Block to Block: Master Colour Harmony

Master colour blocking - Fashion - Laura Blog
Credit: Laura Canada

With the arrival of fall comes the temptation to reach for all our black clothing. As the days get shorter, the sky turns grey and the leaves slowly fall to the ground. With that, the colour palette in the fashion world darkens, too. However, just because the fall season is nicknamed the “dead season,” that does not mean our daily looks need to lose their zest!

Thanks to the return of colour blocking, you can be certain that gloomy days will not hinder your style because generous bursts of colour will bring your look back to life. The colour blocking technique, which consists of strategically combining rich and vibrant hues, will lighten up your wardrobe and get you out of the shadows in no time.

Start with a distinct piece of clothing

Let us suppose it’s getting late and you’re about to hit the sack. When you’re finally all snuggled up in bed following your nightly routine and pondering your outfit for the next day, think of a piece in your closet that you’d love to show off. Whether it’s a top, dress, blazer or pant, that’s not important. What’s vital is that it’s the focal point of your look.

It’ll be a smoother process to piece together an outfit around one key piece that will surely turn heads, rather than choosing a basic or minimalist item that is barely noticeable. Vibrant colours and patterns in various shades will amp up your fall days and will make your put-together looks quite interesting.

Add other colours to your look

There are different approaches one can take to achieve an impeccable colour blocking outfit. The ideal method, for those who are still not familiar with this fashionable technique, is to limit yourself to a maximum of two colours: the principal colour of your look and an accent tone.

If you feel like you could definitely own this look and throw other colours into the mix, nothing will stop you from playing with a third or fourth colour, as long as it all matches. To simplify the process of picking which colours you would opt for, let us refer to a circle of colours and the fundamentals of colour harmonization, which will be of exceptional help when it comes to creating your outfit.

The types of harmonies

  • In triad: The triad combines three colours from the chromatic circle, which represent the angles of an equilateral triangle (in which the angles are equal). The following possible matches are red-yellow-blue, orange-violet-green and magenta-cyan-yellow.
  • Monochrome: The monochrome palette all comes down to a singular colour, which ranges from the faintest shade to the darkest shade – and vice-versa. This type of harmony is discrete and may be applied on a daily basis.
  • Analogous colours: Analogous colours are the immediate neighbours, which means they are juxtaposed on the chromatic circle. This palette provides vibrant combinations, such as violet-magenta-red, blue-violet-purple and green-cyan-blue.
  • Complementary colours: Complementary colours, on the other hand, offer complete opposite combinations compared to the above. When combined, they form highly contrasting looks; examples would be yellow and violet, as well as magenta and green. You’ll want to avoid these if you don’t want to be noticed!

    Maîtriser le colourblocking - Cercle chromatique - Blogue Laura
    Credit: Nicolas Raymond/Freestock

Finalize with neutral tones and accessories

There’s no doubt that colour blocking is a bold way to dress up and express yourself. Even though it makes for flawless and fashionable looks, it could also quickly become a bit too harsh on the eyes. Learn how to mix and match grey or earthy tones first – or even some black and white! Once you have mastered that, add these tones to your colourful look to achieve an outfit that is perfectly balanced.

You can also add accessories to your look to balance out your outfit and accentuate the block effect. Throw on a simple piece of jewellery or find that perfect purse to reinforce your trendy look. Most importantly, have fun with it and make it last!

Get Inspired!

Red and black

Mustard yellow

Navy and green

Black and blue

Adapted from French by Tania Di Palma

Written by Jessica Paquin

Whenever anyone in Jessica’s entourage needs fashion advice, they go straight to her. As an active feminist, (fighting for women and not against men) Jessica is also known for being involved in her community. A self-proclaimed part-time geek, she’s an expert in dad jokes—a talent she was graced with through genetics—loves Japanese animated films, and is obsessed with adorable animal videos.

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