Color Theory at Work

Dress: Banana Republic Factory sz 00P (old)
Blazer: H&M; sz 2   Bag: LV Speedy 25
Necklace: Amrita Singh Nello (use mom11 for 50% off – Thanks Alyssa!)
Nude Pumps: Louboutin Simple 100s sz 35 (recently ordered version)

As temps warm up, I’m happy to chuck black tights (so limiting!) in exchange for vibrant colors.

If you work in a professional environment, you can still join in on the color fun. Some simple tips I follow to keep work outfits vibrant, versus loud:

– When wearing large blocks of color, it’s safer to do neighboring/analogous colors (blue with green, red with orange) instead of complimentary/opposite colors (blue with orange, red with green, purple with yellow). Neighboring colors appear harmonious together, whereas complimentary colors make each other look bolder – better reserved for casual wear.


– If you have a lot of the same color in your closet, try a monochromatic look. I love layering pieces of different shades or textures, but in the same general color (ie. three blues).

– Use neutrals (or black, if you must) to keep colorful outfits from going over the top. Nude pumps are the bomb. I’m in love with these Louboutins, but they’re not for everyday wear for a simple gal like myself. I’m hoping the nude pumps ordered in this post will fill that void.

For color inspirations, I like Wendy’s color blocking video, Anh’s bright pencil pairing, and the fab entries in Kileen’s Color Brigade.

I haven’t worn this dress in a year, but it’s deeply imprinted in my memory that this is the best-right-off-the-rack-fitting dress I own. I remember it fitting like a spectacular glove. Upon re-discovering it last week, I was shocked by the ill fit and childish silhouette. Either my body morphed over the past year, or my fit standards have completely changed.

BlueGreen5_dressfit copy

To save this dress, I looked for a fitted blazer with a deep V-neckline to conceal the babydoll silhouette and help redefine my waist. This H&M; jacket works nicely, but wearing a fitted cardigan in Kelly’s X-shape will also do.

Readers – have you been breaking out bright colors for work? Or sticking with safe black and gray?

55 thoughts on “Color Theory at Work

  • Irene May 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

    OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE those nude Louboutins!!!! And the outfits is gorgeous – definitely into wearing dresses and maybe occasionally mixing up some bolder colors. So pretty and fresh!

  • Reflect and Fancy - Fashion blog May 6, 2011 at 6:44 am

    this dress looks just perfect. the shape, the colour..well done!

  • PetiteAsianGirl May 7, 2011 at 2:14 am

    @Anonymous Hello there, I go to Hemmingway Tailors in Belmont. It's a bit of a drive for me when there are lots of tailors right by my house, but I've been going to them for years. I might start looking for a new tailor though that's closer and takes credit card!

    @Anonymous Ah, I did realize I lost some pounds due to stress and other reasons but never realized it was enough to impact my (old) favorite clothes. It's such a bummer! Weight gain for some can be just as hard as weight loss for others. Thank you for the encouragement!

    @AubreyOhDang! LOL I thought Nick was done with pics. He was scurrying around furtively so I got tired of waiting and was sifting in my bag for my phone.

    @Anonymous Hi there! Thank you for the kind words. My hair is naturally coarse and a little wavy, but I use a straightener sometimes, and I keep a dryer sheet with me (like Bounce dryer sheets) to tame flyaways and frizzies. I think a straightener may do wonders for you, but I don't use any heat protectant and probably should.

    The Ann taylor pumps may be for more narrow feet, so I'd try some brands that cater to wide. Target has shoes for wide feet, and Cole Haan also makes wide widths. I definitely don't commute in heels and I can't imaging a 15 walk in the city in heels : ) I wear flats on the subway and keep heels at work.

    @Thu Turquoise is one of those bright yet every classic stones that's hard to go wrong with. I'm sure whatever you choose to pair it with looks lovely.

    @Anonymous Absolutely love green and navy : ) Like you said, it's a pairing we gravitate towards but I did not realize the formula later until reading my book and came across the color wheel.

    @Sunshine I can't get enough of that Anh outfit. And your formula for one bright and one muted seems foolproof. It just seems that this year everyone is pushing the boundaries on colors and wearing many brights at once…it's fun!

    @I am Khatu Seriously? Your pics come out so much better. I can't believe we're using the same camera!

    @Anonymous Thanks for the tips! Both shoes look very nice. Steve Madden has been a bit wide on me, similar to Target pumps that I buy, but they must be a great option for those without narrow feet.

    @grace LOL Grace thank you for your compliments. Nick may quit any day so I'm teaching myself as much as I can.

    @Anonymous I am embarrassed to admit I don't work out, but in Boston we walk a ton (I walk to the grocery store, to the cafe, to lunch) so that is my workout of sorts. Also, wearing heels seem to tone calves!

  • LeeAnne, Style N Season May 12, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Ow, I have similar dress with similar color and similar empire waist but never thought to wear it for work ( ) Come to think of it, perhaps I should! And I tried your color combination trick today, the outfit turned out just lovely. Thanks for the inspiration.

    LeeAnne, Style N Season

  • Beautify October 12, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Thats a very good colour.

    Check out:

    its also on fashion for petite!!!

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