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A Rainbow of Fashion: How to Use The Color Wheel

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Love Color
As I mentioned in my New Year's Closet Resolutions post, I am on a mission to add more color to my wardrobe this year. My past outfits lean towards blue, brown, gray- all fabulous colors but I never paired them with the right things to make everything pop. When I was a baby, I used to sit on my mom's lap while she worked at her art table, never touching the art or her pencils but always very curious and in awe. To this day, I love to hang out in her studio with her while she works. My grandfather is an artist too so appreciation for color has always been a big part of my life.

The Science of Color
 Color can have a very intense impact on your mood and actions.Blue suppresses the appetite, yellow makes you feel energetic and restless, green is calming. I always feel very different when I wear a bold color than when I wear something bland. When I was a teenager, I used to dye my hair red or blue in the winter because the bright color seemed to make me feel better when I started feeling the winter blues. Now, I surround myself in color through my home decor, sewing projects and clothes and it really does seem to help. I always feel prettier and happier in a green dress than I do in a brown one, what about you?

How To Combine Colors
 These helpful sites discuss how to use the color wheel in your wardrobe. Check out the different color wheels, you may be surprised at which colors actually do look great together!

Academichic-How to Combine Colors: Complementary Colors and the Two-Thirds Rule

Fashion Bomb Daily's The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in Your Wardrobe

Don't be afraid of color and remember to use neutrals
Color is scary to some people and that's understandable. You think "this dress has blue and yellow in it so I need to find a blue or yellow cardigan to wear over it." Have fun with color and think outside of the box. Refer to your color wheel to see what colors look good with that shade of blue or yellow. If in doubt, toss a neutral color in the mix. The Budget Fashionista hit the nail on the head with her advice to a reader about pairing colors and using neutrals:
The Budget Fashionista's Advice on Color Scheme
The Budget Fashionistas Neutral Colors Fashion advice


Get Inspired
Another great way to find inspiration for color combinations is through home decorating. Look through magazines, books and watch home decorating shows to see how the pros combine bold colors for high impact. Next time you're at your local hardware store, grab a few paint swatches of your favorite colors and make your own fashion color wheel to keep in your purse when you're out shopping.

Here are some of my very favorite combinations:

Red, Yellow and Aqua

Navy, Red-Orange and Grey (like my blog!)

Mint Green, Dark Gray and Lilac

Black, light pink and Cream

8 Responses to “A Rainbow of Fashion: How to Use The Color Wheel”

  1. That brolly is fab. Sometimes even just a splash of colour can have such a wow factor.

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  2. My problem is incorporating different colors. I have tons of purple and turqoise and yellow, for instance, but for some reason, not much red even though I love red.

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  3. This is such a help! As a girl who wore all black for YEARS I'm def. a little lost when it comes to colors

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  4. Ooooh! Now I'm itching to try the mint green, dark grey and lilac combo. Don't think I have anything mint green though....

    My issue with color is that I like to be matchy matchy. I hate wearing two different yet similar shades of the same color. Blacks, in particular, drive me batty with this. But I am trying to expand and work more with color.

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  5. You might want to check out the Colette Pattern Blog. They are hosting a Spring Palette challenge and some of the palette's they've been hosting are quite inspirational.

    blog:
    http://www.colettepatterns.com/blog

    challenge intro post:
    http://www.colettepatterns.com/blog/colette-patterns-news/welcome-to-the-spring-palette-challenge

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  6. Oh, Thanks for that link! I will check that out for sure! :)

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  7. My dad's a photographer I have also grown up with colours - I remember all his lectures on how they work together and I loved his colour science books.

    I myself am always drawn to the same colours. Boring. They might be block colours and always bright, maybe even daring for others but still always the same.

    Very good point to think outside my own box - very intersting combinations you suggested here! I guess the most important thing is to know what colours suit you and your skintone the best. I look like a piggy in 50s pastel colours :-)

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  8. I love colour but i was at times a little afraid of it .At the beginning of summer i was yearning for bright ,bold colours so decided to be brave & went all out & bought bright mexican dresses & tops & some 60's stuff too.I've been wearing brightly coloured flowers & headbands in my hair & a multi coloured basket/bag that i bought at a garage sale for a $1 has come in really handy.
    We live in a country town so some days i think i stand out a little(ok sometimes alot) but i have been enjoying it too much to care if people stare at me or give me weird looks.
    Thanks for the informative post:) I luv that 1st pic,you & the background are just beautiful!

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