Classic Color Combinations

What’s the easiest way to extend your wardrobe without buying a lot of new things? Use your existing pieces in different ways.

If you build a core wardrobe of basic pieces in simple styles and neutral colors, it’s really easy to do. Simple styles like pencil skirts, oxford shirts, straight leg pants, and single-breasted jackets offer the most mix-and-match possibilities, while neutral colors like black, brown, white, navy, and beige pair well with a variety of colors. Neutrals can also be worn TOGETHER for a classic, evergreen style.

Here are a few classic color combinations you should try, depending on your coloring:

Black and WhiteBlack and White

Always a favorite, always simple yet elegant, black and white is so easy yet it packs a big punch. Try black with white accents in cool weather, white with black accents in warm weather, and equal parts black and white for year ’round chic.


Black and RedBlack and Red

Red is the color of fire and blood and has long been associated with strength, power, and passion. While men can only get away with a little red in their business attire (like a tie), women have a lot more leeway. Wear a red jacket with a black skirt when you want to establish authority in business, or wear all red or all black with touches of the other color when you want to turn heads and stand out.


Black and GrayBlack and Gray

A hot look on a cold day, lots of black with gray touches or lots of gray with black touches will keep you looking warm as toast. Want something a little lighter but still in the gray family? Try taupe, which is a very light grayish-putty color that offers an easy chic factor all year ’round.


Navy and WhiteNavy and White

Another perennial favorite, navy blue and white offers a crisp, clean look that means business without being overbearing. Worn by the military, the police, and business people for centuries, navy blue and white consistently ranks high for instilling trust and credibility. So what’s a casual navy and white look? Why blue jeans and a white shirt, of course!


Navy and beigeNavy and Beige

Navy and beige also offer a crisp, clean look, yet it comes across as being more approachable than navy and white. Try a navy top with beige pants or skirt for a decisive, business-like look.


Ivory and BrownIvory and Brown

Tend to look better in warm colors than cool colors? Try ivory and brown to look strong and authoritative. You’ll find plenty to choose from this season in a wide variety of browns, from beige and camel to rusty browns and dark chocolate.


Camel and BrownCamel and Brown

Like gray and black, camel and brown can be very flattering, depending on your coloring. Try wearing the darker color on body parts you want to minimize, the lighter color on parts you want to emphasize.


All clothes shown courtesy of

See how easy this is?

By using tried-and-true color combinations, you can use neutrals to extend your wardrobe immeasurably, not only with other colors you like, but also with each other. Just pull them together for a quick yet elegant look on those crazy mornings when you can’t figure out what to wear – or for those special occasions when you want to add a little punch to the equation.

Just try it yourself and see!

Need some help determining your best colors and finding other combinations that work well for you? WARDROBE MAGIC can help you determine your best colors, put together a basic wardrobe, and show you how to mix-and-match with ease using clothing capsules. Wardrobe Magic


  • allison

    Reply Reply May 9, 2010

    Hi there:

    Your site is great. I want your books but I want them in a hard copy. Any plans to do this? when I buy ebooks i never end up reading them.

  • mona

    Reply Reply November 20, 2013

    Hi, I like your way in Color combination and in every thing you have made it. Keep going on and thank you. You are very special.

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