The Matching Game
Everywhere you look, color grabs your attention. In order to properly combine the colors of your wardrobe, understanding the color wheel is crucial. With the right combinations, you can portray the emotions you want. Better still, you can avoid odd looking outfits. Discovering the perfect color matches will come with time. Experiment with varying tones and colors and don’t expect to become Michelangelo overnight. Good color matching takes practice.
At a basic level, color can be organized by way of a simple six color wheel containing both primary and secondary colors. The primary colors consist of red, yellow and blue. The secondary colors (blends of the primary colors) consist of orange, green, and purple. And, tertiary colors arise from further blends. Throw white and black into each color and you get lighter and darker shades.
If you like a strong contrast, employ the complementary colors (on exactly opposite sides of the wheel). Mix yellow with purple or red with green or blue with orange. For example, pair an orange tie with a blue shirt and neutral tan trousers. These combos tend to stand out more than others. Another bold example would be light yellow pants with a purple shirt.
Probably the simplest color associations come from the analogous colors (side by side on the wheel). So, a green tie works with a blue shirt. Also, an orange tie works with a yellow shirt and so on.
If you find yourself afraid to mix colors at all, you can simply wear varying shades of the same color. In other words, compliment a light blue shirt with a dark blue tie or wear dark brown pants with a light brown shirt. Warning: Do not wear all the same shade of the same color as this generally does not look good. In college, I had an all tan outfit that I regularly walked around campus – tan shirt, tie, belt, pants, and shoes – in the same shade. It looked hideous. Someone should have pulled me aside and handed me a color wheel. Black and white may be the only exceptions in certain cases, but be careful even here.
Remember, you know the style and emotions you want to portray better than anyone else. So, use that to your advantage. Do you desire to show your passionate, warm, and fiery side? Use the warm colors – red, yellow, orange. Want to project the calm and relaxed emotions? Use the cool colors – blue, green, and purple. For neutral, pull gray and brown out of your color bag. Also, black and white go with most anything and appear classic when paired together. Black pants with a white shirt will always be in style.
As you test your color matching skills, acquire a nice color wheel and tack it to your closet door or wall. While you mull over your options, glance over at it and proceed appropriately.
Copyright 2015 Fashion for the Average Man.