Good color combinations for clothes

Updated February 21, 2017

It is important to add colour and flair to your clothing. Properly colour-coordinated clothing adds a sense of style to your look that people will notice. You most likely have a general idea about matching colours, but you can get a little experimental with clothing colour combinations and put together a great looking outfit. An outfit clashing in colour can make you look sloppy and unprofessional, but a well planned, colour coordinated outfit will make your look professional and high fashion.

Colour Scheme

When planning a colour-coordinated outfit, start by identifying the base colour. This will be the core colour in your outfit and will make up the largest pieces. When choosing the dominant colour of your outfit, carefully consider how it will look next to your skin tone. Also keep in mind seasonal colours: plum, olive, burgundy and orange for fall, or bright blue, pink, or yellow for spring. Next, determine what your accent colours will be. This will make up the second and third colours in your outfit. For example, if you have decided on a navy blue dress, your accent colours could be burgundy and beige.

Colour Family

Choose your colours based on the order they fall on the colour wheel. These are called the analogous colours, and consist of warm and cool colours. Warm coloured clothing and accessories, such as red, orange or yellow, always coordinate with each other, as do cool coloured outfits, such as blue, green or violet. Neutral coloured clothing, such as white, black, grey and tan can also be worn together, or paired with a cool or warm coloured piece to create an air of sophistication.

Strengths and Weaknesses

When planning a colour-coordinated outfit, keep in mind that bold colours will accent whatever body part you are wearing them on. Therefore, if you are insecure about your hips or stomach, it is wise to avoid wearing bright coloured trousers or a tight fitting, brightly coloured shirt. However, a nicely tailored sheath dress in bright blue, paired with red and white accessories can draw the eyes to your entire body and make you look tall and slim.

Start Small

If you are new to matching colour-coordinated clothing, begin slowly. You don't have to go out and buy a brightly coloured tunic, leggings, boots and jewellery all on the first day. Start by incorporating a brightly coloured bangle with your black suit for work, or a coloured tank under your cardigan. If you are ever really unsure about whether your clothing matches, step outside or next to the window so you are positioned in natural light, and take a picture of yourself. Cameras don't lie, and you'll be able to see yourself exactly as everyone else sees you.

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About the Author

Melissa McKean is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. McKean has an expertise in web and SEO copywriting and has worked on both B2C and B2B lead generation and e-commerce websites to improve search engine rankings and usability. McKean has a bachelor's degree in advertising from Kent State University.