Colour Mixing and Matching for Effective Combination in Fashion Using the Colour Wheel as a Guide


Colour mixing, matching or combination makes fashion a hit or miss. A lot of people tend to make errors regarding colour combinations which tends to make the combination look awkward. Being conscious about these colours and applying the rules makes your dress sense great.

Mapping colors to your clothes is as much science as it is an art. You can have all the money in the world and flaunt the most expensive wardrobe possible, but if you do not marry the colors in your outfit well, it’s a lost cause.

You either need to have an eye for detail or understand the sensibilities of how colors work. Strike a balance, stay safe or go all out, whatever you choose to do, know the rules before you break them Take your favorite designers and carefully observe their work; all of them have their signature shades that they tastefully play around with.

Even if you just scratch the surface of this one interesting aspect of styling, you will see a whole world of knowledge, and that’s what I’m going to help you with. Stay with me and read on.

How To Know What Colours To Match?

Using the right colours and matching them perfectly can be a deal maker. Choosing the perfect colour for an outfit is what sets you apart. And, that’s why colour and its theories continue to be the pivot for not just clothes, but everything else like interiors, hair, makeup, and so much more.

To explain this further, let’s first understand the basis of the colour theory.
The colour wheel was first invented by Sir Isaac Newton in the 18th century when he tried to condense the colour spectrum into a wheel and visually represent the relationship between them. The wheel has been segregated into the following categories. While we will focus on using it for clothing and outfits, this theory is universal and applies to just about anything that deals with colours.

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The colour wheel

Primary Colors

These comprise red, yellow, and blue. No two colors can be mixed to achieve these shades. Everything else is derived from these colors.

Secondary Colours

Secondary colors are a combination of the primary colors. So, red + yellow = orange, red +blue = purple and also blue+yellow = green.

Warm and cool colours

Hues of colors like red, orange, yellow, brown, etc. are warm colors as they make things look smaller in size, and that’s why most of us prefer wearing warmer colors when we want to look slimmer. A plus sized can appear slimmer also as a result of wearing a warm colour. Cool colors, like hues of blue, purple, green, etc., are soothing colors.

What Are the Principles For Matching Colors?

One fundamental principle for matching your clothes is combining colors that work in harmony. And, that’s what we need to remember while designing or putting our outfits together. Below are 5 ways you can master and match them.

5 Ways to Master the Art of Color Mixing

1 Go monochromatic: If the concept of mixing completely different colors is seriously freaking you out, start with one color, and really own it. I mean, wear that hue — and only that hue — in every piece of your outfit. The easiest way to get started is by wearing coordinating separates or a bold suit. Once you’re ready to branch out more, start mixing in variations on tone, as this model does.

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A monochromatic colour combination
monochromatic red hues

2 Wear not-so-basic neutrals: Most people think of beige, brown, navy, black, gray, and olive green as neutrals, but plenty of other colors fall into this category, including metallics. Wearing gold or silver instead of traditional neutrals makes for an outfit that’s way more fun. Once you’ve put on a shiny dress or top, match it with an equally bold pop of color, as seen on this model. Then you’ll really make a statement.


The not so basic neutral colours

3 Use primary colors:If you’re really ready to mix it up, begin with the primary colors: blue, red, and yellow. In case you don’t remember from elementary-school art class, these three shades help create every other color. (Red plus blue makes purple, yellow plus blue makes green, and so on.) These tones look great color-blocked (meaning wearing one color as your top, and one as your bottom), or worn all together, as this model demonstrates with her striped ensemble.

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A mix of primary colours in form.of stripes

4 Think about analogous tones: From the color wheel, Shades that are next to each other are called analogous colors. Hues that are opposite each other are called contrasting colors.
Generally speaking, colors that are next to each other on the wheel look great when styled together. As an example, check out this model’s yellow and green look. Other great combos include green and blue, and pink and red. Give them a try, too!

colour wheel showing the colour hues
A model styled in analogous colour tone

5 Mix contrasting hues: Let’s revisit the opposites on the color wheel. Just because they’re on different sides doesn’t mean they don’t go together in an ensemble. The model in the image above illustrates this point with her bright yellow earrings and purple dress. If you want to take your mixing up a notch, try a style similar to the one the model is wearing in the photo below. She’s wearing contrasting colors but mixes tones by pairing a pastel-pink blouse with a green trouser.

A model dressed in contrasting hues in the colour wheel

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