Fashion: How to mix and match colours like a pro

I used to be the girl that when you take a peek into my wardrobe, you will be hit smack in the face with a sea of neutrals, navy, and black. If you are one of those with this same predicament… you’re not alone. Mixing is basically not a natural-talent one is born with but rather it is acquired so a lot of people struggle with mixing colours and incorporating itinto their wardrobes. The main reason? They’re not sure what colours work together, what the rules are for mixing and matching, and which hues they can best use to their advantage.

Here’s the good news! Apart from being fun and beautiful, there’s a science behind colour mixing and matching (discovered by none other than Sir Isaac Newton himself—I kid you not) meaning there are easy-to-apply rules that you can put into good use and never again will you be afraid to pop some colour into your outfits.

Today’s version of the colour wheel, which has evolved to include in-between tones (like yellow-orange and blue-green) and warm and cool versions of key shades (warm orangey-red, cool bluish-red), gives the same help when you’re putting together an outfit. Pick a single hue or mix opposing or bordering colours to reveal a range of palettes that are scientifically proven to look absolutely fab.

Monochromatic

Why it works: Light and dark variations of one colour blend beautifully.
For best results: Wear darks on the parts you would like to downplay and lights, which catch the eye first, on the areas you want to play up. Mix textures (say, satin with knits) to give the look depth.
The Bold Palette: All Red
Wear one knockout shade (a pepper red bodycon dress and matching pumps) to turn an outfit into an exclamation point.
The Mellow Palette: Layers of Lavender
Subtle tone-on-tone combos, like an orchid skirt with a lilac blouse, have a calming watercolour effect.

Complementary

Why it works: Opposites on the colour wheel are such a huge visual contrast that they enhance each other. Red, for example, looks brighter when paired with green. That’s why leafy tones flatter red hues so well.
For best results: Combine about 75% of one colour with 25% of the other one. Donning two hues in equal proportion can look like a sports uniform.
The Bold Palette: Cobalt and Tangerine
Hold a blue cardigan with an orange belt. But don’t overdo the accents like throwing in a flame-coloured bag and shoes because the eye will be drawn to too many areas at once instead supplement the outfit with neutrals.
The Mellow Palette: Pink and Seafoam
Paler complements are still energizing and are easier to pull off than vivid, primary-based combos. Highlight a mint blouse with baby pink bangles instead of gold.

Analogous

Why it works: Neighbours on the colour wheel flow together effortlessly. This scheme is a stunner in nature too; makes one think about sunset shades.
For best results: Let one colour take the lead, and give the others supporting roles. Asymmetry is more interesting so avoid matching bolds and pastels (like red and peach) because the brighter colour makes the muted one look muddy.
The Bold Palette: Fuchsia, Red, and Orange
When you want to turn heads, select uniformly saturated brights. For instance: a poppy-and-tiger lily floral worn with hot pink flats.
The Mellow Palette: Aqua, Pale Blue, and Periwinkle
Low-key analogous combinations look particularly ethereal/earthy. Try a pale purple top and a teal (bluish-green) scarf over light jeans.

Split Complementary

Why it works: Two analogous colours (neighbours get along) are joined by one complementary colour (opposites attract) for a grouping that has an unexpected, subtle feel.
For best results: Use the 2 adjacent colours as one dominant shade and the opposing colour as the surprise. Again, aim for a ratio of 75% to 25%.
The Bold Palette: Violet, Indigo, and Orange
Chances are, the checkered or patterned items in your wardrobe have a built-in analogous or split-complementary colour scheme. So just draw out or add an accent. A print blouse in deep blues and purples gets enlivened with orange earrings.
The Mellow Palette: Yellow, Purple Gray, and Plum
An earthy purple tee shirt with a thistle sweater is drab until you add a saffron |(i.e orange-yellow) scarf.

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