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        Blog Feed — Color Blocking

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        What is color blocking and how can I use it in my everyday life?  These are questions you may have asked yourself, and in this article I'm going to explain what fashion color blocking actually is and give you a few tips on how you can create your own color blocked looks.  

        A free e-book is available at the end of this article where you'll be able to learn more about color blocking and get over 40 color blocked looks to inspire you.

        What Is Color Blocking?

        Color blocking at its core is the art of wearing contrasting blocks of solid colors on different parts of your body. For example, wearing a red top with blue jeans. These colors are on opposing sides of the color wheel (which I will explain in detail later in this article). The traditional idea behind this trend is to make a statement. To stand out and be noticed in the crowd. It's also about breaking the rules because color blocking doesn't always have to make sense!

        Have you ever gone shopping and returned home with various items in different colors, but then found that you had no idea how to pair them together? This is where your knowledge of the color wheel could come to the rescue.

        How To Use A Color Wheel

        This is a color wheel, or as it’s sometimes called a color circle.  It's an arrangement of colors organized by their chromatic association to one another.

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        Don’t feel overwhelmed by the color wheel because it’s really quite simple.  Start with the three primary colors – Red, blue and yellow.  With these three colors you can create any other color.  Then you have the secondary and tertiary colors, which are formed by blending the primaries together.  Take a look at the terms below and then we will dive into how you can create your ideal color blocked outfit.

        Color Blocking Terms You Need to Know


        Primary Colors

        These are RED, YELLOW, and BLUE. From these three colors you can make any other color.

        Secondary Colors

        When you combine two primary colors you can create a secondary color. These include ORANGE, GREEN, and PURPLE.

        Tertiary Colors

        These are made by mixing a primary color and a secondary colour together. Such as ORANGE-RED or GREEN-BLUE.


        These are the pure solid colors - RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, and VIOLET hues.


        When you take BLACK and mix it with another color, that creates a shade.  Mixing BLACK with BLUE creates NAVY.


        When you take WHITE and mix it with another color, that creates a tint.  Mixing WHITE and RED creates PINK.

        Neutral Colors

        These are subdued shades that seem to lack color, but they have an underlying hint of another shade. 

        Warm & Cool Colors

        One half of the color wheel consists of warm colors (reddish-purple to yellow-green).  The other half has cool colors (green to purple).  Warm colors are reminiscent of fire and sunshine, while cool colors remind us of cold and winter.


        This determines how intense a color is.  High saturated colors are more bold, while low saturated colors are more understated.  Adding black or white to a color will change it’s saturation.


        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        When you look at a color wheel, the colors will generally be very bright and saturated, but you can change the saturation by adding either black or white to any colour.  You can make it either a little darker or a little lighter, creating different shades of that colour.  For example, the above two t-shirts are essentially the same color blue, except one is less saturated than the other.

        Four Ways to Color Block Your Outfit

        1. Monochrome Style

         Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        The first and easiest way to color block is to go full monochrome.  This involves pairing different pieces of the same color for a cohesive look.  To take monochrome color blocking to the next level, simply vary the shade and saturation of that color.  You could wear a navy shirt, light blue jeans and some dark blue shoes.  You don’t want to look overwhelmed by a single color.  That’s why a variety of shades and tints is essential.

        Notice in the photo above how there is a clear distinction between her orange top and skirt because of the striped pattern on her t-shirt.  This has created a cohesive look without any piece losing itself amidst the shades of orange.

        2. Analogous Style 

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits 

         Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel. If monochrome feels too safe then this is how you can elevate your color blocking game.
        Here are some key things you need to remember with the analogous system:

        • Stick to three colors
        • You could use two analogous colors and a neutral (Orange-red, orange, and yellow are great summer colors)
        • Alternatively, you could try two analogous colors and one shade (teal, dark blue, and light blue would give you a more cool muted look)
        • There should be at least one primary color, one secondary color and one teriary color in your selection.

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        In the look above the skirt is the primary blue, the t-shirt is the secondary purple color and the teal design is the third teriary color. Throw in the white sneakers and leather jacket for a fun early 90’s vibe.

        3. Complementary Style

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        Complementary colors are two colors that sit opposite to each other on the color wheel. When you wear them together they can look amazing, but they could also look overwhelming.  Opposite colors are very strong and when you put them next to each other they seem to enhance each other’s brightness and end up looking really bold.

        There are a four ways you can make complementary colors work beautifully together:

        1. You could use one of the two colors as the dominant color in your outfit, and then add the second as an accent color.
        2. Try playing with different shades and avoid overly saturated colors. If you want to pair red and green together, think more burgundy and olive green.  Rather than a really bold green and red which might have you looking like your heading to a Christmas party.
        3. The first color could be a bold primary color, but the second should be a neutral color to help anchor the look.
        4. Lastly, instead of choosing true opposites, you should go for one color adjacent to the opposite color. For example, pairing yellow with an ultramarine blue instead of purple.

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        This teal suit has been paired with an orange-red t-shirt for a fun vibrant look.

        4. Triadic Style

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        The triadic color system is made of three colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel. For example red, blue and yellow, or orange, purple and green.

        These colors when combined are very vibrant and will definitely make you stand out. To balance out your look you will need to use one color as the feature color and the other two as accent colors.

        Your Complete Guide to Color Blocking Your Outfits

        A great way to dress up this abstract designed tee. This look pulls together red, yellow and blue very nicely.

        Tips for color blocking your outfit

        1. Pick colors that compliment your skin tone. Those with warmer skin tones usually do well with richer, warmer colors. Meanwhile, those with cool skin tones can choose from a palette of cooler colors like blue or light pink. The first thing you have to do is determine your undertone. Take a look at the color of the veins in your wrist. If they look slightly green that means you have a warm undertone (look for bold colors). If they look purple or blue that means you have a cool undertone (look for blues and paler colors), and if they are blue-green you have a neutral undertone (which compliments all colors).
        2. Make the color wheel your friend. When you go shopping, make sure to take a color wheel with you. That way, when you purchase new outfit you'll instantly know what colors complement each other. 
        3. Start with two colors. If you’re feeling intimidated try starting off with two colors. For example, if you wear a blue dress you could use orange accessories.
        4. Choose a dominant color. You should always choose one dominant color and then use the other colors merely to lessen its dominance. For instance, you can choose red and then make the other two colors green and blue.
        5. Love neutral colors. A neutral is a wise option to add to any color blocked outfit. A good white pair of sneakers, black jacket or simple tan jewelry can often make all the difference to your outfit.
        6. Highlight your features. Choose a really bright, flattering color for your top to show off your fabulous cheekbones.
        7. You could cheat. Some people prefer to start off with basic pieces like dresses that were already color blocked for them. That way, all you need to do is accessorize

        In summary, color blocking is a great way to express yourself and make your outfits more fun and interesting. It's a look that will never go out of style and one that you can wear in any season. Be confident and experiment with different shades and complimentary color combinations. Get to know the color wheel and before you know it you’ll be color blocking and coordinating your outfits like a pro (color blocking also comes in useful with home décor and make-up).  

        We have an amazing selection of color blocked inspired items in our Color Block Collection. Grab one of these unique tops and pair it with your favourite jeans, joggers, skirt or shorts.

        If you want more inspiration, why don’t you try creating your own color pallets on this color wheel.

        Free Downloadable E-Book

        I’ve created an amazing e-book that you can download.  It goes into more detail about color blocking and contains a color wheel that you can take with you.  It also contains a breakdown of which colors work best with your skin tone. Simply subscribe to receive your free copy which includes over 40 different examples of color blocked looks to inspire you.