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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Look book - colors that clash well together

It all began when my chiropractor wrinkled his nose at my choice to wear tangerine orange shoes with a medium-purple dress. He is a very smart dresser, but very conservative. I am strongly in the classic chic territory myself, but I do like taking risks with color. So, wearing a small dose of orange with purple made sense to me. Combined in equal portions, purple and orange make for a nice clown's costume, but purple with orange as an accent color create a nice vibrant contrast.

Once you have identified, which colors suit you, there are several ways to combine them. The most straightforward way is to look at the color wheel and work with colors that fall next to each other - blues and greens, purples and reds, oranges and yellows.

Another popular group of colors is earth tones - softer browns, greens, and beiges. Most of them go well with each other, however, they do not suit everyone and they do need a contrast color to avoid looking bland.

Many people make a mistake of believing that black and white go with everything. That is not entirely true. These two colors are so extreme, that worn with colors outside of the neutral group (brown, grey, beige, navy), they rob their neighbors of all their subtlety and depth. However, picking a softer neutral color - like grey or brown - and combining it with a pop of something bright is a good way to wear color without wearing all-over color. My favorite combinations are grey with deep red and chocolate brown with turquoise.

The last but not the least, and probably the riskiest way of combining colors is to go a quarter of the way around or across the color wheel. Pick the dominant color from the side of the wheel that suits you best. Then go a quarter of the way around the wheel or all the way across the wheel and use that color as an accent. My orange shoes, for instance, make a nice pop both with purple and with turquoise.

Those two dominant colors - turquoise and purple - go well together on their own, being close on the color wheel. However each of them separately also clashes well with with hot pink accents, such as a hot pink pin on a turquoise blouse or a hot pink clutch worn with a purple dress.

Color inspirations can come from all kinds of sources. The colors of sunset and autumn leaves. The colors on a movie poster. The colors of seashells at the beach. The brown-and-turquoise color combo was suggested to me by a scarf and a pair of shoes I have. I saw the various pairings of purple, turquoise, pink and gray when I was folding laundry and just happened to stack the t-shirts in those colors on top of one another. The irises in my garden are purple with yellow centers, and I am seriously considering trying out a purple dress with some sort of a yellow accent. So, keep your eyes open and enjoy your colors!


Sessha Batto said...

Very nice - although my wardrobe consists solely of black, white and grey ;) still, I like exotic colours on others!!

Diane Nelson said...

Lovely assortment. An inspiration to take another look at the closet and perhaps freshen the color palette.