Whether you are heading away on holidays or just want to introduce a bit more colour into your city wardrobe, summer is the perfect time to experiment with vibrant shades and unexpected colour combinations.
When I’m looking for colour inspiration or the season’s hottest colours, I always turn to Pantone Colour Institute as well as the good old colour wheel.
In case you are not familiar with Pantone colours, this is a palette of 10 shades that is released by the Institute every season based on all the colours seen on runways. Here is the palette for Spring/Summer 2017:
This is a great resource for getting some inspiration on how to co-ordinate colours. Most colours within the palette work very well together and offer you ready-to-use options.
You might have some of these colours in your wardrobe so hopefully this post will give you ideas on what other colours you can combine them with. My aim is to get you out of the comfort zone and try wearing more than one bright colour at a time! Ability to put bright colours together will come in very handy if you have any occasions coming up (especially weddings and races!) as there are so many opportunities for very creative accessorizing!
I’ll be using some Pantone colours (don’t freak out if you see a fancy name like Lapis Blue pop up, just look at the palette above!) as well as some fool-proof combinations from the colour wheel.
One word of advice before we dive into the looks. Colour has huge emotional impact and colour psychology alone is a very broad subject. There are specific ‘formulas’ that you can follow to combine colours together. Don’t go second-guessing whether these colours work together, just decide for yourself whether you like it or not as it is all about personal preference. Don’t dismiss the combination straight away, you might not like the intensity of colour but just use the same concept in either lighter or darker versions to suit your own style. I am including variations of shades within each combination so just find the one that works for YOU. Little tip – darker versions of all these colours will make beautiful combinations for your autumn wardrobe. So remember the formulas and just re-create them in darker shades for colder times of the year.
I’ll be showing you a lot of ideas for colour blocking but you don’t have to go all out to take advantage of colour – try using subtle accents like a pair of earrings or shoes to tie the colours together.
Pink and Red (Flame and Pale Dogwood)
This has been one of the most popular combinations this season and there are lots of variations to play around with – from very light blush to candy floss pink. These colours are called monochromatic (belong to one colour family) so effortlessly go together.
If your colouring can’t take strong reds right next to your face, work with soft pinks and place red accents away from the face. On another note, don’t dismiss red as there is guaranteed to be a shade that will suit your particular colouring so just play around with different tones.
Pink and Green (Pale Dogwood and Kale)
Just like with the previous combination, there are so many shades to play around with here – from blush (Pale Dogwood) and olive (Kale) to brighter and more vibrant pinks and greens. This combination is working around the complementary colour formula – all colours located opposite each other on the colour wheel are perfect companions for each other.
Mint and Fuchsia
This combination is actually still the same formula of complementary reds and greens but slightly shifted on the colour wheel. It is very vibrant and bold and works beautifully for special occasions.
Coral and Turquoise (Flame and Island Paradise)
What do we have here? Yep, another complementary colour combination! It looks very summery and works best when both shades are of similar intensity.
Fuchsia and Yellow (Primrose Yellow and Pink Yarrow)
This is a combination you don’t see often but it looks very chic and exquisite!
Blue and Green
This colour combination is based on analogous colours – colours that are sitting next to each other on the colour wheel. So basically all neighbouring colours on the wheel look harmonious next to each other. Blues and greens look very clean and serene beside each other and work very well in light tones as well as dark shades. The bolder you go on colour, the more dynamic the overall look.
Blue and Yellow
Even though the true complementary match of yellow is purple, blue makes for a great substitute that looks a lot more summery that purple.
Yellow and Purple
If you want to do the true complimentary pair with yellow, go for lighter tones of purple such as lavender. This duo can look very soft, feminine and almost dreamy.
As you can see there is a lot of colour blocking going on in these look but as I said previously you can tone the looks down significantly. Cream is a great colour for any summer wardrobe and serves as the perfect canvas for bold looks. It can also calm the palette down and dilute the abundance of striking colours.
As a general recommendation, most of these combinations work best when they are created with colours of similar intensity. That means if you’re choosing a strong clean intense colour, you are better off adding the colour of similar clarity to it. Likewise, if you are going for a soft muted tone of the colour, pair it up with similar subtle shades. There are obviously exceptions to this but it is the surest way to nail the palette.
If you are not quite brave enough to do two or more chunky blocks of colour, pick the shade you like the most and introduce the second colour in small doses. This will create a look that is vibrant but not overpowering.
I really hope you spotted couple combinations that you are excited to try now. Now go and play with your wardrobe and use the opportunity to get a little bit more adventurous with your looks.
As always, I’d love to hear your feedback so leave me a comment here or on any of my Instagram/Facebook!