How to Match Clothes Like a Professional Stylist

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If all clothes came in a single color and shade, the world of matching would be a far less confusing place, but it would also be incredibly monotonous. Unfortunately for any woman who has ever had questions about matching colors and fortunately for our eyes, clothes come in a wide variety of colors and an even wider variety of shades. Here’s how to match colors like a professional stylist:

*Matchy-matchy is boring-boring: Never wear the same shade of the same color from head-to-toe with nothing to break the colors. All black without a splash of red, for instance, is dull. All pink looks juvenile and is best left to pre-school girls. Wear all green and you’ll look like an extra from a St. Patrick’s Day parade. If you must wear the same color from head-to-toe, at least break up the outfit with a different shade. Try a camisole in antique rose (a faded pink) with a burgundy skirt, for instance. Both pink and burgundy are shades of red.

*Remember that black matches (almost) anything: Never, ever pair black with pastels (except for white.) Everything else matches, but certain combinations are more effective than others. Here are a few classic color combinations: black and red, black and white, black and purple, black and bright yellow, and black and gray. So if you can only afford one pair of dress pants, make them black. They’ll be extremely versatile.

*Pair pastels with neutrals: Neutrals are dreary colors—browns and grays. Pastels are light, traditionally spring colors—baby pink, baby blue, pale gray, Easter yellow, and sea foam green. Here are color combinations for you to try: beige and baby pink, pale gray and baby blue, khaki and Easter yellow. For spring dresses in pastel colors, a pair of light caramel sandals will probably be your best buy.

*Create monochromatic outfits with browns: If you had to buy your entire wardrobe in a single color, brown would be your wisest choice. There are so many different shades and they all match each other perfectly. These color combinations always work: camel and chocolate, tan and gold, auburn and coffee, and russet and beige.

*Bright colors never go with drab colors: Under no circumstances do bright colors ever go with drab colors. Here are color combinations you should definitely avoid: fire engine red and beige, neon pink and mustard yellow, fluorescent yellow and tan. In other words, your office wear should stay away from your beachwear.

*Earth tones always match berry tones of the same shade: Earth tones are natural, organic colors that you would find in the hills and the soil: sand, clay red, muddy brown, forest green, etc. Berry tones are the colors berries typically come in: violet, fuchsia, and magenta, among others. Always pair an earth tone with a berry tone of the same shade, meaning the same level of darkness or lightness on a color wheel. Forest green and burgundy, for instance, are the same level of darkness so they match each other.

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