Outfit Color Palette: Pairing Blue and Orange

by Oddlilbean

One of my favorite color combos in an outfit is blue and orange! They're complementary colors (across from each other on the color wheel), which means putting them together creates nice visual energy and contrast, and if you've read any of my previous posts then you know how important I think contrast is when styling an outfit. In this post, I'm just going to walk through a couple different ways I pair blue and orange together in outfits to hopefully give some fun style inspiration for your wardrobe!

This is probably the most obvious way to combine blue and orange in an outfit. I mean, it's a bright orange shirt paired with a bright blue jacket, a skirt with bright blue boats, and a bright orange scarf. Doesn't get more straightforward than that. Between the two colors, I prefer blue, so my outfits do usually lean heavier on the blue side and use orange more as a pop of color than the reverse, but that's just a personal preference.

I could easily swap out the patterned skirt with some solid blue-colored jeans or a solid blue skirt and create more of a color blocking look, but because of the nautical vibes of the jacket, I decided to go all in and wear my vintage boat skirt because I'm committed like that.

This entire outfit was thrifted from Goodwill and various local thrift shops.

I could have easily paired this dress with a black blazer or some other neutral colored jacket, and it would have looked perfectly fine. However, by throwing on the bright blue blazer, I think it creates a more fun and eye-catching look. The blue also helps visually bring the foxes on the dress out because of that blue and orange contrast.

It all comes down to what vibe you're going for that day. This is one of my favorite dresses to wear just because of how darn comfortable it, so I'm always looking for new ways to style it.

This outfit is very similar to the last. The only difference is that the blue and orange is already paired in the skirt, and I opt to play down the blue and orange contrast by wearing a black, neutral shirt instead of going all in with an orange shirt like the first outfit, but still wear the orange scarf to create some unity for the look as a whole. Pairing blue and orange doesn't always have to be in your face and full-on saturated and can instead be more subtle or muted.

Another fully thrifted outfit from Goodwill and local thrift stores.

Speaking of muted, you can get the same energy of pairing orange and blue by pairing blues with warm browns. This is because warm browns, like this dress, are often just shades (mixed with black) or tones (mixed with the complementary color) of orange. Personally, I think this works best when the brown is fairly bright and saturated.

In the past, I've styled this dress monochromatically with accessories colored different shades of brown. To mix it up, I decided to go with the complementary color scheme by adding some blue accessories with the scarf and earrings. For me, it again just adds that fun pop of color and energy into an outfit that might otherwise blend a bit more into crowd. Teaching little kids, I have to do everything I can to keep their attention, even if it's just wearing some giant sequined, blue dolphin earrings.

The dress was a Marshall's buy a couple years ago and the rest, as always, was thrifted.

At this point, I've covered pairing blue and orange pretty thoroughly based on my tastes and knowledge, so this last point will be pretty brief. I've paired a lot of the outfits with black since it's a neutral color and won't detract from the complementary color scheme, and this is also true if you wanted to add white to the outfit. I'm just partial to black since I have a lot of it in my wardrobe from my angsty teenage "goth" phase. My one bit of advice with using white with this color pairing is to use a cream or warm off-white since it will help enhance the orange and still tie into the complementary color scheme with the blue since it's a warm vs. cool color and off-whites are often super light tints of oranges.

Most of this outfit was thrifted except for the sweater which I stole from my sister's wardrobe forever ago when I was visiting from college as payment for all the clothes she stole while I was away at college.

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