Matching complementary colors in your wardrobe can be a challenge. Two colors which are beautiful on their own can look dull or muddy when put together, or two colors may seem to compete with one another although they’re close in tone and shade. You might also notice that different shades of colors don’t always mesh well whereas those same two colors work fine when they’re lighter or darker. To help you find the best color combinations for your clothes, you may want to turn to a color wheel.
A color wheel has a sample of colors in gradual tones in a large circle. It is said that colors will work well with one another depending on where they are on that wheel. Typically a color wheel will have yellow on one end and violet directly across from it, then shades of orange and red between them along one side and shades of blue and green along the other side.
To make the color wheel work, you would choose colors that are next to one another, directly across from one another, or at a 90-degree angle from one another. This means that yellow and violet would work well since they’re directly across from one another, or yellow and red-orange since they are at a 90-degree angle on the wheel. Blue and violet-red are at a 90-degree angle so they would work well in an outfit together, or blue and orange since they’re directly across from each other.
Neutrals are said to go with any color on the wheel; these neutrals include black, white, grey and brown. You may need to use some discretion when choosing neutrals and other colors on the wheel as it doesn’t include every single tone and shade of the colors available, and sometimes you simply need to make a change if two colors don’t seem to mesh once you try them on in an outfit.
It’s also good to remember when using the color wheel that sometimes two strong colors need to accent one another, rather than compete. For example, if you choose blue and violet-red, you may want to have a violet-red blouse under your blue pantsuit rather than a blue skirt and violet-red sweater. Covering up the blouse just slightly with your jacket will make it seem like an accent and it won’t clash or be overwhelming.
If you’re not sure of how to match colors, get yourself a color wheel and make notes of the color combinations. You will more readily be able to find the right choices if you use it as a guide, and won’t need to worry about anything clashing or competing.