Color Wheel Series: Complementary Colors

Okay, so last week we discussed the 12 colors that make up the color wheel. We looked at primary colors, primary colors and tertiary colors, even discussing why black and white are not considered colors. This week, I'm going to talk about complementary colors. That is colors that are across the color wheel from each other. 

If you've even seen a particular print or person wearing an outfit and wonder what about it goes together so well, you'll probably notice that it was the color combinations that got your attention. 


This week, I wanted to reinforce this with actual clothing articles. Below are a few examples of some basic ways you can put together looks using complementary colors. Let's start with the basics; red is complementary to green, or across the color wheel, remember? Yellow is across the color wheel, or complementary from purple. Blue is complementary to orange. As you can see from the pictures below, you can vary your looks by switching the tops with the bottoms. Red top, green pant. Green top, red skirt. Add a few accessories in there like a necklace,  handbag or shoes and you can really begin to play around with your look.

Be advised that you do NOT have to wear colors of this intensity. In the following weeks, I will be introducing you to varying prints and hues that you can put together using the basic complementary color combinations. For now, just get used to seeing these colors together. Your task is to look for these colors in your wardrobe, as well as in the fashion magazines and out in the stores. Don't overthink it. For now, just begin to recognize the varying combinations of colors that you see in your everyday wardrobe.

Dionne Dean