Blank Doesn’t Mean Boring – Having Fun With Colors

Just because your clothing is blank and doesn’t have some sort of design on it, does not make it boring. You can mix and match your blank clothing using colors to make an outfit that’s fabulous and interesting. You don’t need patterns to make an outfit interesting, but you also can’t just throw any colorful clothing together.

The Color Wheel

Before we start mixing and matching colors we need to know how to use the color wheel. The color wheel is a visual aid to see how colors mix together. All art students utilize and learn about the color wheel when mixing paints and deciding on colors for pieces.colorwheel

The color wheel starts as a triangle, always starting with the three primary colors. Depending on the color system used the primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow or more commonly red, yellow and blue. Then in between two primary colors is the color that is created when those colors are mixed, or the secondary color. For example, on the circle between red and yellow, it would be orange. You then continue to mix and fill in the colors until you have a circle with all of the color variations created from the original three.

Color Terminology

Here are some terms that you can use when looking at the color wheel and putting outfits together with your colorful clothing. These apply to art and design as well.

Complementary Colors – complementary colors are a pair of colors that are the exact opposites of each other. These colors create the strongest contrast next to each

other than with any other color. A trick for finding a colors primary on the color wheel for the 6 basic colors, the complement of a primary color is the combination of the other two. For example, the opposite of yellow is the combination of blue and red, which is purple.


Analogous Colors – these are pairs of colors that are close to each other on the color wheel. For example, blue and green are supplementary, as are green and yellow.

Value – The value of a color is how light or dark it is, or when colors start to be mixed with black or white. The best place to see differences in value is black and white photographs

Fun With Colors

Start using the terms and ideas above to start mixing and matching your colorful t shirts and other clothing into fun and interesting outfits.Start playing with analogous colors, complementary colors and values. Using just lights and darks you could have an outfit that’s all variations of the same color. Or you can start pairing colors with the analogous color of it’s complimentary color. An example would be for Red and Green, a color pairing associated with Christmas, pair together Red and Blue-Green or Geen and Violet instead.

Don’t forget about using colorful accessories either! Pair up a bright orange bag with an blue item of clothing. And also put some whites and blacks in there to break up colors and add interest to an outfit.

I’d love to hear your favorite color pairings or see fun outfits you made using just colors. If you want to learn more check out the resources below. Until next time and remember to have fun with colors!

Color Series: Color Theory and The Color Wheel

Color Theory, The Color Wheel And Color Schemes

Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color

The Meaning of color: An interesting piece on what different colors mean to you

Foolproof Guide to Matching Colors in Your Outfits

The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in your Wardrobe