November 5, 2013
Color is often the first thing to be addressed when fashion and personal style are the subject…
The 10 Rules of Color Harmony
1. Limit the number of colors in your outfit to no more than 3. You will in this way create a visual harmony.
2. A print will often include more than 3 colors. In order to create balance, focus on the color which is most prominent in the print when finishing your outfit. Example: A black jacket is a good complement to a dress of multicolored flowers on a black background.
3. To lighten your silhouette, it is preferable to wear lighter/brighter colors on the top half of your body, and darker ones on the bottom, rather than the inverse. Bright colors seem visually lighter than darker colors do, and they also bring a flattering light to your face.
4. Warm, bright colors – red, orange, fuchsia, yellow – give off an aura which is synonymous with energy. Wear them on rainy days!
5. One color can influence the way in which another appears. Example: Grey pants and a pale pink blouse can seem dreary. But white pants worn with the same pink blouse can appear luminous.
6. An outfit composed of three colors – in cameo – is elegant and attractive. (note – they’re talking about 3 closely related colors) Example: Choose coffee brown pants with an ivory blouse and a sable brown jacket.
7. Colors in a fabric that is shiny or reflective will seem lighter, because their surface reflects lights. On the other hand, the color of a fabric which is matte will seem darker and more sober.
8. Green, worn near your face – especially if shiny – accentuates discolorations in your skin. In the same way, shiny fabrics will accentuate the appearance of oily skin.
9. In order to effectively accent a monochromatic outfit, include a touch of a complementary color. Example: A blue suit with an orange blouse,or a red dress with a green handbag.
10. There are the neutral colors which are easiest for most people to wear: black, white, grey, beige, navy, brown, khaki. (Not sure this is true…)
The people who have to look at me everyday thank you for this. I do love color, but don't always know how to wear it to the best effect.
Jana Miller @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering says
i can't wear khaki near my face-I look washed out!
Now I know why I decided to give up green!!!
Ah, the green comment is very interesting. I love green and wear it a lot as i have green-gold eyes, I wonder if it has this negative effect on my complexion. I need to think about this more carefully. Why, in colour theory, would it have this effect? Is it because it is a yellow-based colour? Does it have the same effect on someone with a blue-undertone (not yellow undertone) skin? I am wondering aloud. Off to experiment, thank you!
I think some people tend to generalize based on their own experience, including some people who write books. Green might look terrible on most, but it's one of my best colors. I can wear pretty much any shade of green except mint green. I'm green eyed, auburn hair.
I agree with the generalization comment. Green is a great color on me in almost any shade. I also have green eyes. The writer says that green accents the discolorations in skin. Perhaps that's because at least when we're young those tend to be reddish in color and green is the opposite of red on the color wheel. At my age those discolorations are on the brown side, rather than red. Brown being a neutral, green should work just fine ;-)).
this is the long-ago Summer/Winter skin and clothing philosophy. "Falls" have your golden skin undertones and are fine in greens, oranges, yellows, while the more prevalent "Winters" and "Summers" have the pink undertones and don't do well in those colors. Can't remember what "Spring" is.
Springs also have warm colours but a lighter, clearer version of the colours that are usually darker and deeper in Autumns
Hmm… interesting points to consider. I tend to like tonal outfits like the one they suggest with cream, beige and brown (but in cooler colours to suit my colouring better).
I have found that greens have either a yellow undertone or a blue undertone. My coloring does best with the blue undertone colors.
Bingo. I have tan skin with peach undertones and dark auburn hair. Kelly green is my friend (love it with navy!). But the yellow-lime shades garner an equal amount of compliments in the summer.
#6 is especially intriguing, and I believe it's true (at least on me). As for #10, are there any other neutral colors besides the ones listed? I wouldn't think so.
Sometimes red is considered a neutral. So are some shades of olive and blue-gray.
Great tips! A great while ago, I had my colors "done" and was told that teal and taupe are universally neutral colors. But then there are a wide range of hues that are called "taupe" and "teal." I need a blue-ish teal, not a green-ish one, and a rosy taupe vs. a yellowy one to work in my wardrobe. Neither taupe or teal look good near my face. I think it depends your skin tone whether you can wear white or cream, brown or black. My red-headed sister ("Autumn") is a cream, off-white, beige, burnt organe and brown kinda gal, and I am an auburn-haired ("Winter") white, grey, navy, blue-red, and black kinda gal. Because I just missed being a "Summer," black is too dark to wear without some additional color via jewelry, scarf, blouse, etc. near my face — charcoal grey is my darkest color.