April 16th, 2010
Fashion, Fashion Bomb 101, Nicki Minaj, What to Wear
The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in your Wardrobe
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

Ever wonder how some of your favorite fashionistas put colors together to create eye-catching and fabulously colorful outfits? Well so does Fashion Bombshell Kendra who wrote in asking, “As a recessionista engineer, I cannot afford to buy a new wardrobe for the spring/summer. I have great pieces in my wardrobe already so I want to know how to make the most of my wardrobe by playing around with different color combinations. My mom gave me a color wheel as a gift. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get it right…”

“…Can you please provide tips on how to combine colors for clothes? I saw the awesome post about color combos for makeup featuring Nicki Minaj. I would love to do the same with clothes. For instance, in a recent post Elise Neal wore a fuchsia dress and carried a blue clutch. The fuchsia and blue colors look great together! I would never know to do that. Also, are there certain rules for accessories?

Hey Kendra!

The color wheel is an excellent wardrobe tool! In fact it was one of the first things I learned about back when I studied Image Consulting at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Figuring it out isn’t too complicated. Here’s a quick breakdown:

You can make the following combos using the color wheel as your guide:

1. Colors directly next to each other (i.e. yellow and yellow-orange; yellow and yellow-green; violet and blue-violet, etc.)
2. Colors that form right (90 degree) angles with each other (i.e. yellow and red-orange; blue and violet-red; green and orange, etc.)
3. Colors directly across from each other (i.e. yellow and violet; blue and orange; red and green, etc.)
4. Colors that form a T (i.e. blue, orange, and violet-red; yellow, violet, and red-orange; yellow, blue-green, and red-orange, etc.)
5. Colors that form an X (i.e. blue, orange, violet-red, and yellow, violet, blue-green, and red-orange, etc.)

Since brown is a neutral, it will go with virtually any color on the color wheel. I love to pair a chocolate brown with cobalt blue or fuchsia or bright red—such a fun and bold combo. Of course white, black, and the hues of blue found in denim are also neutrals that go with just about anything.

Colors that are a part of a “color family” also apply. So for instance, you can substitute pink with red and still be able to pull off the combos based on the color wheel (i.e. we see that blue and red form a right angle with each other–then in Elise Neal’s outfit she wore fuchsia and cobalt blue). Get it? Good.

As for accessories, I’m definitely not a fan of colored jewelry or belts, but go crazy with colored hats, bags, shoes, or scarves. When choosing jewelry, pair gold (or gold-toned) jewelry with your warm colored outfits. Warm colors have a yellow, gold, or orange undertone to them. Wear silver (or silver-toned) jewelry with your cool colored outfits. Cool colors have a blue, pink, or red undertone to them. Since colors are broken down by hue, temperature, intensity, and tone any single hue can be either warm or cool. Just look at the undertones.

You can also use the color wheel when coming up with color combinations for your makeup. It can help you decide which makeup color to wear so that you don’t match your eyeshadow with your outfit. Check out how Rihanna paired gorgeous purple eyeshadow with her red frock:

And there you go—a breakdown of how to use color combinations to spruce up your wardrobe. You’ll be looking more fab in no time.

~Danielle

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136 Responses to “The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in your Wardrobe”

  1. Pam says:

    Great post. I’ll be printing this out!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a great post. Thanks for the tutorial! I will also be printing this out.

  3. Kat says:

    Awesome post, extremely helpful!

  4. TheMisses-TheProductJunky says:

    Bravo! Thanks so much for this post! Definitely one for printing!!

  5. Caranda says:

    How cool are you for posting this! I love it. Thanks!

  6. [...] full post on The Fashion Bomb Blog /// All Urban Fashion… All the Time Color, Colors, Combine, Wardrobe, [...]

  7. asha says:

    wow, that was one of the most helpful, useful posts ever! i’m printing it and posting it right next to my mirror.

  8. Daisy says:

    Good job, Danielle! I would love for you to do a post on how to determine cool and warm undertones.

  9. [...] color? I was – and still am. On the Style and Beauty Doctor, here’s a primer on how to use the color wheel to make dynamic color combinations in your wardrobe – and in other areas of your life as [...]

  10. [...] since my last post, just about a month I think! Anyway, as I was Stumbling today, I came across an interesting blog post, with tips on how to combine colours in your wardrobe, without looking like Ugly Betty. Its fairly [...]

  11. [...] bright look. How do they do it? They know their color combos! Break out a color wheel and study How to Combine Colors in Your Wardrobe (can be used in makeup, too). Remember it’s just makeup—you can always wash it [...]

  12. grasshopper says:

    omg! reading this blog for the first time and i came upon this…u kno i will be saving this under favourites!! thanks so much. now am on a break so i cant wait to try this :)

  13. Lee Oliveira says:

    Great post!
    Love the LV shoes..

  14. Lee Oliveira says:

    Great post!
    Love the LV shoes..
    LOx

  15. Danny says:

    Green & Orange don’t form a 90 degree angle. Green & Orange-yellow do. As does Orange & Yellow-green.
    Blue, Orange,Violet-red & Yellow don’t form an X. But Blue, Orange, Violet-red & Yellow-green do.

  16. [...] Guys! Today’s look was inspired by Danielle’s informative color wheel post: Orange and blue are across the color wheel from each other, so colors in the same family like [...]

  17. [...] with your own color combos! If you want ideas on different color combos, check out my post on Combining Colors with the Color Wheel. Works for your wardrobe and your [...]

  18. [...] to make my outfit “pop” from everyone else. Please help me out?” A quick look at Danielle’s color wheel post reveals that the best colors to go with purple would be turquoise, yellow, pink or even red! [...]

  19. [...] to make my outfit “pop” from everyone else. Please help me out?” A quick look at Danielle’s color wheel post reveals that the best colors to go with purple would be turquoise, yellow, pink or even red! [...]

  20. [...] For full on glamour Diana, pair contrasting eyeshadow and lip colors with a bright blush, contour, and lashes. For ways to create cool color combos, check out our post on the color wheel here. [...]

  21. [...] Combinar cores pode ser um desafio assustador principalmente quando se sai do básico “preto com qualquer outra cor”. Graças à Rosácea Cromática, agora você tem cinco regras para misturar cores inusitadas. [FashionBombDaily] [...]

  22. [...] out of your neutrals-only funk. Jason Schwartzman is my hero. Staying on the topic of color combos, this old but good post from The Fashion Bomb breaks down the color wheel and shows you how to combine hues for the most aesthetically-pleasing [...]

  23. [...] on the topic of color combos, this old but good post from The Fashion Bomb breaks down the color wheel and shows you how to combine hues for the most aesthetically-pleasing [...]

  24. [...] on the topic of color combos, this old but good post from The Fashion Bomb breaks down the color wheel and shows you how to combine hues for the most aesthetically-pleasing [...]

  25. [...] on the topic of color combos, this old but good post from The Fashion Bomb breaks down the color wheel and shows you how to combine hues for the most aesthetically-pleasing [...]

  26. [...] All out color. Hey, if you wanna go there then just do it! Grab a color wheel and learn which colors complement each other to create your makeup color combos. To get the maximum punch out of bold makeup colors, [...]

  27. [...] it out with your own favorite color combos. Stuck on what color combos to create? Check out my The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in your Wardrobe post from last [...]

  28. [...] it out with your own favorite color combos. Stuck on what color combos to create? Check out my The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in your Wardrobe post from last [...]

  29. Fashion Man says:

    I don’t have much to say about this post but I just wanted to say that the websites header “Fashion Bomb” is fantastic. Whoever created that should pat themselves on the back.

  30. I love how they mix the colors of what they wear.

  31. Love the post, and the celbrity examples. Just tweeted it! Thanks!

  32. [...] how we went over the color wheel and how it’s a really cool tool for making color combos in both your wardrobe …? You can use those same techniques to make colors appear bolder and brighter. Colors like your eye [...]

  33. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a stupid website

  34. Great tips and yes … brown really does go with any color

  35. [...] You can add a pop of yellow to virtually any eye makeup look be it already bright or neutral (see The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in Your Wardrobe and Makeup for color combining ideas). Using a liner brush like MAC #263 (provides thinner, more precision [...]

  36. hannah says:

    the first picture on this page, there is a dude dressed as a woman in the background. not that there is anything wrong with that, im just pointing it out there.

  37. [...] wheel photos fashionbombdaily.com [...]

  38. [...] dig in your closet for fun separates in solid colors that you can mix and match: Study our post on how to find the right colors for your wardrobe and makeup, and get to mixing and matching! For this look, we paired a draped jersey Viviennet Westwood top [...]

  39. [...] blending two or more colors together. You can find a great tool for finding the right ones in my How to Combine Colors [...]

  40. [...] feeling Keri’s color combo? Come up with your own! Check out The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in your Wardrobe for more [...]

  41. [...] not something to be intimidated by; all it is is an excuse to wear more color! I found this great color matching wheel from Fashion bomb daily. Its a little cheat sheet to keep us from getting too wild. Now I know Lady [...]

  42. [...] wear colors that clash. Remember your color wheel because it looks really bad when you wear certain colors together, like red and pink. Yellow is a [...]

  43. [...] Furstenberg, Rachel Roy Spring/Summer 2011 Left to Right: Z Spoke, Gucci, Prada How You Wear it: Whip out that color wheel and get to mixing and matching! You can cop the trend by pairing solid [...]

  44. [...] Having trouble coming up with the perfect combo? Check out our post on combining colors. [...]

  45. Can i buy first photo collection from a single place

  46. Like the way, things presented here.

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