Complementary Colors

For several years now, I’ve tended to favor colors in pairs. These color combinations are then reflected in our home, and my clothing. Before we got married, I chose the towel colors of amethyst and peridot, though to be exact, the tones were too smoky and dark for those jewel names. After that came my flirtation with hot pink, paired first with bright orange, then with light lavender. For a long time, my infatuations with color pairs were sequential. Of late, though, I’m finding the mixing and matching too much fun, and too full of possibility, to confine to just one pair. Perhaps this is also a reaction to the drear of winter.

My current favorites are combinations of blue and green. Blue teal with olive, sage with navy, light blue with forest green. Shades are also good: sage with olive, and light blue with navy.

And while basic black is a mainstay of corporate drab, dark brown is a richer shade to work with. I pair tobacco brown with light purple. It also goes well with grey, though I have to be careful not to leave out an accent of some sort. Light blue is a lovely and striking contrast with brown. Camel is a good contrast of shades, but again, it can be drab without a bright accent like a colorful bag or piece of jewelry. Bright pink over camel is a way to brighten up that basic neutral.

If I feel at a loss, scarves are a source of inspiration. Great scarf makers, like Hermes, Ferragamo, and Missoni, are skilled at putting together unexpected and vibrant colors.

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