A Minimalist’s Guide to Color Blocking

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Color Blocking For Minimalists

There’s nothing discreet about color-blocking—it’s usually two bold shades paired together to create one statement-making, Mark Rothko-inspired look. Magenta and yellow, cerulean blue and navy, violet and persimmon orange, and so on. But as energetic and playful as it is, for the minimalist, it can be a touch too loud-slash-intimidating.

Until not that long ago, I was one of those people who believed that minimalist fashion was all black and white and simple pieces. And while, to an extent, it can be just that, there’s more to this style than meets the eye. The problem is that the concept of minimalism is widely misunderstood. It’s a common mistake to think that the phrase “less is more” has to do with colors and quantity, when in fact, it’s all about creating a simple and clean style.

So worry not! Minimal fashion lovers can color block, too. Just soften the color palette with neutrals and harden the silhouettes with sleek edges for a chic color-blocking look that’s not only approachable, but completely wearable. Read on for more details!

What is Color Blocking, really?

The name of this fashionable trend is everywhere now, from red carpet events and fashion editorials to the street style and our favorite stores. The main principle of the color blocking trend is the combination of different colors and hues. You can create a more modest color pair with two hues of the same color family or go wilder and try three or more eye-popping hues. Most often, these are the two color blocking questions that plague minimalsits: “How do I determine what colors create a harmonious union?” Along with, “What can you do to avoid loud, overdone looks?” The following tips will help you answer these questions and more.

Color Blocking Tips

The main rule of colorblocking is to avoid sharp contrasts. The color pair must remain within the same sentiment. Major colors go with major ones, while minors create a beautiful union with minor ones. This is why pink looks so amazing in combination with orange, while the same pink is just unbearable when matched with light green.

The simplest solution is to follow the rule of the “color wheel”. Colors are located in the spectrum on the basis of an organic transition from one to another. Those colors, which are on both sides of a particular color, will be the best for it to form a color-blocking union. For example, red looks most adventurous with orange or purple (or pink), yellow goes well with light green or mustard, while turquoise with blue or green. First come the basic colors, which are red, yellow and blue, and only then the secondary ones, that is their derivatives – green, purple and orange, complemented by the tertiary colors, which are formed from the subsequent combination.

It’s particularly important for beginners to study all the facets of the color spectrum. If you have always loved to wear very neutral colors, blacks and whites, don’t rush to dress in all the possible rainbow hues.

Template Looks

Traditional “blocking”

With traditional, bright color blocking, the trick is to keep the cuts simple and number of pieces low, so what you’re wearing draws the eye to color combination. Also, it’s important to focus on the palette you’re selecting, so that there’s a contrast, but it’s also harmonious. Rely on your color wheel — it is your compass!

Clean & Chic pieces

You can definitely dress in solid and neutral colors, if you’re into a simple palette, but minimalism isn’t just about wearing black and white. If you want to do it in a fashionable way, I recommend finding interesting pieces with an edgy structure to make your look way more compelling. You can also opt for simple, clean pieces and combine them for a monochromatic outfit.

A Hint of Color

To make it more interesting, adding a hint of color is a great choice. You can pick any color you want, but to make it pop, it must be a bright or contrasting hue, so that it complements the neutrality of your look. Red is a great option because it will add just the right amount of intensity, and it looks great with almost any neutral tone, but it’s up to you to decide which one goes with your personality.

Monochrome It!

If you know the LuxJournal, you know we love the monochrome concept. The thing about minimalism is that we tend to believe that it’s just about wearing as little pieces of clothing as possible (meaning a simple dress, or a pair of pants and a blouse), and this is not the case. The trick is to focus on one element and keep it simple just in that area. For instance, if you opt for a monochromatic outfit (the color doesn’t matter), you can wear accessories as long as they go with the color you chose.

More Style Secrets about Color Blocking

• Pink has a special place in the color-blocking system. It can be easily replaced by red and used in all the possible color combinations that are usually applied to red.

• Emerald green and bright red blend perfectly with each other due to the so called “jewel” factor. Both shades exude a real precious shine, as do gold and copper.

• It’s important to stick to the same saturation of colors: neons go well with neons, while pastels with pastel hues.

• Try to play within the range of three colors in one outfit to avoid any style blunders. The fourth one will look already too much.

• Pay attention to your complexion and hair color. For example, cobalt and juicy green hues lose their charm on the background of a pale complexion and blonde hair.

• Keep in mind that too bright and massive color blocking tends to make your figure look bigger.

• The easiest and safest way of colorblocking is to wear neutral outfits with some bright accessories, such as a pair of bright shoes in two colors, a colorful handbag or a two-tone bracelet.

• If you are still afraid of colorblocking, but you want to brighten up your look, you can try ready-to-wear color-blocked pieces, like a dress featuring two or three colors.

• Don’t shy away from printed pieces while colorblocking, but keep this to the minimum. For example, you can wear a printed scarf with your color-blocked outfits.

There are so many ways to create minimalistic outfits that match your own style and personality. Go ahead and experiment, but always keep in mind the golden rule: you must prioritize simplicity in one of the aspects of your look. Whether it’s the use of colors, the fabric selection, the structure of the pieces, or the number of clothes you’re wearing to assemble the look. Once you master all that, it’s all about making it edgier.