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How to Mix and Match Colours

How to Mix and Match Colours


How to Mix and Match Colours

By Prisca Elebe


If you are in the category of persons that are scared to buy colourful clothes, or you are among those who only fill their wardrobe with neutral colours, then I am here to tell you that you can do better and you have absolutely nothing to be scared of, or anything to be skeptical about! You can still stand out and turn heads with those daring colours, and your choice off combination can go a long way to save the day. And yes, you can still slay on a budget.

Now lets dive into it.

There are a few things that can guide the choice of colours you choose to wear on a good day. For me, it ranges from my skin shade, the weather, the occasion I am dressing up for and my mood (yeah, it pretty much works like that).


Colour combinations for your outfit is more of a science (not rocket science anyway) due to a key component known as the colour wheel.

The colour wheel was invented by Sir Isaac Newton when he passed visible light through a glass prism. These colours that were observed are represented in a circle and this colour wheel is universal with anything that has to do with colours ranging from artists to fashion designers; it serves as a reliable colour guideline. The colours in the wheel can be categorized as follows:

PRIMARY COLOURS: In this group we have yellow, red and blue. These are the root colours, hence the title primary which means that other colours come from the primary colours and no two colours when mixed together can give rise to these colours.

SECONDARY COLOURS: These colours are derived by mixing the primary colours, e.g. a combination of red and yellow gives orange, white and red gives pink etc.


TERTIARY COLOURS: The colours in this group can be realized by a combination of primary and secondary colours. Colours like aqua and mint colours are found here.

In order to make colours blend properly when combining an outfit, we can use the principles behind the colour wheel. It can help you play with colours that are bold and get away with it while appearing dashing.



Colours that are opposite each other in the colour wheel can be combined, e.g. blue and orange. These colours can contrast each other as orange will appear brighter when combined with blue. It is necessary to ensure that one colour dominates the other, i.e. you can match it with your accessories. It takes confidence to pull off these bold colour combination and trust me, it is totally worth the risk.


This involves combining colours that are close to each other in the colour wheel. These combinations are perfectly suitable because they blend seamlessly and can be eye catching and stylish when properly put together. For example, blue + a lighter shade of blue, also bear in mind that one colour will definitely dominate the other for this to work properly.


Monochrome outfits have always been trendy because of its uniqueness and style. It involves combining darker and lighter hues of a particular colour. For example, the regular black and white- this colour combination is both classy and simple to pull off. In addition, when you are still not too confident about wearing various colours (especially bold colours), you can cautiously combine neutral shades with other colours such as gray, ash, khaki, white and black with their various shades as they can practically go with any colour.

Other factors that can affect your choice of colours may include:

SKIN TONE: Remember your skin tone can greatly affect the colours you wear e.g. fair people can easily pull off darker colours while dark people can wear brighter colours.

OCCASION/EVENT: The occasion can also dictate what you wear. You don’t want to appear for a funeral wearing a pitchy pink or neon lemon because it would seem a bit out of place.

WEATHER: Now this is a very vital factor especially for those of us from the tropics (Oh, that sun!). You don’t want to wear a very dark colour under the scorching sun because the heat gets more drawn to you than it would to a person who is putting on a bright colour on a sunny day. And my dear, we know you don’t want all that heat/ sweat dripping all over you.

Note that these criteria are not exhaustive and with all that said, style is key! How you choose to rock your outfit pretty much says a lot about you, it’s all about expressing yourself. You can always wear whatever colour you like or feel comfortable in but be mindful to the need to combine correctly.


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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