Real-Life Style Challenge: Color Combinations

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Yellow dress with Purple tights

I may have a problem with color... mostly that my closet has none of it. It has gotten so bad that my mom has officially said she will no longer buy me clothes if they are navy blue, black, or gray. I'm not entirely sure what my problem with color is, but I have definitely gotten myself into a rut. Perhaps I'm just afraid of color? Mostly, I just don't know where to start.

The Challenge:

This week's real-life style challenge comes from all my struggles and is all about color. And while we've learned about the color wheel in the past, this time I'm putting it into action.

So using the color wheel as a guide, I'll be wearing a new color combination every day for my whole school week.

The Color Wheel


Photo Credit

The Results:

Style challenge outfits: Wear color every day

  • Monday: Trying my hand at analogous colors (colors that are next to each other on the wheel), I wore a green printed dress under a navy blue pencil skirt. I added a black sweater to make the colors pop a bit more.
  • Tuesday: After pairing this orange sweater with a teal skirt, I added on a dark blue blazer for an extra dose of color, orange being complementary to blue. Some gray tights and boots complete the look.
  • Wednesday: With rain in the forecast, I threw on my dark green rain boots. I then paired them with a berry and green striped Brenton tee, camel skinny pants and a blue blazer.
  • Thursday: It being my last day of the school week, I decided to go as far as I could. I put on my yellow sundress and found its complementary color - purple - which I added with my eggplant-colored tights. Since it was too cold to walk around jacket-free, I pulled out my red pea coat, the primary color sibling of yellow. I then put on my green mary jane heels to add an extra element and complement the purple.

What I Learned:

Unsurprising to me, this challenge was especially difficult since my wardrobe is lacking in color. So how did I cope with this? Honestly, by cheating... kind of. On Tuesday I really wanted to pair my orange sweater with green. However I didn't have any green to wear. But I did have teal, which is close enough to the green family, I figured.

On Wednesday I did the same thing. Wearing my green rain boots, the color wheel would dictate that I wear red. But if you don't own red, a berry shirt with blue stripes is close enough, right? I think my outfit was helped by the fact that all the colors I chose were relatively muted so they didn't overpower each other.

I also experimented with adding colors... which sometimes worked, and sometimes didn't. On Tuesday, I thought wearing purple tights would look nice. In actuality, the colorful tights paired with the bright skirt and top split up my body into odd sections. So instead I chose a pair of gray tights and gray boots; the neutrals brought out the colors on top much better than the purple did.

Overall, these may not be the most daring of color combinations or at all groundbreaking, but the key is that they were new combinations for me and helped me see my wardrobe in a whole new way.

A few more tips I picked up from this challenge:

  • Don't forget shoes! Shoes are a great way to add unexpected color into your ensemble. If you're in need of a pair of rain boots, try looking for a pair in a bold color. They'll add pep on the rainiest of days.
  • Start slow when you're trying to mix colors. When getting dressed in the morning, pick two colors that go together first. Then maybe try another that goes with what you last put on. This way you'll wont get overwhelmed and end up looking like a box of crayons.
  • If you feel you've gone a little overboard with color, replace one item with a neutral-colored piece. This will tone down the outfit as well as draw more attention to the more colorful parts.
  • Try avoiding using the color that dominates your closet. I know I did it with my trusty navy blue, but if I hadn't, I might have pushed myself even more. Try breaking your habits and see how far it gets you.

What do you think?

Do you and color get along? What are your favorite colors to pair together? Are you going to be trying this for yourself? Let me know in the comments!