Are you ready for a fashion truth bomb? You may be playing it safe when it comes to wearing color. Pairing hues is a part of everyday life, especially when deciding what to wear in the morning. Don’t restrict your closet to a confined color scheme when there are a plethora of pretty colors you could be adding to your wardrobe rotation. Ladies, have you ever wondered what colors work well together? If so, you’re not alone. Color matching your clothing may seem like a big mystery, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s where we come in. We’ve done our fair share of sartorial sleuthing, and have answers for your most-perplexing color quandaries. So, buckle up—there’s a world of color out there and it’s time for you to explore it.
Did you know that colors have the power to evoke strong emotions? It’s true—color psychology is a real thing. Let’s dive into a hypothetical situation. Imagine you’re preparing to speak in front of a large audience. Now think about the message you’d like to convey to your listeners through your outfit choice. Wearing cool tones can elicit a sense of peace and tranquility, while warm hues can energize a crowd. It’s also important to take into consideration which colors look best on you. With that being said, color is a powerful tool for expressing your truest self. Wondering where to even begin? Keep reading for a no-fail starting point on what colors go well together with the basics of color theory.
“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” — Pablo Picasso
How to Read a Color Wheel
The key to mastering color theory, or the best color combinations, is to understand the color wheel for clothes. Let’s quickly get back to elementary basics. The graphic above illustrates the relationship between primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Primary colors include red, blue and yellow, while secondary hues are the combination of two primary shades.
Do you recall mixing paint colors for the first time as a kid? Red and blue create violet, red and yellow make orange and blue and yellow produce green. Tertiary colors are a mixture of primary and secondary pigments. Easy, right? This handy guide relies on the rainbow of basic colors in order from cool to warm. Typically, the most flattering color combinations are directly across from each other, hence the term, complementary colors. The science behind color theory goes into much greater depth, but nailing these principles is a solid jumping-off point.
The Color Wheel Basics for Clothing
Curious how the color wheel comes into play when styling clothing? Blue and orange may be an unexpected pairing, but they create the most contrast to one another. In women’s fashion, this rule may not always work for colors that typically go well together. While red and green are complementary colors, it may look like you’re planning a Christmas outfit. Either way, we’re here for the festive vibes. Harmonious colors are those grouped next to one another, such as blue and teal. They offer low contrast but work well together, creating an overall pleasing outfit. While there’s an infinite amount of delightful color couplings, let’s dive into a few of our favorites.
“All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.” — Marc Chagall
What Colors Go Well Together: Start with Neutral Basics
Black, white, brown, beige and grey are core neutrals for women’s wardrobes. They work tirelessly to blend with literally any other shade under the sun. You can consider them your fuss-free foundation tones when deducing what colors go well together. They even pair well with those trickier statement shades, such as chartreuse. What’s not to love? Take a peek at how we leverage a handful of neutrals to create dynamic outfit duos.
What Colors Go with Brown?
For easy, achromatic outfitting, try pairing brown with black. We think camels with jet blacks look especially divine. If this duet is a bit blasé for your taste, amplify it with a pop of white or red. Aside from matching colors, you also want to have consistency with tones. If opting for a warm brown wool coat, choose a red blouse with yellow undertones instead of hints of blue. Another way to add sass and spunk to the mix is with leopard prints made of brown and black tones. After all, this feline pattern is a neutral and subtle way to walk on the wild side.
Stylist Tip: A general rule of thumb when building an outfit is to stick to three or fewer colors. FYI, white and black don’t count, so you can always lean into them.
What Colors Go Well Together: Navy Blue and Who?
When wondering what colors go with navy blue, take a cue from the color wheel. Remember when we mentioned that orange and navy are prime examples of when opposites attract? They’re naturally nautical mates, especially when stripes slide into the mix. For a modern feel, experiment with color-blocking to make a statement. A navy a-line dress with bold orange strappy heels feels fresh and fun.
On the flip side, this nearly neutral is a close cousin to black, meaning they’re in a similar color family. When you’re deciding what colors go well together, this twosome is a no-brainer. The one caveat being that deep and inky navy hues could create a mismatched look with true black. The trick is to ensure both colors are different tones. Add depth and dimension with textures and luxury fabrics, like silk. Now, kick the “no navy and black” rule to the curb.
What Colors Go with Olive Green?
Olive is a versatile earth-toned neutral color that can be matched with just about any hue. Warm pinks, browns and dusty blues (we’re looking at you, chambray) are good go-to’s with this trend-savvy desert daze star. Are you hoping for a lighter approach when matching colors for clothing? White is a crisp and clean contender when you’re on the hunt for a stellar color mate for olive. A structured white blouse with slim olive slacks and nude flats is chic sophistication at its finest.
What Color Combinations Work Best with Pastels and Brights?
When it comes to adding color to women’s wardrobes, pretty pastels and bold brights get the job done. Typically, these lively hues are what we think of when we’re looking to make an outfit really pop. When deciphering what colors go well together, these striking shades can be the most persnickety of the bunch. Yes, there’s definitely a way to overdo it on the neons and head-to-toe pastels may wash you out. It’s all about balance, and we’re happy to guide you to the ultimate equilibrium of color.
“I am a believer that color affects people’s moods.” — Lilly Pulitzer
What Colors Go with Pink?
Style alert—all tints of pink and blue go well together as long as they have complementary tones. If you were ever curious about what colors go with pink, there’s your answer. Are you a gal who loves different shades of mauve, blush or hot pink? We encourage you to have fun with this one. For a bold and brilliant combo, opt for a rich cobalt and fuchsia. For a softer feel, try pairing baby pink and cornflower blue. Embrace the cottagecore trend in a midi dress with puff sleeves in a barely-there blue hue with ditsy pink flowers. Lastly, you can’t go wrong by pairing blue jeans with virtually any shade of pink. Keep your look trend-forward with wide-leg denim and square-toe heels. You’ll look pretty in pink in no time.
What Colors Go Well Together: Shades of Purple and Grey
Are you trying to decide what color matches with purple? Look no further than an expansive range of grey shades. Lavender and light grey is a tone-on-tone color combination that is both smart and serene. Try a sharp sheath dress with lavender slingbacks and you’ll instantly look like a fashionista who knows what they’re doing. For a sparkly twist, add a touch of silver in your jewelry. Do you prefer your outfits to pack a punch? Say goodbye to subdued and hello to standout ensembles with grape and darker greys like charcoal and pewter. The balance of the deeper grey will act as a neutral foundation for bright purple to stand on its own.
What Colors Match with Red and Fuchsia
Fuchsia has already made our list, but we couldn’t leave it out when discussing the colors that match with red. The next time you’re contemplating what colors go well together, opt for this show-stopping fashion duo. You’ll have all eyes on you in a fuchsia and red dress, so it’s perfect for your Valentine’s Day look. Since the main part of the outfit is quite daring, stick to minimal accessories and neutral shoes. Have fun turning heads left and right.
Our Favorite Color Combos for Deeper Tones
There’s no better way to show the world that you’re feeling moody than with jewel tones and rich shades. While you can wear these deeper colors all year long, we especially love them for fall and winter. Think of naturally occurring gemstones such as sapphire, amethyst and ruby, to name a few. The three that made the top of our list today are teal green, burgundy and emerald. These will add a little spice to your nice when you’re searching for colors that go well together. Keep scrolling to find out how we love to style them.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
What Colors Go with Burgundy: Blush for the Win
When you’re wondering what colors go with burgundy, reach for a delicate blush hue. Burgundy and blush are within the same color family, so they’re a harmonious choice. They work so well together because they’re on the opposite ends of the saturation spectrum. Blush has a youthful feel, while burgundy swoops in with a sophisticated spirit. This true juxtaposition balances each color nicely. Blush feels feminine, so if you’d like to lean into that, opt for lace detailing. If you’d rather focus on edgy details, try a burgundy leather skirt instead.
What Colors Go Well Together: Teal and Blue
Are you scratching your head when trying to figure out what colors go well with teal green? Let’s look at Mother Nature. You can find green and blue in the wild, so it’s no surprise that they’re a coupling that’s meant to be. It’s difficult to look at a clear blue sky and lush green trees and not love what you see. Rain or shine, teal green and various shades of blue go hand in hand. A matching teal green jogger and sweatshirt set accented by midnight or cyan blue puts the fresh in refreshing.
When styling jewel tones, don’t hesitate to wear shades of one color from head to toe. Yes, when searching for colors that go well together, tonal looks are fashion-forward. Try a light aquamarine blouse tucked into teal trousers. Proportions play a major role as well. Go long on top or bottom, but not both. Not sure what we mean by that? If your long trousers are high-waisted, make sure you tuck in your blouse to help define your waist. This is especially key if you are styling a petite sized frame. Voilà—you’ve conquered tonal outfitting like a pro.
What Colors Go Well Together: Emerald and Metallics
Calling all of our red-haired and fair freckled friends. While emerald looks good on virtually anyone, this gorgeous shade works magic on those with fiery locks. This jewel-toned hue evokes a sense of royalty and vitality. When worn, you can’t help but feel like you’re meant to sit on a throne and rule a kingdom. In order to let this stunning shade shine in the spotlight, pair it with either black or cream. It’s as simple as that. If you want to take it up a notch, a touch of metallic will work wonders as a color combination. Try letting a gold camisole peek through the top of a buttoned emerald blazer. On bottom, go for black jeans or slacks and chunky heeled booties. Don’t forget your crown, queen.
Ready to put your newfound color wheel know-how to use? Take your style quiz and order a Fix to vibrantly revamp your closet. Ask your stylist to send a few color pairings to inject an array of new shades into your wardrobe. Relax as you wait for your five pieces picked just for you. Try your items at home, keep what you like and send back the rest. Looking for one specific style? You can pop into Stitch Fix Freestyle™ to browse and instantly buy items. Either way, shipping, exchanges and returns are always free.