In Color

How to match colors: the complete guide

Over the years I have found that combining colors is one of the things that people find very difficult while they plan their wardrobe.

In short, often choosing to not wear colors is nothing but is just an expedient driven by the fear of making a mess.

Here are the 10 golden rules for matching colors effectively:

 

FIRST RULE OF MATCHING COLORS: DO NOT MATCH!

It sounds a bit like a provocation, but to create effective matches you have to avoid the matchy-matchy effect. It works much more a contrast (between two or three colors) than the maniacal combination of a single color from head to toe.

 

EVEN MONOCHROME HAS ITS RULES

Of course there are also monochromatic combinations, which include different declinations of the same tone. But there are very specific rules: 1. the color temperature must be the same (warm or cool); 2. the intensity must be similar (soft or bright).

 

IT IS A MATTER OF TEMPERATURE

First of all, identify your skin undertone (try my test and find out if you have hot or cold colors). Then, by imitation, convert your wardrobe to the same temperature. Advantages? At least two: 1. all enhances your complexion; 2. everything is well matched with everything.

 

MATCH THE INTENSITY, NOT THE TONE

We said: better to avoid obsessive combinations, preferring instead the contrast. By contrast we mean a light color with a dark one. But as long as they are both brilliant or both attenuated. In short, the mix of fluorescent colors and dusty colors should be avoided.

 

HOW TO MATCH COLORS: ACCESSORIES

Until the ’60s shoes and bag were coordinated, then slowly the rule has disappeared. Today, unless it is a very formal occasion, it is preferable to play with contrast in the combination of accessories. Always respecting the rules above.

 

MATCHING COLORS AND PATTERNS

How to combine colors with prints? Very easy: just choose one (or more) colors within the fantasy itself. Which ones to choose? It is necessary to take the minority color, that is the smaller one inside the pattern, and use it for the other pieces.

 

MATCHING WITH YOUR MAKE UP. OR NOT?

Among the maniacal (and even exceeded) combinations  I would quote the eye shadow choosen in the same color of the dress. Unless you are an expert makeup artist, I find it a very risky choice. Better to enhance your complexion and the color of your eyes, without the 80’s effect.

 

CREATE YOUR OWN BASIS

To simplify all the combinations, choose a neutral color (the one closest to your color characteristics) and choose it as a basis for your wardrobe. Create a capsule of garments and accessories of that color, around which everything else will rotate …

 

NOT ONLY BLACK

To fly you must overcome the fear of falling. Philosophy aside, if you want to learn how to use colors you have to consider the possibility of doing it without black. It remains a beautiful (non) color, but you can live very well without it. Trust me!

 

LET YOURSELVES BE INSPIRED BY NATURE

Consider colors as a game: experiment, make mistakes, find out! And above all, let yourself be inspired by Nature, she can only do beautiful things: the trees of a forest, the petals of flowers, the mantle of animals, the sea and its species…

 

Let it be clear: as in all the rules, there are exceptions to this decalogue.

But I hope I have laid the foundations for combining colors effectively and perhaps even original.

Rossella Migliaccio
Italian Image Institute

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