Oct 022014

Knowing that I started blogging with an incomplete understanding of the principles involved, part of my strategy in posting reruns on Thursdays is to clean some stuff up, clarify the concepts, and correct where I was wrong. Like in this case (originally posted October 23, 2007).

I found it amusing, when considered alongside what I said here, that Bridgette Raes just posted Why You Need a Green Handbag (my apologies for not providing a link, but my linker appears to be broken and I cannot devote any more time to it right now). But I have no problem explaining the ideological discrepancy:

Within one’s inherent color palette, the greens will harmonize with the other hues”

As I move more fully into the color component of styling, I am super-excited about the potential for the custom color palette. For example, I just did one which ended up being six parts one palette, three parts another, and a single stick of yet a third, but blended into a beautiful, harmonious whole.

Recently it occurred to me that green, while an easy color for many to wear, doesn’t necessarily lend itself to mix and match. A quick trip around the color wheel reveals why:

  • yellow: too 1960s. Not bad if you’re young and you throw in white.
  • orange: resembles the autumn landscape. Do you want to look like a deciduous forest? To approximate a single tree, pair green with brown.
  • red: at best, red & green are reminiscent of 1990s interiors; at worst, a color-challenged Christmas. Pink is sometimes doable, but grass green and pink is too young and sweet for me to wear.
  • purple: throw in the right shade of brown and it works.
  • blue: safer than most other color combinations. Just wear your green sweater with blue jeans and everything will be just fine.
  • green: when combined with hunter orange, two or more greens make a perfectly coordinated “sport” ensemble.

Which leaves the neutrals:

  • black: the hag chorus in Little Women is wearing mostly green and black.
  • grey: finally, an option that seems current!
  • white: a better choice for Christmas outfits.
  • metallic: ditto the above.

Which leads me to easy ways to wear green. In a print.

Or as an accent.

How do you like to wear green?

  27 Responses to “TBT: What to Wear with Green”

  1. I wear green in some form almost every day. In the winter, it’s mostly moss and olive, usually with brown (heathery brown wool, brown corduroy, tweed, and so on), brown-based prints, or jeans. In the summer, I like brighter shades of leaf green, usually with khaki or denim. My fall coat is vivid green corduroy, and my best wool shawl is a William Morris paisley print in moss green with shades of brown and burgundy (gift from my dh). My favorite briefcase is loden green suede with brown leather trim, and my favorite handbag is dark green, smooth leather (Coach/ebay). I have no problem whatsoever finding something to pair with green, but it probably helps that I have green eyes and reddish hair. Green is my “secret weapon”! I would never wear pink/green either, Rebecca–too silly-preppy!

  2. green (and/or any other color) goes with any other color…meaning, it doesn’t “clash” and isn’t “wrong”. green and red are compliments on the color wheel, any other association or color impression has been culturally foisted upon us.

  3. Dh has olive slacks that he once tried wearing with his orange shirt. He said he felt like the great pumpkin.

  4. Tan is a great color to wear with a lot of shades of green, so is cream (especially if white’s not your thing.)
    I have a white shirt with thin stripes in a couple different shades of green–it blends in really well over a green tank and black skirt or over a white tank and green skirt.
    I have a green loose-weave short-sleeved cardigan I wear over a yellow tank with a cream/metallic skirt. Hopefully I’m young enough to get away with it. 🙂 I also tried it with a brown tank and a tan tiered skirt, and thought that was really cute. (Hmm, is it obvious I like layering?)
    I am *dying* to wear my forest green skirt with the matchy fuzzy forest green heather sweater. But it’s still not cold enough!
    Sometimes I wear orange with green, and sometimes it seems like a bit much. It really depends on the specific shades. And how much I want to look like a carrot. 😉

  5. Oh Sheri, that shawl sounds gorgeous!

  6. I have a cute olive green purse, and I am amazed at how many things I can get away with wearing it with. I bought a green sweater this year that I think is going to look really nice with brown tweed pants. What would you think of camel accessories for that?

  7. Alyson, I think camel accessories will be lovely with that outfit!

  8. I tend to wear green with purple, blue, or brown (which seems to missing from the list). I agree that is important to think about the connotations of color combinations. Some are strong enough to be an issue.

  9. I mostly wear green as an accessory (handbag, sandals, scarf, peridot earrings). But I do like shades of green with my favorite color – wine. In fact, much of our home’s interior is shades of green and wine! They are DH’s favorite colors.

  10. Green is one color I cannot seem to get away with in any shade or form. I like the color, so I can’t figure out why I can’t seem to wear it. I don’t think I have a scrap of a true green in my wardrobe right now. 🙂

  11. I LOVE green, and I wear it a LOT. Yes, a lot with just jeans or khakis… sometimes with black (as in a nice skirt, etc.)… but my favorite (casual) way to wear it is with pale pink (if it’s a bright/ kelly green), or like someone else mentioned, with Camel/cream/light tan colors.

    Green is my absolute favorite!

  12. I love that green/brown/cream top with the leafy pattern! I’d buy it at $15, but not at $58.

    It is interesting how colors go in and out of fashion. I like the grays I’m seeing now, but green is still a bit hard to find.

    Last year, I needed a bunch of printed tops similar to the leafy one above, and went into several stores looking for prints with green and black. (I had several black skirts/pants as my base, so brown wasn’t going to work.) I could not find any green, and even nice blues were scarce. Red and pink with black were everywhere, so I ended up with several of those. Not my first choice, but my husband really liked them. He rarely compliments my blue or green clothes.

    That makes me wonder if I look better in red, or if he just prefers red in general. When I ask him, he gets a panicked look in his eye. 🙂

  13. My favorite way to wear green is in a handbag. And perhaps in shoes. But not both together. Matching shoes and handbags seems dated. I also like to wear green with khaki.

  14. I like both of the outfits on the bottom. Love the crisp white shirt with jeans and cute green purse. I also like the pink and green outfit; I like the layers.

    I think I usually wear green with brown. If it works in nature, why not on me? LOL I hope I don’t look like a tree!

    What is interesting to me is that I love green … my eyes are green … but hate to wear red, which is its compliment. I mean, not just red and green together, but I don’t wear red at all … no red in my closet.

  15. There are worse things than looking like a tree! Nature is quite the inspiration when it comes to color schemes.

    There’s something else about red – maybe I’ll have to do a post about it – it’s an aggressive color. And then it could be just the intensity of the color; if your coloring is more soft, red could be overwhelming.

    Looking back at Louise’s comment, I’m thinking definitely a discussion about red …

  16. A discussion of red would be great. It’s a very hard color for me to wear, with my red-toned brown hair. Bittersweet, reddish-rust shades are fine, but true reds wash out my complexion and make my hair look . . . kind of taupe! I own only one true red garment, a sweater set, which I trot out for a few days every year right around Christmas.

  17. How about bright green with red and orange?? a personal fave!

    Or, green with orange and turquoise.

    Maybe it’s just orange that I like!

    And like another commenter, I like olive or a more dusky green, with burgundy.

    One rule of thumb I have with a color I feel is hard to match, is to do it with 2 colors which are related to each other (like red & orange), or one other color of a differing intensity. So a bright green with a more muted shade of something else, or reversed.

    I do wear a green skirt and orange top with a dark brown sweater to mute the contrast (if that makes sense).

    Wish I had pix……

  18. Jennifer, I think you’re on to something. I told Tricia, in response to her comment, that I think I just don’t like two color schemes. In reality, a person with some artistic sense, can make a “do” out of almost any “don’t”. I hope, some day, to be able to graciously help those without that artistic bent.;)

    Also – everybody realizes that orange and brown shades of the same color, right?

  19. I love hunter green with jeans! Actually I love hunter green with about anything except pink as I am too old for that. Come to think of it I am too old for lots of things! lol!

  20. Now, see, I’d go for green and yellow BECAUSE it is so 1960s. I like that retro thing. Others probably poke fun at me after I leave.

  21. I like green with blue or tan.

    Once I wore green and black, and a friend told me I looked like one of the prisoners in the local lock-up (where her brother was, sporting those colors, apparently). Ever since then, I can’t do green with black.

    The right shade of green with the right shade of yellow plus white looks very summery.

  22. I like a dark hunter or emerald green with brown…however, green in all shades is my favorite.

  23. i love army/olive drab/mossy greens with FUSCHIA!! I have olive skin and do not like green next to my skin but love ’em for a dark neutral for pants…..(black with a jewel tone looks too much like you are an usher ..) that mossy green looks great with jewel tones like a dtrong teal, magenta, fuschia, deep cranberry red, etc my only problem is what color sweater?? if i am wearing one of those colors with the green pants…then what color sweater to wear? i do not look good in brown….or tan….or cream……………….black is too severe and no value contrast…white too start….a pale gray maybe?? i will have to play with that and see how that looks…………….

  24. Or camo. 😉

  25. whenever i wear green its usually with black jeans or skirts. whites pretty good too.

  26. I love green, but I don’t wear true green. True green is hard to mix I agree but other shades of green can be lovely. My favorite shades are olive, sage, and teal.

    Leaf green and rich brown will make you look like a tree, but olive and gray-brown look awesome together. True green and red is Christmassy, but teal and maroon is classy. Varying the hue & tone can make a huge difference.

    • Those are all really good examples!

      I have been thinking, since I really got that I am a “spring”, that if grass green looks good on me, and it does, then any floral bloom colors should look good with it. Nature is always a great source of color combo inspiration. 🙂

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