Today kicks off a series of posts from myself and Maria from Colour Me Happy as we explore the overlaps between personal style and interior decorating. So read about why colour blocking has its place in fashion and style here on YLF, then stop by Maria’s blog and read about colour blocking as an effective decorating technique.

Clothing, footwear and handbags are colour blocked when different solid colours of fabric are juxtaposed to create a contrast (see the pictures below for examples), but you can also create a colour blocked effect by adding contrasting accessories and layers of contrasting items of clothing. For example, a bright pink blouse that’s belted at the waist with a bold yellow belt creates colour blocked effect.

Colour blocked wardrobe items take me back to the glorious fashion of the 60’s and 80’s, but it is still a popular design technique. Christian Louboutin colour blocks every single pair of his shoes by making the outside underside of the soles bright red no matter what the style or colour of the shoe. Very clever, different and quite the trademark.

There are several reasons why colour blocking is such an effective device:

  1. It is an easy way to create eye-catching contrast: Quick fix time. A colour blocked item, or layering to create the effect is a fast way to make a colour statement because it breaks up the monotony of a flat colour. The contrast needn’t be bold though. Block together dark grey and black, or ink blue and charcoal and the visual effect is much more subtle.
  2. It is a strong, graphic visual statement: It spells a clean and modern look. Remember Carlos Miele’s gorgeous colour blocked frocks at fashion week.
  3. There is something undeniably fun about the vibe: I can’t tell you why colour blocked items make me smile but they do. They’re fun.
  4. It creates a focal point: Colour blocking creates such a strong visual effect that it automatically becomes the focus of attention. And whether we’re talking about dressing your body or decorating your home, it is important that the overall picture has a focal point. Who says that your shoes or handbag can’t be the focal point of your outfit.
  5. The effect is body-flattering when used correctly: If the colour blocks are vertical or diagonal, the effect can cleverly change your shape by making certain areas of the body look larger or smaller.
Alwyn Block Color Dress Barely Legal ClutchEllajade Multi Patent Pump

I love 60’s and 80’s fashion. Strong, yet simple ensemble statements, and bold colour contrasts. So needless to say I’m into colour blocking. I especially like black blocked with white or cream, or white blocked with a bright. But I probably enjoy the more subtle variations on the colour blocking theme even more, like black blocked with charcoal. Tipping is another subtle form of colour blocking that I really enjoy.

Do you appreciate colour blocking and incorporate it into your items and ensembles? If you don’t appreciate the look for your personal style, you might appreciate it more in your home so be sure read what savvy Maria has to say on the subject.