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Alternative Lifestyle & Fashion Blog

By Belle Morte/ comments

How To Mix Colorful Separates Without Looking Like A Clown

April 19, 2015
How To Mix Colorful Separates Without Looking Like A Clown

It’s easy to play it safe when it comes to clothing. We’ve all been there, whether it is leaning heavily on white, black, or neutral shades for our fashion sense. But in our haste to just get ready for the daily grind, we’re neglecting a world of beautiful color at our disposal.

Color in Fashion
Photo courtesy of Iso 1200

Fortunately, there is a way to mix and match colorful separates that won’t have you looking like a clown’s extended family member, and instead brighten up your every day look.

1. Color Families.  

If you’re a fan of monochromatic looks, this may be the method of injecting color into your style.

Use different shades of the same hue to achieve a cohesive look. Start with a single piece of clothing and build off of it.

Go two to three shades darker or lighter from your chosen staple piece of clothing. Go from dark blue to light blue, for example.

Pair it with neutral accessories such as nude heels, silver or gold jewelry, and a neutral clutch.

Create an outfit with hues from the same color family.
This outfit mixes shades of yellow with neutral accessories to maintain a monochromatic feel.

Color family mixing and matching is probably one of the most popular ways of creating a fun and flirty outfit. It will also help to ease you into the wonderful world of color without being quite so overwhelming.

Things to remember when working with color families:

  • Keep your skin pigment in mind. What tones work best?
  • Pastels and saturated colors can work well with one another.
  • Leaning toward neutral shoes and jewelry will help to make your clothing stand out. Good neutral colors would be black, white, gray, brown, and nudes.  

2. Patterns.

Patterns are a great way to play with colors, especially if you’ve already dipped your toe into adding a playful and colorful pallet into your wardrobe.

Don’t be afraid to pair two patterns together. While intimidating, they should be looked at as though they’re just a collection of colors.

Keep your color pallets in mind. Use complimentary colors the same family.

You can pair a patterned skirt and a top that borrows one of the colors from the pattern. This will help to form a more cohesive look.

Keep your accessories neutral. Feel free to throw a little extra pop around your neck or wrist, but you don’t want anything that will detract from the pattern of your clothing.

Patterns can mix as long as colors coordinate.
This top, shorts, and purse all have different patterns but the outfit works because of coordinated colors.

Things to remember when working with patterns:

  • Don’t go overboard. If you want to wear more than one pattern, make sure they aren’t the same size or shape. Let them play off of one another.
  • Keep your patterns in the same color family as one of your other grounding pieces such as a bright tank top or skirt.
  • Let your accessories play off of your patterns. Using a broad belt may help you to break up patterns and give it an interesting look.

3. Color Blocking.

My personal method of adding a little flair to my outfit is color blocking. Reminiscent of a Picasso painting, it’s no wonder that it’s become so popular. But, it can be a little tricky at first when you are used to matching your clothing, rather than the complete opposite.

Remember, color blocking is a technique of pairing two or more solid colors together to create a cohesive outfit.

Color blocking is a great way to brighten up summer styles and spring looks, especially when you lean toward brighter, bolder colors.

Color blocking works best when you use analogous colors (colors that are opposite from one another on the color wheel)

Saturated and bright colors are the most popular for this popular fashion trend, but you aren’t limited. If you’re more comfortable with richer tones like burgundy or royal purple, color blocking will also lend itself to this look.

Wear a solid colored pant and top in opposite colors. You can even throw on jewelry or a light jacket to help add in a little more shades to your blocking.

Chunky jewelry lends itself well to color blocking due to its retro feel.

Mix colors and metals in eye catching ways
You can mix colors and metals for eye catching style.

Things to remember when working with color blocking:

  • Don’t be afraid to go bold.
  • There’s no real limit on how many colors you can choose, but make sure that they all go well with one another.
  • Opposites attract in this look. 

All of the demonstration looks and more colorful pieces can be found here.

​Do you wear bold colors or stick to basic black? Leave your feedback in the comments below!