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How to Color Block: A Stylish Outfit Guide

By ShirtSpace | Jun 13, 2023 |  Updated Aug 24, 2023

Color-blocking outfits have become a popular trend in fashion, offering a creative way to elevate outfits and make bold statements. By combining contrasting colors in solid blocks, you can create visually striking, stylish, and attention-grabbing ensembles. And with Y2K fashion making a comeback, bright colors are more popular than ever. If you struggle with matching outfit colors, read on for clever color-blocking inspiration!

This comprehensive guide will delve into the fundamentals of color-blocking outfits, provide tips for choosing the right colors, offer practical advice for successful color-blocking, showcase inspiring examples, and highlight common mistakes to avoid. Whether you're a fashion enthusiast or someone looking to experiment with their style, this guide will help you master the art of color-blocking.

The Fundamentals of Color-Blocking

Color-blocking is all about combining different colors to create a harmonious and visually appealing outfit. Understanding the fundamentals of color theory is crucial to achieving a successful color-blocked look. The color wheel is a useful tool to guide your choices. Complementary colors, located opposite each other on the wheel, create high contrast and vibrant combinations. Analogous colors, which are adjacent on the wheel, offer a more harmonious and cohesive appearance. Experimenting with these color relationships will help you create balanced color-blocked outfits. The following video will help you when pairing


Choosing the Right Colors for Your Outfit

When it comes to color-blocking outfits, selecting the right colors is critical to achieving a stylish and cohesive look. Consider your skin undertone, personal style, and the occasion to make appropriate color choices:

The Basics of How to Style Color:

  1. Skin Undertone: Determine whether you have warm, cool, or neutral undertones. Warm undertones are complemented by earthy tones like mustard yellow, burnt orange, and olive green. Cool undertones are enhanced by jewel tones such as emerald green, sapphire blue, and rich purple. Neutral undertones have the flexibility to experiment with a wide range of colors, but jewel tones and pastels often work well.

  2. Personal Style: Consider your preferences and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Choose contrasting colors like electric blue and fiery red if you prefer bold and vibrant looks. Choose analogous colors or shades of the same color family for a more subtle approach.

  3. Occasion: Take into account the event or setting you'll be attending. Vibrant color combinations may be suitable for casual outings or parties, while muted or monochromatic color-blocked outfits can be ideal for formal occasions or work settings.

Practical Tips for Successful Color-Blocking

To achieve success, keep these practical tips for how to color block outfits in mind: 

  1. Familiarize Yourself With Color Theory: Learning the basics about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, and how they can work for you or against you when combined, will give you a solid understanding to begin pairing colors like a pro! 

  2. When in Doubt, Start with a Neutral Base: When learning how to color block, practice by incorporating a neutral color as the foundation of your outfit. Neutral shades like black, white, gray, or beige can help anchor your color-blocked elements and create a cohesive look.

A man wearing the Bella+Canvas 3901 crewneck sweatshirt in the color “Heather Blue Lagoon”.Woman wearing the B7502 cropped hoodie in the color “Atlantic”.
Sweatshirts: Bella+Canvas 3901 in “Heather Blue Lagoon”  and B7502 in “Atlantic”.

  1. Experiment with Monochromatic Looks: If you're new to color-blocking, consider starting with a monochromatic color-blocked outfit. Select shades of the same color to create depth and visual interest without overwhelming the eye.

Woman wearing a Bella+Canvas tee in “pale yellow”.
Bella+Canvas t-shirts pictured in the colors “lavendar blue” and “pale yellow”.

  1. Balance Proportions: Play with different proportions of color-blocked elements in your outfit. For example, pair a bold, vibrant top with neutral bottoms to create a balanced and visually pleasing composition.

Use Color Placement Strategically: Think about how you want the colors to flow in your outfit. You can strategically place brighter colors near your face to draw attention, or use darker shades to slim down specific areas.

What Are The Best Colors To Color Block?

Neutrals like black, white, navy and sand are easy to color-block, since they tend to pair well with almost any color. Vivid primary colors like reds, blues, and greens are other top choices for color-blocked outfits. Bright colors tend to be easier than pastels when it comes to creating a cohesive look when color-blocking.

Pair neutrals for a sophisticated look, a mix of neturals and vivid colors to ensure a cohesive outfit, and partner colorful shades together for a bold and eye-catching look that is sure to stand out!

10 Color-Blocking Examples for Inspiration

People sitting against a white tiled background while wearing Bella+Canvas t-shirts in bright colors and color-blocked outfits.
Shirts pictured (left to right): Bella+Canvas 3413C triblend in “Kelly Green”, 3501 long-sleeve in “Strobe”, 6413 in “Charity Pink”, and 3001C in “Royal Purple”.

To spark your creativity, here are some unique color pairings for perfect color-blocked outfits:

  1. Saltwater and Gold: The perfect mix of blue and gray, saltwater, pairs perfectly with a bright and vibrant golden yellow. 

Girl sitting on a blanket on the beach wearing a long-sleeved ComfortWash by Hanes t-shirt in the color “saltwater”, paired with a bright gold bucket hat.
Shirt pictured: ComfortWash by Hanes GDH250 in “saltwater”.

  1. Neon Yellow and Purple: Pair a neon yellow with a classic team purple for an even more electric look.

Man wearing the Bella+Canvas 3501 long-sleeved t-shirt in the neon yellow color “strobe”, paired with “royal purple” pants.
Shirt pictured: Bella+Canvas 3501 in "strobe".

  1. Emerald Green and Coral: Create a lively and tropical vibe by pairing a lush emerald or forest green with a bright and cheerful coral or similar bright pink. 

Coral windbreaker hanging against an emerald green wall.
Image credit: Pixelshot

  1. Mint Green and Orchid: Achieve a soft, fresh look with lavender and mint green.

Woman wearing a mint green crewneck sweatshirt with a lavender bucket hat.
Image credit: Porechenskaya

  1. Navy Blue and Mustard: Pair a navy blue with mustardy yellow for a sophisticated and elegant color-blocked outfit.

 Man wearing a mustard yellow t-shirt with a zip-up navy blue Fruit of the Loom sweatshirt.Man with his hands in his pockets wearing a mustard yellow t-shirt with a zip-up navy blue Fruit of the Loom sweatshirt.
Sweatshirt pictured: Fruit of the Loom 82230R in “J Navy”.

  1. Hot Pink and Coral: This color combo isn’t just for Valentine’s Day anymore! We love it for any time of the year. Similar pairings, such as poppy red and light pink or magenta, also work well together! 

 A man and woman wearing Bella+Canvas t-shirts in the colors “dark lavender” and “neon pink”, paired with bright pink pants,
Image credit: Bella+Canvas.

  1. Marigold and Violet: Fun and festive, we love this pairing for a fiesta or eye-turning combo.

Woman taking a picture wearing the Comfort Colors 6030CC in “violet”, paired with a Marigold yellow-gold colored scarf.
Shirt pictured: Comfort Colors 6030CC in “Violet”

  1. Aqua Blues and Peach: You’ll be ready for the beach with this fun summer combo! Try sapphire and coral for a deep taker on this pairing. 

Man wearing a light blue GDH300 tank top from ComfortWash by Hanes, paired with peach-colored shorts. Man standing on a bench wearing a light blue GDH300 tank top from ComfortWash by Hanes, paired with peach-colored shorts.
Tank top pictured: ComfortWash by Hanes GDH300 in the color “Freshwater”.

  1. Olive Green and Light Pink: Olive green and light pink complement each other beautifully, creating a harmonious blend of earthy and delicate tones.

 Side view of a woman wearing a Bella+Canvas crop top baby tee raglan, paired with olive green cargo pants for a color-blocked outfit.Back view of a woman wearing a Bella+Canvas crop top baby tee raglan, paired with olive green cargo pants for a color-blocked outfit.Front view of a woman wearing a Bella+Canvas crop top baby tee raglan, paired with olive green cargo pants for a color-blocked outfit.
Image credits: Bella+Canvas.

  1. Black and Royal Blue: The pairing of black and royal blue creates a striking contrast, combining the elegance and depth of black with the bold and regal allure of royal blue.

Side view of a man wearing the Bella+Canvas 3200 raglan tee in “Black/True Royal” for the perfect color-blocked outfit. Back view of a man wearing the Bella+Canvas 3200 raglan tee in “Black/True Royal” for the perfect color-blocked outfit. Front view of a man wearing the Bella+Canvas 3200 raglan tee in “Black/True Royal” for the perfect color-blocked outfit.
Shirt pictured: Bella+Canvas 3200 in “Black/True Royal”

The Best Apparel Brands for Color-Blocking Outfits

When it comes to a vast color selection, we have some suggestions on t-shirts, sweatshirts and more apparel items that come with a huge selection of color options — making them top choices for color-blocked outfits. 

Comfort Colors 

A group of friends wearing the Comfort Colors C1717 t-shirt in “Violet”, 1567 hoodie in “Crimson” and 6030CC t-shirt in “Island Reef”.
Clothing pictured: Comfort Colors C1717 t-shirt in “Violet”, 1567 hoodie in “Crimson” and 6030CC t-shirt in “Island Reef”.

Comfort Colors shirts are an excellent choice for creating stylish, eye-catching, color-blocked outfits. With their wide range of vibrant and rich hues, these shirts provide the perfect canvas for experimenting with bold color combinations. The shirts' exceptional color retention and garment-dyed process result in a washed and worn-in appearance that adds a unique touch to any outfit. The bold and unique colors make color-blocking easier than ever!


A man and woman wearing color-blocked outfits, which include Bella+Canvas 3501 in “Strobe” and 3413 triblend in “Kelly Green”.
Shirts Pictures: Bella+Canvas 3501 in “Strobe” and 3413C triblend in “Kelly Green”.

Bella+Canvas clothing is a fantastic choice for creating stunning color-blocked outfits that exude style and versatility. These shirts are known for their modern and flattering fit, making them an ideal canvas for showcasing bold color combinations. With a vast array of vibrant shades, Bella+Canvas offers endless possibilities for creating visually distinct outfits and unique color pairings.


Man and woman wearing Jerzees hoodies from the colorblock collection.
Sweatshirts pictured: Jerzees 97CR and 98CR hoodies. 

Jerzees apparel is a fantastic option for creating vibrant and stylish color-blocked outfits, thanks to their impressive Color-block line and solid pieces. With a wide range of color options and design variations, Jerzees NuBlend Color-block line of sweatshirts provides a versatile canvas for experimenting with bold and striking combinations. The strategically placed color panels and contrasting shades add depth and visual interest to your ensemble, allowing you to showcase your unique style. In addition to the Color-block line, Jerzees offers a wide selection of solid-colored pieces, providing the foundation for creating balanced and harmonious color-blocked looks. 

ComfortWash by Hanes

Man wearing a ComfortWash by Hanes GDH300 tank top in the color “Crimson Fall” paired with violet shorts while relaxing in a wicker chair.
Tank top pictured: ComfortWash by Hanes GDH300 in “Coral Craze”.

When it comes to creating outstanding color-blocked outfits, ComfortWash by Hanes is an exceptional choice. With a wide range of vibrant hues to choose from, ComfortWash shirts offer endless possibilities for creating visually striking and dynamic outfits. The garment-dyed process and unique finishing techniques give each shirt a soft and vintage-inspired appearance, adding an extra touch of character to your color-blocked ensemble. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Color-Blocking

To ensure your color-blocked outfits are on point, avoid these common mistakes:

  1. Overwhelming Colors: Using too many bright and bold colors in a single outfit can be visually overwhelming. Stick to a maximum of three colors to maintain balance and harmony.

  2. Clashing Colors: While contrast is essential in color-blocking, be mindful of clashing colors. Experiment with different combinations and consider how the colors work together before finalizing your outfit. 

  3. Neglecting Proportions: Pay attention to the proportions of the color-blocked elements in your outfit. Balance larger blocks of color with smaller ones to create a visually pleasing composition.

  4. Ignoring Accessories: Don't forget to incorporate accessories into your color-blocked outfits. Select accessories in complementary or matching colors to tie the look together and add a finishing touch.

The Best [Already] Color-Blocked Apparel 

Best Color-Blocked Polos

Core 365 CE101 Core 365 CE101W
CornerStone CS416 CornerStone CS423
Harriton M385 Harriton M385W
Harriton M386 Harriton M386W
Holloway 222530 Holloway 222730
Sport-Tek ST655 Sport-Tek T476
Sport-Tek ST641 Sport-Tek LST652
Sport-Tek ST685 Sport-Tek LST685
Sport-Tek ST654 Sport-Tek TST655
Sport-Tek ST658 Sport-Tek ST301

Best Color-Blocked Raglan Baseball Tees

Bella + Canvas B2000 Champion T1397
Jerzees 601RR Jerzees 560RR
Next Level 6051 Next Level 6251
Platinum P611T Platinum P508T
Sport-Tek T200 Sport-Tek T201
Sport-Tek LST400LS Sport-Tek LST362
Team 365 TT62 Threadfast Apparel 302G
Tultex 0245TC Soffe M209


Best Color-Blocked Sports Jackets, Vests & Windbreakers

Badger Sport BG7722 Core 365 CE710
Harriton M750 Independent Trading Co. EXP24YWZ
Holloway 229155 Holloway 229357
Port Authority J792 Port Authority L792
Port Authority L216 Sport-Tek JST60
Sport-Tek LST970 Sport-Tek LST236
Sport-Tek ST270 Sport-Tek JST81
Sport-Tek ST245 Sport-Tek LST245
Team 365 TT99 Threadfast Apparel 364J


Best Color-Blocked Hats & Beanies

Yupoong 6511W Top Of The World TW5535
Yupoong 6006 Yupoong 6006W
District DT616 District DT624
District DT630 Augusta Sportswear 6260
econscious EC7070 Imperial 1287
Outdoor Cap OC770 Outdoor Cap OC771
Port Authority C112 Port Authority C118
Port Authority C826 Port Authority C943
Port Authority C818 Port & Company C922
Richardson 112 Pacific Headwear P114
Sportsman S3150 Sportsman SP3250
Sport-Tek STC36 Sport-Tek STC11
Sport-Tek STC18 Sport-Tek STC24
Sport-Tek STC21 Sport-Tek STC28
Big Accessories BA555 Big Accessories SWTB

Best Color-Blocked Sweatshirts

Augusta Sportswear 6865 Code Five 3967
Burnside B8127 CornerStone CSF01
District DT196 District DT296
J America 8644 J America JA8885
J America JA8926 Jerzees 96CR
Jerzees 97CR Jerzees 98CR
MV Sport W20145 MV Sport W17127
MV Sport W21721 MV Sport 22709
Independent Trading Co. IND40RP Sport-Tek ST235
Sport-Tek ST267 Sport-Tek ST231

Be Bold, Be Creative!

People modeling bold, jewel-toned and neon color-blocked outfits.
Image credits: Jacob Sierra from Pexels (far left), Nuta Sorokina from Pexels (middle top, bottom right), Porchenskaya (top right), Aris Leoven from corelens (middle bottom).

Color-blocking offers a creative way to express your style and make a statement with your outfits. By understanding the fundamentals of color theory, choosing the right colors, and following practical tips, you can master how to color block outfits. Use the suggested unique color pairings as inspiration, but also feel free to experiment and create your own combinations. Sometimes adventurous or unlikely pairings yield the most striking results. With the knowledge and ideas shared in this guide, you're well-equipped to create stunning and stylish color-blocked outfits that showcase your fashion flair. Happy color-blocking!

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