Whether, like me, you are either constantly reaching for an all-black ensemble or you live in head to toe rainbow spectrum of fabulousness, we can all appreciate the glee that comes with wearing a nice pop of color. But did you know you could be wearing colors all wrong? I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind more than once.

Finding the perfect top that goes with your green print pants may leave you sobbing on the floor out of frustration. You might never even wear the dang things if you don’t find a way to match it. What a waste. Our rule is always to wear what makes you smile. But there are some basics when matching colors that can help you rethink your wardrobe and mix and match pieces you would have never thought could go together. Open your eyes to the world of color, it looks something like the Wonka Factory, but zero cal.

Use basic color theory (remember those giant color wheels in art class?) to freshen up your look and guarantee you’ll never clash.

Today we’re playing around with color contrast. High contrast meaning wearing colors from opposite ends of the spectrum, and low contrast has the colors concentrated on just one small span of color. Muted or neutral colors can be the beginning of a monochromatic look or used as a base for a contrasting piece. We recommend that if you pop into opposite ends of the color spectrum that you tie them together by the same shade. AKA bright colors go with bright and muted or light colors go with similar hues. If you mix and match contrasting colors and contrasting shades it can become a bit too much for the eye.

If you want to level up the color contrast theory you can match your outfits to your natural contrast level. People come in all sorts of beautiful shades and some have features that contrast more than others. Do your eyes, hair, and complexion complement or contrast one another? If you have darker skin, brown hair and brown eyes, stay within a small range of colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel.

If you have dark hair, olive skin, and dark eyes like Shannon you are higher contrast and have more freedom to explore opposite colors.

With the first day of Spring almost here now is the perfect time to refresh and revamp yourself. They say ‘new year new me’ in January, but I truly think that’s premature. No one is ready for a change in the midst of the worst season in the universe. We just bunker down and keep riding the blizzard. But, there’s nothing like the Springtime to revive and reinvent yourself and flounce around in your favorite tangerine skirt. Shannon, oh Shannon, what are we going to do with you? Never making fashion mistakes, always slaying, it's true. (if you know what song this is you are the real MVP and you win!)

Check out this rundown on The Style Note to really get a handle of the basics. We’ll keep our inbox open for any thank you letters you feel inspired to write as a result of this profound, wardrobe-hacking knowledge. Our challenge: Find your natural color contrast and play dress up in the mirror using the natural laws of color.

Be inspired,

A + A

model: shannon kim

photos + video by aj dunlap.

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© 2021 A.J. Dunlap