Contributor Naomi Shaw Shares Tips on “How to Choose The Color of Your Clothes!”

Do you ever get stumped when you are trying to put an outfit together and it doesn’t quite work? Everyone has been in the situation at some point with successes and fails.
After reading this article, you won’t have to worry about using the strategy of color and how to assemble the main clothing pieces and accessories, thanks to this smart article written by contributor, Naomi Shaw!


How to Choose The Color of Your Clothes!

by Naomi Shaw, Contributing Writer

 All photos related to the topic are courtesy of


Everyone strives to look their best when they step outside for the day, but putting together outfits is as much of a science as it is an art. Outfit construction is one area where all the money in the world cannot guarantee a cohesive or visually interesting outfit. The only way to piece together a successful outfit is to understand the general rules of color coordination. Different dyes and pigments can create an endless array of colors that must be balanced against your skin tone, hair color, and more. Each part of an outfit must complement the rest while working in tandem with your natural coloring. By following some simple rules and understanding how different colors relate to each other, anyone can choose the best colors to create a fantastic outfit.


Color Theory


Using the right colors and combining them perfectly into a cohesive outfit can be a challenge, but some basic principles of color theory can make the process easier. Color theory and the guiding rules of the color wheel apply to almost everything that deals with color, and outfit construction is no exception. The color wheel is the basis for color theory and learning to choose the perfect outfit starts with understanding how different colors interact.

The concept of the color wheel was invented by Sir Isaac Newton in the 18th century, but the initial format has been refined over the years. The color wheel progresses through the most common colors creating a full-circle gradient. The color wheel contains primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The primary colors (yellow, red, and blue) act as three equidistant pillars that are mixed together to create all other colors and no two colors can be mixed to create a primary color. Secondary colors are combinations of primary colors, for example, adding red to blue creates purple and mixing blue with yellow produces green. Tertiary colors like aqua or mint are made from mixing primary and secondary colors to create different shades.

Color Relationships

All the colors on the color wheel have a relationship; some colors complement each other while others are analogous or triadic. Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green or yellow and purple. While combing complementary colors in an outfit might seem bold, it can create visually interesting and cohesive outfits. Split complementary colors are colors adjacent to a complementary color; Purple’s complementary color is yellow, which makes orange and green purple’s split complementary colors. Using split complementary colors creates a look that is less extreme than complementary colors, but still utilizes contrast. Analogous colors are very similar and often consist of two or three shades from the same area of the color wheel. To create an outfit that highlights analogous colors, start by choosing one color and selecting a shade on either side of the color on the color wheel to work with the base color. Triadic colors are equidistant from each other on the color wheel. Triadic colors can look good when integrated into an outfit, but it will often result in a visually loud look.


Working With Your Natural Colors

When putting together an outfit, there are a few colors you cannot change. You generally can’t change your skin tone, eye color, or hair color in the time it takes to get dressed. So, when building an outfit consider how your clothes will interact with your natural coloring. If you have a pale complexion or yellow-toned skin, cooler colors like grey, blue, and green will complement your features. Deeper skin tones work well with warm colors such as gold, brown, coral, and amber. Finding a balance between warm and cool colors is important for clothing as well as makeup. Jill Kirsh is a leading color theorist who found that coordinating makeup and clothing colors to hair color works to give your skin and your outfit a polish because the color palette you are wearing is exceptionally flattering.  Jill uses color theory to achieve balanced looks. In doing this, your outfit always works for you and your makeup is the complement that connects the dots.


Outfit Construction


When putting together a standard outfit, you should aim for three main colors:

● The primary color is the main color of the outfit and will establish the outfit’s tone as a guideline for additional colors.
● The secondary color is the “back up” primary color and should be the second most used color in the outfit. The secondary color should either be similar to the primary color or contrast the primary color. For example, a white shirt is the perfect secondary color to a black suit.
● The final outfit color is the highlight color and is generally used in moderation. This highlight color should draw attention to specific aspects of your outfit by contrasting the other two colors.

If mixing colors or patterns is making you uncomfortable, then neutral colors like gray, tan, navy, and white are always a safe fall back. Neutral colors pair well with any color, but adding a bright bold color to a neutral outfit is a great way of adding visual excitement without committing to an overly loud outfit.

Choosing the colors of your clothes and putting together an outfit may seem intimidating, but by combining color theory with your personal preferences, you can build an outfit that makes you feel confident and put together.


Bio of Naomi Shaw:


Naomi Shaw lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. She is a freelance journalist and Stay-at-Home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, green living, and interior design.

Follow Naomi Shaw on these social platforms:
Twitter: @naomijshaw



Thanks to Naomi Shaw for presenting these great tips on how to put a great outfit together based on colors.

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