Inspirationail’s Colour School – What to Wear With Blue
Welcome to the blue week of Team Inspirationail’s Colour School, if you haven’t already be sure to check out lessons on the basics & colour combos. We’ve already covered red, pink, yellow, green, grey, black, white, brown & beige and this week we are looking at the best colours to match with bountiful blue.
An Educated Guess
Blue is a colour that many people appreciate for it’s calming properties – however others find it a downer. Team Inspirationail likes to look on the brighter side of colour and we love how simple and lovely blue can be. As with almost any colour, we don’t recommend it head to toe (Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory comes to mind). It’s best reserved for accent pieces, denim (one item at a time, please) or gemstones.
Here are a few tips you can utilize to help you decide what to wear with any shade of blue.
Basking in Blue
Blue is a bold primary colour and that makes it fun to wear. Each shade can evoke a different feel and meaning, so it’s a good colour to experiment with. That said, we think blue should be avoided when it comes to cosmetics unless it’s really subtle (and we mean it when we say really).
Skin Tone Matters
There is a shade of blue to suit everyone and even darker blues can look great on light toned skin. For lighter skinned divas we like everything from sweet, glimmering baby blue to creamy nautical navy. Avoid overly creamy mid-tone blues as they can wash out light skin. Darker skinned lovelies can wear almost any shade of blue, however we recommend avoiding shimmering pastels & creamy mid-tones as they can make skin look ashy.
Blue is one of the colours that we think is ok to cross over into your accessories as long as it’s tastefully done. Think no to plastic bangles and yes to a fat (conflict-free) sapphire ring. Blue is one of three primary colours (red & yellow are the other two) which makes it a tad more difficult to match. To learn more about primary colours be sure to check out our colour basics lesson. There are several ways you can use the colour wheel to help you decide what to wear with your blue.
Complimentary colours are opposite to each other on the colour wheel and provide a high degree of contrast. Blue is one of the few lucky ones because it’s compliment is orange. While not a conventional match, it can be made to work (try matching yellow & purple). If you like the idea try warm corals, bright tangerines or sweet mangos.
Analogous colours are directly next to each other on the colour wheel so they tend to be more monochrome & easier to match. Blue’s nearest neighbors are greenish-blue and bluish-purple, both of which are not the best matches. However we can work with lively glimmering purples, deep midnight purples or bold iridescent sea blues.
Triad colours are equally spaced out along the colour wheel & like compliments they offer higher contrast. In blue’s case it’s red and yellow (both also primary colours). The primary look was popular in pre-school & the 80’s, but these days it poses more of a challenge. We advise either going bold or keeping colours soft and sheer to pull it off. Try bright creamy reds, rich metallic golds and deep intense berries.
Split-complimentary colours start with one base colour and then takes the two colours next to it’s compliment. Sounds confusing, but the concept is simple. When we use blue as our base, it’s split-compliments are reddish orange and yellowish orange. Both of which can work (in sparing amounts) as an accent for blue. Try lusty sunset oranges, sweet peaches or sassy mangos.
We like using our colour wheel to help find combinations we’d never have come up with. However, we also think it’s important to use our fashion sense every day (fortunately we have loads of that). For most blues we like sheer barely-there pink, shiny silver and pearly white.
Your Two Cents
In the end, you have to make the decision…you are the one wearing the blue. We’ve given you a few new ideas (and a few tried & true ones). Please leave us your blue-matching ideas in the comments below, we’d love to hear them! And, stay tuned because we have more fun planned next week with a lesson dedicated to matching your orange.