combined science

After my last post, I realised I tend to wear my stripes in a few favourite combinations over and over:

Cream + khaki + navy

Navy + red + grey

White + navy + camel

Certain elements of the above, I feel they are incomplete with each other. For instance, navy goes well with varying shades of khaki, but it's the cream/white that makes the two really pop. Navy and white is a classic combination, but the contrast seems too stark without the khaki to bring out the softer undertones of both. For the second combination, red and navy together borders on cartoon-y, but the grey adds a sense of sophistication, as well as neutrality, for a more harmonising effect. And I notice I don't like that khaki and navy stripe with most of my jeans, because a second shade of blue is tricky to work in. White seems to add the perfect note of freshness.

I've read several times that it's good to have no more than three colours in an outfit (including in a bank's dress code), and since then, I've been noticing that that particular element in the looks I admire. (I know white isn't a colour, but never mind that.)

Are there combinations you're content not to deviate from?


La Copine said…
These combos are indeed timeless, clean, and do give you a sense of completeness.

White, gray, and red is my go-to, and was my palette for the I6L. Lately, I've been preferring creams and browns with gold or burgundy.

I'm planning on a uniform of sorts, for this idea. Do you think that a uniform would be more effective by picking a color palette?
Anonymous said…
3 colors? that is been documented somewhere as a rule? i didn't know that! i like to wear one or two colors, plus shoes, so, three. feels balanced. so interesting that it's a semi-universal thing.
the only thing i don't deviate from is comfort. at the moment my style is fairly faithful to a (a vision that is a mishmash but it is coherent in my mind), so the result is rotating through just a tiny handful of items.
Ammu said…
I generally stick to a palette of grey, navy, black, olive and burgundy with a touch of white or fuchsia. And mix and match a few of these colours (or sometimes go for a single colour even) depending on my mood. Am particularly loving navy with burgundy at the moment. I blame Ms Philo for turning me on to that ;)
lin said…
La Copine: Since I like very few colours on myself anyway, it's hard for me to answer this question, haha.

Editor: Yes! According to my friend's company handbook for employees, haha. One of the recommendations is that a men's shirt should not contain more than 3 colours. Among other rules.

Ammu: I do love it when designers show new ways of wearing colour, because it's the easiest way to freshing up a basic wardrobe.
Fen said…
I love all of these palettes - you're so right about the 'cartoony' nature of red and navy stripes, and how grey neutralises them slightly. I love the white jeans paired with the camel/navy shirt. I've never been brave enough to do white jeans but love them on other people.
petrichore said…
Love this--thanks for some new ideas!

minima/maxima, a blog about minimalist style
Aïssa said…
I like these combinations a lot! Stripes is the pattern that is dominant in my closet but somehow I feel like I wear them always in the same way so thanks for the inspiration!
Jen said…
Hi I'm now to your blog, so apologies if this is in the archives, but are you an earrings/necklace/cocktail ring etc. girl? What kind of jewelery would you put with these combinations? Gold? Silver? What are your jewelery essentials?
I like your color combinations. One of my favorites is black/red, and I feel very elegant in black/white/red. For the home I like brown/sea foam green.
lin said…
Fen: I think I got that idea from Paddington Bear, haha.

I can handle white jeans in a baggy, "boyfriend" cut. I would not attempt the Geraldine Saglio/Emmanuelle Alt look.

petrichore: Thanks, I'm glad they're inspiring to more than just me!

Aissa: I tended to wear them with jeans mostly, but I realised they actually look great with all this other stuff in my closet and it was like a "why not?" moment.

Jen: Hi, no I'm not a jewellery person at all. My idea of jewellery is a watch and anything else I own are usually gifts.

Pret a Porter P: Black and red is such a powerful combination, I like that idea. Seafoam and brown sounds cool, it's rather unexpected and yet I can see how it would work.
lapindelune said…
You know, I have never dared to wear white jeans, and have only recently become curious - of course this could end in disaster, but I may experiment with a affordable pair to see how it goes. I am almost clueless as to how to style them, for I am not used to wearing such...expanses of white!
I'm really fond of the red and navy stripes, alone or with the harmonising addition of grey (i'm not afraid of looking like a cartoon, haha!).

These are all beautifully thought out combinations, and they make me wonder why I avoid certain colours without ever having tried them, like the aforementioned white...khaki, etc. I am actually drawn to pink bretons at the moment, which do not remotely fit in with my usual colour scheme. perhaps I am in the mood for something long as I keep my wallet closed I shall survive it!
lin said…
lapindelune: I don't really wear my white jeans very differently from my blue jeans. But white jeans make more of a statement, so maybe that takes getting used to. I can wear a black t-shirt with my blue jeans, and then with white jeans, and the white jeans outfit will get more of a reaction from friends. Blue jeans are more anonymous.

I also like to wear all-white - something I've done from young because it's such just a great feeling in hot weather to wear something that looks fresh and clean.
The Waves said…
These are very nice combinations. I have a history of trying out all sorts of crazy things. I used to wear pale pastels and grays all the time, and then spent years mixing colours and colourful patterns, going all out there. There's a lot I've learned from my experiments with colour: sometimes less is more, and other times it's good to just get out of your comfort zone. I'm currently sticking to very toned-down combinations like navy and black, or navy and beige.
Eileen said…
Your last post gave me the idea of wearing my navy-white striped tee with my olive green linen shorts. I always felt something was lacking in the navy/white combo but couldn't really put a finger to it.

This post is another brilliant visual treat! I have an oak/marine striped sweater that I was pairing with dark blue bottoms very often. What didn't I think of white? lol.. It really brightens out the outfit!

I am always wary of layering on too many colours. Being very petite makes it tricky and it could end up looking very busy. So I usually keep to 2 complementary colours. But I think that once I get the colours right with the proper proportions, it could really work!
lin said…
The Waves: Thanks! I like a very limited palette of colours on myself and I think there's always a challenge in trying to make neutrals come alive, and somehow enhance the richness of colours like grey and navy. It's every bit as challenging as experimenting with new colours and patterns.

I love bright colours on other people actually - I express this by suggesting new combinations to my sister, haha. Occasionally I borrow her stuff to dip my toes into the world of colour.

Eileen: Thanks, I'm glad to have been of assistance. I used to wear my camel+navy stripes with a pair of navy cropped trousers, and realised I look like I work at Massimo Dutti, hahaha. Which isn't a bad thing until someone asks you for help while you're shopping there..
LN said…
All of them are great, but I especially like the third combo as I've never tried it. And I've never heard of the 3 color rule but that's something to keep in mind.

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