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When it comes to fashion, don't fear mixing colors

A friend recently bought a pair of bright blue sneakers. Great! But what to wear with them? She couldn't do jeans, because that's a different shade of blue. She couldn't do another color, because that would be crazy. So they obviously couldn't be worn.

My head almost exploded. People are so shy about mixing colors. Black can't touch brown and gold can't touch silver and yellow can't touch red. The shoes have to match the purse and the belt. I even knew someone who obsessively matched her underwear to her clothes. Like I said, explode.

I understand the hesitance. No one wants to look like they rolled up into a bar brawl with Jackson Pollock. But colors are one of nature's most majestic gifts, and they should be embraced. In honor of Pride week, let's all loosen up with the color rules. We've given up the no white after Labor Day myth, so why hold on to the others with such clenched fists?

Here are some ways to shake up your color game:

• Neutrals go with anything. We're talking to you, blacks, browns, blues, tans, whites. "Everything" means they also go with each other. One of my favorite looks is pairing a black dress with a navy cardigan, as long as the navy is bold enough not to look like washed-out black. Add an accessory with a dash of blue, just to log into people's brains that, yes, you meant to do this, and no, your corneas are fine.

• Mix metals. Gold and silver and bronze can totally work together. Think of it as combining commodities, not colors. Look for mixed-metal bracelet sets that engage a bunch of shades at once. It frees you up to work those shades into the rest of your outfit, too.

• Let one color be the boss. By picking a dominant color, you'll avoid looking like you just wandered out of Yo Gabba Gabba! Think bright orange paired with a softer yellow, or red paired with light aqua, or royal blue paired with a pale green.

• Add one piece. If you're about to leave the house in all black, consider stepping one toe out of the cemetery with a bright detail. A red shoe, a yellow bangle bracelet or a grass green cardigan will help bring you out of your pit of despair.

• Guys, you're no exception. Try adding pops of color to your khaki blahs via neckties, argyle socks, cuff links, cardigans and jackets. A bold shoe will give off the impression that you're confident. Don't shy away from a beautiful color close to your face. Potential paramours love anything that brings out your eyes.

• Avoid matchy-matchy. Coordinating your shoes perfectly to your top looks a little like Garanimals, and last we checked, you're older than 5.

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When it comes to fashion, don't fear mixing colors 06/23/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2011 4:32pm]
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