What is Colorblocking?

Gucci Spring/Summer 2011 fashion show
Venturelli/Contributor/WireImage/Getty Images

Definition: Colorblocking, is a method of wearing multiple solid colors in an outfit. It is sometimes written as color blocking, with two separate words. The outfit revolves around a palette of two or more colors, usually in bold and bright shades. The result is a simple yet very chic look. Prints and patterns are typically not used in colorblocking, as such designs would take away from the “blocked” visual.

The process:  The process of colorblocking is as straightforward as it sounds; adding blocks of solid colors to one ensemble.  One piece of clothing in an outfit can have a bold, geometric print resembling a colorblocked pattern, or an entire look can be colorblcoked with pieces in the outfit being in different colors, all solid.  To really achieve success with colorblocking, typically, the colors combined are found opposite the color wheel. 

History: Some associate the early origins of colorblocking with Piet Mondrian who was known for his stark, geometric and colorful shapes that he later named Neo-Plasticism.  Yves Saint Laurent was inspired by Mondrian's work and created the iconic dress with Mondrian's name.  Colorblocking was also the early introduction into Mod Style, a 60's trend known for bold, solid colored separates that were composed of blocks in different hues.  Elders during that time in London believed that you looked more high class and wealthier when you dressed in an outfit of the same color making colorblocking in youth a way that they rejected the old beliefs of the time.

 

When many think of colorblocking they think of Pop Art, the art of Andy Warhol and muse of Warhol's, Edie Sedgwick. 

Benefits of Colorblocking:  In addition to being on trend, colorblocking can have many body slimming benefits, especially when the colors are paired with black and the darker blocks are positioned in places that can optically make the body look slimmer.

 



To learn how to take on this popular styling trend, read these techniques and strategies on how colorblock your outfit.