Were you taught to not use more than three colors in an outfit? Well, this post shows that you can create a great look with more than three without looking like a box of crayons. Read about the secret of wearing more than 3 colors.
- Old-fashioned Color Style Rules Leave out Great Style Options
- Just 3 Neutrals Can Be the Recipe to Become Invisible
- Don’t Become Invisible
- Fashion Rules Are Guidelines to Reduce Anxiety of Dressing
- Even Obeying the Fashion 3-Color Rule Can Lead to a Hideous Look
- Just Wearing Two Colors per Outfit Fails to Be Safe
- The Secret to Wearing More than 3 colors
- Conclusion – on Wearing More than 3 Colors
- Top of the World Style Linkup Party No. 145
Old-fashioned Color Style Rules Leave out Great Style Options
There is this style rule that your mother might had taught you too.To look stylish, never wear more than three colors in an outfit. Click To Tweet
As if this restriction isn’t enough, there is, of course, the addition “for women at a certain age”. Namely, wear no more than two neutral and a bright colors in one outfit when you are over 40. Or even more restrictive, make all three colors of your outfit to be neutral colors. Don’t get me wrong, you can style non-boring looks in neutrals.
Just 3 Neutrals Can Be the Recipe to Become Invisible
You may disagree with me on the following. But in my opinion, the advice to just use three neutrals is the perfect recipe to be invisible at any age. What I mean is this white, gray plus navy, or camel, winter white plus brown sort of combination of the typical work clothes in corporate life that everybody wears. Or just sludge brown and beige with sage combinations you see in many senior living homes.
Don’t Become Invisible
There is nothing wrong to
love, love, love colors.
So why not wear them? I rarely wear an outfit with just neutrals. When I do, it’s because I have to go to a meeting where Business Casual is required because the attendees are more on the conservative side. Even than I try to put at least an edge to it.
Fashion Rules Are Guidelines to Reduce Anxiety of Dressing
Of course, every rule was made for a reason. The only three solid color rule, especially, with the above additional requirement is a safe bet for anyone. It’s hard to look like you dressed in the dark wearing two neutrals and only one fashion color.
Even Obeying the Fashion 3-Color Rule Can Lead to a Hideous Look
This doesn’t mean you still can. Just think brown with gray and neon yellow. Yuck. Another example how things can go wrong is the following. Despite red, black and white fulfill both rules, this color combination is tricky. Put the colors at the “wrong” spots and you look like Mrs Santa Claus.
Side view of multi color look with Winter outfit with Pendleton midi skirt, GNW tight, Sofie cashmere cardigan, DIY necklace, Louis Vuitton scarf, beret
Just Wearing Two Colors per Outfit Fails to Be Safe
And yes, only two colors can make you look odd too. Just think orange and black stripes anytime and anywhere except when dressing for a Halloween party. Pink and violet together make everyone look like Ms Piggy. Even a monochromatic head to toe outfit in greenery is a style crime and makes everyone a fashion victim. It’s only chic on Kermit the Frog, and the gecko of Geicko. Read how to create an ageless monochromatic look.
The Secret to Wearing more than Three Colors
Start your outfit with a printed piece from a high end designer. In the example outfit for this post, I took the Louis Vuitton scarf as the lead. I found this scarf for $20 in a consignment store two years ago or so. The scarf has a brown background. To ground the look, repeat the brown. In this example OOTD, it re-occurs in the glen check of the skirt, the tigh and boots. The flowers of the print have fuchsia accents. This color is picked up by the cardigan. They also have white accents which I repeat with the white of the glen check and white beret. The blue accents of the scarf ties to the brown and blue booties and the blue and white necklace that I made in a recreational class when I was in graduate school. More on tereder color combination in this color dressing guide.
Conclusion – on Wearing More than 3 Colors
You can use more than three colors in an outfit when have one piece in the look ties all colors together. Use one color for grounding and repeat colors of the multi-color piece in the outfit plus accessories at least two times. This means every color of the multi-color outfit occurs at least three times including the piece that ties all colors together.See this style advice on wearing multiple colors in one look. Click To Tweet
Lust to read more on cool color pairings? Then you may be interested in reading how to use analogous colors for great looks.
When you like the blog, you may also want to get my style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy it now.
Top of the World Style linkup party No. 145
Welcome to the Top of the World Style linkup party. No blog? No problem! Just link up your Instagram outfit posts. Here is a page that explains how to linkup. Check it out, when it’s your first time ever to link up. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me by email. I love to help.
When linking up you agree that I can use a photo from your linked post in the case that you become the Top of the World Style Winner, Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav or Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Thank you very much for the permission. 🙂
The fabric permits wearing Laurie’s new skirt year round in temperate maritime mid latitudes like western Middle Europe, or the Pacific Northwest and the coastal British Columbia. To learn more about how to dress for temperate maritime mid latitude weather at the link.
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
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