Want to learn how to color coordinate like a pro? It’s amazing that a subject many people believe to be simple, that dozens of people walk around not ever thinking about is ‘color coordination’ when they get dressed. It looks as if they put on whatever it is they like and think it looks great. Unfortunately, most of the time, it doesn’t.
This is a pretty big topic, and one of the best ways to really understand this is to give your brain small chunks of information. That means we will follow the K.I.S.S. method. Here's how to color coordinate like a pro.
1. Begin with the Basics
It will seem extremely overwhelming and confusing if I just start throwing out rules, which will only prevent you from putting what you learn to use. So I’m going to give you things that you can start using immediately. The best starting point is something that most people probably learned in art class when you made your first finger painting masterpiece.
2. The Color Wheel
You need to understand the way that colors associate. Once you have a grasp of their relationships you will start to see how certain colors work together better than others. It’s not as easy as just matching the same colors with each other. It can become tricky because you have combos that will look eye-pleasing and others that will cause your eyes to bleed.
This may seem boring, but it often the simple things that give you the most power. There are lots of people walking around that have this knowledge, but they don’t use it.
So, the basics of the color wheel:
The primary colors are yellow, blue, and red. Adding light or dark to these three colors will make all the other colors. When you combine two primary colors you get a secondary color.
Primary + Primary = Secondary
Red + Blue = Purple
Blue + Yellow = Green
Yellow + Red = Orange
You can also add dark or light to these as make different shades of these colors. You can get a Tertiary color when mixing a secondary color with a primary color that is adjacent to it.
This could be
Blue or Red + Purple = Red-Purple or Blue-Purple
Yellow or Blue + Green = Yellow-Green or Blue-Green
Yellow or Red + Orange = Yellow-Orange or Red-Orange
With this, you can adjust the amount of primary colors combined with dark or light levels and come up with any of the colors in the universe.
If a secondary and primary color are beside each other on the color wheel that means they are analogous. Analogous colors are those that work well with each other, but only if their levels of dark and light are matched as well.
Blue’s analogous to Purple and Green
Orange’s analogous to Yellow and Red.
Secondary and primary colors that are on opposite side are complementary. You can pair these colors to create a bolder statement. You have to be careful matching these though because there are some shades that don’t work together.
Orange and blue are complementary.
Yellow to Purple.
Green to Red.
This is only a small about of information, but try starting with this:
Print out your own copy of the color wheel.
Remember that the colors that are beside each other are analogous and work together, but make sure that their values are similar. Value means the degree of darkness or lightness expressed in each color.
3. How to Use the Color Wheel
Match colors on opposite sides of the color wheel for a bolder statement. When you match complementary colors you show confidence and knowledge about fashion, and when you do so you create an impressive and color-rich palette. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t have more than three colors in your outfit. So you need to choose three colors that you will match throughout your outfit. When you add more, it starts to get a bit risky.
Make sure you use colors that that match your skin tone. Try out different colors against your skin and discover which palettes look best for you. It also doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion.
You should not use holiday combinations like green and red unless it is close to that particular holiday.
Try not to combine gray colors with bright colors like yellow.
The safest look is the monochromatic one. Darker and lighter shades of one color will often look great together, which forms a monochromatic effect.
Try to remember these tips when you get dressed every day and start working on building your eye for color.