In the last two Color Series segments, we talked about Monochromatic and Analogous outfits. These are easy ways to break into color, because they’re harmonious. Even for the most color challenged, wearing light and navy blue together is doable! Today, however, we’re talking about complementary colors. These are colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel. Examples are Yellow & Purple, Red & Green, and Blue & Orange. Outfits that use complementary colors are going to pop—and yes, we can still whisper, but even our whispers are going to be noticed!
Below are a few complementary outfits courtesy of a 2 minute Pinterest search. See what I mean? It’s tough to fly under the radar when you’re sporting color like this, but you’ve got to admit these looks are eye-catching!
Now here are my interpretations of complementary outfits—for my women who aren’t wearing Orla Keily dresses at home playing with the kids, or staring pensively on an empty street! I hear all the time from my clients that they want to look more put together. Wearing color is a great way to do that, because it forces you to take the time to think about an outfit, and actually put yourself together!
whisper- This look uses blue-green, and its complementary shade of orange-red. Incorporating neutrals, like this white jean, lets the colors pop, but keeps the look from being overwhelming. Using lighter tints also helps to keep the contrast low and the look more subtle. By the way, if this outfit doesn't make you want to have a drink on a patio somewhere, I don't know what will! Strapless top too bare for you? Swap it with a tank or a tee, or layer a cardigan or denim jacket over it.
Talk- This look uses a very popular complementary color scheme--pink and green. Red and green are the true complementary colors, but keep in mind that pink is a tint of red, and its perfectly okay to mix tints, tones, and shades when combining colors. Besides, I think red and green is a tough color combo to pull off. The colors scream "Christmas" to me, and as much as I love the Holiday season, I don't want to look like an extra from a Christmas pageant!
Anyway...adding a print with white makes the outfit fresh and bright, and allows us to pull in some white accessories to neutralize the colors a little bit.
SHOUT- This outfit uses yellow and purple to really stand out. I wanted to recreate the "SHOUT" look from the analogous post to show the difference between complementary and analogous. I also took out an accessory that ties it all together like I previously showed, so you can see how adding or subtracting a little thing like that makes such a difference. This outfit uses color blocking and high contrast to make a statement. I also took out neutral accessories and just used the two complementary colors. I love the stack of purple bracelets and the very bare shoe that brings in color without looking clunky or costumey.
I've gotten great feedback from our color series, but one thing I keep hearing is "I can't make colorful outfits out of what I have!". This is what happens when you fill your closet with denim and neutrals. If you have no color in your closet, you can't expect to put a colorful outfit together! Challenge yourself to add color to your closet in all forms--pants, skirts, shoes, accessories--not just tops!
Get out (or go buy) your color wheel, and start having some fun with color!