September 28, 2016

Playing With Color Pairings for Fall

As soon as I saw it I thought this striking image by John Rawlings had some serious potential. Not only was the ensemble divine, it was a great front facing image showcasing a bold color pairing that I could mess with in Photoshop to test out-- well other color pairings. Since I only have a few vintage suits, of course I want to figure out how to style them in multiple ways for maximum versatility. What easier way to test out some options than in the one-click-away digital realm? Lets play around...

Here is the original outfit, a lovely mid-toned blue suit paired with a rich warm red vest, hat, and leather bag and punctuated with fresh white gloves. Red and Blue are both primary colors, and as a rule I love putting primary colors together, even all three of them at once like in this recent outfit of mine. One could easily swap out the white gloves here for yellow and the look would still definitely work even if it would be a bit more bold.

What if we take out the bold pop of color and replace it with black? Somehow everything looks cooler (in hue not in style) and more wintry. A good option for when fall turns to winter later this year. It's not winter yet however...

The next idea is too keep everything on the cool side of the color wheel by pairing the blue suit with adjacent color green. The punchy lichen/acid green adds more of a fall flair to the ensemble, as does the choice of a rich pine hue. Now let's try something completely different, because...well because I don't have a mid-toned blue suit myself (though I'd like one)...

I do have a light brown/tan-ish suit however, so here is the original image with just the suit color changed to brown. The outfit still works with the red accent color and white gloves for sure.

How about a brown suit with yellow and dark green as accents? I love this combination! Perhaps it's because I just love saturated and darker yellows for fall. I need to make a yellow hat pronto.

Then swap out the yellow for pumpkin orange and again personally I still think this looks great. Two fall colors plus a neutral isn't so bad a formula to follow it seems!

One could always play with balance too, as the two choices above are both accented with black and orange but look rather different just based on balance. In the first option the gloves and hat are orange while the vest and handbag are black, and in the second these colors are reversed. Strange how just switching which color is focused where can make the results look so different!

I told you I like the primary colors all together and here they are! I've turned the suit to navy now, you can imagine how this little game could go on for hours of fun (and it indeed did while I was creating these images!). What about some other fun options for navy? I'll cheat and switch to just the color swatches...

The first row is all in the same color just in different shades which is always a nice option even if it seems a bit more befitting of winter time in this case. The second row pops in a complementary color, blue's opposite on the color wheel orange, and like any complementary color pairing the result is punchy and fun. The last option with the mahogany brown (still technically just really dark orange for that hint of complementary color) and the light olive green is almost a twist on the original primary colors choice, with the "red" color leaning more warm and the "yellow" choice leaning more cool. I dunno, I'm no color theorist, I just know what I like when I see it! That's why playing with colors gives me ideas for what to pair in my wardrobe next :)

How about a few more options for the brown/tan suit before we go?

The berry colors with the neutral brown are really warm and read very fall, though so do the darker brown and olive green paired with the same suit. The last option pairs shades of the same neutral together and though subdued is still pretty if a bit softer.

I hope you all enjoyed this little ramble through the wardrobe planning possibilities of photoshop :) You could even do something similar with a photo you take of yourself in a suit or dress you'd like to digitally accessorize. Somehow I though the original image was just begging to be played with and I'm afraid I got rather carried away with the idea! How do you all plan out future ideas for items already in your wardrobe?


  1. I love, love, love this post! I'm on a colour journey of my own, so it's always good to see how everyone else plays with different combinations. There's loads I really like that you've done but I think my favourite is the brown suit with dark green and yellow accents. Right, I'm going to have a look at what I can achieve with my wardrobe! xx

    1. Thank you Cate! I think I'll have to try the green and yellow sometime this fall for sure!

  2. This officially brilliant, Bianca dear. What a creative, engaging and thoroughly inspiring idea (please, by all means, feel free to share more posts this nature in the future). As someone who lives for autumnal hues, this post struck an even deeper chord with me and reminded me of a couple of palettes that I haven't worn for a while, but should totally rock again this fall. Thank you!!!

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you Jessica! There's nothing better than fall colors <3

  3. Great post! It's interesting to see how different things look with just a change of colour.

  4. This is such a great idea, I really enjoyed looking at all these colour combinations. It is good to have a play around with different colour pairings now and again.


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