How to Color Block Outfits Without Looking Like a Toddler

Color blocking sounds ( and looks a little bit ) like an 80’s pop band, but it is simply the fashion of wearing multiple blocks of color in an outfit. Spring is absolutely the perfect time for this bold and playful fashion, but how do you dress in blocks of color without looking like either the cutest baby on the block or Punky Brewster? Here, TBF steps in and sets you straight.

Here’s How to Color Block Outfits the Right Way!

1. Start with the obvious. The most flattering colors on you. What looks amazing with your hair and skin? These aren’t the only colors you can use, but you might want to keep these colors the ones close to your face- in other words, in your shirt or the top of your dress.

2. Grab a color wheel. The most helpful tool in color blocking is the color wheel, wether you use shades of the same color, colors in the same family or even colors across the wheel from each other. Make a statement that doesn’t say ‘ Maybe not

3. Remember, this is color blocking, so you don’t typically want to use prints, which are the the opposite. The blocks of color create their own pattern. However, rules are made to be broken, so if you find a pattern and a color block and just know it is killing it, go for it.

4. You don’t have to buy clothing to achieve this affect, although there are lots of color blocked pieces out there to choose from. If budget or your sense of style leaves you picking items from  your own wardrobe, you can simply use, for example, a solid colored shirt, solid colored skirt and belt and aha! You’ve color blocked like a pro. Other ensembles might be the same colored shirt and jacket with black pants or wearing the same color in different shades for each piece.

5. As a general rule, when color blocking, keep accessories neutral toned. The eye is already overwhelmed with the big bold chunks of color.

We’ve gathered some fashionably chic images of color blocking done right for inspiration. Go forth and color block!

Casual color blocking.
Katy Perry uses her hair to color block!
Anne Cole color blocked swim suit.
Mignon spring color blocked prom dress.
Nails have fun too!
Dogo color blocks for dogs, too.
Helen Mirren color blocks beautifully for dress up.
We love this Cynthia Vincent dress.
Old Navy makes it easy to color block.
High fashion color blocking with a mod feel.
Kim K color blocks a pencil shirt and sleeveless shirt.


Maggie is a writer in San Diego, California. She has been obsessed with fashion while simultaneously too broke to afford it since teenage years, and writing about budget making beauty is the perfect match.