Matching Your Clothing: Probably Easier Than You Making It

As a person who wore uniforms up until 11th grade, I can tell you that matching clothing is NOT one of my strong points in life. I have a tendency to put together colors that don’t go together well at all. And yet somehow, even with my limited training, I still manage to see women dress like they picked their wardrobe while blindfolded. And it makes me want to cry (usually out of pain).

Matching clothing is NOT as difficult as people make it seem. In fact, one of your best friends when it comes to matching clothing is someone you met way back in fourth grade: the color wheel.

Take a good look at this guy. He wants to be your friend. He wants to make you look nice. He wants to help you score that date or nail that job interview, he really does. Now all you need to do is listen to him.

Colors right next to each other on the color wheel are always a sure bet. I like to wear the slightly darker color on the bottom and the lighter color on top, but that’s totally up to you. Black and white will also readily hook-up with any color you throw at them (and wearing black makes you look slimmer, so it’s a double-win).

Remember complimentary colors? Those are colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel. Note that this does NOT mean that your dayglo orange shirt would go perfectly with your dark blue pants. Really, you’ll just make yourself look like a Mets fan. Use your eyes and your common sense when matching complimentary colors, and keep the brighter color muted. Sometimes for brighter colors, it’s best to use the complimentary color as an accent, like wearing a purple headband with your yellow shirt and orange skirt.

Finally, there’s the territory of patterns, a sensitive matching issue at best. What a lot of people seem to think is that when you’re wearing something with a pattern with many colors, you should try to match all of them. And that’s probably the dumbest move you can make, because then you’ll look like you just had a head-on collision with a rainbow and an oil spill. Pick one color and match everything else with it, varying the shades for a bit of an effect. I like to pick the color that happens the least in a pattern, because then it evens it out a bit.

These are the rules that I usually go by, and they’ve helped me…for the most part. I struggle here and there and I have occasional days where I could really care less. But if I’ve only been dressing myself for five years and I can learn it, you can too. Trust me on this one.

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