Monday, July 9, 2012

Fashion 101: Identify The Colors

Nowadays, I often do blog-hopping to fashion blogs during my free times. Some I have it bookmarked and some I followed. I wondered why these girls look at their best all the time. No matter what colors (loud or pale) they wear; they always look great.

Yes, like every girl does; I do love shopping. I am impulsive in buying, too. Mostly, the shoes and clothes I buy are end up sitting in my closet and just gathering dusts. I am fond of buying clothes that aren't basic. I buy clothes that later I'll realized it needs a perfect timing and proper occasion to get it wore. I often got to wear most of the stuffs after months, a year or two or worst, if it's a shoes (high heels); sometimes it got outworn due to non-wearing because the skin flakes and get crispy. Well, who doesn't love to shop especially if there's a Sale? Who doesn't want to look good? Who doesn't want to get trendy and stylish? Who doesn't want to be "in"? looove clothes but I found out I'm a fashion victim until I read Camille's post a few days back.  

Camille posted Orange and Blue which looks very amazing on her as always. Well, she looks good in all her outfit posts anyway and I think I'm having girl crush on her. She's such a doll and amazing. She mentioned that in fashion basic design, the first thing you need to study is the color wheel. That was the great tip ever - the color wheel. I have no idea so I goggled for it. And there, the moment I've seen and figured-out how to use the color wheel made me realized the mistakes I used to believe was right. But I didn't fret because it's not too late. 

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Color Wheel

1.) Identify the colors in the Color Wheel.
The first thing you will do is to identify the colors. I learned that the color wheel consists of Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, and Tertiary Colors. 

Primary Colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue.
Primary colors are the 3 pigment colors that cannot be created or formed through any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues.

Secondary Colors: Green, Violet, and Orange, 
These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors. For example, if you blend:
Yellow + Blue = Green
Blue + Red = Purple
Red + Yellow = Orange

Tertiary Colors: Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet, Blue-Green, and Yellow-Green.
These are the colors formed by mixing one primary and one secondary color. It's as easy as 1+1=2. Hence, the color is named two words. For example, if you blend:
 Blue + Violet = Blue-Violet
Blue + Green = Blue-Green
Yellow + Green = Yellow-Green
Yellow + Orange = Yellow-Orange
Red + Orange = Red-Orange
Red + Violet = Red-Violet

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2.) Identify the Neutral Colors.
Neutral Colors: Black, White, Gray, Brown, Beige, Cream, Khaki, and Navy (Denim).
Black, White, Gray, Brown
Beige, Cream, Khaki, Navy (Denim)

The main neutral colors are Black and White. Neutral colors don't show up on the color wheel. It usually means without color and it can go with anything. These colors can match many different colors from the color wheel. They are sometimes called "earth tones". The Gray, Brown, Beige, Khaki, and Navy are formed as neutral if you blend Primary and Secondary Colors. For example, if you blend:
Black + White = Gray
Brown + White = Beige/ Cream
Blue + Black = Navy (Denim)
Red + Green = Brown; or
Blue + Red + Yellow = Brown
Yellow + Green + Red + Blue =  Khaki

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3.) Harmonize the colors.
Now that you already understand the color wheel, you can now start learning how to harmonize the colors. I realized, it is not just about the design, style and random color of pieces you take from the rack but it is also about certain colors that look well together or else you will end up buying piece by piece every time and do  "one-never-suit-the-other-one" mantra. You might already have a color scheme in mind that you've tried and you looked okay but referring to a theory based on the color wheel is best as to which colors will make you look not just okay but settle for something that is totally pleasing and look best when pull-off together. 

Color Scheme

Complementary color scheme
[Yellow & Violet], [Blue & Orange], [Red & Green], etc.

Complementary has 2 colors and are opposite one another on the color wheel. You will create a high contrast and vivid color. In short, you're making something to stand-out.

Split-Complementary color scheme
[Red-Violet, Red-Orange & Green], [Blue-Green, Blue-Violet & Orange], [Yellow-Green, Yellow-Orange & Violet], etc.

Split-Complementary has 2 colors on side of the Complementary or 2 Tertiary Colors plus 1 Secondary Color. This color scheme has the same high contrast and vivid color as result but has less tension. For beginners, this is a good choice. In short, this is safe for experimenting.

Analogous color scheme
[Yellow, Yellow-Orange & Orange], [Red-Orange, Red & Red-Violet], [Yellow-Green, Green & Blue], etc.

Analogous has 3 colors and are located next or adjacent to each other on the color wheel. They share a common color hence matches well and pleasing to the eyes. When choosing Analogous, choose one color to dominate and a second color that is lighter. The third color shouldn't be a similar color because you will use it as accent. 

Rectangle (tetradic) color scheme
[Green, Red, Blue, & Orange], [Yellow-Green, Red-Violet, Yellow-Orange, & Blue Violet], etc.

Rectangle or tetradic has 4 colors or also called as double-complementary color scheme. It consists of 2 pairs of Complementary colors. You can create tetradic colors by making a rectangle in the color wheel. It works best if only one color dominates.

Triad color scheme
[Green, Orange & Blue], [Yellow, Red &; Blue], [Yellow-Orange, Blue-Green & Red Violet], etc.

Triadic has 3 colors spaced evenly around the color wheel. You will create vibrant colors even if you use pale or unsaturated colors by using equilateral triangle. Equilateral means a triangle with all three sides of equal lengths. Colors should be carefully balanced when using Triadic. Let one color be dominant and used the other two colors for an accent. 

Square color scheme
[Violet, Yellow, Blue-Green & Red-Orange], [Red-Violet, Yellow-Green, Blue & Blue), etc.

Square has 4 colors and is similar to Rectangle (tetradic), but the colors are spaced evenly. Notice that these colors consist of Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Colors. Note that only one color should dominate and use the other colors for an accent.

So, there you go. I hope this post helps and give idea to those who have fashion mistakes and have less idea in pulling colors together for mix and matching of their clothes like me. Hehe. I am going back to basics, thus the title post "Fashion 101". It's not too late to make it right. What make me glad about realizing this is that I can settle for looking best than just looking okay. Your choice! Watch out for my next post in related to this.



  1. Thanks for explaining. It really helps me especially when I'm trying to match my clothes :)
    I followed you back. Nice blog btw :)


    1. I'm glad my post helped you. Thank you Leah. <3

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. pink is not in the color wheel?what colors would compliment that?

    1. The illustration in this post is basic color wheel only, so you do not see Pink in particular. However, to answer your question, Red compliments Green. So, Pink compliments Mint Green. XX


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