Get Bright! Easy Color Combos To Try For Summer

Get Bright! Easy Color Combos To Try For Summer
Pepe Leon

I have a fashion challenge for you: write down the colors you wear for five days straight. I’ll admit my results were rather embarrassing: predominately black, punctuated with gray and beige. I had been rocking a summer goth look and hadn’t even realized it. To get myself out of my colorless rut, I found some trusty combinations that will be appealing even to the severely color averse. 

Scroll through to check out the easy pairings that will have you turning into a total color convert.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon
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    Grass Green + Mint + Nude

    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    For those new to embracing color like myself, test the waters by exploring shades of the same color, and then add in a neutral. This way, you’ll still get to embrace brights without looking like a walking rainbow. 

    What I Wore:
    Etre Cecile Cheetah Crop Knit Sweater ($485, available soon at Bergdorf Goodman 800.558.1855); Tibi Simona Jacquard Full Skirt With Pleat Detail ($395, 212.226.5852, similar style here); Alice + Olivia Davey Leather Heels ($345) in Nude/Black; ZAC Zac Posen Loren Mini Crossbody Bag ($295) in Black; Benjamin Eyewear Eva Sunglasses ($325) in Black and Bone; Vita Fede Luciano Cono Bracelet ($465) in White Howlite Stone; Vita Fede Pearl V Ring ($225) in Gold; Catbird Tiny Corsage Bracelet ($258); Jennifer Zeuner Stacy 3 Diamond Bangle ($242) in Gold Vermeil; Monica Vinader Skinny Diamond Pave Bracelet ($345).

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    I love all the subtle textures in this look, from the stingray on the purse to the understated woven effect on the sweater.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Two-tone sunnies add a particularly special feel to the outfit.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Build an outfit by taking one bold piece, like my printed sweater, and adding solid pieces in the same color family.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    An orange-y lip provides a nice contrast to the predominately green look. 

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    It would have been easy to wear black pumps with this outfit, but for summer, a nude pair (albeit with black accents) feels spot on. 

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Scrunched sleeves keep the sweater-plus-midi-skirt combination from feeling too covered-up. 

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon
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    Navy + Periwinkle + Forest Green

    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Through a lot of trial and error (for the record, grass green and fuchsia really don’t pair well) I’ve found that blue is one of the easiest colors to mix and match. It goes with pink, green, peach, yellow, and the list goes on. If you’re feeling stuck, try starting with a blue item, and build your outfit from there.

    What I Wore: 
    Equipment Slim Signature Silk Shirt ($204) in Peacoat; Rebecca Taylor Embroidered Circle Shorts ($225) in Aruba; Schutz Amisha Sneakers ($200) in Multi Blue Snake; Salvatore Ferragamo Mini Fiamma Purse ($1650) available in Black; Moscot Lemtosh Sunglasses ($249) in Blonde; Jennifer Zeuner Stacy 1 Diamond Bangle ($176) in Sterling Silver; Vita Fede Titan Stone Bracelet ($465) Available in Malachite Stone and Gold; The 2Bandits Rigby Bangle ($128).

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Slip-on sneakers add a cool-kid vibe to the look.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    A little color theory 101: complementary colors are pairs of colors across from each other on the color wheel that generally work well together. Blue and orange are one of said duos, which inspired me to choose my sunglasses and top combination.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    The mini purse is having a moment. 

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    For running errands on the weekend, you can’t beat the comfortable combination of silky shorts and an easy button-down shirt.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    All hail the drawstring pant

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon
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    Blush Pink + Yellow + Tangerine

    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Since my last outfit played with cool colors, I thought I’d also do a warm color look, which feels particularly relevant for summer.

    What I Wore:
    Duffy Linen Holographic Stripe Tank ($135, 516.627.5333) in Light Pink; Topshop Cord Lace Pencil Skirt ($60, 866.853.8559); Rebecca Minkoff Ian Heels ($250, 212.677.7829) in Multi; Rovimoss Mini Square Crossbody Bag ($295) in Yellow/Beige Colorblock; Westward Leaning N°10.2 Wintermute Sunglasses ($180) available in Mirror; Vita Fede Luciano Cono Bracelet ($465) in White Howlite Stone; Sarah Chloe Lily Solid Heart Necklace ($119); Jennifer Zeuner Sahara Bangle ($198) in Gold Vermeil; House of Harlow 1960 Acute Earrings ($35). 

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    An easy way to achieve a balanced outfit is to pair bright hues, like my lace skirt and cross-body bag, with pastel or muted colors, like my tank top. 

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Accessorizing tip: gold jewelry pairs best with warmer hues (red, orange, yellow) and silver jewelry tends to look better with outfits with cooler colors (green, blue, purple).

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    The lilac tint of my clear sunglasses adds an additional nuance to the colorful look. 

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    If your ensemble is compromised of color-blocked solids, I suggest adding a pattern somewhere in the mix to make the outfit feel less piecemeal. My mixed-print sandals do the trick, plus the low block heel is ridiculously comfortable. 

    Comment below on which hues you'll be sporting this summer!

EXPLORE: Color, How To Wear Color, outfit ideas, Style Tips
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