How to Colour Coordinate Different Tones, Prints and Patterns
Colour coordinating patterns and prints can be tricky. We all respond positively to colour combinations that suggest harmony. In this post we will look at basic guidelines for determining the appropriate shades according to the so-called colour wheel.
The outfits featured in this post are from Femme Luxe. Femme Luxe offers a fantastic range of women’s loungewear sets, ripped jeans for women, as well as the perfect little black dress or white midi dress for every age, shape and style! If you’re looking to add more colour into your wardrobe and want to experiment with new styles then why not take a look at their fantastic selection of colours, textures and silhouettes.
We must first consider gender. Decades ago, blue was thought to be the colour for boys and pink for little girls. In fact, today these boundaries of these stereotypes are finally blurred. According to research, the favourite colour for 57% of men is blue against 35% for women. And 27% of men define brown as their least favourite colour. About 33% of women say that orange is their least favourite colour.
Men use more universal names to define colours such as yellow, green, pink, purple. Women use names such as lavender, eggplant, coral, salmon, turquoise, cherry, tomato, lime, etc.
In this sense, when it comes only to blue, it includes an infinite number of shades that tend to green, purple, black or white, and therefore the shades liked by men may not be favoured for women and vice versa.
How Can Ladies Determine Which Clothing Colours they Should Wear?
We should specify that the choice must be consistent not only with age and occasion, but also with important characteristics, which we will consider below.
Skin colour is one of the most important factors to consider. Although the skin can have a wide variety of shades, we can divide it mainly into skin with a warm, cool or neutral undertone. Characteristic for the warm skin tone are the more yellowish shades, and for the cool ones – the more pinkish ones.
Before proceeding with any study of skin undertone, pay attention to the light source. Often, artificial light can cause changes in perception. This also applies to natural light. The skin looks different on a sunny or gloomy, rainy day.
To determine the colour of your undertone, you can look at the skin on the inside of the arm where the veins are visible.
If your veins as blue, then the skin tone is cool. If your veins as green, the tone is warm. If you cannot determine whether the veins are blue or green, the skin tone is neutral.
You can try and hold up a pure white sheet of paper to your face to also determine what skin tone you have. Keep in mind that facial skin often has more reddish tones and therefore your results might not be accurate. Analysing the skin in the décolleté area will give a more authentic result.
The colour and undertone of the skin are part of the reasons why a certain shade looks great on one woman and not so well suited to another.
Hair colour can have a significant impact on the overall look and even affect how the colours of clothes appear.
Eye colour, makeup and jewellery also play an important role in the overall look.
The Eternal Classic – Black and White
The easiest colours to combine are black and white. We’ve written about how to wear black and white in a previous post.
In addition to the classic combination of black and white, you can combine black with almost any shade. This also applies to white.
Every year, Fashion Weeks are held in London, Milan, Paris and New York, attended by fashion designers, representatives of major fashion houses, retailers of fabrics and consumables for the garment industry, wholesalers and media representatives from around the world. A team of specialists gives their predictions on which shades will be among the 10 most modern colours next season and 4 additional classic shades. Later, the Pantone Colour Institute names 1 colour (sometimes 2) as the most fashionable for the year.
In 2021, the most modern colours according to Pantone are:
The colours can be used alone or in combination with each other.
As for the modern colours for the autumn/winter 2021/2022 season, Ultimate Grey is again present in the 4 additional classic shades.
You will not go wrong if you combine any shade of grey skirt or trousers with a blouse or shirt in white.
You can create bolder and more impressive combinations by pairing grey with warm or cool colours, as well as with bold or neural shades.
Styling With the Help of Monochrome Colour Schemes
If we look again at the example with white, grey and black – this gives us a clear idea of a monochrome colour scheme. An easy way of colour coordinating your clothes is by using a similar strategy for coloured clothes too.
For example, if you choose a garment in red, adding black (or grey) will make your chosen shade of red appear darker, whereas adding white will result in a more pinkish or coral hue. Of course, the darkest colour is black and the lightest is pure white. After deciding on how bright a colour your main tone will be, you can achieve a more saturated appearance or soft pastel monochrome colour schemes by using this strategy.
Which Colours are Warm and Which are Cool?
Colour can affect blood pressure, calmness, make you feel warm or cold, and even affect decision making.
We can divide the colours into 2 main groups – warm and cool. The main difference is that warm colours have the longest wavelengths in the spectrum, while cool colours have shorter ones. Usually red, orange and yellow are considered warm colours, and green, blue and purple are considered cool. But this is more schematic because we may have warmer green tones as well as cool reds that tend to have a purple undertone.
When it comes to choosing clothes, we can make successful combinations with 2 warm colours or 2 cool. The so-called “earthy tones” include more complex shades of brown, olive green, beige, ochre, etc. Depending on the predominant colours, they can also be divided into warm and cool. White, black and grey are neutral tones that can be successfully combined with both warm and cool colours.
Your individual skin tone, which can be warm, cool or neutral, is directly related to the way the colour of the garment suits the overall look of your outfit. You can balance your look with a combination of warm and cool tones.
Using the Colour Wheel
You’ve probably heard of colour theory, which is a practical combination of art and science and is used to determine which colours look harmonious together. The colour wheel is at the heart of colour theory. It was invented in 1666 by Isaac Newton, who made a scheme of visible colour waves on a circle.
Today there are different types of colour wheels. For example, RYB uses Red, Yellow, and Blue as primary colours. It helps in the physical mixing of colours and is important for artists and people who want to achieve complex tones with a limited palette. The other type of colour wheel is RGB, in which yellow is replaced by green. It is associated with obtaining colours from displays on TVs, monitors, phones and more. There is also a third type of wheel, which is more related to the prepress and contains the colours Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.
Harmonious Vision through Similar Colour Schemes
Using colours that are next to each other in the colour wheel is called creating a pattern with similar colours. In this case, the name “similar” means 2 things that have a similar function or can be compared with each other. For example, when mixing yellow and green, a yellow-green colour is obtained, which is close to the 2 original colours. Thus, these 3 colours – yellow, yellow-green and green are analogous because of the close relationship between them.
Whether it is a combination of clothes, interior decoration, brochure design or web design, the use of similar colours creates a sense of balance and harmony. If you look at nature you will find many examples of similar colours. When putting together a colour scheme, you need to pay attention to the tones and undertones of each one to ensure they create compliment one another. Usually the middle tone is used as the main one, and the other 2 are used as accent tones, but often among clothes with prints there is an almost even use of all three colours.
As we wrote above, one half of the colour wheel contains warm colours with a longer wavelength, and the other half has cool tones. The complementary colours are the 2 shades that are on opposite sides of each other on the wheel. So one colour is warm and the other is cool. This combination of complementary colours enhances the contrast between them. When mixed, they create more neutral shades. Usually if we use a primary colour like yellow, its complementary colour is purple, which is a sum of red and blue.
The most famous combinations of complementary colours are:
– Yellow and purple
– Blue and orange
– Red and green
If we add more complex colours, this will affect the complementary:
– Yellow-orange and blue-purple
– Orange-red and blue-green
– Red-purple and green-yellow
Complementary colours can be used to harmoniously reduce the brightness of the primary colours. When we add a little green to the bright red colour we will reduce its intensity, and in larger quantities we will get a nice brown colour.
Harmonious Combinations of 3 Colours
If we decide to use the colour wheel, which is 360 degrees, we can determine the harmonic colours that sit on the axes at about 120 degrees.
Some of the most famous combinations are:
– Red, yellow, blue
– Red-orange, yellow-green, blue-violet
– Orange, green, purple
– Yellow-orange, blue-green, red-violet
Harmonious Combinations of 4 Colours
To choose 4 colours we can again use the wheel and choose different shades. In the colour combinations below you can see 4 colours +1 additional shade to choose instead of the given base colour.
If colour theory seems too complicated, feel free to book a virtual 1-to-1 colour analysis consultation with us now.
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