Choosing colours that go well together for your clothes and outfits can seem daunting. With so many colour combinations to consider, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, there are some tried and true ways to ensure you are pairing colours that complement each other and create stylish, put-together looks. In this article, we will explore some of the top colour combinations that go well together for clothing. We’ll look at both classic pairings as well as some more unique combinations you may not have considered before.
Classic Colour Combinations
Some classic colour pairings have stood the test of time and remain stylish, versatile options for bringing different hues together in your outfits. These combinations are easy to pull off and work for both women’s and men’s clothing choices.
Black and White
The most basic colour pairing, black and white, will never go out of style. This contrasting duo looks elegant and sophisticated. Black pants or skirt with a white top is a foolproof outfit formula. Or try a black and white printed or patterned top to add visual interest.
Navy and White
Similar to black and white, navy and white is another classic pairing that is easy to mix and match. A crisp white top or blouse balances beautifully against dark navy bottoms. For summer, try a navy and white striped tee.
Brown and Blue
Earthy brown tones pair nicely with cool blue hues. Try light blue jeans with a chocolate brown leather jacket or sweater. Or a cotton button-down in sky blue on top with khaki or caramel pants or shorts on the bottom.
Black and Grey
For a more modern, edgy vibe, pair black with shades of grey. Charcoal grey tee with black jeans or leggings makes a sleek casual outfit. Or a black pencil skirt with a heather grey sweater on top for the office.
Complementary colours sit opposite from each other on the colour wheel. When paired together, they create high contrast and high impact. Some flattering complementary pairings for clothing include:
Red and Green
This Christmas classic pairing pops when done right. Try pairing a red dress or top with emerald green accessories. Or forest green trousers with a cherry red blazer on top.
Yellow and Purple
Energetic yellow and regal purple complement each other beautifully. A pale yellow sundress with lilac sandals makes a lovely spring outfit. Or pair a vibrant purple shift dress with sunny yellow heels.
Blue and Orange
Bold orange and calming blue create visual excitement when combined. An azure blue button-down looks fresh with brick orange shorts or skirt. Or try an orange shell top with dark wash denim jeans.
Analogous colours sit next to each other on the colour wheel, creating harmonious combinations. Some flattering analogous pairings for clothing include:
Red, Pink, and Orange
Grouping red, pink and orange together creates a warm, vibrant look. Try pairing a red dress with peach or coral accessories. Or mix different pink and orange tones together in a patterned top.
Blue, Violet, and Lavender
Cool blue and purples offer a relaxed, elegant vibe. Try a soft heather blue sweater with lilac trousers. Or a blue denim jacket over a violet sundress.
Green, Yellow-Green, and Yellow
Earth tones like green, chartreuse and yellow radiate natural beauty when combined. Pair lime green shorts with a Kelly green tee. Or try a chartreuse skirt with a mustard yellow blouse.
Triadic colour schemes use three colours equally spaced around the colour wheel. The contrast between the colours creates visual interest. Some triadic pairings for clothing include:
Red, Yellow, Blue
This primary colour triad is bold and fun. Try pairing a red top with an azure blue skirt and lemony yellow heels. Or mix a blue button-down with yellow trousers and red sneakers.
Orange, Violet, Lime Green
Vibrant orange, purple, and green make unexpected combinations. Pair lime green shorts with an orange tee and violet sandals. Or try an orange shift dress with green jacket and purple belt.
Magenta, Turquoise, Chartreuse
These jewel tones create an artistic, eclectic look when combined. Pair a magenta blouse with turquoise trousers and chartreuse heels. Or mix a turquoise skirt with a chartreuse tee and magenta accessories.
Split Complementary Colours
The split complementary colour scheme uses one base colour, the colour on either side of its complement, and optionally the complement itself. This creates a more subtle contrast than a regular complementary pairing. Some split complementary examples include:
Red, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green
The warm yet refreshing combination of red, yellow-green, and blue-green is distinctive. Try red trousers with a blue-green blouse and mustard heels. Or pair a cherry red dress with jade green accessories.
Purple, Yellow-Orange, Blue-Green
Regal purple takes on a warm, sunny vibe with yellow-orange and blue-green. Pair an amethyst shift dress with aquamarine earrings and peach heels. Or try eggplant trousers with a mustard tee and turquoise necklace.
Orange, Blue-Violet, Green
Vibrant orange pops against the cool tones of blue-violet and green. Pair tangerine shorts with a jade green top and periwinkle sandals. Or try a coral dress with emerald accessories and a lavender belt.
Sticking to shades of one colour is a foolproof way to pull together a stylish look. Some examples of monochromatic pairings include:
Shades of Blue
Mixing light and dark blues creates depth. Try navy trousers with a baby blue button-down. Or pair dark wash jeans with a sky blue tee and lighter denim jacket.
Shades of Grey
Multiple grey tones look sleek and sophisticated. Pair charcoal trousers with a heather grey sweater. Or try a grey striped dress with silvery grey heels.
Shades of Green
Varying greens evoke nature. Combine forest green chinos with a lime green polo shirt. Or try an emerald dress with mint heels and accessories.
Neutrals like black, white, grey, brown, tan, and navy make easy mix-and-match pairings. Try black trousers with a white button-down and camel coat. Or pair tan chinos with a navy polo shirt and grey sneakers.
Prints and Patterns
Prints and patterns add visual interest to solid coloured pairings. Some ways to mix them include:
- Striped tee with solid coloured trousers
- Checked blouse with paisley skirt
- Plaid button-down under solid sweater
- Solid dress with floral print jacket
- Polka dot top with gingham shorts
When combining prints, make sure they share a similar colour palette and don’t clash. Scale is also important – pair small and large prints rather than two oversized motifs.
Whether you prefer classic colour pairings or more unique combinations, there are endless stylish ways to bring different hues together in your outfits. Keep these colour theory principles and suggested combinations in mind as you get dressed to look pulled-together from head to toe. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what flatters your skin tone and brings out your personal style.