Stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy, but at KC we believe that fashion is one area of your life where breaking away from your norm is a vital pathway to heightened self-expression. When it comes to taking a leap of faith out of this comfort zone in the context of our clothing, there’s one particularly daunting choice that leaves most people stumped: colour. Styling colourful pieces can be a challenge – there’s always a larger room for error when combining colours and prints than there is while styling neutrals. This inherent larger margin of error means that most people avoid experimenting with colour and pattern – but we’re here to make a case for not always playing it safe!
Many of the styles we deem “high fashion” or “unattainable” in a style context are actually just the result of a clever combination of colour, texture, and pattern. While the outlandish looks on the runway are clearly not made for everyday wear, some of the most prominent ‘fashion icons’ of our time adapt the bold choices of runway couture to elevate their day to day style. Below we list a few ways you can start using colour to build creative, interesting outfits that will up your style game and grow your confidence in the fashion world.
Neutral Swap – If incorporating colour seems overwhelming, consider starting with swapping out a few of your neutral pieces for colourful alternatives. A great example is to swap out a pair of black trousers or a black jacket with a dark green, navy blue, or deep maroon – these are still deep tones that give the same look as a black, however they’re a stepping stone for becoming more comfortable with colour in your wardrobe.
Pop of colour – the “pop of colour” concept has been around for quite some time. It is perhaps the easiest and lowest risk way to begin experimenting with colour and pattern without committing to an entire look. If you’re nervous about venturing into brighter looks, consider adding a bold shoe, bag, hair accessory, or tie to an otherwise neutral outfit. Incorporating small amounts of colour into your day to day is a great way to ease yourself into becoming comfortable with bolder pieces. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours outside of your comfort zone, you may think a certain shade doesn’t work for you, but on a small scale like a shoe or bag you may end up loving it. Colour is meant to be fun – don’t be afraid of it!
Statement Pieces – try styling an outfit around a specific colourful item. Whether that be a bold jacket or patterned pair of trousers – find a way to mix and match this bold item with the pieces in your wardrobe you’re already comfortable with. Styling a bright jacket with your favourite pair of jeans allows you the security of familiarity while still branching out into a colourful style. Another great example is incorporating a bold shoe into an otherwise neutral look. When shopping for statement pieces, aim for colours you feel most confident in; cooler toned colours like blues and greens tend to have a softer impact than a vibrant red or yellow – consider starting with these softer shades to ease into a bolder look.
Monochrome – monochromatic looks can seem daunting due to the total departure from the traditional rules of fashion most of us have come to accept. But these single-coloured looks have been around for decades, consistently appearing in runway couture and high fashion street style. Currently, monochrome is having a huge fashion moment, making it an easy look to imitate successfully. If you’re new to single-tone looks, start small with a neutral look and gradually work your way up to something more colourful. Soft colours like pinks and blues are great for the monochromatic look as they aren’t an immediate shock of colour on first glance. Once you’re more comfortable with colour you can work up to doing a full monochrome look in bolder shades.
Principles of the Colour Wheel – the reason so many people tend to avoid colour comes down to a lack of understanding. Knowing how to pair colours successfully is a skill that takes some experimentation. In the art and fashion world, utilizing a colour wheel to produce colour combinations is common practice and a great way to better understand the relationship between colours. There are three general colour combinations to consider when you’re ready to jump into colour combining outfits –
- Analogous – Analogous colour schemes combine adjacent shades on the colour wheel. A common example of this would be pink, red, and peach – these colours sit adjacent to one another on the colour wheel. This colour scheme is closely tied to monochromatic looks, but differs in the fact that it combines up to two distinct colours rather than one. This is one of the easier colour scheme to successfully replicate.
- Complementary – Complementary colour schemes consist of the combination of opposing shades on the colour wheel. The tonal opposites of each other, this combination makes a bold statement that is difficult to miss. A few examples of these colour combos are blue & orange, yellow & purple, and red & green.
- Triadic – A triadic colour scheme tends to produce the boldest looks. This combination consists of three colours, equidistant from each other on the colour wheel. An example of this would be orange, purple, & green. This may seem like an intensive colour combo, but when done successfully can be quite fashionable.
The options for incorporating colour into your wardrobe are endless, and attainable no matter your comfort level. If you’re looking to up your style game with colour, but are still lost on where to start, reach out to us to book a free phone consultation to discuss your specific wardrobe needs. Follow us on our Instagram @kclifestyling for style tips and day to day fashion content.