How to match colors of clothes and fashion accessories
A small handbook of simple and practical advice on how to match colors of different clothing items and fashion accessories.
Fashion often breaks the rules of color combinations, and that's a good thing, but knowing the general principles can undoubtedly help understand how to match clothes and accessories tastefully.
The universal rule is dictated by Itten's color wheel, which states never to combine adjacent colors. You can match different shades of the same color for a harmonious and balanced look or diametrically opposite colors for a lively and energetic look.
This color wheel considers only primary and secondary colors and not the so-called non-colors, such as white and black, which are among the most chosen in everyday looks.
Let's see how to match colors in the most common cases, bearing in mind that you should always be guided by good taste when choosing color shades that go well together, and this is not an exhaustive list.
How to match black: black goes well with everything, with rare exceptions, such as brown and dark blue. It finds its best match with strong colors but also goes well with soft shades.
Recommended belt: a classic leather belt for an elegant look, a black braided belt for a sporty and casual look.
How to match white: white goes well with all colors, both pastel and bold shades.
How to match blue: blue goes well with different shades and with other colors except yellow, red, and black (applies only to dark blue, light blue and electric blue go well with black).
Recommended belt: blue elastic belt
How to match red: red is a bold, loaded color that goes well with dark colors, white, and black.
How to match yellow: it goes well with black, white, and being a very bright color, stands out with soft shades or dark colors.
How to match brown: it goes well with other shades of brown, leather, and dark green. Avoid combining with black, especially if the brown is very intense.
Recommended belt: beige suede belt
How to match green: it depends on the shades of green. Light shades can be combined with blue or yellow, dark shades with brown. Absolutely avoid red and orange.
How to match gray: this is also a non-color, very elegant when combined with black, other shades of gray, and white.
Recommended belt: white leather belt
Colors should also be matched according to skin tone, hair color, and body shape. White tends to mark and highlight flaws, unlike black. There are no basic rules; color matching should be done according to personal taste, needs, and season, all indications that can help resolve indecision.
Here are some common mistakes when matching clothing colors:
- Excessive use of bright colors: Wearing too many bright and vivid colors together can be excessive and unappealing to the eye. It's better to balance bright colors with more neutral or pastel shades.
- Not considering skin tone: Each person has a different skin tone, and some colors can enhance it more than others. It's important to choose colors that harmonize with your skin tone, rather than choosing colors that contrast or make it look dull.
- Wearing too many neutral colors: Although neutral colors are versatile, wearing too many at once can make the outfit monotonous. It's good to add a touch of color to liven up the look.
- Matching colors that are too similar: Wearing colors that are too similar to each other can make the outfit uninteresting. It's better to choose complementary or contrasting colors to create a more dynamic look.
- Ignoring the seasons: The colors we wear can be influenced by the seasons. For example, during spring and summer, lighter and brighter colors are preferred, while in fall and winter, darker and warmer shades are chosen.
- Not considering the occasion: The event or occasion for which you are dressing can influence the appropriateness of certain color combinations. For example, for a job interview, it would be better to opt for more sober and professional colors, while for an informal event, you could dare to wear bolder combinations.
- Not taking materials into account: The materials of clothing can affect the appearance of colors. For example, a color may appear different on a shiny fabric compared to a matte one. It's important to consider the texture of fabrics when matching colors.