Colour Blocking

Colour Blocking – the Clash

I recently posted about tonal blocking – where you dress head to toe in different shades of the same colour. Just to mix things up a bit, and consider all things colour-related, today I put to you the concept of colour blocking – composing your outfit of block of colours that exist on opposite sides of the colour wheel. Read on, and revolutionise the way you approach your wardrobe…

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The Colour Wheel

Anyone who has done a photography course will remember the colour wheel. It’s an illustrative organisation of the spectrum of hues around in a circle. The natural order of colour is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. If the two ends of this list are connected, it creates the colour wheel.

Complementary Colours

The best colour combos are those that are complementary to each other – or opposite each other on the colour wheel. At a high level, these are violets and golds, blues and oranges, pinks and greens. They’re not colour combos you might typically put together when crafting your outfit du jour. But if the last few fashion weeks have taught me anything (and they have) it’s that no colour clash is too bold, too hard on the eye or too outrageous.

Street stylistas have been roaming the streets of London, Paris and Milan like brightly coloured wolf-packs in baby pink/olive green confections and cobalt blue/burnt orange creations. While in the past I would have shied away from such bold fashion statements, I’ve been emboldened by the riot of colours taking place on and off the catwalks of fashion week.

And that’s why nowadays you can check me out slinking down the street in pink and green or camel and red, and not a scrap of black or beige in sight. And the more luxe the fabrics, the better when it comes to a quality colour clash.


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colour blocking – get involved

Next time you’re doing a little outfit planning, pull out your favourite colours from your wardrobe, organise them according to colour and do another mix-n-match sesh.  Juxtapose complementary colours against one another and see what gelato-flavoured combos you discover.

Chances are you have some damn fine outfits lurking in your wardrobe, totally undiscovered because you haven’t yet played match-maker to the hues in there. You might just find a pair of olive green trousers crying out for a pink cashmere sweater and red overcoat. 

And if a bold colour clash clash isn’t your bag, but you still want to spin the colour wheel and see where it lands, try breaking it up with denim and accessories in neutrals or black.

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