Color Blocking 101

Some friends recently asked me about the basics of color blocking. For those who do not know what color blocking it is, its a trend that exploded on the runways in Spring 2011 with bright colors, playfulness, and a touch of abstract design. It’s impossible to ignore the obnoxiously loud colors in retail stores now-a-days but personally it makes me happy. I love color; especially accenting a basic outfit with a vibrant pair of shoes or jewelry. Here are some basic tips for color blocking:

1. accessorize: if you are the person who loves your neutrals and just blending in to the crowd, start simple by accessorizing with bright jewelry, bags or shoes.
2. cheat: purchase color-blocked blouses or dresses- you will look like a pure fashion guru without much effort. Be sure to pick one out that flatters your figure, skin tone and personal style.
3. Pair similar shades: Pairing similar shades (royal blue, baby blue and turquoise) or similar tones (red and orange) will compliment each other nicely 
      * Warm tones together and cool tones together
4. Opposites attract: If you look at a color wheel, you will see that opposite colors and shades are commonly used for color blocking (yellow & purple and orange & blue). Also, pairing a bright hue with a simple hue is an easy way to color block 
     * Neon or primary colors pair great with pastels and earth/ nude tones

Still having a difficultly finding what to pair with what? Here are a few combinations that go great together:
– royal blue, yellow, orange
– coral, turquoise, gold
– purple, bright blue, teal
– deep blue, bright pink, white
– brown, pink, peach
– coral, grey, ivory
– purple, pink, turquoise 

On the web, I found great tips for using the color wheel while planning color blocked outfits:
 Analogous colors: any three colors lined up on the color wheel 
  (e.g. violet, violet-red & red)
 Complementary colors: any colors directly across from each other
  (e.g. blue & orange)
 Pair colors that form 90 degree angles with each other 
  (e.g. yellow & red -orange)
 Pair colors that form an X (e.g. blue, orange, violet-red & yellow etc.)
 Pair colors that form a T (e.g. yellow, blue-green & red-orange)
 Color-families You can substitute pink (tint) with red and still be able to pull off the combos based on the color wheel.

Here a couple photos of some color blocking

outfit one:
floral blouse with shades of pink, yellow and orange and paired with cobalt blue trousers ( both thrift), Steve Madden nude wedges (Last Chance), nude clutch (thrift, coral clutch (Avon), light pink bracelet (H&M), light brown belt (Target)

I used nude accents and light jewelry to tone down the floral top and bright pants but if you want to add a ‘pop’, use a bright oversized clutch

outfit two: 
 rose pink blouse (thrift), lavender skinny jeans (PacSun), brown biker boots (Journeys), Chunky turquoise necklace (gift), teal statement ring (H&M), nude clutch (clutch from #1)

I used neutral accents once again in this outfit. Both the shirt and pants are pastel so they aren’t too overpowering as a combination. The turquoise jewelry off sets the pastels for a pop of color.


I hope you enjoyed and let me know what you think or if you have any tips for color blocking 
xoxo Audree



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