For starters, lets clear the air by defining exactly what I mean when I say complementary colors. Per definition, complementary colors are those that are exactly opposite of one another on the color wheel.
If you check out the cool graphic of the color wheel below you can see that colors that are exact opposites of one another will give you bold and audacious color combinations that the faint of heart might not want to try.
That being said here are a few keys things you may want to consider before trying your hand at wearing complementary colors together.
As black is to white, going to extremes with color is quit bold and eye-catching in fashion. The key to making complements or opposites work is playing with styles that work well together in a look. For instance a collared shirt and v-neck sweater is a traditional pairing that gets an extra dash of fabulous when the shirt is a yellow and white pinstripe and the v-neck sweater is any shade of purple cashmere. Yellow and purple are complements and this can be a very sophisticated yet bold look when worn with slim fit jeans and purple or yellow pumps. Just remember decide up front which color you want to be the main color and which color you want to be the complement.
Another fun example is blue and orange. With this color complement I’d take a royal blue pencil skirt and pair it with an silk bow blouse in either a shade of orange (such as peach) or with orange in the print of the blouse (say a paisley or graphic print). Since the royal blue is obviously the main color in this case, I’d go for royal blue patent pumps and a great handbag in a slightly darker shade of blue. The accessories could bring in a bit more of the orange.
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Work with Shades and Tones
When sticking to a true hue of a color (say for instance red) is a bit too dramatic for your taste, then play with the shades and tones or lighter and darker variations of a color and its complement. Red and green are complements but worn together in their true hue can make your look like a Christmas present. Therefore for this pairing of color complements I like to use a red-orange and emerald green. You get just as striking an effect without the holiday theme.
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Go for Colorblocking
Now if you’re really not sure about wearing complementary colors the easiest way is to just go with colorblocking! I mean finding the color combos you want may present a bit of a challenge but once you do pairing the piece with colorblocking with a simple top or bottom is all you need to do.
Colorblocking is also a great way to add print or pattern into your look with two pieces instead of adding several layers. My best suggestion is to go for print in the accessories if you are wearing an article of clothing with colorblocking on it.
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So now you know how to wear complementary colors together, the question is will you try it?
Tell me either way, comment below!