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Sidestepping Color Faux Pas

Sidestepping Color Faux Pas

Red and green don’t normally “go” together. Yet the practice of associating red and green with Christmas may have originated with the pre-Christian Celts who used a half-red, half-green tree to mark a boundary symbolizing the end of one year and the beginning of another.

  • From fashion to websites to advertising to everything in-between, bad color combinations not only cause a serious strain on the eyes, they can cause the viewer to grimace in horror. What do you do when you see purple letters on a black background? Or yellow text over green? Yikes!

    Our brains are naturally wired to organize information into categories, and color is one of the first things our brain processes. There’s a science to complimentary and contrasting colors – it’s how the world is organized.

    That doesn’t mean we have fixed ideas on how colors should be combined. It used to be that oranges and pinks went together like oil and water, yet today, they are being paired in neutral rooms to add a color pop or on scarves and accessories to spice up a dull outfit.

    However, taboo color combinations are more than just fashion don’ts. All across the world, different colors mean different things. In China, for example, white is associated with mourning and is typically worn at funerals, whereas black clothing is associated with life and stability.



  • Activity

    Dig into your closet and pull out your regular navy and black favorites. Now, do something drastic. Pair up the navy jacket with a black top. Add a brown belt to that navy dress. Add some brown boots to those black leggings. Like what you see? 
    That’s because once taboo color combinations (brown/black, navy/black, and navy/brown) are now in fashion. Now you can throw out those old taboos and strut your inner peacock!

    Did this activity help you experience color in a new way? 
    Share your story on Facebook and tell us how it changed your day.

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