Line Dress

Shop at Myntra | Esprit Pink A-Line Skirt
Complete the look by pairing this skirt with a maroon top and golden bellies.

Buy W Red Maxi Skirt

Shop at Myntra | W Red Maxi Skirt
Complete the look by pairing this skirt with a brown top and golden sandals.

  • Pair cold with cold

Buy Forever 21 Green Bralette Top

Shop at Myntra | Forever 21 Green Bralette Top
Complete the look by pairing this top with blue jeans and beige sandals.

Buy Aeropostale Solid Turquoise Crop Top

Shop at Myntra | Aeropostale Solid Turquoise Crop Top
Complete the look by pairing this top with blue jeans and white sneakers.

4. PAIR ANALOGOUS COLOURS

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Analogous colours are any two colours that stand next to each other on the colour wheel. They create a harmonious and cohesive look and surely a much safer bet than all the above combinations.

Buy W Pink Solid Palazzos

Shop at Myntra | W Pink Solid Palazzos
Complete the look by pairing this palazzo with a navy blue top and pink sandals.

Buy W Green Flared Sharara

Shop at Myntra | W Green Flared Sharara
Complete the look by pairing this sharara with a green top and silver sandals.

Buy Forever 21 Blue Crop Top

Shop at Myntra | Forever 21 Blue Crop Top
Complete the look by pairing this top with blue jeans and white slippers.

5. TAKE A NEUTRAL STAND

Neutral colours are muted and are not found on the colour wheel. Black, white, grey, brown, beige, cream, and slate are the most popular in this category. These colours resemble natural elements like soil, rock, and sand, and are also called ‘earthy tones’. The best part about neutral colours is that they blend well among themselves and also complement primary and secondary colours.

  • Go all-neutral and stay safe

Buy Dorothy Perkins White Solid Top

Shop at Myntra | Dorothy Perkins White Solid Top
Complete the look by pairing this top with black trousers and black bellies.

Buy Forever 21 Beige Bodycon Dress

Shop at Myntra | Forever 21 Beige Bodycon Dress
Complete the look by pairing this dress with brown sandals and earrings.

  • Add a pair of denim to neutrals

Buy Dorothy Perkins Grey Solid Top

Shop at Myntra | Dorothy Perkins Grey Solid Top
Complete the look by pairing this top with blue jeans and pink bellies.

6. GO MONOCHROMATIC

If you are still not sure about mixing different colours, go monochromatic and try shades, and tints of one base colour all over. Although the classic full black or white look gives elegance like no other, you can also try on bold and bright colours like red or electric blue to look edgy. An added advantage of going monochromatic will be the uninterrupted vertical silhouette, which will make you look slimmer.

  • Opt for one colour one shade

Buy Dorothy Perkins Black A-Line Dress

Shop at Myntra | Dorothy Perkins Black A-Line Dress
Complete the look by pairing this dress with black bellies and earrings.

  • Opt for one colour different shades

Buy Levi's Yellow Skinny Fit Jeans

Shop at Myntra | Levi’s Yellow Skinny Fit Jeans
Complete the look by pairing this pair of jeans with a yellow t-shirt and white sneakers.

7. HIGHLIGHT USING BOLD ACCENT COLOURS

As the name suggests, accent colours can add distinctive emphasis on otherwise muted colour schemes. These colours should be bold and vivid and should be used sparingly only as highlighters.

Don’t overdo the accents. Use them as highlighters only.

Buy Esprit White Shirt Dress

Shop at Myntra | Esprit White Shirt Dress
Complete the look by pairing this dress with yellow slippers and a yellow belt.

Buy Forever 21 Black A-Line Dress

Shop at Myntra | Forever 21 Black A-Line Dress
Complete the look by pairing this dress with maroon boots and a maroon bag.


TWO THINGS WORTH REMEMBERING

1. How to colour coordinate the shoes?

I would recommend picking the shoe whose colour is least represented in the outfit. Let the shoe add some noticing pop. Also, you can match it with the colour of your belt, jewellery or your bag to make things simpler yet impressive.

Buy Dorothy Perkins Black A-Line Dress

Shop at Myntra | Dorothy Perkins Black A-Line Dress
Complete the look by pairing this dress with orange sandals and an orange sling bag.

2. How to colour coordinate the patterns?

Once you are comfortable with matching colours, start pairing patterns. You can start by pairing a printed piece with a solid one. All you have to do is while pairing just make sure the colour of the detailed print is analogous to that of the solid. A more pro thing will be pairing two prints of the same colour family.

Buy Dorothy Perkins White Printed Shirt

Shop at Myntra | Dorothy Perkins White Printed Shirt
Complete the look by pairing this shirt with blue palazzos and silver sandals.


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by the author during Modstyl Internship Program and edited by Team Modstyl. The opinions expressed here are personal and bear no responsibility.