Throughout history, clothing colour combinations have been made more complicated than they need to be because fashion has always dictated what we should wear. However one of the nicest things about being a certified image consultant is that I get the privilege of showing my clients what colours look great with their colouring and what they should wear based on their personality, body shape and goals. Instead of focusing strictly on fashion, they are shown how to dress to look their personal best with colour.
In general there are two types of colour schemes – related colour combinations and contrasted colour combinations.
Related combinations are colour schemes where the colours have something in common. An example of this is an analogous colour scheme, where colours are side by side on a colour wheel. Monochromatic colour combinations are another related colour scheme. These colour combinations refer to colours that are made from the same base colour. The colour is altered by toning with grey, adding black, white or a small amount of another colour. When these colours are worn together they appear tone on tone.
Contrasting colour schemes are colours that have nothing in common. They are on different sides of a colour wheel. When side by side they draw attention to each other and stand out. Complementary colour schemes are the most contrasting. Complimentary colour schemes are when the colours are exact opposite to each other on a colour wheel. For example: red and green; blue and orange; violet and yellow; another example of a contrasting scheme is using three colours all equal distance apart on a colour wheel. An example of this is would be wearing red, yellow and blue together in a combination.
To look more elegant, softer, more approachable or harmonious opt for related colour combinations. To appear more dynamic, fun or energetic dress in contrasting combinations.
I highly recommend playing with colour and creating your own colour schemes with a box of Crayola crayons or paints. Find the combinations that interest your personality and suit your colouring. Incorporate them into your wardrobe and the way you dress.