Color-blocking or wearing colors without a print can be a little intimidating for some. Don’t stress, you just need a little color theory. Unless you’ve taken an art or design class, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. But this is easy, I swear! For some good infographics, head to Paper Leaf. You can even download and print to keep on hand (for those overachievers). See below for their downloadable graphic (found here):
The infographic offers a lot of info, but you only need to know 2 parts: the color wheel (in the center) and the “color relationships” section.
And you don’t really need to “know” them since you can reference this at any time and there won’t be a final exam. So, take a deep breath and I’ll explain the basics.
Colors look different (better or more interesting) depending on what colors are next to them. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the swatch on the right. The center color is the same, but what a difference when it’s next to aqua blue! It pops! Looking back at the color wheel, we can see that these colors are across from one another on the wheel. This is called complementary or what I like to call the “wow factor.”
Of course, sometimes you don’t want to “wow” so much… That’s when the other color relationships are handy (see above graphic, right side middle). You could choose colors with an analogous relationship or a split complementary relationship, like the outfit I put together below.
I paired blue violet (top) with red-violet (cardigan) and yellow (shoes/bag), although its really more a yellow-orange, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The point is that the colors harmonize to make a beautiful look.
Do you feel ready to apply color theory to your wardrobe?