Boutique Blog

A Simple Guide to Contrast in Outfits

  • By Anna M

Contrast is important when choosing which colors to wear in your outfit. If you have too many garments that are the same or similar in color, or even brightness, your outfit doesn’t stand out, and rather looks dull and uninspiring. Low contrast can look great given the occasion, but it is important to know everything there is to know about color contrast so you can pick the right colors for your outfit every time.

What Is Contrast?

Before you understand what contrast is, it is important to know that colors have different shades of brightness. For many made in USA clothing wholesale manufacturers and distributors, they typically refer to a scale for how bright or dark a certain color can be. On this scale, one can be the darkest and ten can be the brightest, or vice versa. A color that is neither bright nor dark tends to be around the middle of this scale.

As for contrast, it is basically the difference between two colors. You cannot have contrast unless you have two colors to work with. Contrast comes in three different levels, classified as high, medium, and low.

High Contrast

High contrast involves a bright color and a dark color. It creates a dramatic effect that commands attention, and both colors stand out in their own way. For example, a light pink shirt with a navy-blue skirt is an outfit with high contrast. It’s not technically possible for medium colors, such as a basic green or blue, to contribute to high contrast, considering where they are placed on the brightness scale.

Medium Contrast

Medium contrast is a less intense version of high contrast, but there still are differences in color and brightness that anyone can notice. For instance, a navy-blue skirt can be paired with a fuchsia or hot pink shirt. Essentially, a dark color and a medium color, or a medium color and a light color can be consisted medium contrast. One can also make the case that a semi-dark and semi-light color can also create a contrast that is medium, rather than high. Medium contrast is known to be most acceptable in corporate and workplace environments.

Low Contrast

Low contrast consists of two bright colors, two dark colors, or two medium colors. For example, if you pair a navy-blue skirt with a dark brown shirt, or a light pink shirt with a white skirt, you have an outfit that is low in contrast. Low contrast outfits certainly have their places in fashion, but they tend to be unnoticeable and forgettable among people who work close to you.

Does My Body Contribute to Contrast?

The answer to this question is an obvious yes. Contrast isn’t exclusive to only articles of clothing, but you can also find contrast in clothing that is matched with the skin, hair, eyes, and other features found on the body. For instance, a fair-skinned woman can achieve high contrast with a dark-colored dress. If she wears a light-colored dress, then she has low contrast. For another example, red hair that is found on a woman can have a medium shade of brightness. If she wears medium-colored clothes, it’s low contrast. If she wears light or dark-colored clothes, it’s medium contrast.

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