How to Add Color to Your Life: The Color Wheel
September 18, 2011 § 9 Comments
Sorry for the delay in the post. I’ve been having trouble posting my images because wordpress was undergoing maintenance.
Recently I’ve noticed I’ve been mentioning the word complementary quite often in describing outfits both inside and outside of my blog. So I have another confession to make: I have been found guilty of wearing just shades of black and gray (without any color for accent) almost every day of the week. Talk about being depressing and bleached. A monochromatic look with black and gray may be nice for some days, but definitely not nice for every. single. day. Yet this problem persisted because I was afraid of adding color; I was afraid that I wouldn’t match Don’t worry, I have a point with this. In a way I am thankful that my clothing choices were so achromatic. Perhaps my ability to absorb color and incorporate it into my life can be attributed to my formerly unsaturated appearance. It all started when I studied about the Color Wheel:
The color wheel is formed by first starting with your primary colors, then forming your secondary colors by mixing the adjacent primary colors, and finally forming the tertiary colors by mixing the secondary colors with the primary colors. This is where to go to make sure you’re matching or to put together a coordinating outfit with clothes you wouldn’t think about mixing. Color can be used many ways. I’ll start with the basics and branch out to incorporate more colors of the wheel.
Outfits for Inspiration (click to view item information):
1. Color Accents
The easiest way to add color when your style has been a series of monochromatic clothing is to add a pop of color to one or two things like a shirt or a purse. It’s also nice for those occasions when you want to add color but you’re somewhere doing something that requires a more conservative look.
2. Primary Colors
Outfit 1: Monochrome
Outfit 2: Primary Colors
The easiest way to wear primary colors is to go for a monochromatic look (I think blue is the easiest among the three colors). Just because wearing all gray is a little boring doesn’t mean wearing all of one color has to be as well. Go streamline and cool with blues, bold with reds, and bright and quirky with yellows. Or put them all together for an even more daring look.
3. Complementary Colors
This is one of those times when “opposites attract” attract really demonstrates itself. Complementary colors are really easy to find: simply pick any color on the color wheel, trace your finger directly across the wheel to the opposite side. Complementary colors provide a pleasing contrast, not a color clash. I chose to do an outfit based on purple and gold because together they are very elegant and royal-like.
4. Analogous Colors
Analogous colors are about colors of similar hues. Pick a color then choose another that’s either immediately on the left or immediately on the right and you have just found your analogous colors. Since I hadn’t done anything with the color green yet (I’m so sorry if you like green!), I made an outfit using green and blue-green colors.
5. The Rainbow
A colorful outfit isn’t just limited to two or three colors, various shades of a color, or colorblocking (more on this one later). What about a colorful mix of many or most of the colors on the wheel? What about the entire color spectrum?! Okay, I’ll admit that can be much, but it worked in the 70′s right? But you don’t have to go that far to capture the rainbow.
So now that you have an idea of how to mix and match colors, I’ll leave you with a few other combinations to consider:
1) Pair a primary color with one of its secondary colors.
2) Wear a combination of two of the secondary colors.
3) Pick a tertiary color and pair it with any other tertiary color on the wheel.
4) Create an outfit from the tertiary colors to the left and right of a secondary color (i.e. blue-green and yellow-green)
So do you prefer to wear black, white, and gray or add colors? What colors do you like to mix and match? Are there any combinations you would suggest? Let’s hear it.