Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Wheel of Color

Day 4 of the 21-Day Challenge was color blocking when an outfit combines two or more blocks of solid color, usually by placing them next to each other.

shirt — Como (thrifted)
silk jacket — Rafaella (thrifted)
skirt — Liz Claiborne (thrifted)
sandals — Madden Girl (thrifted)

Mixing separates of bright colors — turquoise, fuchsia, and __________ (I need my crayon box to figure out what color my jacket is) — is a fairly standard way to color block. You can also mix shades of the same color or use one item of clothing (a dress) that has been color blocked for you.

I've seen some people add a colorful purse, socks, and jewelery, and even paint their nails when color blocking. I wasn't quite so daring, but since the color of choice for my wardrobe has been pretty drab in the past, these colors were well outside my comfort zone, so I was kind of proud of it.

* We're talking dark colors here browns, black, navy blue, dark green, and so on. 

I pretty much just grabbed some clothes in bright colors, and then mixed and matched until I came up with something that I thought looked pretty good together. But I don't always pair the best colors together, and I often stick with the tried and true instead of trying something new. Using the color wheel to do this approach to color blocking would help avoid those pitfalls. (Did you know that Sir Isaac Newton invented the color wheel in 1706?)

Image from Corporate Fashionista
The easiest way to pick harmonious colors when color blocking is to select colors that are either complementary or colors that are analogous colors. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel (red and green, or shades of red and green to keep from looking like it's Christmas in August). Analogous colors, on the other hand, are next to each other on the color wheel.

Although the mix of colors in my outfit worked pretty well, I don't think the Mom jeans kind of look of my skirt worked so well. In fact, it was kind of depressing. What gives with that? My skirt doesn't have to be form fitting and hug every curve, but I do think that it should flatter my shape. And this particular skirt is not doing me any favors. A wide black belt might have helped avoid the Mom look a  little (at least in the front). What do you think?

What's your favorite color to wear?


  1. wow, the pink against that turquoise is amazing!

  2. i like this outfit. a lot! esp. with the bright green background!

  3. I love your color-picks, Kari. I don't get a Mom-vibe from that skirt, but yeah, a bold belt would be great too.

  4. I think it looks great. You should wear colors more often!!

  5. At first, I thought color-blocking was daring and strange, but I've gotten used to it over the past few months. You do it skillfully: your mix of colors and pieces work nicely.

  6. I think you look great in these bright colors, Kari! And not mom skirt at all~

  7. I don't think the skirt looks mom-ish, especially with just the fitted shirt, but if you wanted a different look you could always try shortening it to above the knee--you have great legs. I love the two- and three-color combos, too. I wish the jacket were more fitted--to my eye the boxy shape and longer length of the jacket hide the rest of the outfit.

  8. The pink and the blue look absolutely adorable together!

  9. Yowza, the colors are a wonderful surprise. Do MORE of this kind of thing. I didn't think the skirt was too long...

  10. @Rachel -- I don't think that I've ever worn such bright colors before! It was fun, and it actually lifted my mood.
    @Nenny Do -- thank you :-)
    @Patti -- Take a look at Kendi (in the picture with the white tee and the blue skirt). I have no waist, and those side shots are ... well, let's just say that they leave a bit to be desired. I think a belt would have helped or maybe some Spanxx, which I have never worn before. I know it's not that bad, but still ...
    @Joy -- yes, I'm thinking that I should wear colors more often too. I always thought that I couldn't wear color. I'm not sure why now.
    @Shybiker -- It's funny how we change our perspective, isn't it?
    @fashion over fifty -- see comment about Kendi above. I am kind of loving the bright colors on me.
    @Sue -- see comment about Kendi. That may be an idea about shortening the skirt -- this one was kind of on the longer side for me. And you know, I pretty much wore the jacket to hide ... looking at the pictures now, maybe I didn't have to?
    @Meagan -- TY!
    @Terri -- it was kind of a yowza look for me, wasn't it? I am definitely going to try and do more color from now on.

  11. Mom jeans? Where? The color pairings are very chic. I personally like it better without the jacket, because the saturation of the jacket is a little off from the other two pieces. I'd call it somewhere between Citrine or Lime. At least on my monitor. This is such a spot on outfit, I think it's probably one of my favorites ever!

  12. Oh, I love this color combination, brights are on my favorite list. You look fabulous!


Thanks for reading. Honest opinions and constructive criticism are always welcome.

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