Perhaps you’ve found yourself thinking the following…
* “I think I need to get better when it comes to learning how to mix and match clothes.”
* “I would like a wardrobe to mix and match easily, not have to buy 30 different outfits”
* “I want to have 5-7 solid outfits that I can rely on and then figure out how to mix and match those — if I want to”
* “I’m not able to see the mix and match possibilities.”
* “Too many choices, never mixing and matching. I feel a little overwhelmed.”
These are all actual struggles clients shared with me and part of the reasons why they came to me.
I want to share with you how I teach “mixing and matching” with my clients. We want our outfit planning to be easy but I often seen clients attempt uniform dressing by wearing the same colors and they grow tired of that too. They aren’t sure what to do to be authentic, wear color and make it easy to get ready. Use colors as a way to create a wardrobe that has the ease of a uniform with a variety of colors that pair together.
So how do you effortlessly mix and match? The answer is color theory. I teach this to all of my clients and now I’m sharing it with you here.
I use two principles of color theory with my clients – analogous colors and complementary colors. Check out the color wheel to refresh your memory.
Look on the left – created using analogous colors peach, coral and fuchsia. Look on the right – created using complementary colors – coral and jade/turquoise green. Note how this was balanced with the neutral shoes (both looks) and jacket (look on the right).
Using color theory – you can create outfits using one or both of the color theory principles. So easy, right?
But here’s where it breaks down. Many of my clients have what I call “cool” and “warm” colors in their closets and they try to wear them together. I break apart colors into two families – warm or cool – think earth tones and spring tones. When you try to wear colors from the different color “families” it can create a disconnect and make it harder to create outfits. Here is a handy graphic to help you identify warm/cool colors.
I find it’s SO MUCH EASIER to create outfits using color theory when you pick a color family and stay in those lanes. You can certainly have both color families in your closet but try to separate them and wear cool with cool and warm with warm. It’s much easier to practice wearing colors when you do this (including neutrals). Once you get good at it – you can try mixing the color families (or not). It really helps to know the “rules” before you break them. 🙂 Don’t forget you can use color theory when it comes to adding accessories to your outfits too.
Check out examples below for what I mean (from an actual client):
Look on the left – WARM colors – including the olive green. Look on the right – COOL colors.
The rules are more subtle. Guys when you’re creating outfits, you need to be mindful of warm and cool colors as well (get familiar with warm/cool colors). However, menswear is very subtle and rarely uses the concepts of complementary or analogous color pairing to create outfits. Instead, menswear typically relies on monochromatic dressing. Monochromatic means wearing different saturations of the same color – eg chambray blue with navy blue. Typically you will want to wear the lighter saturation of the color on top and the darker color on bottom. This helps create the coveted “V” silhouette.
Practice using color theory to create visually interesting outfits, wear more of what you own and finally be able mix and match your clothes easily!!