How to make this perennial trend work for you
By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
Colour blocking, the trend that seems to crop up every season as though it’s brand new, has reared its cool and coordinated head again this fall. You may have spied blocks of colour on mannequins at the mall, on busy students studying in the library, and even on the sweaters of your nearest and dearest friends. This trend keeps coming back because, funnily enough, large geometric swathes of colour look very nice on the curvy, decidedly un-geometric forms of the human body. If you were wondering how to see it on yourself without looking like a Piet Mondrian print, then look no further than this article!
Simply put, colour blocking is the use of multiple bold, single colours, either in one outfit or within a single article of clothing. So if you like to match a red blazer with a blue blouse and top it off with a wide, cream-coloured belt, then you’re already colour blocking. It seems pretty simple, but there are a few rules to this trend that should be followed in order to avoid the aforementioned fashion disaster.
Rule one: don’t go crazy! Looking back at my above example, combining a few bold colours in the upper half of your outfit is a great way to start. But if you plan a colour blocking bonanza upstairs, you should use a neutral look for your bottom half, like a pair of dark wash jeans and simple flats. With colour blocking, you want to look unique and grab attention, but you also want to look chic and put-together. It’s a fine line, but someone has to walk it!
Rule two: use a colour wheel. Think back to elementary school—think way back, to when we learned about primary and secondary colours. Colour theory can go a long way to make sure you don’t look like the inside of a washing machine—in fact, the person who came up with the jersey for the Vancouver Canucks probably missed that day in Grade One. Complementary colours are those that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel. This is a good place to start for foolproof colour matching.
Rule three: go as big or as small as you want to. There are lots of different ways to colour block, as I’ve already mentioned. You could keep it all in one article of clothing—I’ve noticed a lot of sweaters and dresses this season that are printed or dyed in large, blocky hues—or, you could stick with accessories. A bright-yellow belt paired with a red purse and blue pumps would look stunning with an otherwise neutral (white or grey) outfit, and it would still be on trend. Bright, monochromatic accessories and shoes are everywhere this season. I especially love ALDO’s selection of boldly coloured heels.
Rule four, and the last rule: think outside the box! Wear your blocks of colour however you want. Be as simple or as complicated with it as you want to be. One thing I love is monochromatic colour blocking—using different shades of the same colour in one outfit or garment. The great thing about this trend is that you can take it as far as you want to, or just keep it safely in the garage. You could try neon-pink with neon-green, or simply layer grey with a lighter grey.
However you decide to embody the trend of colour blocking, make sure to do it fearlessly. Walk down those halls like you’re at New York Fashion Week and get ready to turn some heads with your bold style!