Chic In Colour: 5 Tips To Make Your Colour Combinations Stand Out

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Whoever said ‘dressing for your age’ meant toning down your sartorial palatte and covering up clearly had no business telling us what to wear! At Forward Forty, we love colour. From blushing pinks to sunny yellows, seaside blues, and vibrant greens, we embrace every colour of the rainbow in our shoots, daily outfits, food, stationery, and decor.

Not only does colour embolden you, colour theory dictates that surrounding yourself with specific colours can literally alter your mood. As if we needed any more reason to add more colour in our lives!

Growing older is no reason to subscribe to minimalism or monochromatic looks (unless of course, that is your preferred aesthetic). You can colour as an extension of ourselves – a physical manifestation of your ambitions, dreams, goals, and open-armed approach to life. It can be visual affirmation of your continued gall, boldness, and joie de vivre.

Ready to take the colour challenge? Dive into our list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you find your niche in the big, bright world of colour. Whether you’re a fellow colour aficionado or a complete novice, these tips will help you explore new colour possibilities, or just help you dip your toe in the water.



The basic tenet of colour pairing is to work with a colour wheel. Conceptualized in part by  English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist Isaac Newton, the colour wheel is a graphic representation of different colours, their shades, and their complimentary hues.

If you’re new to playing with colour, then the colour wheel is a fool-proof way to pick a colour combo that’s unexpected but polished. From citrus shades to lush greens, ravishing reds, plush purples, and electric blues, no colour goes unpaired. Simply pick your base colour, and look for the hue diametrically opposite it on the colour wheel, and you’re set. Instead of black and white, pair a yellow blouse with a cool blue skirt or pants. Opt for wearing reds with cyan, aqua, or turquoise pieces for a fashion-forward statement that’s a far cry from the quotidian red-black combo.



If bold statements and pairings aren’t your thing, there are numerous other ways you can incorporate pops of the eclectic into your daily wear. An easy way is to look for similar hued colours in the colour wheel. Pair dark brown with pastel orange or burnt sienna top, magenta with soft, rosy prints, or cerulean blue accent pieces with dark washed jeans.

Think in gradients. You’d wear whites with blacks and grays with whites, so why not try an unexpected colour combo for an added oomph? Look for inspiration in nature – an orange-tinged sunset with specks of yellow, a midnight blue sky with ripples of dark clouds, flowers with multi-hued petals in the same tone, leaves – for an easy introduction into understated yet elegant colour pairings.



Aside from picking opposing colours, and sticking to ones of the same tone or shade, another easy way to know what colour pair together is to pick hues a few stops away from each other on the colour wheel. Try yellows with reds or pinks, blues with greens, purples with blues.

Tie your look together with minimal, metallic accessories and shoes, or with nude/taupe tones to avoid the risk of going overboard.



If you’re new to wearing bold colours, try picking one or two statement pieces (think jackets, bright blouses, or even shoes) and pairing them with neutral colours. White and black are staples that work well to tone down – but not detract from – any bright colour you don’t feel too comfortable rocking on its own.

Pairing colours with neutral accessories is also an easy way to achieve a high-impact look with relative ease, especially for a professional setting. Opt for accessories in gradients of the traditional black and white – beige, cream, taupe, chrome, or space grey – to add intrigue and quiet elegance to your look.



If you’ve only just begun experimenting with colour, or are thinking of adding bolder pieces, our best advice is to start small. Invest in a few choice colourful pieces in shades that appeal to you. Take baby steps. If you’re not ready to bust out the canary yellow yet, pick out quieter colours like an electric blue or turquoise instead and build from there.

If you’re even more reticent to colour, opt for colourful accessories instead. Trying out smaller pieces like a mint green bag, orange earrings, or a red heels, are easier, more gradual ways to transition into full blown colour.

Vintage Bag with Beading

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