If you want to combine different colors in your outfits, you may often wonder: which colors go together? Can I wear green and blue together? Red with pink? What looks good, and what might turn into a fashion faux pas? To avoid making such mistakes, we’ll share with you the color combinations that are a must for your next looks and which ones you should steer clear of from now on!

Bold color combinations are all the rage. Whether you’re into warm candy colors like orange, pink, and yellow, or cool blues and greens, it’s time to dive deep into the color palette for your styling. The issue: If you combine the wrong colors, your colorful outfit may look more like a costume party than a fashion statement. Moreover, unflattering shades can make you appear washed out. To prevent that from happening, here comes the ultimate truly-fab.com color guide!

Fashion Color Combinations: Color Contrast vs. Gradations

how to make good color combinations using the color wheel
Canva/ corelens

If you’ve ever wondered which colors can be combined without worrying about committing a fashion faux pas or breaking unwritten style rules with your next outfit, you should take some time to explore color theory.

A glance at the color wheel reveals which colors go together. The two key concepts are color contrast and color gradations. Let us explain what this means for your style!

The harmonious color wheel displays various natural color gradations and consists of twelve colors. The three primary colors – yellow, blue, and red – combine to create the secondary colors green, orange, and violet, the so-called 2nd order colors.

As a result, each primary color is adjacent to a secondary color in the color wheel. Mixing these adjacent primary and secondary colors yields six chromatic gradations: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, and yellow-green, the 3rd order colors.

Combining Different Colors

mustard and pastel yellow clothes combiation
Pexels / Ivan Samkov

When it comes to color combinations, you can opt for strong contrasts by pairing colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Alternatively, you can choose soft color gradations and wear multiple shades of the same color family in one outfit, like pairing a soft pastel yellow with a vibrant sun yellow.

Fashion Color Combinations: 5 Tips for the Perfect Outfit Color Combo

red dress paired with brown blazer and cognac belt
Pexels/ Kateryna Babaieva

Also interesting: Red and Brown Outfit Ideas

1. Use color combinations to create a slimmer look.

Simply wear high-waisted pants or a pencil skirt in black, dark gray, or navy. The dark color will make your waist, hips, and derrière appear slimmer. Pair it with a bright top in a color like red or orange – it will draw attention to your neckline.

In addition to strategically using color effects, there are many other styling tricks to discreetly hide hefty thighs or a small tummy.

2. Avoid using more than three bright colors!

Feeling tempted to go all out with a mix of various shades? Better not. Overdoing it with color combinations can result in an unsightly clown effect. It’s best to use fewer colors but use them consciously. As often, less is more: If you can’t resist adding a cool pop of color, stick to small accessories.

warm and cold colors in fashion designs
Canva/ corelens

3. The right color combination can make your complexion glow.

Every person can be assigned a color type. These color types are broadly categorized into warm and cool types. Warm color types with a yellowish complexion and hair with a golden shimmer look good in warm colors like reds, yellows, oranges, or earth tones. Cool color types have a complexion with a bluish undertone, ashy blonde, ashy brown, or black hair. Cool colors like blues, grays, blacks, or pure white suit them best.

4. Vibrant colors refresh your face and uplift your mood!

Color researchers suggest that bright, vibrant colors can have a positive impact on our mood. The ‘color of happiness,’ orange, is believed to have the most significant effect. In contrast, dark, dull shades like black or brown are thought to be depressing.

light green shirt paired with brown pants
Canva/ corelens

5. Complementary colors, i.e., colors opposite each other on the color wheel, go well together.

If you’re unsure about color combinations, consult the color wheel. Colors that oppose each other on the wheel, like blue and orange, yellow and violet, or red and green, harmonize particularly well. For your everyday look, opt for more subdued shades. Choose a subtle olive or mint green instead of a bright green and pair it with a rich red.

Combining Colors: These Color Combinations Suit Your Type

warm skin type with brown hair
Pexels / Anna Malysheva

Dark complexion and brown hair:

  • Pink and orange
  • Black and white
  • Pale lilac and almond green
  • Green and beige
  • Plum and beige
  • Red and gray

Light complexion and brown or dark blonde hair:

  • Beige and white
  • Navy blue and beige
  • Brown and yellow
  • Brown and cream white
  • Gray and brown

Light complexion and blonde, light brown, or red hair:

  • Chocolate brown and red
  • Khaki and chocolate brown
  • Camel brown and black
  • Gray and black
  • Lavender and brown

Good clothes colour combinations

red dress paired with navy blue pumps

Strong Contrasts with Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. When you wear two of these opposing colors in your outfit, you intensify the contrast and, thus, their impact. The clearer the color pairs in your outfit, the more prominent the color contrast will be. You’ll see how vivid the colors become and how fantastic they look on you!

Be cautious: When using this contrast, pay attention to the intensity of the red and green tones; otherwise, your look might resemble a Christmas party outfit.

#1 Red + Green

red fedora hat and dark green coat
Pexels /Vlad Deep

When using this contrast, pay attention to the intensity of the red and green tones; otherwise, your look might resemble a Christmas party outfit.

#2 Blue + Orange

orange and blue go well together for clothes
Instagram @hannahstefansson

The combination of blue and orange hues also seems destined to go together. When choosing your accessories, opt for natural tones like beige, or stick to the same complementary contrast and go for patterns like checks or stripes.

#3 Yellow + Violet

lilac and pastel yellow combination outfit
Instagram @hannahstefansson

Yellow and purple, an absolute dream combination. Whether in pastel shades, like in this outfit featuring a lilac satin blouse and a light yellow skirt, or deep violet and vibrant lemon yellow, this combination is sure to turn heads.

However, these three contrasts are just a few of the countless possibilities. Besides those opposite each other on the color wheel, colors adjacent to each other also work well.

Soft Combinations with Neighboring Colors

pink blazer paired with purple pants and beige top
Instagram @leoniehanne

Colors on the color wheel that are adjacent to each other can be perfectly combined: neighboring colors. They represent gradations of the color immediately to their right or left and are, therefore, ideal partners for each other! Examples include yellow and orange, violet and blue, or pink and violet. Influencer Leonie Hanne sets an example by pairing a pink blazer with purple pants. Even the sandals and handbag in this outfit match the rest of the look in terms of color gradation.

Different Shades, Same Color Family

jeans and light blue shirt combination
Instagram @thestylestalkercom

Can you combine two shades of blue? Absolutely! This look proves that you can match not only materials and patterns, but also the denim blue of the jeans with the light blue of the blouse to create an ultra-trendy look. Dare to wear a single color in various intensities; it will look outstanding! The only exception: black! The difference between the shades tends to appear more faded than stylish.

Monochrome Style Combinations

all over mauve clothes combination
Instagram @arumeditorial

If you prefer to go all-in with your styling, opt for a monochrome outfit. But it’s not about black or white – it’s about being colorful! Walking down the streets from head to toe in a single bright color will grab everyone’s attention!

Less Colorful Favorites: Black & White

black and white winter autumn outfit with knit dress for petite women
Pexels / Marcus Silva

Considered colorless and not found on the color wheel, black and white are classic monochromatic choices and among the most popular colors in your wardrobe.

Wearing all black or all white creates an elegance like no other and places the focus entirely on the cut of the clothing. A black-and-white contrast is perhaps the strongest of all color contrasts and, when combined with patterns, leads to extraordinary styles. Gray, a mixture of black and white, can be integrated into your colorless looks.

grey oversize blazer 90s style with black and white
Instagram @elisaschenke

Of course, you can also combine all colorful colors with black and white and create unique styles that way.

Which colors go together – a question that can be theoretically answered by color theory, but practically, it’s all about your personal preference!

About the Author Jaylee Burmer

Jaylee always brings positivity into every room she enters! She is passionate about writing since 2015 and loves to share her thoughts with the world. Her posts range from topics such as fashion, lifestyle, travel and health & wellness - all with an inspiring twist!

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