Color Blocking 101: 5 Easy Fashion Tips

GS LOVE / January 2, 2018
How to Color Block

Bright, vibrant, and bold. Color blocking is a favorite trend among designers and celebrities alike, probably because it’s a fun way to breathe new life to your outfits. Plus, it’s super easy! All you need is the color palette you have already created with the pieces in your closet. Want to learn how? Read these 5 easy fashion tips for creating your personal, fashion-forward block party.


What Is Color Blocking?


Piet Mondrian Color Blocking Art


First things first — what is color blocking? Color blocking is the matching of colors (or outfits) that sport complementary colors to create a pleasing contrast. It all started in the early 20th century with Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Famous for using bright blocks of color in his artwork, Mondrian created an iconic, avant garde look that inspired color blocking among fashion designers and stylists for decades. In fact, you’ve probably already seen color blocking on runways, magazine spreads, and fashion week street shots.

1. It Takes Two

The basic fundamental of color blocking is you need at least two colors or hues. But how to choose which ones? Start with a neutral tone — such as black, tan, white, or gray — to provide a strong base on which to build other colors. Next, you need to decide what types of color combinations you want to make. Using the color wheel as an aid, there’s a few types of color schemes you can start with:

Color Wheel



  • Complementary — Colors opposite the color wheel, such as blue and orange.
  • Analogous — Colors similar in hue and next to each other on the color wheel.
  • Triadic — Colors evenly spaced around the color wheel, such as orange, purple, and green.





Do you have a passion for reds, or do you prefer cooler blues? All you have to do is choose your favorites in saturated hues. Try to limit the color combos at three to keep it neat, otherwise your pieces can get lost in too much color.



Blue coat and orange purse


2. Keep It Solid

As a general color blocking rule, you should stay away from prints. Color blocking works best with solid pieces that create clean and sharp lines, drawing attention to the larger picture and the overall effect it gives. However, that’s not to say that you can’t use textures!

Velvets are super hot right now, so bring out those red velvet holiday pants and pair them with a bright orange top and cardi. Remember — denim also counts as blue! Pair your favorite denim jeans or jacket with a bold top and belt for a casual color blocking look.



green mini skirt color blocking tips

3. Wear Separates

For mixing and matching colors, it always a great idea to wear separates. Unless a piece is pre-color blocked for you, such as Victoria Beckham’s Wimbledon dress, color blocking involves mixing and matching.

Sometimes it’s as easy as layering a bold dress under a neutral cardigan or coat, or wearing three to four separates in shades of the same color. The best thing is, it’s all up to you! There’s a lot of versatility and freedom to use what you already own. Take a cue from one of Bey’s latest Instagram posts and layer multiple bright pieces in varying lengths to achieve a cool street style.




Use accessories to color block your OOTD4. Use Accessories

When it comes to creating a perfect color block look, it’ll all in the details! In fact, some of the best color block pieces are accessories, making this an ideal year-round look. Don’t think you can use that neon clutch or bright boots in wintertime? Think again! Use anything in your closet arsenal, from belts to chunky headbands.

If anything, try to make your accessory a bold, eye-catching color. You can even choose a shade that’s already in your color palette, or introduce a bold new one altogether. Just remember to pair the bold pieces with neutral tones so it can all tie-in together.




2018 trends - color blocking with nudes5. Go Bold (Or Soft)

For those who like to keep their looks low-key, fret not! color blocking is a fun and instantly-recognizable way to experiment with all colors. Now that Christmas is over, you may be wondering how you’re going to pull off that fuchsia sweater your Aunt Vicki gave you. This is your chance!

Or you can go for an opposite effect and use a softer palette for a fresh springtime or vacation feel. A recent trend among celebrities is color blocking with nude shades. Take a style tip from Kim Kardashian, who famously steps out in head-to-toe tan, and layer on the neutrals.

Go Throw Some Shade

Now that you have expert tips for color blocking, it’s time for you to give it a try! Go through your closet and find bold color pieces — or pick up some new ones! Head over to our new color blocking collection to find outfit inspo and get your hands on the brightest, must-have pieces of the season. Don’t forget to tag #gslovesme on Instagram so we can check out your OOTD!

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