As someone who loves to thrift and put together unexpected combinations in my own outfits, I am predictably a serious advocate of mixing patterns and textures. But on the other end of the textile spectrum lies colorblocking: a simple way to keep your look fun yet sophisticated.
Many people shy away from the colorblocking trend because it’s only natural to instead gravitate towards the safest route and allow neutrals with dispersed color to dominate your everyday ensemble. It seems almost too simple to put together an outfit that pops when you’re skimming your style Pinboards, but I know plenty of women who return from shopping excursions with an armful of clothes, at least half of which are some variation of beige, black or white. Executing this bold but classy trend is much simpler than it seems in-store, and the culprit of avoiding it altogether is typically just a case of over thinking it.
The key to successful colorblocking comes down to two main components: interestingly combining solid basics and having a pleasing color palette.
Let’s tackle the first: it’s important to change the way you look at basics when you’re shopping for them. If you’re going for graphic and sophisticated colorblocking, try to see an individual piece rather as the outfit it has the potential to become. Take our Fashionista’s pleated dress for example: on the hanger it’s undoubtedly cute, but her skinny yellow belt takes it to the next level. Before you even hit the fitting rooms, head for the accessories and search for a solid belt in a complementary texture. Always keep the details well tailored and clean.
Now for the foundation of this look: color. Our Fashionista is a graphic designer, so she clearly has a natural affinity for picking a nice color palette. For those of us who don’t know exactly how to put colors together, try just taking more notice to when you like how two or more hues interact; make a color combo Pinboard to go along with those for your style icons and photos of Ryan Gosling playing with kittens (the real reason I even have a Pinterest) and add anything—a photograph, a painting, a well-designed interior—when the color speaks to you. Repeat this practice in everyday life and soon enough you won’t be staring at a pair of cobalt shoes with a coral dress thinking, “Does this really go, or am I crazy? I’m crazy. I’m buying the black one.” You’ll know why it does or doesn’t work, because you will be more finely tuned to the subtle ways colors can either play off of one another or clash.
Colorblocking, when tastefully done, can be the perfect combination of modern and sophisticated. Don’t be afraid to show a little vibrance.