Color blocking

Even though the technique of color blocking is used daily in almost every sphere of our lives, not only fashion, better said, we are surrounded by it everywhere, not many people know what color blocking is.

Color blocking is a way to attract an eye of an observer, therefore it is often used in advertising – you will have an ”aha” moment once I make it clear what exactly color blocking is. When I am trying to explain good old fashion and art terms to people who maybe are not that deep into it, I always try to make it as simple as I can.

Taking blocks of colors that are on the opposite ends of the color wheel is what color blocking in its essence is.

The history of this trend to block colors is questionable, but many do agree that artwork of Dutch painter Mondrian did influence the increase of popularity of the technique.

Piet Mondrian art was what influenced many to incorporate color blocking into fashion

What color blocking in fashion does, it uses complementary colors to attract an eye of the observer – you sure cannot miss a person in the crowd who has green pants and orange blouse. You do not have to wear pure colors to be noticed, gassed down works perfectly as well, although in recent past designers really enjoyed the purity of colors when they have done blocking.

Gucci loves color blocking


Clean lines, big blocks of colors and their purity is what really attracts so many people to color blocking.

If you wish to color block, all you really need is a color wheel and separate items in colors that are complementary. Complementary colors are the ones that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. You can use analogous colors in your look but to make it a proper color blocked outfit you need at least one item that is from the opposite side.

Jil Sanders

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