How to Colorblock Your Outfit

Woman in street style colorblocking
Edward Berthelot / Contributor / Getty Images  

Colorblocking is a chic way of coordinating the colors of your outfit. It's all about statement pieces and bold colors, creating a simple yet stylish look. With the right technique, you can easily do it.

  1. Start With Two Colors
    The first step to colorblocking is choosing a color palette. If you've never colorblocked an outfit before, start off with two colors -- a neutral and a bright. Neutral shades will allow you to create a palette that you feel most comfortable with. These colors include black, gray, white and taupe, which work best with the bolds and brights commonly used in colorblocking.
    Pair neutrals with a bright color like fuchsia, kelly green, cobalt blue, purple or orange. A neon would be a "highlighter" version of a color, such as neon pink, green or yellow. You can also opt for jewel tones if you feel that these shades will be more in your comfort zone. Jewel tones include deeper, richer colors such as eggplant purple and maroon.
  2. Add a Third or Fourth Color
    While you can work with just two colors, you can take it up a notch and add one or two more colors to your palette. One way to do this is to choose a color that's a different hue of your non-neutral shade. For example, if you're wearing white and orange, try adding a coral piece. If you chose fuchsia, you can bring in a shade of purple or pink. Bright blue works well with navy or baby blue. By choosing a different hue of a color you're already using, you'll create a cohesive look that tonal yet colorblocked.
    If you're daring enough, you can always choose a completely different color for your next shade (or two). Take a leap of faith and pick a color that is completely unexpected. Don't be afraid to experiment with color combinations to see what works best for you. Pink and yellow, orange and red, blue and green -- the possibilities are endless.  A helpful way to start is to look at a color wheel and select colors that sit opposite the color wheel.
  3. Use Accessories
    When it comes to colorblocking an outfit, accessories are an absolute must. With the right belt or clutch, you can bring your entire look together. After choosing your color palette, select a few accessories to complement the outfit. They can be one of the colors already in your palette or an entirely new color that coordinates with what you've already chosen.
    A bright blue dress with a black blazer would work well with a turquoise clutch and turquoise heels. If you're already wearing clothing in three colors, simply choose an accessory in one of those shades. The bolder the accessory, the better; think wide headbands, bangles and cuffs, waist belts, and envelope clutches. Stay away from accessories that are embellished and detailed. After all, colorblocking is all about stylish simplicity.
  4. Stay Away From Prints
    Colorblocking is exactly what it sounds like -- blocks of color. Prints aren't the best option for this styling method, as they would take away from the "blocked" visual. Stick to clothing, accessories, and shoes in solid colors, in order to fully achieve that colorblocking effect. This is a chance to let those plain and simple pieces in your wardrobe shine.
  5. Wear Separates
    Colorblocking an outfit is easiest when you wear separates. Wearing a skirt and a shirt instead of a dress will give you a chance to colorblock with ease. If you would rather wear a dress, top it off with a blazer or cardigan, or wear a pair of tights. Using several pieces of clothing and accessories will let designate one a color to each piece, creating the colorblocked look.