My pal Paulina and I were shopping after work a couple of months ago, just when spring clothes were starting to emerge from hiding, and noticed an excessive amount of color blocking. It was mostly concentrated in shoes and accessories — boxy purses in two contrasting tones, Mondrian-inspired shoes, stacked bracelets and rings with colored enamel. There was some clothing as well — two-toned and wide-striped dresses and jackets with contrasting lapels.
But what is the most exciting (and alarming) part of this trend, are the immense amount of separates in all shades of the rainbow, from primary to neon to pastel colors. The vast array of colors suddenly available to shoppers in large quantities means a million opportunities to rock this trend — and it also means a million opportunities to completely wreck it.
Color blocking in theory sounds easy, but like so many other fashion trends, it requires more thought and skill than it might seem. So before going into your closet and randomly slapping colors together, check out these photos for tips and inspiration:
If you’re a color-blocking newbie:
Pick a bold contrasting accessory to pair with your solid-colored dress to subtly wear the color blocking trend.
Pair two shades of pastel colors( one warm and one cool tone) for an easy way to make a statement. Accent with a neutral blazer and accessories in soft grey to balance out the look and make it more wearable.
Paul Smith Spring/Summer 2012 shows an awesome way to start color blocking. Sticking to two shades of a color (in this case, blue) is a surefire way to ensure your color blocking technique is foolproof. Tie together colored trousers and a blazer with a contrasting neutral blouse.
If you’re feeling a bit more daring:
Cut out the middle man from the above Paul Smith look. No need for neutrals to balance out the brights if you stick to two shades of the same color. This blue-on-blue combo is the perfect update to the denim-on-denim trend.
There's a reason why blue and yellow are called primary colors. They belong together. Blue and yellow (as with blue and red, and red and yellow) look gorgeous when blocked.
If you’re a color-wearing pro and feeling a little adventurous:
Rock the hottest hue of the season, tangerine, by color blocking it with an equally warm and bold color -- hot pink. No need for accessories -- let the colors speak for themselves.
Too much, sometimes, is in fact never enough. Layer on as many colors and accessories as possible like this chick for a wild look. One trick to keep in mind -- be sure to pick either primarily warm OR cool tones to feature in your look to ensure your rainbow ensemble will still maintain some unity.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post where I show one way to color block!