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Color Blocking in Fashion: The Ultimate Guide to Wearing Colors

CEO Tinh Phung
We all have that one color that speaks to us. It's the hue that makes us feel confident and vibrant. Whether it's Barbie pink or lush green, the impact of color in our wardrobes cannot...

We all have that one color that speaks to us. It's the hue that makes us feel confident and vibrant. Whether it's Barbie pink or lush green, the impact of color in our wardrobes cannot be understated. And with TikTok's latest viral color palette trend, the spotlight is once again on the art of color blocking.

Color blocking is an abstract form of self-expression that has transcended beyond fashion and into interior design and even hair trends. It's a simple yet powerful technique that allows you to accentuate your natural silhouette and create eye-catching outfits. In this guide, we'll explore the do's and don'ts of color blocking, so you can effortlessly rock this trend with confidence.

What is Color Blocking?

Color blocking as an art form can be traced back to Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter known for his abstract geometric shapes and bold use of contrasting shades. His work focused on simplicity and the harmonious combination of opposing colors on the color wheel. This artistic concept quickly found its way into the world of fashion, with Yves Saint Laurent's iconic 'Mondrian Dress' becoming a symbol of the 1960s color blocking trend.

Today, color blocking in fashion falls into two main categories. You can either wear multiple pieces within the same solid-color family, or you can intentionally clash contrasting colors to create a bold statement. The key is to experiment with shades that are on opposite ends of the color spectrum for maximum impact, while opting for variations of the same shade to achieve a more subtle and wearable look.

Examples of Color Blocking Outfits

The beauty of color blocking is that you can create stunning outfits using pieces you already have in your closet. It's a versatile trend that can instantly refresh your wardrobe without breaking the bank. One popular approach is to opt for two-toned dresses, particularly those with black as the base color and a bold contrasting panel. This combination creates a simple yet powerful statement that you'll find in various brands.

But color blocking is not limited to garments alone. You can also incorporate this trend into your accessories. Show off your latest designer handbag by pairing it with a contrasting color. Christian Siriano, for example, styled a sunshine yellow dress with teal blue earrings and a matching bag for his Spring/Summer 2022 collection. When experimenting with accessories, it's best to stick to two colors to create a harmonious color-blocking effect.

Styling Tips for Color Blocking

If you're new to color blocking, it's best to start with baby steps. Two-tone dressing is a great way to ease into this trend. Choose a specific color palette and pair two contrasting tones together. Warm undertones with cooler shades, such as pink and red, are popular choices that can be found in almost any closet.

Another approach is to incorporate color-blocking accessories into your outfits. A neon handbag or jacket in your signature color can instantly elevate even the simplest of looks. By keeping the rest of your outfit in a neutral color palette, these accessories become the focal point, making color blocking feel more approachable.

Repetition is key when it comes to color blocking. Select two to three contrasting shades and repeat them throughout your outfit. This creates a cohesive and intentional look, rather than appearing haphazardly put together. Remember, the goal is to make a bold statement, not to look like you got dressed in the dark!

If you're unsure about how to start color blocking, consider investing in garments that are specifically designed with this trend in mind. Brands like Olivia Rubin have made color blocking a key part of their design DNA, taking out the guesswork by creating garments that effortlessly mix and match shades within their designs.

What to Avoid When Color Blocking

While color blocking allows for creative expression, there are a few golden rules to keep in mind. First and foremost, avoid overwhelming your outfit with too many colors. Stick to a maximum of three shades to maintain a balanced and deliberate mismatched aesthetic that defines color blocking.

It's also important to choose colors that work harmoniously with your complexion. Take the time to discover what color palette suits your skin tone and complexion best. These hues should form the foundation of your wardrobe, making color blocking a seamless process.

Avoid overly complicated color schemes, especially when starting out. While black may seem like a solid color, incorporating it into a three-part color scheme can be challenging, as it may appear too harsh alongside neon hues and pastels. Instead, opt for simpler combinations that allow the colors to shine.

Lastly, don't forget to consider layering when putting together a color-blocking outfit. The boldest shade should typically be worn as your outerwear or top layer, as it will draw the most attention and complete the color-blocking effect.

Is Color Blocking a Timeless Trend?

Although color blocking is often associated with retro fashion, it never truly goes out of style. Red-carpet events and Fashion Week shows consistently feature stunning color-blocking outfits. To ensure a timeless feel, focus on shades that complement your complexion. Strike a balance by incorporating neutral accessories or softer colors that allow a bolder shade to take center stage.

Color blocking is a trend that everyone should experiment with. Whether you're updating your workwear or looking for a standout dress for a special occasion, color blocking offers a universal appeal that will never fade away. So go ahead, embrace the power of colors and have fun creating your own unique color-blocking outfits!