The Ultimate Guide To Mixing And Matching Colours For Your Outfits! Issue 1

What is the one colour matching rule that has stuck for generations?....

"Black goes with everything!"

...yes, that is it! quite cliche really. 
'That' is suppose to be the answer to everything colour in our wardrobe? 

Unless it is for home, the rule was flexible...."white goes with everything"....

Though we cannot dispute the value of black and white, they are precious...but there's more to life than black and white.

The world has become a place that takes in what you look like, before taking in what you do, are capable of, the road you have travelled or your accomplishments. First impressions are made in just a matter of seconds. You develop the desire to dress appropriately and know that colour has a huge influence not only on the signals you are sending out about yourself but also affects how you feel. 

When it comes to dressing with colour, inspiration may come from anywhere and anything that surrounds us.

Think about the colours of the's calming, the brightness of the sky at's energising, the beautiful way Allah(SWT) seamlessly turns day to night, created the brown tree trunks and green branches, gorgeous blooming flowers, butterflies, ladybugs, birds, fish and everything including us...Colour is all around us and stimulates our mind and moods. 

If you are drawn to something because of its' colour properties, break down the colours in your mind or take a pic and use these colour arrangements as inspiration not just for dressing but decor, themed parties, weddings, gifting, projects, mood boards etc..

Now, let's learn how to play with colour and have fun mixing them to create your fashion masterpieces.

Colour Theory:

Introducing the Colour Wheel:

We will start with a very basic colour wheel as there are many out there and I don't want to lose you through this. From the basic colours on the colour wheel we can then easily establish the following types of colours such as: primary, secondary, tertiary, complimentary, monochromatic, analogous and well as the two main categories : warm colours and cool colours.

Basic Colour Wheel

1. Warm colours and Cool colours: 
one half of the colour wheel are cool colours the other half  are warm. Cool colours are blue, purple(violet) and green whilst warm colours are red, yellow and orange as can be seen from the diagram above. 

Warm colours often symbolise passion, happiness, enthusiasm and energy, absorb light and are very stimulating.
Cool colours  symbolise calmness, cleanliness, serenity, reflect light and are easy on the eyes.

Consider these cool and warm colour combos including mixing them:

2. Primary Colours: Red, Blue and yellow (see above)
these colours cannot be made by mixing other colours, they are pure colours.

You can easily incorporate primary colours into your wardrobe, by adding it to a monochrome outfit. If you plan to dress in monochrome, which is in one colour for the entire outfit, introduce primary colours for a more modern yet simple approach by wearing shoes that have primary colours or use other accessories such as a scarf, belt, jewellery etc to get all 3 primary colours in...

Primary colours may also be worn together without using any other colours...Think Superman or wonderwoman minus the cape, leggings and speedos;)

Subtle Use of Primary Colours
Subtle Use of Primary Colours

You can have fun playing with primary colours, from using a scarf with two of the colours in it and jewellery with just the third colour, the possibilities are endless...go full white (this could be any other colour and it would be ok) and try yellow statement heels with a red scarf and blue jewellery. If you are starting out, try just one primary being the easiest, thanks to denims.

3. Secondary Colours: purple, orange, green (see above)
these colours are made by mixing equal amounts of two primary colours together i.e. 

red + blue = purple (violet) 
yellow + blue = green
yellow + red = orange

Camilla Belle sporting secondary colours from the Gucci collection 2011

Subtle Secondary Colour use

Think of how you played with primary colours, secondary can be done in the same way. Try lighter hues of the same colour if it's too much for you ie. peach instead of orange, mint green instead bright green and lilac instead of
purple. You can introduce it to outfits that are monochrome ie. all black , all white, etc or nudes such as tan or light grey...or give a black and white outfit an instant colour boost by including secondary colours.

4. Tertiary colours:
are obtained by mixing primary with secondary colours. There are 6 tertiary colours, remember them by placing the primary colour name before the secondary one: also you don't mix the primary with its complimentary redgreen is not a tertiary colour they are complimentary so we get:
redorange; redviolet; yelloworange; yellowgreen; bluegreen, blueviolet

by all means dress in tertiary colours if you want to...a good way is to introduce them with neutral or monochrome. Remember it's only a tertiary colour if the two colours are "mixed" to produce it, and not if you put a red top and an orange skirt, that would be wearing a primary colour with a secondary colour. 

red orange or burnt orange coat
bluegreen or soft teal jumpsuit 

5. Complimentary colours:
are colours opposite each other on the colour wheel. These colours compliment each other, ie. look good together or set off each other nicely and are often referred to as colour blocking. Look back to the colour wheel diagram for reference. It is a match of the primary and secondary colours.

From the basic colour wheel you can get the three complimentary sets....if the colour wheel is bigger, you will get more sets of colours that lie opposite each other.

set 1: purple(violet) and yellow
set 2: red and green   (have you noticed most red heads have green eyes)
set 3: blue and orange

To match these, you can use a buffer colour such as neutrals (nude, light brown, tan, beige, cream, off white), black, white or metallic shades such as gold, silver and bronze. If you are brave enough, try pairing them together without the buffer. You can always add these colours via accessories including your hijab.

Purple and yellow

Purple and yellow

Red and Green

Red and green

Blue and orange

 Dark Blue and orange
What is your favourite complimentary set? 

What is Split Complimentary: this is easy...just include the two colours on either side of the complimentary colour if you wearing blue(base colour) with orange (the complimentary colour), vermillion and amber would complete this split complimentary colour scheme. Split complimentary is more toned down than a complimentary scheme, so not as stimulating.

6. Monochromatic colours:
are essentially using one colour from head to toe. Muslimahs are notorious for wearing all black from head to toe with scarf to abayas. It's also interchangeably referred to as black and white. Here are some monochrome looks:

Click here for more All white dreamy outfits

monochrome leaning onto analogous

7. Analogous colours:
are 3 colours next to each other on the colour wheel with the middle colour being the dominant colour (this usually a primary or secondary colour) and the other two colours, on either side of it are tertiary colours*.

i.e. if you chose red(primary), to the left and right of red are the analogous colours. They are also similar in hue to the colour chosen. eg, red with rust and pink, blue with indigo and aquamarine, yellow with amber orange and chartreuse, blue, aquamarine and green, also commonly seen today is pairing 2 similar colours such as red and pink, red and orange, blue and violet, blue and green, yellow and orange, yellow and red.......they are so close to each other you would never think to put them together.

Pink and red

Emma Stone on the red carpet in analogous colours

I tried a soft pink chiffon jacket with a red dress, and was very surprised by how good it looked..I would do this combo again. Why not give Lilac and pink or soft pink a try....

Blue green or teal and royal blue

Amazing combo, cobalt or royal blue and mint green

Orange and yellow

Blair Waldorf in orange an yellow

Wendy's Lookbook

8. Triadic Colour Scheme:
are 3 colours equally spaced from each other on the colour wheel (excluding the primary colours). It is not as contrasting as the complimentary scheme but more harmonious and balancing. Remember the Camilla Belle pic above, that would also count as a triadic colour scheme.

use a triangle or a Y

eg.  aquamarine, magenta and amber
       green, purple and orange
Add caption

Now you know alot more about matching colours. Bookmark this page for future reference or save this info to your desktop or ipad or simply print the colour wheel and stick to it to the inside of your wardrobe will soon get the hang of it after some practice. It will definitely increase the versatility of your existing wardrobe and stretch your imagination.

Don't be afraid to try new colour schemes, you might surprise yourself. Alot of people only realise what suits them until it's too late to actually enjoy it...take opportunities to be your best now...later may never arrive.

Stay tuned to posts relating to hijab and how to incorporate colour,playing with neutrals and accent colours including how to tie your hair under your scarf that doesn't involve disprin or panados half way through your day.

Popular Posts