Using Pattern to Inspire Colour Combinations


Using pattern to create colour combinations

There are so many glorious colour combinations you can use in your outfits (yes, there is more than just red, white and blue, or black on black or black and white).  Nature uses many, from analogous to complementary in tropical fish, birds plumage and the plants in your garden.

If you’re unsure of how to put colours together, why not use an existing patterned item in your wardrobe to create  interesting colour combinations. From scarves to skirts, take the colours in a patterned garment and repeat them in other garments or your accessories.  This makes it so easy as the guesswork has been taken away and you know that if the colours in the pattern look good together, repeating one or more of them in the rest of your outfit will be harmonious as you don’t have to worry about the intensity or undertone which have been predetermined by the existing pattern.


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  • You know me Imogen, I pretty much have to wear something patterned or I feel really plain and boring. It is so easy to pick out a colour of a pattern to give you a co-ordinated look and it doesn’t always have to a bright combination to work well.

  • That’s the good thing about patterned tops or skirts, you can match to any of the colours in the piece and make a tonne of outfits.

  • I love this idea, I want to introduce more patterns into my wardrobe. For years I was afraid prints would make me look even bigger (I’m size 16-ish) but now I’m realizing they can be camouflaging if done right.

    On a tangent regarding color, I’m curious regrading your opinion on what colors flatter Kate Middleton the most? I’ve seen pictures of her in every color imaginable – jewel tones, primaries, pastels, muted tones, you-name-it – and she looks equally good in all of them!! (at least to my eye). I’ve never seen another famous person wear as wide a range of colors and hues as she does and always look amazing. Thoughts?

      • This is very interesting, Imogen, since I’ve read before on some sites that she would be a cool Summer (like me). The differing opinions must be due to the fact that it’s not always easy to see the colouring clearly if you can only use photographs when doing it. Or what do you think?
        Another thing I wanted to say is that using colours in my outfits has always been a real problem for me. I know how to combine colours and I’m actually quite good at it when I draw or use colour in other aspects of life. When I choose clothes, on the other hand, I like playing safe, and also after using black most of the time for years I find it very hard to do any colour combining. I just don’t feel comfortable and me in colour unless I use them with black. :/

  • I tried analogous colours today, so on my blog the outfit I’m wearing just shows three different colours. When I went out though I added one of my favourite patterned scarves, which included the three colours, and which pulled the colours together into a more cohesive outfit.

    By the way, I absolutely love that jacket!

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