For the past few weeks, I have been exploring Four Styling Formulas I created. In addition to this post that does a deep dive into these different strategies, I did posts dedicated to each one, Focal Point Styling, Road Map Styling, and Complementary Styling which also included instruction on basic color theory. In this last installment that looks at these four strategies, I am offering a closer look at Harmony Styling.

What is Harmony Styling?

Like a fine-tuned orchestra, a well-appointed balanced room, or voices singing in unison, Harmony Styling means combining colors in a harmonious way. Unlike Focal Point Styling where one piece stands out against the backdrop of the other pieces, in Harmony Styling you want to think of all the pieces in one outfit blending together and where not one piece takes center stage.  Harmony is created by all the pieces working together as a team vs. one piece being the solor artist.

The most common way to style this way is to work tonally but harmony styling is not exclusive to tonal dressing. You can work with colors that work as a color family or in tone and value, like an outfit comprised of beautiful autumn neutrals. You can also create harmonious looks with a neutral base for all the harmonies to work off of. You can check out the real-life client looks in this link and also take a look at some more outfits below.


Outfit #1

Beautiful harmony is created with shades of blue in grey in this outfit. The outfit is balanced and still compelling through the range of just a few colors. I styled this navy cardigan jacket from J. Crew with a charcoal long sleeve t-shirt from Caslon and grey jeans from AG. I finished the look with navy booties from Aquatalia, a grey bag from Rebecca Minkoff and printed scarf from Treasure & Bond.

Outfit #2

In this look, I am bouncing the harmony off the tan pants by Eileen Fisher to show that you don’t have to exclusively work tonally to work harmoniously. By working with different tones of greens, harmony is created. I styled this rich bottle green sweater with a mint beaded necklace from J.Jill, a spearmint handbag from Day & Mood and ivy colored flats from Sam Edelman.

Outfit #3

In this non-tonal look, harmony is created by working harmoniously with two colors by using ranges of both these colors. If you missed it, my post from yesterday was all about working with neutrals in your wardrobe that will explain this further. I styled this almond colored cardigan from M.M. Lafleur and deep olive pants from Vince. For a casual look, I styled a light olive t-shirt from J. Crew underneath the cardigan and finished the look with a pair of tan loafers, also from J. Crew, wood beaded necklace from Banana Republic and cognac bag from BOSS.

Outfit #4

Burgundy is a great color to use when you want to work harmoniously because there is such a broad spectrum to the shade that stretches all the way to blush pink. I styled these wide-leg trousers from Mango with a silk blouse from Vince and finished the look with blush pumps from Via Spiga, a burgundy investment bag from Wandler, and a chunky necklace from Pono by my old friend Joan Goodman.

Outfit #5

This harmonious look was created using a range of brown neutrals. I styled this chestnut Peserico sweater with brown tweed pants from Piazza Sempione and finished the look with cognac loafers from AGL and cognac bag from Nordstrom.

What have you learned from the Styling Formulas?

I’d love to hear from you if these styling formulas have helped you in putting looks together. Leave a comment below. Also, be sure to enter the outfit contest and get a chance to win a $50 gift card. You can read more about this at the end of this post.