A Spot of Colour
by Coco Anetor-Sokei

Of course, we’ve all embraced the trend that’s sweeping the world – color blocking. No longer are we satisfied with the basic color blocking like wearing black tights under a red dress. As far as you lot are concerned, it’s the more/brighter the colors, the better. The male however, seem to have no problem with this. They color block effortlessly every day, without even realizing it – with shirt, suit and tie combos – but there are still some tips you might pick up here.

After complaining and grumbling, and almost gouging my eyes out on several occasions, I’ve come to the realization that perhaps the reason why there are so many color blocking mishaps is because enthusiasts of the trend are yet to fully understand the concept. Because I love you, and my eyes, I’m here to help πŸ™‚

Ladies and gentlemen, meet our dear old friend:

Remember grade school art? After praying to the heavens to help me help you, I had an epiphany! It’s easy, really. We’ll be using some of the things we learnt about colors what may seem like ages ago to help us through this crucial problem. If you weren’t very attentive in class when you were being taught about colors, there’s no need to fret. I’ll be going over the basics. You’re welcome πŸ™‚

Because understanding how the color wheel and color schemes work is essential to finding the right color matches that will enable you pull off this trend successfully, we’ll walk through a couple of basics.



As you can see, analogous colors lie next to each other on the wheel. You may refer to them as “connecting hues”. Now, we don’t want to go overboard with the whole thing, so it’s advisable to use neutral colors – cream, brown, white, OR black – on top or at the bottom, and then use your colors as accents. Example, you can pair a cream-colored blouse with red dress pants, and a purple bag.


Β colorblockoutfit1

This is basically three evenly spaced out colors on the wheel, often referred to as “the rule of two-thirds” when color blocking. How it works is you draw a triangle with three equal sides on the wheel, to set the palette for your outfit.

Needless to say, this is the most popular theory thanks to its diversity in colors. What you need to do is pick one color of the three to serve as your feature color, and then play the other two as accents OR pick just two of the three colors and work with them. In all, the key is to maintain balance else one may end up looking like an escaped rodeo clown.

My advice is to pick a neutral outfit, and accessorize with two of the colors.



As you know, complementary colors are colors opposite each other on the wheel. Now, how this theory works is you take the two other colors on either side of the intended opposite color, forming a ‘V’.

Like the Triadic theory, you need to pick a feature color here and accent with the other two by choosing either bags, shoes, tops, or bottoms. Like I keep saying, it’s important to not go overboard with this look. Keep it simple and classy.


Β colorblockdress1

Some might say you should stay away from this theory of color blocking because of the high contrast value between the two, but it’s actually the easiest to pull off when you do it right. Sometimes, all you need to do is tone down the shade of one of the colors. Example: green and red are opposite each other, so, you might want to pair a green skirt with a white tank and pink blazer or cardigan. Throw in neutral shoes, and you’ll be standing out in a good way.

You see how simple it is? The rules make it so you don’t have to get so stressed out trying to decide what goes with what or hurt someone’s sense of vision.

Here are a few extra tips it wouldn’t hurt to keep in mind:

1. ALWAYS pick colors that complement your skin tone. If you know you don’t look good in colors, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by using neutrals as your base and then playing with colors in accessories.

2. Textures should be down-played with this look. Having ruffles and sequins along with all the colors going on is never a good idea. If you really want to go with something textured, keep it on top.

3. If you’re worried a color might flush you out, then keep it at the bottom and choose a flattering to wear on top.

4. I find gold jewelry goes better with this trend when you’re letting your outfits do the talking. However, you may decide to add color with your jewelry when wearing neutrals, and rock those chunky colored bracelets, rings, and such you’ve splurged on.

5. If colored shoes are part of your outfit, it’s important to ensure the color is rich. This has to do with the material of the shoe, and it’s come to my notice that patent leather and suede do the best job of pulling the look together.

6. It takes a brave man to color block the way females do, so keep it classy. Most of the theories may not apply to you, but fashion is all about experimentation. Just remember to always have a neutral base.

Hopefully, this makes sense to you now. If you’re still unsure about your color combination techniques, you can always opt for the easy way out and by dresses that have been color blocked for you. That way, all you have to do is accessorize.

Color blocking is a fun trend that has given us leeway to play with different colors, let’s not make the fashion gods regret their decision to bless us with it πŸ™‚