How to match colors

A successful look often results from a successful color mix.

But when we look at aaaaaall the colors available in stores, some of us can get a little confused and opt for a raven like look in order not to make any mistakes.

Let’s have a little mixing lesson. Careful, you might become a color addict.

1. Mix colors and neutrals

Color shot on a plain black outfit can quickly look like Maya the bee.

For more subtle color mixes, add some varied neutrals next to bright colors.

Beige, black red white

Photo: She inside

Here red is paired with 3 neutrals: white, black and beige.

By neutrals, I mean the colors that can be associated with any other color.

Which are black, white, grey and beige. I’d personally include navy blue (especially the one of the jean) and often natural leather.

Neutrals are a great way to add more shades in your look because they do not count in the well-known no-more-than-3-colors-in-an-outfit rule.

By mixing several of them with only one bright colors, you easily can create outfits that look very colorful and fresh.

Green and neutral color mix

Photo: Macarena Gea wearing a rich green with neutrals.

Color mix mustard navy blue black

Photo: Marina Munoz. She mixes mustard with navy blue and black. The navy blue softens the black/yellow contrast.

Color mix pink and grey

Photo: Found on pinterest. With pastels, pale neutrals such as grey or beige, create a soft harmony while pushing away the risk of looking like a macaroon.

neon beige grey neon yellow beige color mix

Photos: Pinterest, Variacje. Pale neutrals are also great with neons.

But  I do not recommend the total beige outfit with a splash of neon. Always stay subtle. To be chic, mix different neutrals together like this young woman above, adding a leather belt to her outfit.

Even though all the looks I have just shown contain only one bright color, keep in mind that pulling of a neutral piece is also a great way to “break” a very colorful look.

Color mix mustard burgundy forest green grey pattern

Photo: Nadia Aboulhosn. The three colors combo, which could be too much is softened by her grey tweed coat.

2. Associate complementary colors

I know you know what they are. Your school teacher taught you that… hum, long ago.

So, as a reminder: they are the colors located at the extremities of the color spectrum.

Color spectrum

Each of those color make the other one look brighter.

The better way to mix them stylishly is to add a glimpse of one into an outfit containing mainly the other.

Elisa Nalin blue and orange

Photo: Elisa Nalin by Easy Fashion Paris

Here, great color master, Elisa Nalin, wears a blue hue mix highlighted by two little touches of orange.

If you wanna go for the color block I advise you to keep it low profile by choosing one of the colors less intense than the other.

Giovanna Battaglia purple and mustard

Photo: Giovanna Battaglia

Here fashionista Giovanna opted for mustard yellow mixed with a paler complementary purple.

Unfortunately, color blocks with colors the same intensity is almost always a caricature.

Colors the same intensity are colors that reflect the same amount of light in a way that, on a black and white photography they appear to be the same shade.

Elisa Nalin blue and neon yellow

Photo: Elisa Nalin by Walldress

She pairs her neon yellow skirt with a darker blue. As an example, a bright cyan blue would have been a bad idea here.

Green and pink

Photo: Anna Laub by Vanessa Jackman

Deep green and paler pink are an adorable duo.

3. Associate different hues of the same color

You can play it on the entire outfit or only on a part of it.

Blue hues outfit at Lanvin

Photo: blue shades outfit by Lanvin

Natalie Joos Pink camaieu

Photo: pink shades outfit weared by Natalie Joos

Blue Camaieu+ neutrals

Photo: Found on refinery 29. Two shades of blue paired with neutrals.

4. Associate “neighbor” colors

I call some colors “neighbors” if one of them enters the composition of the other.

Example: green is blue + yellow. Therefore blue and green or yellow and green are neighbor colors that can be worn next to each other.

Natalie joos orange and red

Photo: Natalie Joos. She mixes red and orange with skill and even adds two complementary colored blue pieces of different hues (that is called an expert, ladies).

Natalie Joos yellow and green

Photo: Natalie Joos. Here she opts for a green and yellow mix.

May the rainbow force be with you.

Cover collage: Tuula vintage, Elisa Nalin, Balibulle

16 Responses to “How to match colors”
  1. lyn says:

    thanks for this post. Can I combine black, blue and nude?

  2. Favour says:

    Please can a red skirt and a yellow top blend

  3. Hi there, its pleasant paragraph on the topic of media print,
    we all be familiar with media is a enormous source of facts.

  4. Anita says:

    Do you have any posts on how to coordinate your look with your man, while not looking tacky (a good balance between matchy-matchy and completely uncoordinated)?

  5. Sarah says:

    Hi Aloïs!

    You have such a wonderful blog, I really enjoy it, so please keep posting!

    I remember viewing this entry a couple months ago, and thought I’d check back because I have a color question. I’m attending a wedding, and am planning on wearing a cute royal blue dress. I picked a coral statement necklace, and I feel it makes it really pop! I’m wondering what shoes to wear with it. Obviously a neutral is necessary. Would you pair it with black heals? Nude heals? It’s outdoors and I don’t want to be cold, so I have to wear tights with it. Black tights? Nude tights? What is your suggestion?

    Thanks so much!! 🙂


  6. Fashion-isha says:

    I love your styling tips! Thanks for visiting my blog and glad to have found you!

  7. Helene says:

    J’ai appris trop de trucs, c’est top !

  8. Monica says:

    I am a little bit terrified of colour but this was very inspirational!

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  1. […] Lady on the pic: Julia Richter. Source: a personalstyle. Wanna look as fab in color mix? Check out my post on the subject: dresslikeaparisia… […]

  2. […] Lady on the pic: Julia Richter. Source: a personalstyle. Wanna look as fab in color mix? Check out my post on the subject: dresslikeaparisia… […]

  3. […] Lady on the pic: Julia Richter. Source: a personalstyle. Wanna look as fab in color mix? Check out my post on the subject: dresslikeaparisia… […]

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