Color Blocking 101

The art of color-blocking is a technique that has been around for quite some time.  But like all things in fashion, this trend has resurfaced and is extremely popular this spring. Color-blocking is quite easy, not to mention it can be integrated into pretty much any look.

Now of course there are the high-end designers like Gucci, DVF and Fendi who have produced some amazing Spring-2011 collections that incorporate color-blocking, but what about us college students? Our budgets aren’t quite on that level –YET! (Speak it into existence, people.)  Well, color-blocking can also be oh-so affordable. I frequent the thrift stores in my local area and buy tons of solid-color pieces, including blouses, belts and clutches – typically for $15 or less. I lean toward more vibrant colors like orange-yellow and blue-violet. If you’re anything like me and have many bright hues in your closet, color-blocking is an easy way of getting more bang for your buck.

Take a risk and combine colors that you may not immediately think to pair together. The easiest way to achieve this look is by using the color wheel, which provides us with a basic explanation of how colors evolve and which colors are complementary.

First we have our primary colors: red, yellow and blue. The mixture of primary colors into various combination creates secondary colors: green, purple and orange. If we keep mixing, our end result will be tertiary colors (orange-yellow, red-orange, violet-red, yellow-green & blue-green). There are also tints and shades: tints are mixed with white while shades are mixed with black.

Before class ends, here are some easy tips & techniques to keep in mind when color blocking:

1. Analogous colors: any three colors lined up on the color wheel (e.g. violet, violet-red & red)

2. Complementary colors: any colors directly across from each other (e.g. blue & orange)

3. Pair colors that form 90 degree angles with each other (e.g. yellow & red -orange)

4. Pair colors that form an X (e.g. blue, orange, violet-red & yellow etc.)

5. Pair colors that form a T (e.g. yellow, blue-green & red-orange)

6. Color-families You can substitute pink (tint) with red and still be able to pull off the combos based on the color wheel.

Remember, color-blocking doesn’t only apply to your wardrobe; it can also be applied to make-up, interior design (dorm room décor) and pretty much any other palette you are working with.

So try it out, let me know how it worked out for you and send us some pics of you color blocking your life away!

iit jee
iit jee

really a good article to read and as part of article collection. good work by admin


Very nice post, impressive. its quite different from other posts. Thanks for sharing .

ruby on rails developer
ruby on rails developer

It is nice to find a site about my interest. My first visit to your site is been a big help. Thank you for the efforts you been putting on making your site such an interesting and informative place to browse through. I'll be visiting your site again to gather some more valuable information. You truly did a good job.


Hi there - I know this article is old but it was very useful to me. I have been trying to play around with different colors to see if I can put an outfit together. I would like to use this color wheel on my blog and will link back to your website if that is OK. Thank you for posting!



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