Color Scheming: Day 2

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 2: Primary Colors Versus Pastels
For years, I only wore navy with red.
Then, quite by accident, I realized
that pale blue looked just as fabulous with
my red patent shoes and it was like
my closet had been released from a dark prison.
Lots of mistakes later, I still love to experiment
with primary and pastel colors.

The effect of pairing something with the same tonal shade
as opposed to primary tones is often, but not always,
softer...but the end result is more options.
Which is a great thing for any wardrobe, no?

You can pair an item with a pastel,
or a color that is directly across the
color wheel, usually a primary color.
You can also add a third option by
mixing some combination of the two.

The khaki brown tee in the middle is more in the
same color family as orange while the blue shirt is across
the color spectrum, so the overall effect is a mix of hard and soft.
The look on the far right is obviously much more
stark and contrasting than the look on the far left.

The combination look in the middle would be much
more primary without the pink scarf.
It's really awesome if you end up liking all three looks,
but it doesn't always work this well, as you can see below.

When you lay out things like this,
it'll be very obvious to you
which looks you don't like...
While I've worn the looks on the right and left,
I didn't like this particular combination look at all.

Reworking the outfits you wore in winter with
primary colors is always great starting point
for spring looks simply by replacing the
primary colors with their pastel counterparts.
Same color scheme--completely different look and feel.
The outfit on the left is one I blogged about
several weeks ago, and I loved how I felt in it,
so I used the color scheme to come up with a spring version
(with items already in my closet I might add)! =)

Lesson of Day 2:
If something looks good with a primary color,
it very likely will look good with it's pastel counterpart.


  1. wow, im learning so much. i didnt realize how clueless i am. there is no method to my dressing madness, im such a bad girl.


  2. I love the color scheming posts. Such a treasure. Thank you.

  3. Great posts. I haven't really given much thought about colour wheels - takes me back to high school art class :-) when i dress, i do think of colour combos, but usually stick with ones that i know work ie, navy and red. I did pair pale blue with red a few weeks ago and thought it worked ok - who would have guessed?

  4. Thank you very much for your comment, it led me to your blog.
    I am definitely a follower.
    Photos are amazing, I really like your outfit.

    Stop by again, I am having great Vivienne Westwood dress giveaway so enter if you like!

    Kisses from Greece!

  5. I love your ideas! I'm sometimes timid about pairing different things together, but then I see your outfit combos and you give me confidence :)

  6. This post is really helpful to me... I was just feeling discouraged by the amount of navy/red outfits I have because I'm so drawn to those colors, but its rather boring day after day.

    The whole shopping your closet concept is so cool :>)

  7. I love reading these, I learn so much :) and p.s. your hair is perfect, p.s.s. you are so cute in everything!

  8. This post is so informative! I've been putting this concept to use sometimes without even realizing it! I love pairing things that don't totally "match" but coordinate :-) Especially red shoes ;-) Thanks for sharing this! I'll definitely be using this concept more "intentionally now" :-)

  9. Thanks so much for doing this! I too am learning so much. This is a great strategy for travel outfits. more, more!!

  10. You are a color mixing genius - I LOVE all of your combos and will definitely be copying!

  11. Impressive. Really impressive. This is my first time in your blog and following you now.


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