Sotela Tips

How to Dress with Color

The cat is out of the bag— I love color. The Sol Collection was the most colorful launch to date and I don’t plan on it being the last. I wrote about my inspiration for the Sol Collection if you are interested in reading.

When I first had the idea to add color to Sotela’s offering, I was hesitant. The slow fashion space is predominantly neutral with very few color options. For years, I thought color was too trendy, however, what I had forgotten was that it can be timeless with the right strategy. 

Here are my two tips to making colorful timeless additions to your wardrobe:

Understand the Color Wheel 

It’s funny that dressing with color comes down to understanding the color wheel. I first wrote about the color wheel in 2014 when dressing in colorful outfits was my jam. Five years later and the post is still relevant!

There are three schemes that help me identify which colors work well together.

Complementary Colors

Colors that are across from each other on the wheel are complementary and pair well together. Purple and yellow are complementary colors and one of the reasons why we chose those two colors in our collection. Even though they are different shades, lavender and mustard are still complementary.

Monochromatic Colors

This scheme may be the easiest to understand since it involves one color. There are two ways to go about monochromatic outfits: 1) Wear the same exact color for top and bottom or 2) choose a top and bottom that are in the same color family, but of different shades/tints/hues.

This outfit from the Sand Collection may is monochromatic because the Lisbon wrap and Barcelona shorts are both in the blue color family, but of different shades. Mixing patterns and textures with monochromatic outfits keeps it interesting.

Analogous Colors

Colors that are next to each other are analogous. Yellow, orange, and red are analogous colors and my favorite combination right now. I’ve paired the mustard Luna Wrap dress and copper Stella jumpsuit with my red Marias Jardin sandals, and it has gotten so much attention. When I first bought those sandals at the Marais sample sale, I wasn’t sure how much use I’d get out of them. I’m not one for shoes in statement colors, but they’ve been a hit in my closet. I’ve already surpassed the amount of times I thought I’d wear those shoes.

Another analogous color scheme I may try soon is lavender with red. They aren’t directly next to each other, but since purple and red are primary colors and red is used to make purple, it works.

Know Your Closet

The most intentional way of adding color to your closet is by taking inventory of what you own. If your closet already has a lot of color, it’s best to purchase a garment that is complementary. It doesn’t make sense to buy a colorful garment that won’t be used because you don’t have a top or bottom that matches.

Dresses and jumpsuits are easiest to purchase in new colors because all you have to worry about is shoes. Neutral color shoes are your best friend when wearing colorful outfits because it keeps things simple.

Colorful tops and bottoms can also be easily paired with neutral counterparts. For example, a white, grey, or black top pairs well with mustard or lavender bottoms. Most people already own neutral pieces, which makes adding color a lot easier.

Adding color to your closet takes practice, but once you get the hang of the different color schemes, it becomes a lot easier. Color can be timeless as long as you have the tools to add it intentionally to your wardrobe.

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