Colours are incredibly important in fashion. After all, life is colourful. We’re surrounded by colour pretty much 24/7.
As they say, “art imitates life”, so it’s no wonder that fashion also imitates our colourful world. Pairing the right colours can bring an outfit to life, or leave it dead in the water! Colour coordination is a surefire way to look more fashionable too, but you need to know what colours to pick, when and why.
Here, we'll investigate the best fashion colour schemes for 2021/2022, and the future!
Of course, colours are not always bright and bold, they can be subtle and natural too. There are so many balances to strike and so many options - it can get confusing!
From shades of grey and brown to white, black, deep blues, searing reds, pastel yellows, verdant greens and brilliant pinks, there are tons of colours just waiting to find their way onto your body!
But, the question is, what colours really go together?
Let’s take a look at some of the best fashion colour combinations for 2021/2022!
Colour Combo 1: Green and Yellow
Green and yellow are natural, fresh and can be subtle with pastel colours or bold with brighter vivid or even fluorescent colours.
Pastel colour schemes for fashion are absolutely timeless, so you can certainly opt for pastel yellow and green if you like. The colours here certainly sway towards 'pastel', but maybe aren't quite pale enough.
The colours we’ve selected here are quite unique and definitely veer towards the more natural side of green and yellow. Natural green and yellow tones look smarter and sleeker whereas bold, bright shades are more casual and quirky.
Green and yellow outfits mirror summer foliage, the smell of fresh-cut grass on a hot summer day. These colours look great on most people, so regardless of whether you have pale or darker skin, they should suit you well.
Blazers look awesome in bright colours. Try partnering a green or yellow blazer with green or yellow trousers or shorts. The brighter colour may look best on your top half. Add colourful accessories to taste. A white t-shirt or top should keep things glued together. Don’t be afraid of the vibrancy of bright yellow and green - it looks great on sunny days!
Colour Combo 2: Pastel Blue and Pink
Pastel colours are also hot in-trend. Blue and pink come in some gorgeous pastel tones that look clean, subtle and fresh. Soft but also striking and sophisticated, mixing subtle blues and pinks is a surefire way to look summery, but these colours are also great for the winter.
Pastel colours are hard to get wrong because they never clash. Pastel fashion colour schemes enable people to wear multiple colours without the issue of clashing - think 'rainbow Battenburg cake' and you'll see what we mean!
This is another colour combination with both smart and casual potential. There’s nothing to say that you can’t look professional in pastel colours, and pastel shirts, in particular, are all the rage for both workwear and smart casual. You could also veer towards navy to add a bolder, more mature effect to your outfit.
Blue looks awesome in both knitwear and smart casual clothing. Combining a blue jacket or sweater with pastel pink trousers or shorts will make you look fresh and sophisticated. Base layers can be white or black; black is best for a darker, smarter look whereas white is more casual. Combine with Gorjus London's fantastic pink purse for a bit of accessory attitude!
Add some accessories to suit and you’re good to go!
Colour Combo 3: Earth Colours
Earth colours include tan, beige, grey, brown and even washed out natural greens, oranges and yellows. Anything that brings about a sense of the earth can be classed as an earth colour. These neutral colours are excellent for looking mature and together, they’re effortless and work well across every season.
Consider adding earth colours to maroon or burgundy for a smarter look. Burgundy and maroon are superbly sophisticated colours that look striking without being bright or garish.
Earth colour schemes for fashion will always remain in-trend. Whilst they're more wintery or autumnal, earth colour jackets will always be super popular, especially if you expect them to get muddy or dirty (as these colours hide dirt and grime exceptionally well!)
Earth colours are easy to find so you’ll have loads of choices here. Consider earth colour blouses, dresses or shirts for a subtle but dressed-up look, perfect for every season. Burgundy jackets look sharp and smart, excellent for smart casual wear.
Maroon is another colour that looks great on blazers and pleated trousers. It’s hard to go too far wrong when it comes to neutral earth colours. Add statement accessories if you feel that your outfit is too flat. Try adding some mature green khaki or earth tones bags to suit your smart-yet-sophisticated earth-tone style.
Colour Combo 4: Red and Blue
The first contrasting colour combo on the list, also known as a complimentary colour scheme. Red and blue is a powerful combo that can look opulent, strong and bold. Bright reds and bright blues work really well together but should only be worn when you want to be seen as they are quite eye-catching.
Red and blue colour schemes in fashion have been popular for centuries. They're royal colours and can look quite upmarket and classy when paired with the right clothes.
Red usually works best on the top half; a bright red jacket combined with jeans is a superb way to look super sharp yet smart. It’s best to keep the red and blue tons quite classic here rather than going too far astray into different tones.
A red jacket with blue jeans and killer heels is a superb look. Add some bright lipstick and statement accessories for a true fashion aesthetic. Breton shirts in navy blue also look superb with blood red, or you can try and find clothes in Classic Blue, which was Pantone’s Colour of the Year in 2019. Add super-bright colour-pop accessories to taste - Vogue loves them.
Colour Combo 5: Cobalt and Teal/Turquoise
A classic colour combination of the 60s and 70s, cobalt and teal or turquoise is elegant and classy. It’s a jazzy combination and can be bright and powerful depending on the shades you select, but all of these colours are thoroughly in-trend right now. Turquoise looks great in trousers or shorts whereas cobalt is awesome for jackets and shirts. Both of these colours work well with either black, grey and white, so you’ll have plenty of options for base layers.
It’s the blazer again! Blazers look awesome on any outfit and they look so elegant in cobalt. Colour block t-shirts and other casual clothes also look great in cobalt blue or turquoise. Regal blue shirts and dresses work well with turquoise shoes or accessories. Think Breakfast at Tiffany’s, think Greece, think Santorini!
Colour Combo 6: Red/Orange and Black
Orange and black will instantly conjure up images of Halloween, but subtle brown-oranges combined with black look great. Red and black needs little introduction, this is a hard-hitting, bold colour combination that is at home in the nightclub. It doesn’t take a lot of colour to brighten up a black outfit, what little you use can be really effective!
One excellent way to add red to an outfit is with accessories. Bright red stiletto heels are the choice for maximum impact, but practically any red accessories combined with black clothing look superb.
Black cocktail dresses combined with red accessories and shoes look super sharp for nights out and eveningwear. Orange looks great in knitwear, so try an oversized sweater. Red trousers also make a bold statement but can be tamed with a black shirt for a sleek yet chic look.
Colour Combo 7: Pink and Grey
Pink and grey make for a versatile combination. Heather grey and pink are made for each other, they look gorgeous together and can make any outfit look elegant, sophisticated and classy. Grey can easily be found in stonewashed denim or other pale denim, and you’ll find that these pieces work so well with pastel pinks that you won’t want to take them off.
Like pastel colour combinations, it's exceptionally easy to add more shades of pastel colours to a combination like this. So long as you keep colours pale then they're easy to fit together.
Soft pink shirts and tops combined with washed-out denim look superb. You can go darker, opting for more fuschia or hot pinks, but this colour combination works best in paler shades. Add baby pink accessories for a modern chic look. Whilst this colour combination looks best in casual wear, you will find that it looks quite smart when donning a pastel pink blazer with slate-grey trousers.
Three Colour Combinations
You might be reading thinking "but what about another colour? what third colours work with these colour combinations?!"
You'd be right in thinking that most of these combinations are what are known as 'colour block' combinations. Colour blocking is when we take solid colours, typically bolder colours, and pair them together to create contrasting blocks. Vogue covered colour blocking extensively in 2020 - it's a fashion hallmark that is here to stay.
Colour blocking is thoroughly in-trend and serves as an excellent way of looking fashionable with colour. As for third colours, it's typically safe to choose a slight variation of either colour.
Some examples would be:
- Blue, light blue, pastel pink.
- Green, pastel green, pastel yellow.
- Black, orange, red.
Pastel colours work very well with each other when blended with a base colour like heather grey. It's easy to combine pastel yellow with pastel pink, blue, or pastel green.
Colours typically become clashier when they're brighter bolder, and more heavily contrasting. This is when we need to take a look at the colour wheel and some colour theory to delve into what colour combinations work in fashion.
This is the classic colour wheel. The general consensus is that groups of 3 colours next to each other always work together, like purple, magenta and violet. These are called analogous colours.
Triad colour schemes involve 3 opposite colours. An example is blue, red and yellow. This is a bold combination, but it's very effective when paired with the right clothes!
Complementary colours are two-colour schemes, like purple and yellow. You can also have 4-colour split complementary schemes. Tetradic is the last typical colour scheme, which involves 4 colours taken from opposite ends of the colour wheel.
Some awesome colour combinations here, some classic and recognisable and others more unique.
It may seem like a challenge to actually find clothes in some of these colours, but once something catches your eye, you'll know!
Colour is everything and improving your colour coordination is a surefire way to look more fashionable.
What is the best colour combination?
Tough! And also impossible to answer. Different colour combinations look great on different people. It's certainly possible for one colour combination to suit someone extremely, even despite seemingly clashing or non-compatible. As always, the key is experimentation! Use some of the colour combination ideas here as a guide and match them up with accessories to suit. It won't take long to find something that works for your style.
What colours are in trend?
Pastel colours are always hot and in-trend. Pastels are gorgeous colours, but they're subtle enough to work with anything or any outfit. They're a surefire way to look more fashionable. Moreover, all pastel colours work together. Pastel green, yellow, blue, pink, and even pastel shades of purple or orange look great when combined. Just think of a Battenburg cake - they look tasty, right?!
How do I know what my colours are?
Everyone has a favourite colour or colours, and these might just be the ones that suit you best. However, you should always experiment with new colours, especially ones you tend to sway towards naturally. For example, lovers of the colour blue might be stunned when they wear a bright red, powerful-looking outfit. Conversely, those who dress in grey and darker colours might feel more confident when they add some colour to their outfit. Don't be scared - try new colour combinations and experiment!