Using the color wheel to match outfit colors

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by StyledbyShawn, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. StyledbyShawn

    StyledbyShawn Member

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    Feb 1, 2013
    Hello everyone! This is my first post here on style forum. I've been reading a lot lately thus I decided to make an account for myself. It seems like their is a wealth of collective knowledge and experience on this forum in terms of excellence in dressing well.

    My first question is: How good of a method is it to use the color wheel for choosing the colors in your outfit? I've always been told to choose colors that are equal distance from each other on the color wheel. Also, can this "rule" be used for matching more specific items in an outfit? For example, a shirt and tie or a shirt tie and sport coat?

  2. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Nov 20, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Hi. Welcome to StyleForum. I would ignore the color wheel as it can sometimes limit your imagination. It is not a horrible way to learn but it is fairly regimented (style, like language, is in my opinion best learned through immersion and exposure). You'll find a wealth of threads on matching shirts and ties, matching odd jackets and trousers, and what types of shirts and ties go with what suit colors. There is probably some color theory involved here, but I've never used a color wheel to pick out an outfit and I've generally gotten compliments on the outfits I put together. My goal was always to be able to look at different pieces (trouser, jacket, shirt, tie, etc.) and figure out if it would look good on me. Immerse yourself in SF and try out different combinations yourself (worst case is you experiment and it doesn't work, life goes on) via trial and error. Don't be afraid to ask for opinions and thoughts if you have an idea and am not sure how it would work.

    The "What Are You Wearing Right Now" types of threads are a great place to look at different combinations and see what you like and don't like. Fair warning, there are some bad outfits in there, but there are also a lot of opportunities to learn from senior members who do pretty well in the style department.

    Good luck.

  3. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    Jun 23, 2007
    In A Gadda Da Vida, Baby!
    I went to school for art and am hence fully familiar with the color wheel. I don't think I've ever really given it much thought in relation to my wardrobe. That could be due to the fact that I've already absorbed the principles involved or because I was born with what might be called an "eye" and it comes naturally.

    I'm not really getting what you mean by "choose colors that are equal distance from each other on the color wheel." That would mean red and green or yellow and purple, either of which can work in certain circumstances, but shouldn't be a guiding principle by any stretch of the imagination.

    I agree with archibaldleach that trial and error and observation are the best ways to develop your sense of style and color acuity. And I'd also like to join him in welcoming you to SF.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013

  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Sep 30, 2009
    The Arena - Centerfield

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