Fashion Magazine

7 Outfit Colour Schemes to Steal

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

7 outfit color schemes to stealThere are lots of great color schemes you can put together in your outfits to create interest and excitement in your outfit.

So many people tell me they don’t  know how to mix colours, and really it’s not hard.  There are a few key tips to consider.

  1. Mix colours of similar intensity
  2. Mix colours of similar value
  3. Mix colours with the same undertone (warm or cool)
  4. Add your value contrast with a neutral
  5. Use colour schemes to create pleasing color combinations

Neutral Plus 1 Colour

Playing with color schemes - neutral plus a colour

This is the easiest scheme and can be worn by all.  It can seem dull if you have triadic or complementary colour contrast though (and then I’d think about adding an alternate coloured necklace to bring in the pop of extra color you need).

2 Neutrals plus 1 Colour

Playing with color schemes - 2 neutrals plus 1 colour
This is another easy scheme to create.  Just make sure your two neutrals are either warm undertone or cool undertone (rather than a mix of the two).


Playing with color schemes - monochromatic

Monochromatic means shades of the same color (mono meaning 1 and chromatic meaning the presence of a rainbow colour, not black, white or grey).  Here there is a dominant color (cobalt) which is about 2/3 of my outfit and then the secondary color (turquoise) is around 1/3 of my total outfit.


Playing with color schemes - achromatic

Even though black and white is a high value contrast (and I’m medium value) I can get away with wearing black and white when I do it like this.

  1. Keep the vast majority of the outfit light (as I’m dominantly light in value)
  2. The contrast with black is only in small proportions – fine lines not too heavy
  3. Wear darker eye makeup to up the contrast of my face
  4. Wear a bold lipstick color – again to help increase the contrast on my face


Playing with color schemes - analogous

Analogous means 2-3 colours that sit next to each other on the color wheel.  Here I’m working with blues through teals to greens


Playing with color schemes - tradic

Here pink and blue (remember that pink is just “light red”) work as 2 parts of a triad.

When wearing 2 colours think about the proportions of each colour, keeping them uneven rather than even.

Creating color schemes - triadic

Or go back to the traditional red, white and blue – which is again 2 parts of a triad along with a neutral.

Split Complementary

Creating color schemes - split complementary

Complementary schemes can seem too bold sometimes (red and green scream Christmas), but the split complementary, which is one off the opposite is an easier way to create a color scheme.  Here I’m doing blue-green (teal) and pink (remember, almost red) which creates a really bright and exciting color scheme.

It can help to have a larger proportion of a base neutral such as these white culottes and then the colours in smaller percentages of the outfit so that you are not overwhelmed by too many colours, particularly if you don’t have high color contrast.

Read more on how to mix and match colours here.

7 steps to color and style

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