Colour blocking in fashion refers to the trend of wearing multiple items of clothing in different block colours. The term is also commonly used when referencing an outfit made up of just one block colour. For example, you might wear a co-ord or a suit in the same colour. The term "colour blocking" may also involve pairing together garments of either the same or different bold colours that were not sold as part of a set.
Many people are wary of wearing two clothing items of the same colour. Yet, the block colour styling technique is actually very simple and minimal. Admittedly, the idea of wearing a bold colour from head-to-toe might sound daunting, but it's not as difficult as you might think. In fact, colour blocking outfits is a sure-fire way to succeed at colour coordinating your clothing. If you struggle with coordinating colours and patterns in the clothes you wear, then learning how to wear colour blocking outfits could be a fashion technique you might want to consider.
Colour Blocking Tips
Over the past year I've become a huge fan of the colour blocking technique. It's a quick and easy way to make a statement without having to go overboard with accessories, hair or makeup. This is why block colours work wonderfully for professional attire. Provided that you know which colours to mix and match together, you can curate a perfectly styled outfit in mere minutes! Here are a few basic tips to get you started:
- If you're hesitant, try out colour blocking with soft, neutral tones first.
- You can easily brighten up blocks of neutral tones with bright, bold accessories.
- You can still wear prints with colour block outfits but try to keep it minimal. For e.g. patterns work great when worn as accessories in a block colour outfit.
- When consulting a colour wheel, find a colour you want to wear and pair it with the colours on either of its adjacent sides. These will compliment each other best.
- Try to avoid wearing colours that are too contrasting. With the exception of black and white, most colours that are opposite to one another are just too contrasting to look good when worn together.
- In colour blocking, choose 1 colour in the same shade to wear from head-to-toe.
- If you're mixing multiple colours then choose a maximum of 3 colours. Any more than 3 will look too much.
How to Wear Colour Blocking Outfits
Doubling colours or wearing a single block colour can also make an outfit of any cost look more expensive. The colours: black, white and beige are perfect examples of this minimal styling trick. Each of these three shades work really well when worn as one block colour on their own. Of course, you can apply the colour blocking trend to just about any colour and achieve great results. If you're goal is to use block colours to make your outfit look more sophisticated and expensive then I'd recommend that you stick to wearing just one or two different colours. When mixing bright, bold colours for an on-trend, statement look then choose no more than three different colours.
Which colours should you mix together? Can you mix any colours together? Learning how to wear colour blocking outfits isn't as simple as wearing a variety of bold colours at random. Try to stick to colours from the same groups with the same level of saturation. Pastel tones look best when worn with other pastel tones. Neon colours should be worn with other neon colours. Bold winter tones look best with other striking, highly saturated colours. As you can see, there aren't many rules when it comes to mastering the colour blocking outfit technique. However, these are the fundamental basics to getting this styling method right! As you begin to experiment with colours, you'll also find that pink is a great substitute for red in most cases. Fuchsia is a great alternative to a striking tone of red and can be used to replace red in most colour blocking combinations.
As you can see from my outfits in this post, the two pink sets could be mix and matched together because they are both pastel tones. Whereas the burgundy and blue are richer, earthy shades with the same colour payoff, meaning that these two colours would work well when worn together. As you can see, the pink and peach are softer, less saturated tones and therefore are not suitable tones to wear with the vibrant blue or red.
On a final note, pay attention to which colours suit your skin tone and hair colour and which colours clash. Blondes will want to pay more attention to the shades of yellow they choose. Red heads will have to be cautious when choosing fiery shades, such as orange and red. And brunettes need to be wary when matching darker tones that could clash with the tones in their hair colour. The idea of colour blocking is that each colour is striking enough to stand out but with the same undertone or saturation so that the finished ensemble is perfectly coordinated. For best results, try to create a subtle contrast between your clothing colours and your hair colour. Find out more about choosing clothing colours that suit your hair and skin tone here.