- May 24, 2008
- Reaction score
This is my first thread. Hi everyone. Although I am a newbie in terms of style, I am familar with colors. I hope the following may be of use: To discuss how to balance colors is difficult. Because the names we use to define colors is vague and inaccurate. Without going into technical details, there are some general guidelines that can make color selection easy. You will look interesting and unified, regardless of what color you are wearing, if the following happens: 1. Closely related colors dominate over your entire figure. For example: most colors are blues. 2. Keep most colors close in term of lightness and intensity. For example: Light brown shoes with warm gray suit and cream colored shirt. Keep colors close in intensity! This means that if you have a gray suit, you would look very harmonious if your shirt is not in glowing neon. It is also the reason patterned ties/shirts look harmonious if no one or only one color is more intense than all others. 3. Limit contrast to EITHER color or lightness. This means that if you choose a shirt that is significantly lighter in color to your suit, keep the shirt the same color family as your suit. For example, a man wearing dark blue worsted look sharp and harmonious with a light blue shirt. Pair the same suit with a light orange shirt and you have disaster. Another example, if you wish to create contrast in color, as in a brown( which is dark orange) shoe to a blue suit, you would do well to keep the shoe and the suit in similar lightness. So a dark navy would be wonderful with a darker pair of brown shoes, a lighter navy would work better with a lighter brown shoe. A sand colored shoe on the other hand would not work with dark navy. 4. Repetition in color across the entire figure. The reason a brown shoe looks smarter than a black shoe is that the human skin tone is in the same color family as brown. Thus, a brown shoe would echo the color of the man's face and appear harmonious. However if your skin color is exceptionally pale or extremely yellow(due to disease) this example does not apply. 5. When thinking of colors ask yourself whether it is warm or cool. For example, there are some yellows that appear greenish and others that lean towards orange. Think of a lemon compared to a yellow leaf in fall. An orangish yellow would work harmoniously with browns and the greenish yellow would do better with blues. Most of the guidelines above are adapted from Richard G. Ellinger's book Color structure and Design. I have tried to remove all terminology and write in layman's terms. There are others far more qualified than I am to write or discuss the theory of color or clothing, thus if I am wrong, please correct me. I am only a poorly dressed man, trying to repay my debts to the forum for having so recently introduced me to style.