Colorblocking: How to Mix and Match in Style

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When the Fall 2011 runway shows hit NY, London and Paris last spring, it was clear that designers had color on the brain. But, instead of brash patterns or florals, they were thinking dense blocks of saturated color paired for dramatic effect. Gucci, specifically, didn’t shy away from multiple colors in one outfit: a green pant, purple top and orange jacket suddenly seemed fresh and sophisticated when married.

Now that Fall is finally upon us, it’s time to revisit colorblocking for the real world. Unlike Gucci, most designers paired these bright shades with wearable neutrals to great effect. Balenciaga, above, used one bright (purple) against large swaths of black and white.

Philip Lim took it one step further by using both blue and green with black and white accents. The trick here is to choose intense tones (think magenta rather than rose; kelly rather than mint) in solid blocks. If you’re having a hard time investing in too many bright color separates, a great way to mimic this look is with an eye-catching handbag. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, remembering some of these great color combos (from our friends at Lucky Magazing) when you’re getting dressed:

1. Cobalt Blue, Yellow, Orange

2. Chocolate Brown, Pink, Peach

3. Purple, Bright Blue, Teal

4. Deep Blue, Bright Pink, White

5. Coral, Grey, Ivory

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