The Arts of Mixing Colors In Your Outfits to Express Your Personalities

 Sensibilitie fashion blog on mixing in fashion styles

Overview

Is it just me or everyone is similar in how we want to express our personality through our clothing? Well, to me, there is a specific relationship between what I wear and how I want to look and feel on that very day or moment. And whether I am good at it or not, styling to express one's personality is not a straight forward task.  In fact, unless you are a seasoned fashionista, styling is not a natural skill nor is it an effortless task. At least, it is an activity far from being easy to me, but I don't compromise when it comes to having ways to express myself.  So, today, I want to start a mini series about a crucial element in styling and that is the idea of mixing. But before diving into this topic, I want to briefly note what styling is to me.

Styling to me is about putting together pieces of clothing that serves one's need of outfit for a particular time, place, and mood. We usually sum it up these components of time and place requirements in the word "occasion". And conventionally, we usually dress for a certain occasion, whether it is for work, party, or specific event. But to what extent you include mood in your styling rests on how much you emphasize your own personality in your style or styles. And of course, we all have a great personality to ourselves and we love to share that personality to the world, or at least, to people we deal with in our daily living or casually run across in our daily lives. And when we dress to highlight our personality, we are embracing ourselves and live with authenticity, in the broadest sense of the concept authenticity.

And when it comes to expressing our personality, it is never about one single-sided personality. It is always plural, fluid, and in multitude of dimensions. That's how complex we and our personalities are. So, how do we go about expressing these few or many sides of our personalities? One approach is mastering the arts of mixing!

FIVE MODES OF MIXING

There are many ways to mix clothing when styling to express your personalities. Since the Sensibilitie vision is much about expressing oneself, one's identity, and one's personalities, I am all for the idea of including mood in mixing and styling our clothing. Note that I use the word "clothing" here in liue of "fashion" because I am an advocate of the concept of "trendless passion" instead of time-based fashion. You could read more about this discussion in my past post here.

Sensibilitie fashion post on mixing fashion styles

Mode I: Mixing & Matching Colors

It may be obvious to many of us that mixing and experimenting colors into our outfits is one of the best ways to command mood in our styles. So, what is the big deal about mixing colors? Well, one issue some of us may have is that mixing colors may not be an easy task, and in most of the situations it is a task that requires more time and thinking to pull together the right look. And to some, mixing colors is always a risky task if one is not keen to the color wheel, or the inner logic of complementary colors. As a result, some choose the "safe" side and end up with wearing a predominant color very frequently. Remember that gal who is dressing in black color most of the time? Well, in fact, I was such a gal back in my college years whose closet has mostly black colored items. (Of course, it is not to say that black is not a color. It is. It is a color that many will choose to use for professional settings since wearing darker tone does yield a more solemn and formal attire.)

So the problem remains:  Even though mixing colors including the neutrals black, grey, white, and beige is the most basic way of mixing personalities in your fashion styles, it could be a challenging task for some. And in my opinion, it is quite unproductive these days to use the color wheel such as this one below as a guideline.

Sensibilitie fashion blog post on mixing colors

So, let's dig a bit deeper into color matching. There are at least two levels of skills in using colors. The basic level is color matching between two colors. And to apply that skill, one just need to know those complementary colors and faithfully follow those color schemes as shown in the above color wheel. That is, blue goes well with orange; green matches well with red; and purple pairs well with yellow, etc. Well, that is the basic idea. And the problem with this level of color-matching is, it is too basic for the contemporary style that has become very sophisticated as a result of the brilliance of new technology in color production, textile complexities, and pattern variations.

So to elevate color matching of complementary-color sets to a higher level, I will use the following list which I found a decade ago to provide a more comprehensive guideline for color-matching and color mixing with multiple color-schemes. (Unfortunately, at this time of writing I regret I no longer find the original source to credit the producer.)

What I put together below are the images of all the colors that match well with the first color being underlined. Then, to illustrate this color-mixing with actual clothing, I provide an outfit to most of the following colors to serve as example of how these colors under discussion go well with one and another.

Light pink matches with shades of browns, mint green, tan, olive green, gray, and turquoise.

Sensibilitie fashion blog on color matching guide for baby pink
In this outfit, the pom-poms pink top is the star of the show, and it is being matched with a darker turquoise skirt (or a dress underneath the top). And what makes this color-matching so brilliant is how it deviates a little from the exact match of pink & turquoise combination. The darker tone of turquoise-blue tones down the girly features of the pom-poms and balances out the playful top with an elegant lace skirt/dress at the bottom, making this outfit a brilliantly fun, festive, elegant and sophisticated one.

Sensibilitie pom-poms pink top matching with lace turquoise dress

Dark pink or fuchsia matches with shades of browns, mint green, shades of yellows, lime green, and gray.

Sensibilitie color matching guide on fuschia
In this outfit below, since fuchsia contains plenty of color in the dress already, it is best to match with accessories in shades of browns and grey. The neutral hues of browns in the scarf and clutch bag harmonize the bright tone in fuchsia and creates a subtle balance of colors.

             

Sensibilitie fashion blog on color matching tips for fuschia color 

Tomato red matches with mint green, creamy white, baby blue, and gray.Sensibilitie color matching guideline on tomato red

Red is the richest color and it is best to pair with at least one neutral color such as creamy white or gray. Try a basic top and a gray purse. And to add a little more spark of color to complement the red trench coat, pairing a mint green scarf or a light blue one will make your overall outfit pop with a lively energy.

Sensibilitie blog post on color matching for red outfit

Wine red matches with light yellow, shades of blues, gray, and light orange.

Shop Senseibilities fashion blog on color matching for cherry red

This solid wine colored red dress and teal blue coat match well with a blue-toned scarf with decorative print such as the one below to add more interest to the outfit.

Sensibilitie wine red dress as example for wine red style
Light brown matches with light yellow,  shades of blues, purples, creamy white, shades of greens and reds.

Sensibilitie fashion blog on color matching for light brown color
Dark brown matches with lemon yellow, baby blue, mint green, light purple, and lime green.

Sensibilitie color matching blog on dark brown color

As a short clue, overall, brown goes well with blues. Lighter brown goes with lighter yellow, and darker brown such as the cardigan matches well with brighter yellow.

 

Sensibiliit color matching for brown outfit
Tan matches with shades of blues, darker brown, shades of greens, light pink and shades of purples.

Sensibilitie fashion blog on the arts of color matching

Overall, tan is a very easy color to pair since it goes with many shades of blues, greens, and purples. This is a color that could almost never go wrong. Here, I pair this lace tunic with light pink scarf and a clutch bag in purple tone. For the spring and summer, this same lace tunic would pair well with shades of lime green and darker green.

Sensibilitie color matching guide for tan style

Light orange matches with gray, forest green, shades of browns and cherry red.

Sensibilitie fashion blog on color matching for pale orange

Dark orange matches matches with pale yellow, forest green, shades of browns and cherry red.Shop Sensibilities color matching guide on dark orange

Overall, orange goes well with darker tone of greens and browns. This outfit below brings out both the earthy tone plus a touch of warmth.

Sensibilitie color matching guide for dark orange style

Lemon yellow matches with cherry red, browns, blues, and gray.

Shop Sensibilities fashion blog post on color matching for lemon yellow

Light yellow matches with fuschia, gray, browns, tan, reds, blues, and purples.
Sensibilitie color matching guide for light yellow

Golden yellow matches with gray, browns, blues, reds, and black.

Sensibilitie fashion blog on color matching guide

Golden yellow or mustard usually goes well with most shades of reds and grey. You could use a neutral grey bag or scarf to tone down the bright contrast of these two colors.

Sensibilitie guideline for color matching for golden yellow Lime green matches with tan, shades of browns and pinks, dark orange, navy blue, and gray.

Sensibilitie color matching guide for lime green

Lime green is a cheerful color that is perfect for any upbeat occasion. If you have a piece that has more casual features it it such as the dress below, pair it with a darker blue jacket and a brown scarf and it could easily be transformed into a semi formal style.

Sensibilitie color matching guide for limegreen outfitForrest green matches with shades of oranges, light brown, and tan.

Sensibilitie fashion blog post on color mixing and matching

Olive green matches with tan, browns, grays, creamy white, and black.
Sensibilitie color matching guide on olive green
Mint green matches with brown, gray, navy blue, reds, gray, and tan.

Sensibilitie color matching guide for mint green

Turquoise matches with fuschia, cherry red, tan, browns, creamy white, dark and purple.

Sensibilitie color matching guide for female fashion

Electric blue matches with golden yellow, tan, mild brown, gray or silver.
Sensibilitie fashion blog guide on color matching
Light blue matches with reds, gray, browns, and dark orange.

Sensibilitie fashion guide on color matching for baby blue color

Navy blue matches with light purple, tan, brown, gray, yellows, oranges, greens, reds, and other pastel colors.

Sensibilitie fashion blog guide on color matching tips

This dress in a dark blue tone consists of complementary shades of tan and oranges. This dress alone demonstrates how colors work to command a particular mood.

Sensibilitie color matching tips for dark blue outfit
Lavender matches with dark orange, darkish purple, and olive green.

Sensibilitie blog post on color matching guideline

Lavender is a romantic and feminine color. For those who don't want to appear too girly, balance it with a masculine jacket in dark green tone such as the one shown below. You could also add a piece of accessories in dark orange to complete the look. As the experts say, always add the third piece in your outfit.

Sensibilitie color matching tips for lavender outfit
Dark purple matches with tan, pale yellow, gray, turquoise, mint green, and light orange.

Sensibilitie blog post on color matching for female fashionEven though purple is a romantic color overall, darker tone purple could make one appear to be moody. So, to balance this strong mood out, pair it with a tan dress and a piece of accessories in mint, light orange, or turquoise color to lighten up the overall outfit. 

Sensibilitie color matching guide for purple outfit

 Color matching and mixing is just one way to style your personalities into your outfit. I will be writing in another post the second mode of mixing your fashion pieces. 

 

Blog post written by: Hong

Hong M

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