Summer inspiration: The science of color-blocking

What: Color-blocking has been trendy for a while now. Besides florals, it is especially in for summer. The spring 2011 by Gucci prominently features this technique. Still a question remains, how do you combine colors to pull off this trend?

Gucci Spring 2011

This question pokes into my curiosity and causes me to look into basic color theory for an answer. The explanation is clear if you just take a look at the color wheel:

Rule #1: You can always combine colors with neutrals/non-colors, i.e. black, white and gray. Examples black/pink, blue/white, orange/black  and black/white/taupe.

Rule #2:  This one is the most intuitive when people think of colors. Analogous (similar) colors, which are close to each other on the wheel, go well together. The below examples combine the different shades of the same hue.

Rule #3: Colors that are opposite on the wheel are complementary, which means they also bode well. Examples are: purple – yellow, blue – orange, pink – light green (watermelon), etc.

Rule #4: Triadic colors are combinations of any three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel. You can pull all three or, more commonly, two of the three in an outfit. Popular examples are turquoise (light blue) – violet (red/purple), teal (blue/green) – pink (red/purple) – mustard (yellow/orange), royal blue (deep blue) – yellow green – orange (red/yellow), teal – purple – orange (first Gucci).

Rule #5: Split-complementary colors consist of two adjacent colors and one complementary. For example: orange – pink – green, purple – blue – mustard.

Analogous: Asos crop top dress, Bloomingdale's tier dress, Asos V neck bandage dress

Complementary: Lulu's cutout dress, Asos high-waist skirt ensemble

Triadic: Kimchi Blue dress, Nordstrom jolt dress, Zara top + shorts

Split complementary: Asos one shoulder top

Now have fun rocking the color wheel!

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