Match Your Clothes the Easy Way with the Color Wheel

Have you ever noticed how some people are naturally fashionable? Matching clothes and being able to build an outfit takes talent – and it’s something that you can teach yourself. It’s all about embracing the color wheel so that you can be a diva throughout all seasons of the year.

What is the Color Wheel?

The color wheel is a list of all of the major colors. It identifies the primary colors. From there, you get into the secondary colors, which are made by mixing the primary colors. After that, the tertiary colors are made by mixing both primary and secondary colors.

Color Theory is the science and art of using color. It identifies not only how you may perceive color but the visual effects that are created when you begin mixing and matching.

In some instances, you may want to add vibrant colors to your wardrobe. Even just one splash of color can turn your outfit from boring to WOW.

In other instances, you may want to find matching separates so that you don’t end up looking like you went into your closet blindfolded.

Either way, it’s important to embrace Color Theory. The way to do this is by understanding all that’s incorporated into the color wheel. This was invented in the 18th Century by Sir Isaac Newton as a way to visually represent the colors and their relationships.

Primary colors include:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue

All colors are derived from these primary colors.

When you combine primary colors, you’re able to get secondary colors:

  • Orange (red+yellow)
  • Purple (red+blue)
  • Green (blue+yellow)

Tertiary colors ends up being every other color out there, including:

  • Navy
  • Olive
  • Aquamarine
  • Magenta

Since the tertiary colors are so numerous, they’re often broken down into other categories. Understanding the breakdown of tertiary colors is critical when you begin matching for your next outfit.

How to Use the Color Wheel to Match Your Clothes

Warm colors, cool colors, and neutral colors are an important aspect of matching clothing articles to put together an outfit.

Warm colors: Hues of red, orange, yellow, and brown.

Cool colors: Hues of purple, blue, and green.

Neutral colors: Muted and subdued colors such as black, gray, white, nude, etc.

When you’re looking to blend in without calling attention to yourself, neutral colors can be the easiest way to go. There’s no such thing as too many neutrals, either. Mix and match so that you wear black with nude, khaki with navy, and so on.

When you want to make an area of your body look smaller and/or you want to look warmer, warm colors are ideal.

If you want to go with a relaxing, fun, or soothing color, choose cool colors. These colors are guaranteed to draw attention, too, so be sure that you are prepared for it.

Creating an Outfit Using the Color Wheel

Now that you have a basic understanding of how the colors work, you have to consider how that will work when creating an outfit.

You can choose a top and bottom, a dress, and an accessory (scarf, boots, belt, etc.) or some other combination. Unless you plan to go with a monotone style (all one color), you’ll need to know how to match your colors.

Complementary colors allow you to choose the exact opposite on the color wheel. You want to wear red? Complement it with green. You want to wear purple? Complement it with yellow. Always go a shade darker on the complementary color so you don’t end up looking like a clown.

Analogous colors allow you to blend three colors that are side by side on the color wheel. For example, you can choose three hues of blue and look sophisticated.

Triadic colors are a bit trickier. They’re equidistant from one another on the color wheel. This is not the way to go when you’re first learning. It involves going for a combination of three colors that many people would argue don’t go together. It’s fashion-forward, though some may also say that it’s over the top.

There are a few tips to help you with creating an outfit. What works for others may not work for you, so it’s important that you personalize everything to fit you and your personality:

  • Choose colors that suit your skin tone
  • Opt for an ombre
  • Balance a bright color with a neutral one
  • Match the key things: Jacket, belt, shoes

Embrace the color wheel – and don’t assume that there’s just one wheel. Choose one that covers all of the tertiary colors so that you can use it as a guide as you shop and as you assemble your outfits every day.

Elegant Fashion for Your Wardrobe

You have to consider what you want to accomplish when you are choosing an outfit.

Are you looking to be taken seriously? Are you looking for something that is flirty and fun? Do you want to accentuate an area of your body or play an area down? All of this can be accomplished as you begin building your wardrobe.

Have some fun as you shop to enhance your wardrobe. You may have some of your basics – blouses, skirts, and pants. However, now that you’re understanding Color Theory more, now is your chance to add in some more colors.

Maybe you’ll want to go with a predominant color inside of a patterned print. Then, you can match it with a solid color coordinate. The print can be on the top or the bottom.

Accessories are an important part of your wardrobe, too. Think jewelry, belts, scarves, and jackets. All it takes is one “signature” color so that you can have some fun as you get dressed. You might want to choose gold as your signature color. Add it in with the jewelry you buy. Then, have some fun with tertiary colors, including the opposite of gold, a dark purple. Then, get fancy with triadic colors such as red and aqua. Or opt for an analogous look where you add in yellow and orange.

Dare to be bold with the colors you choose. As you step outside of your comfort zone of neutrals, an entire color wheel of hues is waiting for you. As long as you understand the color rules, science won’t let you down. Choose a color that speaks to you and the science of the wheel will guide you the rest of the way.

Once you’ve embraced the color wheel, you can start to shop for high-end fashions. Start shopping at Nell and Rose today. Our online warehouse of fashions will ensure you look good whether you’re headed to the store, cocktail hour, or a night on the town.