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The Fashion Doctor: Colour blocking

Many might say that the colour-blocking trend is on its way out the door and in some cases, they may be correct. But for right now, I say they are dead wrong.

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By Jasmine Proctor (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: March 20, 2013

Many might say that the colour-blocking trend is on its way out the door and in some cases, they may be correct. But for right now, I say they are dead wrong.

You see, this is a trend that has been reoccurring again and again for the past couple seasons, and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. I mean why not? If you can make it work, why not try it out and take the risk. As long as you have the right tools and tricks to pull it off, I say go for it.

Essentially, colour blocking is meant to be done with solid coloured pieces. No stripes, patterns or polka dots – just one solid colour on top and one on the bottom. This creates the whole idea of “blocking,” of putting them side by side or in this case, one on top of the other.

Now before you start experimenting with this trend, it is best to lay down some foundation first. To start off with, let’s look at the most basic trick: the rule of complementary colours.

For those of you who don’t know, complementary colours are basically the colours that sit directly across from one another on the colour wheel.  To give you an example, take the colours yellow and purple. These two colours will look great when blocked together because they – well, they complement each other. With this rule, I would put the warmer toned colour on the top, with the cooler toned colour on the bottom. This way, you are bringing more richness and warmth to your upper half, which brings more focus to your face.

Now comes the more complicated trick: the rule of two thirds. This rule will only work if you want to colour block three items in your outfit, like using the top, bottom and shoes. For this, you want to make an equilateral triangle anywhere on the colour wheel, and the three points will give you the colours that will look best together. Confusing, I know. But once you get the hang of it, colour blocking will become much simpler.

To give an example, you could do a cobalt blue, yellow, and orange combination. Or, to play things down a bit, try a chocolate brown, pink and peach mix. All of these mixtures will create a well-structured, colour-blocked outfit.

Accessorizing the colour blocking trend is probably the simplest thing out of this whole process. Just keep it basic and neutral. Nude is my recommendation, as it ties the whole look together and keeps the focus on your main pieces. That is, unless your accessory is part of your colour blocking scheme. If that’s the case, you then want to keep either your shoes, or some other minor detail of your outfit neutral. You have to have balance.

Another tip would be to not block over three colours in one outfit. It’s just too much. Remember, this look is simplistic and minimalistic, not tacky and dated.

So make sure you keep within those ideals and you’ll be looking chic in no time.

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