How to Pull off Clashing Colors Like a Street Style Star

Richard Wright

Remember when it was the norm to follow tons of fashion rules? You know—don’t wear white after Labor Day; don’t mix gold and silver jewelry; don’t show your bra; don’t wear oversized clothing if you want to flatter your body, and don’t pair clashing colors together… Ugh.

Thankfully, those rules are widely considered way outdated, and most modern fashionistas appreciate the fact that creativity and dressing differently is what expressing yourself through style is all about—not following some arbitrary rules set years ago. In 2017, rule breaking is on-trend.

Wearing clashing colors is one such rule that more people seem to be comfortable doing lately—but that’s still kind of tricky to pull off. From a young age we were told by fashion magazines and perhaps our parents that colors like black and brown, navy and black, and red and green shouldn’t mix into one outfit.

We can thank the street style goddesses for changing the game and giving us a little motivation to say screw it and mix whatever prints, colors and textures our hearts desire. Take a look at how these street style stars have worn unconventional color combos with flair, then raid your closet and create your own gorgeously clashing outfits.

Black and Blue

This combo is perfect for fall and winter and it gives you an opportunity to break up your all black ensemble.

Black and Brown

This one can be tricky, but when pairing these two colors together, focus on fun textures, prints and dimensions. If you’re trying out this combo for your first time, opt for a camel or pale, nearly-nude brown, which will pop against black and appear less heavy.


Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are typically reserved for sports teams, bold fashion week statements, or in some cases, a holiday. Take a look at how to wear our favorite complementary color combos.

Red and Green: Move over December, because we only have Gucci-inspired vibes for the red and green combo. An easy way to wear these two colors is by adding in patterns, neutral accessories, or metallic embellishments.

Purple and Yellow: Wear it all over, or just as a shoe embellishment, but this color combo is great for making a powerful and feminine statement.

Navy and Orange: This color combo is probably the easiest to start out with. It’s a great pair for fall and looks great as solids or patterns.

Other Clashing Colors

These are other color combos that people typically avoided, but when done right, are beyond cool. When mixing these bad boys, play up the volume and dimension of the pieces, or add a neutral or contrasting pop of color (for instance, a red boot with a yellow outfit).