Color Blocking- A Fashion Optical Illusion

“The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been, and always will be.”

—Bill Cunningham

True to what he said, it’s the people out on the streets and markets and malls, who are the true mirror of fashion trends and styles. Don’t have a clue about fashion? Go to the ‘hip and happening places’ (as frequently referred by my friends) and you will know exactly what the latest trends are…

Personally I feel it’s really beautiful how people are so aware of style and so conscious about how they look.

As I have always believed, “If you look good, you feel good, you do good.”

A grey sweatshirt matched with blue denims and black boots and copper bags.

Lately ‘Color Blocking’ seems to be the ‘hot trend’.


I asked myself ‘WHY’ and the answer was pretty simple.

Color blocking

. creates a unique and bold fashion statement.


. gives a burst of freshness and newness to an old outfit.


. makes it possible for mixing and matching old clothes and creating new outfits.


. always adds color and brightness to an attire.


. helps create an optical illusion of curves, height, lean look and so many other things.


. provides versatility to clothing that other trends and styles don’t provide.


Most important reason is, color blocking turns ‘ordinary outfits to extra-ordinary’

Well, how much more can we ask for??

“So what is color blocking?”

“Color blocking is basically wearing two or more colors in an outfit, which gives a visually balanced output and is pleasing to the eye. The result, often is simple and yet a chic look. Prints have recently started to get used in this style of dressing..”

The history of color blocking can be traced back to 1960s in London, where pastels were used in geometrical patterns. Later, these pastels were replaced with bold and bright colors.

Color blocked outfits certainly grab attention and adds newness to how we dress.

How can we color block out clothes?

This is how:

– With a peaceful mind, sit with your clothes and do a lot of mixing and matching. See which two or three combinations go well together. Multiple color separates, that go well together, will look stunning. Use you imagination and take it as far as you can.

-If buying an outfit, always pay attention to the cuts and fits. They must be flattering for your body type. The color palette you choose must suit your skin, eyes and hair. Just because you are color blocking, don’t use fits and colors that are not flattering for you.

-If getting an outfit stitched, pay attention to how you are placing the coloured fabric and which color is being placed where. Always place the dark colors near the area you want to hide, like on the sides, to give a leaner look. If you are not very tall, don’t use horizontal pattern. They will make you look shorter; use vertical pattern. Horizontal pattern also makes you look broader.

-Don’t use more that two or three colors. You don’t want to look like a painter’s palette.

-Master the art of matching clothes. The end result has to be pleasant looking. I don’t believe there are any rules for color blocking, but the colors need to compliment each other and you.

– Use super saturated hues to create a sharp look.

– Use it to create an optical illusion of being leaner, curvier, taller, bulkier… anything you want.

-An outfit is more than just clothes. Color blocking can be done by belts, bags, backpacks, shoes, scarfs, socks……..  Use bright accessories with colourful separates and there, your color blocked outfit is ready.

Here are some color blocked looks I have created for you.

In this dress, three colours are used for colour blocking. This pattern gives an illusion of leaner and taller look.

A short denim dress is worn with black cape. This makes the frame look leaner and taller.

A red shoe with black skirt and patterned top.  It gives a very striking appearence.

The black stripes on the side adds curves to the frame.

picture courtesy: internet/google

The shimmer shrug with black top and skirt, makes the silhouette look leaner on top. The elaborate neckpiece adds to that illusion.

The ombre top in pastels with white linen pants draws attention toward the narrow waist.

The embroidered pants with grey t shirt and orange shrug, adds curves and makes the thighs and arms looks thinner. 

The silver skirt with white top and light bluish grey sweater and white heels gives an illusion of height and accentuates the curves.

The black top and red skirt is all about drama and bold look.

The black stockings make the thighs look thinner and the Jamawar Stole hides all the extra weight.

Color blocking with a stole.

This gives an illusion of being taller and narrower.

Love the drama in this outfit.

Color blocking with black and white. This draws the attention away from the hips and makes the waist look narrow.

Color blocking with a neck piece and a belt.

An orange bag and an orange beaded neckpiece to color block a white outfit.

Color Blocking adds a zing to your outfit that is so new and trendy and has no age restriction. It let’s you be you, just a more stylish you. It’s innovative, it can be very easy personalised and it can be used to brings out a gorgeous you. 

So try out your color blocked looks .

If any help, I am there.

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Latest comments
  • A nice read Divya..learnt something new.Liked many of your creations..

  • Awesome yaar

  • Tried your colour Blocking tips at my Annual sales Meet Conference today….thanks !