Master Class: Mixing Colors Like a Pro

In fashion, there are several lessons that need to be mastered before we can achieve personal style.  One of these lessons is how to mix and coordinate colors.  Beginners coordinate colors like kindergartners who wear Grranimals” purple with purple, green with green, adding neutrals sporadically.  But those in the master class know that it is the multi-color combinations that win the day: amethyst and ruby, navy and kelly green, mustard and ketchup.  Yes, mustard and ketchup.

Yesterday, my friend Cali was wearing one of the most unexpected outfits that I have seen in a long time.  At first glance, it appeared to be a failure but when I stepped back and examined the elements, I realized the outfit was a triumph of casual style.  The following is a reasonable facsimile.

Autumn Cashmere (Muleh, price unknown)

Fallon Thread Choker (Barneys, $215)

On top she paired a chunky knit, mustard colored cardigan with a charcoal grey tank.  She then added a rainbow choker by Fallon similar to the one above (hers also included a strand of chunky pearls).  While the necklace would have looked fabulous with any color, pairing it with such a bold hue really brought out the different colors and emphasized the interplay between the heavy metalwork and the soft strand of pearls.

Not satisfied to settle for one bright color, Cali decided to add some zazz on the bottom as well pairing denim with lipstick red patent leather flats.

Marc Jacobs Logo Patent Leather Flats (Saks, $199)

Mixing this vibrant color palette can be tricky, but by pairing her mustard cardi with red flats and a multi-colored necklace, Cali achieved style greatness.  Because building a colorful outfit that looks stylish yet effortless is the pinnacle of the fashion spectrum.  So this New Year, break out of your rut and start creating bold looks by mixing colors.  You never know what unexpected wardrobe gems you might discover.


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  1. justv says:

    love this post. thanks for the inspiration…it’s so easy to just go the black & grey route this time of year.

    January 7, 2010/Reply