Colorphile Series: Awesomely Analogous Color Schemes

Fellow Color Junkies, meet my friend Color Wheel.

She’s pretty awesome, incredibly inspiring, doesn’t eat my last cookie, and is often underutilized by others who haven’t taken the time to know her. Let’s change all that.

Ms. Color Wheel is simple in theory, though like any woman, she tends to become crazy complex and confusing if too much is revealed about her too soon. Our goal here is to begin to understand why and how colors look good together, therefore opening up new possibilities in our brains, that leads to creating new and awesome outfits. Hollah!

There are several color schemes on the color wheel to discuss, but for today we’re just going to tackle one of them. Analogous Color Schemes. Heard of them? Buckle your seat belts, ladies, cause after today you’ll be creating harmonious color combinations that make your friends go “ooh” and your colleagues say “ahh.”

Exhibit A: Analagous Color Scheme


Analagous Color Schemes are colors that make nice with their next door neighbors on the color wheel, just like the example above. Analagous color schemes are usually colors found in nature and are really nice to look at. In short, it’s like ecstasy for your eyes. The key to making your starting color and your new next door neighbor colors work together is ensuring only one is dominant. The second color should be supportive, and the third color just acts as an accessory.

Wearing: Pants-Anthropologie AG Stevie Ankle, Top-J.Crew Short Sleeve Crepe Top, Necklace-Anthropologie Sparked Agate Bib Necklace, Shoes-Born Arletta

Your third (or 4th) accessory color could be an actual color if you like, or a neutral, like black, white, gray, or a metallic….like I did here.

It muddles things up if you use too many colors. Yes, technically you can use 2 – 6 colors for this particular color scheme, however limiting Analogous Color Schemes to 3 or 4 colors is wise so as not to look like a paint strip from head to toe. Also, combining warm colors (red, orange, and yellow) and cool colors (blue, green, and violet) won’t fly for creating a harmonious, analogous color scheme.

The only other issue in dealing with Analogous Color Schemes is making sure you have a little bit of contrast between your 3 colors. The colors I used in this outfit are similar in vibrancy; however, the brightness of the green edges out the competition from the blue, being helped out slightly by the sparkle of frosting at my neck.

I saw a similar color scheme years ago in a Real Simple magazine.

The woman in Green and Blue, obviously.

I drooled all over it. Then I tore the page out and pinned it up on an inspiration board in my house. (Thank goodness for Pinterest, or every wall in my house would be covered with freakin’ magazine pages)!

I did a variation of this color combination some time ago as well.

An “Inspired by” the Real Simple article look.

Notice though that I added in a third color that does not stick with the Analogous color scheme rules. Bonus points for the first person who can name what kind of color scheme it morphed into.

So, fellow color junkies….a challenge to you all:  Send me a pic of you rocking an Analogous color look. Now that you’re all experts on the topic…..I’m dyin’ to see what you come up with.

xoxo Molly

P.S. Please send them to by September 29th, and I’ll put together a post featuring you being Awesomely Analogous.


Filed under Colorphile, Fashion, OOTD, Uncategorized

9 Responses to Colorphile Series: Awesomely Analogous Color Schemes

  1. Cristy

    Love these colors & ideas! and love the tertiary colors in your last pic!

  2. My guess is that the color that you put in which is not analogous is a complimentary color since yellow and blue are complimentary colors.

  3. bri

    Oh! Oh! Me me me! I am pretty sure you are wearing a triad!
    Citing my source:
    Do I get an A?!

  4. Jaime

    I just put together an outfit for church last Sunday with this same kind of idea…accidentally of course because I don't think about the color wheel often enough. I was really pleased with the unexpected colors together and working so well. I will have to find my camera and try to snap a picture!

  5. I think my entire wardrobing is made up of complementary secondary colours! It's just a habit…so I'll endeavour this coming week to step outside that box a little. I'd like to just wear the whole colour wheel though- it's purty!

  6. Love your blog and love your color advice! This future art teacher can mad respect that. :)

  7. Great idea. I'm going to work on this concept. I love color!

    What do you think of this look? Did this pass?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>