How To Coordinate Clothing Colors

Girl with old fashioned style

If you have an ounce of fashion sense, you know that not all your tops and bottoms are meant to be worn together. If you want to break out of your grays, blacks and whites, you need to learn which colors can go with which.

Here are tips for coordinating clothing colors:

  • Pastel tops go with dark pants. This contrast works effectively for many occasions. Avoid going out with an all-pastel color.
  • Avoid an all-bright color ensemble. This holds especially true for two or more bright colors. Stick to one bright color then tone down the rest of your clothing. Whether it's a bright necktie surrounded by a dark suit or a neon top with a muted skirt, this getup will accentuate the single stand-out color on you.
  • Choose different shades of the same color. This is an easy solution that creates an elegant look. If you have no time to consult a color palette or experiment with color combination, this method is right for the occasion. However, avoid clothes with the exact color, as this suggests you buy your clothes as a set.
  • Stay away from three colors. Only a few, fashion-savvy people can make three or more colors work. Everyone else will look uncoordinated and call attention to themselves. Decide on the two colors for your top and bottom, then let your footwear and accessories be in the same hue as one or the other.
  • White works with everything. A white button-down shirt can go with jeans, slacks and skirts. An all-white number works just as well, too. White can offset the effect of bright colors and accentuate the dark colors of clothing. Men should stay away from white socks, however, as these suggest sportswear, or Michael Jackson. Navy blue is another color that goes with everything.
  • Shirt and shoe colors should be similar. This rule of thumb is sufficient for most cases, but you can also combine shoes and pants with different shades of the same color.
  • Download your favorite color palettes. The best websites, wedding fashion and daily wear all stick to a limited number of colors that match each other. Many design websites offer a rich number of palettes with their own quirky names that evoke certain moods. Choose the combinations you like then print them for easy access when you pick clothes from your closet. Advanced fashionistas can use a color wheel for guidance.
  • Categorize your closet according to color. This arrangement will allow you to pick from each section for an easy way to match colors. Don't forget to return the clothes to their proper section if you don't choose to wear it for the day.
  • Avoid holiday hues. Green and reds make you look like a Christmas tree décor, pink and red makes you look like Cupid, and orange and black make you look like a Halloween pumpkin.

If you're still unsure whether your color combination works, stand in front of the mirror or ask a friend or relative nearby for their first impression. If you can imagine every person you pass by thinking you look like a rainbow, then maybe you should refrain from wearing a red top with orange bottoms, blue shoes and yellow bag.


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