I know that Chictopians are notoriously fans of black, white, and all shades of grey, but personally, I love COLOR! In fact, during my teenage years, I used to wear crazy Japanese streetstyle-inspired outfits all the time.
Clearly, my style has changed since then, but although I no longer dress in rainbow vomit, I have learned a lot about color mixing and matching from that phase in my life. So that you don’t have to go through a crazy dressing phase to reach Color Nirvana (though if you want to, I’d love to see!), I will pass my knowledge off to you and hope that more colorful outfits will appear in the style gallery soon.
First off, let me introduce you to my friend, Monsieur Color Wheel. Cheery little guy, isn’t he? He will be super-helpful in our color lesson. Let’s start with the basics, which many of you might have learned in grade school.
The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue; they are called “primary colors” because when mixed together, they can produce any color imaginable They can also look great together; in fact, this is my absolute favorite color combination and I love doing variations on it. As you can see in my outfit at left, I’ve substituted red for pink (a close relative). Some examples of variations can be seen on the left as well. These colors have a lot of contrast with each other, but also manage to balance each other out very nicely and look wonderfully colorful without looking too crazy — at least, I think so!
Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors are generally made up of subtle transitions from one color to an adjacent color and can lend an ombre effect if ordered in that way. An outfit with this kind of color scheme is easy to put together without clashing or looking gaudy, and can look completely stunning too. Zanita shows how it’s done with a bunch of textures, and very similar shades of color.
Complementary colors are pairs of colors that are across from each other on the color wheel. In a broad sense, the color pairings are blue & orange, yellow & purple, and red & green. Complementary colors are, in terms of visual impact, colors that make each other look as vibrant as possible. Because of this, a complementary color scheme has a high level of visual tension, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You might try an outfit with complementary colors in two subdued hues, or a bright hue and a subdued hue like Emoism . Of course, to truly stand out, you can wear bright shades of both complementary colors and all eyes will be on you!
Because color theory is really too broad of a topic to properly cover in one post, this is the first of 3 installments on color which I hope will be informative and inspiring for all aspiring Coloristas out there (I apparently fail at word creation). Stay tuned, y’all!
P.S. Sorry for the slightly technical talk. I swear, it’s really difficult to explain these things, and I’m trying my best.