Today’s post is inspired by Chromecast, the nifty, and inexpensive, little device I use to binge watch all my favorite shows. Once 7pm hits, I shut down, eat dinner with my husband and spend the rest of my night blazing through a bunch of episodes of whatever series we are currently watching. Lately it has been Showtime’s Shameless. Have you seen it yet? It is so disturbingly fabulous.
Anyway, if you don’t have a Chromecast device then you probably don’t know, that when you aren’t casting something from your smartphone or laptop to your television, the device shows these absolutely gorgeous landscape scenes. Seriously, they are so beautiful that I highly suggest just casting the images at the next party you host. Yesterday, as one of these pictures flashed up on my screen, I thought about how beautiful the colors would look in an outfit.
I have always been good with color. This was first pointed out to me when I was at FIT studying fashion design and a professor remarked on my advanced ability to combine different shades. I come from a family of artists, therefore, having a creative eye is a natural gift. However, if color combining isn’t your strength, just like math isn’t mine, today’s post will give you help on how to create fashionable color combinations.
Creating fashionable color combinations using photography
By now, most people have a Pinterest account. If you have one, I highly recommend creating a board of color combinations you like, like I do. Being someone who has such a love of color, if I am not careful, I could easily get sucked into a color vortex on Pinterest and lose the entire day pinning. The beauty of this exercise of pinning beautiful color combinations is that it’s an instinctual process that requires no skill or knowledge. If you think color combinations are pretty, pin them.
Not only is this process fun but it is effective. In fact, when I was a fashion designer exercises like this were one of the first steps towards putting collections together for the season. Fashion designers always start with mood boards that set the look, direction and color palettes. Most designers can find inspiration anywhere. I once had a designer friend use a bubble gum wrapper for color direction.
Finding color inspiration via Pinterest, or other means, is just the first step. The next thing you want to do is look to them to create beautiful color combinations in your outfits. If color combining isn’t your strength, these graphics can act like little cheat sheets on how to do it. Additionally, when you see colors combined though these images, it can give you the confidence to know they will work, while also encouraging you to step out and take some risks.
Below are five beautiful images that I used to put five fashionable color combinations together, along with my tips on how I used the image to create each look.
Simple and Creative Ways to Create Fashionable Color Combinations
I love this photo by Elisa Contini. The color are bright, summery, playful and clean.
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Using this photograph, I put this outfit together consisting of a pair of coral pants from Boden, an ivory cable knit sweater from J. Crew, a yellow Vince Camuto handbag, teal Bandolino flats, Target denim jacket and Max & Chloe earrings.
With this look being so colorful, it was important for me to find the base neutral in this photo which is the ivory and sand colors of the buildings. In place of the soft blue, I also used denim for the base. From there I was able to pop the colors off of the accent of coral. A good tip to keep in mind is to have your base and accent make up at least 90% of the outfit with your pop colors being a very small percentage.
I am so in love with this photo by Iaian Bagwell, who creates stunning photos using food. What I like about this particular picture is how the red pops off the deep blues and grey shades.
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In the look inspired by this photo, I wanted to create the same energy of the red lifting off the deep, murky colors. My first step was to look at all the shades of blue and grey and build a base around those shades, which I did with the J. Crew pants, Tory Burch turtleneck, navy pumps from Calvin Klein, blue handbag from ZAC Zac Posen, ink blue scarf from Banana Republic and grey earrings from Max & Chloe. Next, for an unexpected softness that picks up the lighter and foggier, shades of grey, I used this coat from Reiss. Together, all these pieces create a tonal look that captures the rich, depth of the photo. And just like the bright red lobster jumps out from the murky tones, so do these red Lord & Taylor gloves. I bet you would never think to put red gloves with that coat until you saw this photo.
This photo by Joanne Coyle proves that you can find color inspiration anywhere, even on an old door.
Using the brown wood as inspiration for the base of this outfit, I used these brown ponte leggings from Lord & Taylor, easy tan top from Modcloth and brown boots from Nordstrom. From there, using the gorgeous patina green and purple found on the doorknob, I brought these purple and green colors to life using this sea glass colored handbag and added this Echo scarf and colorful earrings that both pick up all the color found in the photo. Finding pieces like this can be wonderful because all the colors are captured.
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While the beautiful blue shade is the predominant color in the photo, I decided to look back into the picture at how the bright yellow glowed off of the richer burgundy and green colors. When getting inspired by photography you don’t have to be literal. You can even take a small part of the photo to create a combination.
In this look, I used a green skirt from eShakti and belted this yellow top with a burgundy belt. To bring in the blue, I used these wedges from Macy’s and finished the look with a green handbag and burgundy stud earrings.
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Like the first photo, this picture lends itself to more of a summery look. Most women get more outgoing with color during warmer months. Using the coral base, I started with this dress from Modcloth and added a pair of turquoise shoes from Nordstrom. Wanting to encapsulate all of the colors from the photo without creating a clown look, I added this colorful necklace from Bauble Bar and printed clutch from Hobo. Lastly, while purple and coral may not be the most expected color combination, I simply loved the way it looked in the photo and finished the outfit with this lilac silk and cashmere wrap.
If creating fashionable color combinations just isn’t your thing, nature truly is one of the most inspirational places to learn how to do it. So start pinning your favorite color combinations and get busy in that closet!