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How To Create Versatile Outfits By Mixing Colours


A well-chosen colour palette should give you plenty of variety and express the overall theme you have in mind. Is your palette varied enough? To maximise the number of outfits you can build, the individual colours in your palette should be as mixable as possible. Your goal is to build a compact versatile capsule wardrobe by combining and complementing colours correctly.

Complementing Accent Colours

Each accent colour should work with each neutral and at least two of your main colours. Accent colours should work for accessories and single items, like tops or skirts, that you would pair with your key pieces or basics. Each main colour should work with each neutral, each other main colour and at least two accent shades.

For variety and a lots of options, make sure you choose a range of complementary accent colours, as well as a mix of light, medium and deep shades for extra contrast.

If you prefer a less varied palette instead, try including a few colours that share roughly the same hue but differ in brightness or saturation, e.g. a deep purple and a mid-tone purple. Regardless of which colours you choose, at the end always double check that your palette is cohesive overall, to simplify mixing and matching.


Combining Solid Colours

A good base of solid colors in your non-neutral collections is a good place to focus your attention. If your colour palette makes you instantly think of lots of different outfits or colour pairings you could wear, you’re on the right track.

You can combine solid colored garments with sequins, embroidery, or design elements like asymmetry.

Prints will be the hardest fabrics to find in your colors, and finding a print that is 100% in your color range may be difficult. As you consider adding a print in your wardrobe, lay your color palette against it, step back five feet, and squint. At this distance, colors will start to blend. If the colors blend with your palette, it’s a good buy.

Again, the best way to check whether your palette is mixable enough, is to do a little thought experiment and consider a few possible colour pairings. Simply use your palette as a guide to help you build better outfits and make sure any new items fit the overall vibe of your style and will work well with the rest of your wardrobe.

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