Thursday, April 12, 2012

Color Coding Your Outfit {made easy!}

J.Crew is no stranger to combining different pieces that make us go "wow!" This holds true when they embraced the color-blocking trend. They started to match colors in their catalog that I would never pair together (or dream of pulling off).

In the "J.Crew Email: Brighten up in colored denim" post, I mentioned my difficulty in styling certain bright shades without making a fool of myself. Thankfully, many of you offered smart styling advice (and I have been able to wear my red pants many times since). Yey!

This got me thinking about the other brightly hued items I owned in my closet (like the Waverly Chino in Casablanca Blue and a pair of green jeans).

Well, the good folks over at the Pantone Color Institute provided a Spring 2012 color report on how to pair those colors this Spring (click here for more details).

What I like about the charts is how easy they are to understand! It very clearly lays out which colors can be matched up, to make any outfit blossom this Spring.

What are your thoughts on the color-blocking trend? Are you incorporating bright hues this Spring? Do you find the charts useful? Please share your styling advice on color! :)


  1. This is a great read, Alexis!

    I love colour, but it took a while for me to get used to some colour combos (red+pink, for example). I still can't 'do' the yellow+green combination (NAHM on page 7). :)

  2. Been colorblocking since spring last year (whoops, lol) when I picked up this tangerine and pink colorblock dress at H&M of all places. I kept getting stopped and even had my picture taken by some fashion blogger. (Had no idea this was so high fashion). I just loved the look and still do.

    Thanks to J. Crew's "style guide" (lol - there was some eye rolling too), I picked up some tips on how other colors can be done. I did the whole yellow/green and purple/blue thing last week. All the colors make me feel so cheerful and fun, kicks away the remnants of NYC's winter dreariness and welcomes a fresh spring.

    My advice to other JCA's? Use a colorwheel if you're just starting out and not sure what colors would go well together. Opposites are complementry and colors sitting next to each other also work well together. But mainly, just do what feels right for you.

  3. I agree with ruffles, what a great topic! Colorblocking may be my favorite of all the recent fashion trends - I've even colorblocked the decor in my apartment! I do have to say, while I often see outfits on the JC website, in their catalog and on their store mannequins that I would never dream of pairing, every now and again one of these pairings jumps out at me and screams, "you can totally do this!" One good example is the origami skirt in peony - I would never in my life have dreamed of pairing it with the Fisherman sweater in acorn (both of which I owned at that point), but after seeing it on a mannequin in an NYC store and then traveling to Santa Monica the following week (different outfits on the Santa Monica mannequins - I checked so it wouldn't look like I walked straight out of the store window, lol) I decided to try them together and as it turns out, I LOVE that outfit! I've worn it several times since. Another example is from the holiday lookbook in which they tucked the honeycomb sweater in mint into the Hutton trousers in henna. I own both items and wouldn't pair them because, practically speaking, you can't tuck anything into the Hutton trousers as they are unlined and you'd look like you were wearing a diaper with a full load (excuse my analogy, but it's seriously true), and the bow in front is prohibitive to leaving a sweater untucked, but I do pair my Honeycomb sweater in mint with the grey wool mini and the wide rib tights in henna and I love that color combo too! Even though I will admit I see plenty of JC pairings that I find ridiculous, every now and again I find one that really works for me and also gives me ideas for creating unusual color combos myself. Kudos to JC for that!

  4. Interesting post. I love the return of color. Neutrals and washed out pastels have not been exciting these last few years. I've been using the Pantone color forecasts for several years. Funny thing is though, I've noticed that sometimes it seems to take a season or two for certain colors to make it into the clothing in stores. And some that are supposed to be popular never make it. I'll get particularly excited that taupe is coming back, say, or blue-greens are shoving yellow-greens aside. Then I go to the stores and see the same old colors. Suffice it to say, it's a bit mysterious to me how many clothing manufacturers really pay attention to these forecasts.

  5. Thank you Alexis! This is so helpful!

    I am trying to be more bold and am seriously loving the colour this year - this makes being more adventurous easier!

  6. okay - speaking of colour - I am eying the olympia wedges in persimmon. Two questions - are they comfy? What is the colour like in real life?

  7. Am I the only one confused by this chart? Help! Someone please explain.

  8. Thanks for sharing the charts, Alexis. I've always looked at the colour combos in JC catalogs to get ideas to maximize my outfit options. I love looking at the "rainbow" on the product pages for the Jackies and cashmere. You can get some pretty good ideas to see which colours look good together.

    @Lily, you can look horizontally and vertically to see which colours work together, horizontally for "tonal" combos and vertically for contrasting/complementary combos. HTH

  9. Lily-I too am still confused with this chart. I would love to know how it works.


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