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Complementary

Complementary color wheelPop Chart Labs

Why it works: Opposites on the color wheel are such a huge visual contrast that they enhance each other. Red, for example, looks brighter when paired with green. That’s why leafy tones flatter redheads so well.

For best results: Use about 75 percent of one color and 25 percent of the other. Donning two hues in equal proportion can look like a sports uniform, says Kate Smith, the founder of Sensational Color, a color-consulting firm in Ashburn, Virginia.


The Bold Palette: Cobalt and Tangerine

Cinch a blue cardigan with an orange belt. But don’t overdo the accents. If you throw in a flame-colored bag and shoes, “the eye will be drawn to too many areas at once,” says Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. Supplement the outfit with neutrals.


The Mellow Palette: Pink and Seafoam

Paler complements are still energizing and are easier to pull off than vivid, primary-based combos, says Eiseman. Highlight a mint blouse with baby pink bangles instead of gold.

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