Hot Right Now: Color Blocking

Color blocking: Creating an outfit by putting blocks of solid colors next to each other. Interesting geometric designs are a major focus of this spring’s color blocking. This can be achieved with the help of clothes, shoes or accessories, which are all coming in color block patterns this season. Color blocking doesn’t have to be bright fluorescent colors, it can be accomplished with monotone, bright colors, muted colors, contrasting and complimentary colors.

Why Color blocking?: Color blocking is hot right now because it a) looks good on all shapes and 2) is a fun way to add pops of color to your outfit without having to work with frustrating pattern combinations. It can hide the parts you don’t love as much while emphasizing the parts you love the most. Plus, it’s a new twist on some retro fabulous looks of the ’60s and late’ 80s. What’s not to love?

Spring 2012 Color Blocking from

Easy Ways to Color Block:

1) Jacket or cardigan: Pair a solid colored jacket or cardigan with a different color dress/pant/skirt. If you’re feeling really bold, throw in a different solid color shoe and, Voila! looking fierce and color block fabulous. What I love about the Burberry look below is how they put a patterned shirt underneath the jacket, it compliments well. This would look just as hot with a solid turquoise color shirt underneath to match the shoe’s color blocking.

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012

2) Color blocked dress: So many designers at all price points are making color blocked dresses this season. Target, H & M, Lane Bryant, Tommy Hilfiger, Jigsaw, Calvin Klein, Topshop, DKNY – basically you can’t go in a women’s store without finding something color blocked. Dresses are wonderful and easy to for this trend because all you have to do is find one with a pattern/shape you like and wear it. I love pairing a color blocked dress with fun, patterned tights and solid colored flats for a fun but work-appropriate outfit. Color blocking is also a great way to highlight your assets for a night out.

Lane Bryant Color Block Dress

3) Solid pant and solid top: Maybe even the easiest way to apply this trend is a solid color pant with a solid color top. Sure this works with black pants and a white top, but why not play with color and proportion? Pair purple skinny jeans with yellow tunic. Or like the photo of Hilary Duff below: skinny jeans, loose tunic tank, sassy bright sports bra.

Hilary Duff Color Block Outfit

 4) Color Blocked Accessories: There are so many color block purses and shoes on the market right now, why not add one to your wardrobe to sass it up? Pair one of these with what you’ve already got and you’ve got an easy way to enjoy this trend and add a little something interesting to your look. Another way to accessorize is adding a bright solid colored scarf to complement a solid colored outfit. Yellow scarf with your little black dress? Yes Please.

Diane von Furstenberg leather color block tote


Color Block Heel from Target

5) Color blocked nails: Easy, fun, interesting. Add a stripe, french tip or diagonal to bring this trend to your nails.

Color Block Nails from


More nails from:


In closing, I had to add a photo from the color block master: Jason Wu. I love the way he mixes neutral colors yet makes it fun and fresh and something you could wear anywhere. Well, something I’d like to wear anywhere and everywhere.

Jason Wu- Color Block Master


Sources used to glean color block wisdom:


Happy Color Blocking!

12 replies on “Hot Right Now: Color Blocking”

Thanks! At first I only combined my brightly coloured pants (I also have a red one) only with white/black/dark blue. Getting unemployed gave me some space to be less selfconscious about how things ‘need’ to look like. No-one had brought the fashion police down on my head yet, so I’m carrying on.

Whenever I see the phrase “color blocking” I feel as though I’m being sold something that I already own. Like….this just exists. My shirt is all one color and my pants are another color and my shoes are a third color. So I wear them on my body.

I just really don’t get why this is special. Or “new.”

I definitely was thinking this while research/writing. I mean hasn’t color blocking existed since someone decided to wear pants that were one color and a top of a different hue?

Real answer: Its about the patterns in pieces that come color blocked. Real color block fabulousness is acheived by the elite, like Jason Wu, who crafts wonderous color blocked items that I would never be able to accomplish on my own- unique shapes blocked in interesting color combos.

YES- that’s actually why I wrote about this because I saw those shoes in Target and they’re under $30. I believe they come in a couple color combos….
I know for sure they also had black patent leather peep-toe high heals that just had a red piece below the peep toe, those were also super sassy.

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