Super Simple Ways to Master Color Mixing

Color mixing is not the sort of thing that anyone is born knowing how to do, but that is a good thing. It is not a talent. It is a skill. And like any other skill, it can be learned. Here are six strategies to make it easier.
1. Keep it in the family. It is pretty straightforward: pastels with pastels, earth tones with earth tones, jewel tones with jewel tones, and so on.
2. Use a color wheel to find complimentary colors. When you are talking about colors, “complimentary” actually means “opposite.” Black and white, for instance, are complimentary colors. That is why they look so great together. You know, “opposites attract.” Yeah, like that whole thing. Every color has a complimentary color. It is just whatever is on the opposite side of the color wheel. True complimentary colors are the same distance from the center of the wheel, but it can be very striking to combine a color from the center, like a pale yellow green, with its complimentary color from the outside edge, like a deep mauve.
ColorWheel1
3. Give it the ombré test. Different shades of the same color or similar colors almost always look good together. If you need some help, do a Google image search for “ombré [insert color here]” and see what pops up.
4. Try the “J.Crew Hack.” J.Crew shoots all their clothes fully styled on a model, and they have a really great way with color. Take the piece of clothing you are looking to build into an outfit, then go on JCrew.com or open one of their catalogs and find something, anything, the same color. Then just make a note of the colors they are combining and copy it with clothes from your own wardrobe. I call it a “J.Crew Hack,” but really it works with any brand or site that shoots their clothes on-model: Nasty Gal, Net-A-Porter, Zara. It’s just a matter of finding a brand you like and copying the combos they use.
5. Let a print be your guide. Find a print from a designer you love (or even something in your own wardrobe) and break it down into its different colors; then make an outfit. If you want to take it to the next level, rank the colors in the print from most used to least used and wear larger items like dresses, coats, or sweaters in the most-used colors and smaller items and accessories in the least-used colors.
6. When in doubt, black and white. Neutrals in general (navy, khaki, gray, denim, gold, silver, etc.) are great for color mixing, but black and white, especially together, are definitely the superstars of the family. You literally cannot go wrong.

One thought on “Super Simple Ways to Master Color Mixing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s