Monday, October 10, 2011

How to color block....

As I said in my earlier post, bright colors are definitely in this fall. One of he best ways to rock bright colors this season is by color blocking. Color blocking simply means wearing two or more blocks of color at the same time. Of course, in order to avoid looking like a clown, you need to know how to color block correctly..... and that's what I'm here for.

Now, before I can explain the whole color blocking thing, we need to go back to the basics. Anyone who has ever taken an art class, be it in elementary school or in college knows what the diagram below is.... the color wheel.

The colors in the middle are primary colors. The colors in the inner circle are secondary colors and you get them by mixing the primary colors together. Tertiary colors, the outer circle, are made from mixing primary and secondary colors. To explain color blocking, I'm going to work with the outer circle.

There are two ways to do color blocking. The first is by dividing the colors into warm and cool colors. Warm colors are yellows, reds and oranges. They tend to inspire a feeling of warmth when we look at them. Cool colors are the blues, the greens and violets. They have a more cooling effect. So in order to color block successfully, you pick a warm color and a cool color and rock them together.

Here Kim Kardashian shows us how to color block by mixing orange (a warm color) and purple (a cool color).

The other way to color block like a pro is to use "the rule of two-thirds." This method involves making a triangle on the color wheel. The three points where the triangle touches are the colors you are going to use.... for example, red, blue and yellow shown below.

To color block with two colors, you can pick two colors of the three colors from the corners of the triangle like Garcelle Beauvais did at the premiere of The Help.

To color block with 3 colors is much less straight-forward. You use two of the colors that the corner of the triangle is pointing to. For the third color, for the best results, use a color in the same hue but in a different shade. For example, if we look at June Ambrose's outfit below, if we look at the color wheel, the colds that it would be pointing to are pink, yellow and blue. She stuck to the pink and blue, but instead of yellow, she went a few shades darker and used orange instead.

Here are a few additional tips to take into consideration when color blocking:
  • Accessories can also be used as a color blocking tool. Anything from shoes, bags, belts and even hair bands can be used to color block
  • Use at least 2 colors, but not more than 4. However, I find that the best results are achieved with 2 or 3 colors.
  • If you are color blocking with your clothes, leave your accessories and jewelry neutral. We don't want you looking like a walking rainbow!!
  • Color blocking works best with solid colors. Avoid patterns and prints.
  • Make sure you dress fro your body type or shape
For more inspiration, take a look at some of the color blocking below...

Perfect plus size color blocking.....


  1. I never really understood this before, huh...I do now lol

  2. Great explanation. I never understood it but I do now.