How to Mix Colors in an Outfit

Mix & Match Colors

Color is the number one factor that drives buying decisions. Research reveals people are drawn to an item based on its color. Color does not change fit or make something a good design, but we still make most of our purchasing decisions based on color. It’s hard to get out of your color comfort zone!

Blue_My Color

Proof I wear a lot of blue, very guilty!

Trust me, I am naturally drawn to navy and blues. I have to intentionally pick out a different color, so my wardrobe isn’t a sea of blue!

Here are 4 different ways to put colors together to mix and match the colors you already have in your closet. I bet you can make at least 10 new outfits using these 4 methods. Are you willing to try?

How To Mix Colors In Outfits

Monochromatic-Complementary-Analogous-Split Complementary

1. Monochromatic

This method consists of mixing light and dark variations of one color.

1-monochromatic_300                                      NavyPortrait

B.E. Style Tip: Wear the darker color where you want to downplay an area on your body and bright, light colors to highlight a specific asset or element.

MonochromaticChill

Let me tell you why I love navy so much. It’s what I like to call a “colorful neutral.” Yes, I realize “colorful neutral” is an oxymoron.

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Hear me out. Navy comes in various shades, unlike the neutral black. Black is black! Navy is more common than you think because technically denim is a shade of navy. It’s the perfect neutral to wear for every season because it can be light and bright in the summer or dark and cold for winter!

MonochromaticChic2

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of this midi skirt from J.Crew Factory which is on sale! You can even get the sweater I am wearing in tan and red on clearance here.  I really love that the bow straps are self-tying. It allows me to decide how “off the shoulder” I want to wear the sweater, and it makes for a tailored fit.

This monochromatic outfit can be replicated in any color! Pick your favorite color or neutral. Just make sure to wear different shades of the one color, add pattern, and include some shine with jewelry. If you want to wear all black check out Your Go to Guide for Wearing All Black.

2. Complementary

Opposites attract and work together to create visual contrast for a bold look. The perfect example of this method is red and green paired together for Christmas!

2-complementary_300ComplimentaryFront

I have chosen to pair light blue and coral together. They are opposite on the color wheel. They complement each other beautifully.

Complimentary(1)

I am a fan of coral, and I’d say it is my favorite color. It’s also considered one of my personal “good colors.” This was determined through a personal color analysis, which I do for people. Leave me a comment or personal message to get your personal coloring guide!

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I think the complementary color mixing method is the most striking and eye-catching. When I wear complementary colors I feel more energized and happy! It’s amazing how clothes and color can effect your mood.

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I am not searching for a compliment, but I have been told coral is my best color and makes my eyes pop. What do you think?

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My coral tee is super soft and comfy. It comes in an array of colors from J.Crew Factory for only $15! Get it here.

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B.E. Style Tip: For best results use about 75% of one color and 25% of another. Equal proportions of complementary colors may result in an outfit that looks more like a sports uniform.

ComplimentaryCasual

I appreciate the versatility of my gingham button up shirt. Although this has nothing to do with color, try wearing your traditional button ups tied in a knot or open to show off a pop of color or pattern! Wearing it open makes it much more comfortable too, and you don’t have to tuck it in!

Blue and coral not your favorite? Try mixing and matching these complementary colors for a striking outfit.

  • Purple & Yellow
  • Orange & Blue
  • Green & Red
  • Yellow-orange & blue-purple (indigo)
  • Orange-red & blue-green (aqua)
  • red-purple (pink) & Green-yellow

3. Analogous

These are neighboring colors on the color wheel such as green and blue or red and orange.

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Analogous_Floor5Serious

The analogous colors I am wearing from head to heel are pink, fuchsia, and purple. On a traditional color wheel this is red and purple. I draw influence from a more extensive color wheel.

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B.E. Style Tip: Let one color take the lead and the others be added in accessories as compliments.

It’s not a B.E. Style post without highlighting a pair of shoes! Honestly, shoes are an effortless way to add color and pattern. How many pairs of shoes do you think I own? (If you’re right I have a special prize for you!)

Analogous_Floor4

Not into the girly pinks and purples? Here are a few other great analogues colors to try mixing and matching in an outfit. Which analogous color combination do you like?

  • Green, blue-green, blue
  • Green, yellow-green, yellow
  • Yellow, orange-yellow, orange
  • Orange, red-orange, red
  • Blue, blue-violet, violet

4. Split Complimentary

This method is a tad more complicated. It combines two analogous colors with one complementary color.

4-split_300

SplitComplimentaryColors.jpg

The easiest way to pull off the split complimentary method is by purchasing a garment that’s mixed the colors for you. You might call it cheating…I call it resourcefulness.

SplitComplimentaryHairBack

Split complementary color mixing is achieved in this outfit by combining blue and green analogous colors with coral. The plaid shirt has all three colors. I simply matched it with blue jeans to complete the outfit!

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Time Out: Can we please take a moment to appreciate the chair I am sitting in fits the color scheme too? Yes, I planned that!

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Still unsure what colors to combine? Here are 12 split complementary color combinations to try out.

  • Red, Yellow-green, Blue-green
  • Red-orange, Green, Blue
  • Orange, Blue-green, Blue-purple
  • Yellow-orange, Blue, Purple
  • Yellow, Blue-purple, Red-purple
  • Yellow-green, Purple, Red
  • Green, Red-purple, Red-orange
  • Blue-green, Red, Orange

B.E. Colorful

Do yourself a favor and try out a new method each day this week! You will fall in love all over again with your wardrobe and discover its versatility.

How To Mix Colors In Outfits

Out of curiosity, which outfit and method above do you like best? Now, it’s your turn to try all four and let me know which method of color mixing you prefer! Don’t forget to message me for a personal coloring guide, so you can feel confident picking out clothes in different colors!

Special thanks

Photo Credits to Lucas Sigurdson

Location and photo studio resources complimentary of Jen Creque

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