Idea flows


Colour is an intrinsic and fundamental part of the whole rhythm of natural life. We see things due to their colour. Colour is as true as life itself.


As per Wikipedia, The science of color is sometimes called chromatics, colorimetry, or simply color science. It includes the perception of color by the human eye and brain, the origin of color in materials, color theory in art, and the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range (that is, what we commonly refer to simply as light).


Colour is defined in various ways. A few definitions are:

- Colour is a visual sensation that is produced from the stimulation of retina in the eyes by light.

- Colour is the aspect of radiant energy observed by humans through visual sensation.

- Colour is physiological response to physical stimuli.


Different professionals have their unique approach or perspectives to/on colour. A few are: 

Physiologist – Concerned with how the eye receives the sensation of colour.

Chemists – studies chemical properties of the natural and artificial colouring materials manufactured.

Physicists – significance of colour is in terms of wavelength and intensity.

Psychologist – effect of colour on a human being or on each other.


For fashion professionals, understanding the psychology and chemistry of colours is of extreme importance. As the same colour appears different under different lighting conditions, it is also important to understand the physicists approach but not in as much detail as the physicists. And then there is the artists approach to understanding and use of colour.


There are different approaches to understanding and making colour. The light theory (deals with how we see colours), the pigment theory (deals with how colours are made with materials), the additive colours(how colours are made for digital media or lighting) , the subtractive colours (physical or material colours) and structural theory are some of the theories of understanding colour. The fashion industry uses various media to make and sell fashion products. Fashion professionals are required to understand colours in all approaches to understanding colour.




When light passes through a prism, it comes out of the prism by breaking into 7 colours VIBGYOR called the spectrum of colours. VIBGYOR stands for V-violet, I-indigo, B-blue, G-green, Y-yellow, O-orange and R-red. Each of these colours has a particular visible wavelength in the spectrum of colours. Colour spectrum provides a basic idea of colours. 


Particular cells and rods present in our retina of eye are sensitive to particular spectrum of light. Hence we are able to see different colour. When all colours of light rays are reflected, we see White. When all colours of light rays are absorbed we see Black. All the colours we see is because a particular wavelength of light is reflected and all other wavelengths of light are absorbed. That means we see colour only when light hits a material or object. Objects appear coloured as they reflect one colour and absorb all other colours of light rays.




Dimensions of colour give us an idea of its characteristics or aspects or properties or qualities. Dimensions of are Hue, Value and Intensity.

Hue: Name of the colour of a specific wavelength in the light spectrum. Hue is the characteristic of distinguishing one colour from another. It also indicates the warmth or coolness of a colour.

Value: The lightness or darkness of Hue is indicated through value. Value of Hue can be varied (increased or decreased)  by adding white or black.

Intensity: Also known as Chroma. The brightness or darkness of hue is intensity. The strength or weakness of a colour is indicated by the amount of natural light present in a colour.




Artists follow a colour system with 3 classes of colours in a colour wheel for easy understanding. This colour wheel is used to establish pleasant relationship between colours called colour harmonies. Most fashion professionals use this as a base way of combining colour in their creations.

1. Primary Colours – Poster Red, Lemon Yellow, Cobalt Blue – these are the basic colours reflected with original pigments. All colours are formed by combining these colours in varying ratios.

2. Secondary Colours – formed by combining 2 primary colours in 1:1 ratio. They are Violet, Green and Orange.

3. Tertiary colours –formed by combining 1primary colour with 1secondary colour in ratio of 1:1. They are Lemon Yellow+Green =Yellow Green(Lime Green), Cobalt Blue+Green =Blue Green (Turquoise), Cobalt Blue+Violet = Blue Violet (Indigo), Poster Red+Violet= Red Violet (Maroon), Poster Red+Orange = Ted Orange (Tan), LemonYellow+Orange= Yellow Orange(Tangerine)



Addition of even a very minute quantity of another hue to a colour will change the hue of a colour. The ratios of mixing colours have to be followed meticulously while combining colours to create colours or in design. 


Colour Wheel / Prang’s Colour Wheel / Chromatic Circle

The Colour wheel is a pictorial representation  colours. Colour wheel is used to simplify understanding use of coloursin a design.  It helps with selection of colours for a design.


Add all 3 classes of colours…………………..


Neutral Colours - White, Black, Grey and Brown are considered as neutrals. White because it reflects all colours, Black because it absorbs all colours, Grey because it a mix of black and white in 1:1 ratio or any other ratio and Brown because it is made by mixing all 3 primary colours in ratio of 1:1:1.



Warm and Cool Colours

Colours on the left half of the colour wheel are considered as Cool colours. Cool colours have blue in varying degrees. 

Colours on the right of the colour wheel are considered as Warm colours. Warm colours have red in varying degrees.



It’s always difficult to harmonize combinations containing colours from these 2 groups. Warm colours contrast Cool colours

Red, Orange and its combinations Blues and its combinations

Red to Orange are warmest Blue to Blue Violet are coolest

Advancing colours - appears as though colours are coming towards us, are prominent, attention grabbing Receding Colours – appears as though colours are going away from use, are sombre, inconspicuous

Objects with these colours appear larger or nearer Objects with these colours appear smaller or farther

Adds volume to objects with these colours Conceals volume of objects, makes appearance slender

Cheerful, Stimulating, Happy, Feel warm Cool, Calm, Restful

Too much of these colours adds excitement or appears loud / nervous / anxiety Too much of these colours adds sadness or are depressing




Value describes the lightness or darkness of colour. White is the lightest colour and hence has the lowest value. Black is the darkest colour and hence has the highest value. Hues change value gradually with the lightest at the top and darkest at the bottom.

Tints, Shades and Tones: Value of Hue can be changed by adding black or white in varying quantities. Adding white to a hue lightens it to the point where the hue is just below white in value. Hues produced by adding white are called Tints or Pastel. Tints or Pastels have a value lower than their base Hue.

Adding black to a hue darkens it to the point where the hue is just above black in value. Hues produced by adding black are called Shades. Shades have a value higher than their base hue.

Adding grey to a Hue gives a Tint of the base Hue. The value of a tint is dependent upon the amount of black and white present in the tint.


LIGHT VALUES (+ white, lowest) DARK VALUES (+ black, highest)

Reflects colours Absorbs colours

Creates distance Creates nearness

Makes objects appear larger Makes objects appear smaller

Reflects a colour if placed on a light background, making the colour more prominent Absorbs a colour if placed on a dark background, making the colour more subdued

Impression of stability

Unifies colours

Helps bring harmony with a lot of bright colours

Seems to add colour and increase size if used as background as it reflects light Backgrounds with dark colours neutralise the effect of dark objects as it absorbs light.

Grey neutralises the effect of colours on each other.

Value contrasts have more striking dissimilarities.




Intensity indicates the brightness or dullness of a Hue. Intensity also indicates the strength or weakness of a particular hue. 

Hues at their Full intensity are striking and form brilliant and interesting effects when used with discretion.

Hues at their Lower intensities are subtle or subdued. In general these hues can be used in large areas of a design.

Changing Intensities of Hues – intensity of hue may be changed by mixing of its complementary hue to the colour scheme. Complementary colours balance each other completely as warm and cool colours are combined which neutralise each other.


In fashion, it is pleasant only if dull hues and bright hues are used in balance. Boring or depressing visuals are a result of using only dull hues in a design. On the other hand restless or exciting visuals are a result of using only bright hues in a design.

Pure Hues (Fully intense) create a visual effect of force.

Intensity of Hues can be increased in a design by placing complementary (1 warm and 1 cool) colours beside each other. 

Intensity of Hues can be decreased in a design by placing related colours (only warm or only cool) beside each other.

Designs can be made pleasant easily by placing less intense colours in large areas.

Designs can be made pleasant easily by placing more intense colours in small areas.



• Affects mood of an individual

• Effect of advancement(proceeding) or receding (withdrawal)

• Affect or influence each other’s  intensity or value

• Blues and/or Greens have a quietening influence as it grows colder or darker leading to depressing effect.

• Red and/or Oranges have a cheerful and comforting influence as it grows warmer, stimulating or exciting leading to anxiety or anger at its warmest.





1. Tints – adding white to a Hue, results in its tint.

2. Shades – adding black to a Hue, results in its shade.

3. Tones – adding grey to a Hue, results in its tone. Tones have a lower intensity than pure Hues.

4. Pastel – adding 85% or more white to a Hue, results in a Pastel with a very low value.

5. Light colours – very low value Hues are called light colours. Not very eye-catching, seem to be delicate. Have a soft or ethereal visual effect.

6. Dark colours - high value Hues are called dark colours. Add weight, associated with royalty and add aura of dignity.

7. Bright or Vivid colours – High intensity colours, add surprise to a visual. Stand apart or grab attention or are prominent in a design. If 2 bright colours are combined results in a confusing, tricky visual effect with a tendency for tiring the eyes.

8. Dull colours – Low intensity colours, relieve tension, give meditative mood. May result in muddy or dirty visual effect.

9. Neutral colours – colours of the earth have balanced intensity and low to medium value. Dramatic and evergreen colours, blend well with other colours.

10. Warm and Cool colours – Warm colours Red, Yellow, Orange are associated with sun and fire evoke feelings of warmth, excitement, stimulating, lively, aggressive. Green is an intermediate colour having a peaceful effect. By increasing or decreasing value and intensity of green, it can be either warm or cool. Cool colour Blue is associated with Sea and Sky and has a cooling, stabilising effect.



While choosing colours for individuals, the colours should always bring out the best in the person’s appearance and at the same time subdue or hide the flaws in the person’s appearance. Colours should be balanced and suited to the individual’s skin, hair, eye colouring. 



- Colours look different in daylight and at night. Daylight is bright and brilliant. Artificial light is duller.

- Light source or type of light under which the colour will be seen will affect the depth of colour. Bright sunlight changes intensity, incandescent light gives warmth to light hues. 

- Artificial light generally destroys the impact or dulls yellow or colours containing yellow. Artificial light softens bright colours. Warm coloured artificial light sources intensify red, yellow and orange. Cool coloured artificial light sources intensify green, blue, violet.

- Day light distorts complexion of individuals. Weather or season increases brightness or dulls daylight. Summers usually have brilliant or bright day light. In Winters usually, daylight is bright in the afternoons but dull during mornings and towards evening.

- In Western countries, browns, dark and dull colours for winters. In summers, light, bright or toned down dark colours.



Small and minute designs such as stripes, checks, tweed, mixture of colours, blend together at a distance and seem to be 1 single colour. Vivid colours will lose their identity at a distance.





Texture also changes the colour. Structure (eg.. weave, knit, leather, fur) and finish (eg.. mercerizing, calendaring, brushing, embossing, softening) determine the type of texture a fabric has.  Shiny fabrics such as satin reflect light; colours of satin fabric become brighter or more intense and the wearer may look wide. Fabrics with high drape such as chiffon add height. 



Colours that are flattering to the face should be chosen. As skin and hair colour is bright or intense at younger age, bright colours seem to suit younger people. As an individual ages hair and skin colour is less intense and harsher. Softer colours tend to appear better than bright colours in such cases.



- Individual Body type, Size and Shape – Individuals could be lean, medium height or weight, petite, muscular, well built, voluptuous or obese. 

- The value and intensity of colour is to be varied to suit the individual’s body structure.

- Light or bright colours are more noticed than dark or dull colours.

- Colours have an enlarging or compacting impact on the individual’s body shape/size. 

- Warm hues with light value and bright intensity increase body size. Cool colours with medium value and low intensity decrease body size.

- Generally larger the area tobe covered, duller the colour used. This works well with work wear or business formals. To a certain extent, applies well to street wear. But when it comes to evening wear or sportswear, then the extent of dullness of colour may be varied as per personal taste. 

- Bright colours works well on a short or lean person with a striking personality.

- Large physique = warm colours in duller versions.

- Stout or good physique = low values of any colour but avoid contrasting colour combinations.

- Flawed or Bad physique = dark colours or high value colours as they tend to reduce prominence of flaws.

- Dark colours have a slimming effect, monotones add height.

- Bright colours add focus to the areas they are used in, so may make the area look larger.

- Very bright colours make the eye look fatigued.

- Patterns make space look larger.



- Personal Reactions – attitude, preference, reaction and association of an individual to colours affect colour preferences. 

- The comfort level of a person towards a colour also matters.

- Individuals with a quiet demeanour – best to avoid brilliant colours, or use them sparingly. Subtle or pastel or sombre colours suit better. 

- Individuals who are shy personality– bright makes them look timid, medium colours with a bit of brightness are ok. Red makes them appear nervous.

- Individuals with a dramatic personality – any colour suits.



- Personal Colour Pallet – when colours are being used in jewellery and clothing of individuals, the individual’s skin, eye and hair colour influence visual impact of a colour of jewellery and clothing.

- Healthy(Fair) Complexion = any colour

- Blonde hair = Cool colours

- Brunettes, warm(tanned or brown) complexion, Brown Eyes = warm colours

- Dark skin, Dark hair = dark, rich colours

- Sallow skin = avoid tan, grey, pale pink, yellow or yellow green. Red or bright colour works well most times.

- Prominent eyes – colours that highlight eyes but taking into consideration skin and hair colour.

- Black colour on light coloured skin and hair, creates dramatic effect.

- To tone down complexion, use black or dark value colours.

- To tone up complexion, use white or light value colours.

- Repeating hair or skin or eye colour on clothing creates emphasis. 



- The individual’s religion and the cultural environment in which an individual resides also affect colour choices.

- Fashion and colour is always studied in the context of Western (European, North American) cultures. Most times African and Asian cultures tend to have an opposite or different approach to colours and fashion.



- Formal social occasions – Soft, dainty colours.

- Formal Evening Party – Bright colours for women, black or dark colours for men.

- Every day wear / work wear – Sombre colours

- Sportswear – Bright colours

- Leisure, get together – Gay colours



Whichever colour is in trend or fashion as long as it suits the individual’s personality and occasion.




Every colour is beautiful if used in the right place and in right amount. Colour harmonies are guidelines to combining colours in a harmonious way. In order to be able to combine colours in a pleasing and likable manner, study of colour and its values is important. A fashion professional should study and understand colours, their values and intensities so thoroughly that combining colours in a balanced and proportionate way becomes an intuitive process instead of an exercise.



Arranging colour in a pleasant or likeable way in a design is a critical part of fashion. Fashion is all about creating popular optics, hence a good sense of which colours go together and which do not along with the ease in using colours helps in creating good fashion. 


Before jumping into combining colours, first requirement is to gain a good understanding of values of colour, intensities of colour and how principles of design apply to colour. 

• VALUE – observe, experiment and understand the degrees of lightness or darkness of each hue.

• INTENSITY or chroma – observe, experiment and understand the degrees of brightness or dullness of each hue.

• BALANCE or a feeling of Rest: Larger the amount of colour used, quiter the effect. Smaller the amount of colour used, striking is the effect. Value plays an important role in balancing a colour combination. All colours in a combination should have the same value. Or, the values of each colour in the combination can be different, but over-all the total value of the combination should be the same. This can be done by, combining a high value colour with a low value colour and adjusting the quantity of their usage to strike balance of value. Same way Intensity of colour should also be managed. Complementary hues form a natural balance. In a colour combination, if the value and intensities of one colour are lighter and brighter, then it should be off-set by a colour with darker value and duller intensity. The amount of these colours should be adjusted to strike visual balance.

• PROPORTION: Interest can be created by subtle variation in the proportion of colours being used. Monotony occurs due to repetition.  When colours are used in equal proportion, they may not appear pleasant, variation in proportions of colour adds interest (quantity of one colour is lesser than the other colour). Colours with varying force (intensities) be utilised in varying quantities. More of colours with less force and less of colours with more force make appealing visuals.

• RHYTHM: Along with balance, rhythm forms a crucial aspect of combining colours. Rhythm in a colour combination can be created by repetition or gradation in Hue, value and intensity. One outstanding/prominent Hue’s along with multiple colours in a combination, where rest of colours contribute to enhancing the visual impact of the prominent colour creates rhythm. Another way of creating rhythm is to use same Hue in its varying values and intensities in a design.

• HARMONY and/or UNITY: When a colour combination has these 2, then it would be the most pleasant combination. Warm colours and cool colours have a natural harmony. Due to this, its common practice to combine only warm or only cool colours in a combination. Even though these combinations may not be disliked, there’s not much verve/oomph in these. Many times this may lead to monotony or boredom. In case a combination of contrasting colours is to be made, then the degree of warmth of colours and the degree of coolness of colours should be balanced, this would lead to an attractive, vivacious, stimulating colour combination. If the coolness and warmth of colours are not matched, it may visually become gaudy, loud or crude. The colour combinations (schemes or harmonies) we find beautiful or like generally give an overall impression of warmth or cool in various degrees. 



Colors play a large part in the creating fashion. A beautiful design may be spoilt by the use of wrong colors. By the use of appropriate colours, appearance of a simple piece of clothing can be enhanced a few notches up. Colors in the fabric and surface ornamentation along with the fit of the garment create a pleasant look. It would be unpleasant if colours in the fabric and its surface ornamentation do not work together. Many times flaws in garment construction or physical flaws in the wearer’s body structure can be hidden by a good colour harmony.

Color Harmonies help in predicting or specifying the color combinations that would work well together or appear harmonious. Color wheel helps as a tool for defining these basic relationships. 

Colour harmonies are classified into 2 major groups; Related colours and Unrelated colours. Related colour harmonies are made up of colours lying beside each other on the colour wheel, hence they are related because they contain the same primary colours in them or are all warm/cool colours. Unrelated colour harmonies are made up of colours lying almost on opposite sides of the colour wheel and have different primary colours in them or are warm and cool colours combined together.

Quantities and proportion of colours in a colour harmony are open to interpretation by the designer. There is no rule as to how much of each colour of the selected harmony should be used. Neither is there is any specification as to the amount of neutrals that can be used in a selected colour harmony.



Achromatic Complimentary

Monochromatic Triad

Analogous Split Complimentary

Near Complimentary

Double Complimentary



Achromatic Colour Harmony

Achromatic means absence of colour. This harmony is made by only/combining White, Black and all the Greys in between. Metallic Gold or Silver may be used along with Black and White. This harmony is generally used in creating formal or mystic look depending on how the colour is used.


Monochromatic Colour Harmony

Monochromatic Harmony uses one colour and its tints, tones and/or shades. If required, neutrals maybe added. eg, Pink, Red and Dark Red. The hue should remain same while making tints, tones and/or shades. Use of this harmony may lead to creating monotonous or somber mood. Sometimes it may be grim and serious.


Analogous Colour Harmony

Analogous Harmony uses 3 colors appearing next to each other on the color wheel. They may be pure hue or tints/tones/shades of the hue selected. Eg., Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green. Any of the Neutral colours may also be used along with chosen colours. This harmony creates an interesting visual but is not vibrant or vivacious. 


Triad Colour Harmony

A Triad harmony uses three colours placed equidistant to each other on the color wheel. Eg..Yellow, Red, Blue or Orange, Violet, Green. They may be pure hue or tints/tones/shades of the hue selected. Any of the Neutral colours may also be used along with chosen colours. Triad colours in their lower intensities create space, medium intensities don’t make any difference to space, in their brighter intensities make the space small. Triad colour harmonies usually give the most pleasure.



Complimentary Colour Harmony

Complimentary Harmony results from using colours exactly opposite to each other on the color wheel. Eg..Blue, Orange and Red and Green. They may be pure hue or tints/tones/shades of the hue selected. Any of the Neutral colours may also be used along with chosen colours. Complimentary harmonies along with brightness have a very strong contrast and striking look. The contrast can make or break the combination. The values and intensities of the hues used need tobe used with care.


Split Complimentary Colour Harmony

Split Complimentary Colour Harmony occurs when any one primary and the tertiary colours on either side of its complimentary colour is used. Eg..Red with (compliment is Green) Yellow Green and Blue Green. They may be pure hue or tints/tones/shades of the hue selected. Any of the Neutral colours may also be used along with chosen colours. This harmony creates a bright but subdued visual appearance. 


Near Complimentary Colour Harmony

A Near complimentary colour harmony is half of a split complimentary colour harmony, that is only one split complimentary with the compliments opposite colour is used. Eg..Red with (compliment is Green) Yellow Green OR Blue Green. They may be pure hue or tints/tones/shades of the hue selected. Any of the Neutral colours may also be used along with chosen colours. This harmony creates a very bright visual.


Double Complimentary Colour Harmony

Combining 2 complimentary colour harmonies lying next to each other on the colour wheel, results in Double complimentary colour harmony. Eg..Red with its  compliment Green + RedOrange with its compliment BlueGreen. They may be pure hue or tints/tones/shades of the hue selected. Any of the Neutral colours may also be used along with chosen colours. Achieving balance in this harmony is extremely difficult as the complementary colours tend to create more confusion than stability. But when balance is achieved this can be a very exuberant or peaceful with a little of interest added.


Tetradic Colour Harmony

Tetradic colour harmony is achieved by combining 4 colours equidistant to each other on the colour wheel. Eg..Red-Orange, Violet, Blue Green and Yellow. They may be pure hue or tints/tones/shades of the hue selected. Any of the Neutral colours may also be used along with chosen colour. The harmony has extremely contrasting colours. The Values and Intensities of all colours selected have to be handled with care as this colour harmony can be vibrant and vivacious or cluttered and confused.



When we see colours, they evoke certain feelings in us. These feelings may be natural or cultural or we associate feelings to colour due to our experiences. Different regions, religions, sub-sects, tribes, countries associated the same colour with different things. Example black… some Christians wear it while in mourning, it is considered by some Hindus as inauspicious but in the modern(global/corporate) context it is considered a formal colour or colour of power. As a fashion professional it helps to know a few common natural and cultural feelings colours evoke in us. While choosing colour, it is always best to understand the wearer’s preference, beliefs, cultural background or the context in which the colour will be used to avoid embarrassment to the wearer.




- Indicates purity, honesty, virginity, innocence, peace.

- Appears elegant, pristine, aristocratic, refined.

- Colour of winter or summer.

- Is essential colour and a wardrobe foundation.

- When combined with pastels creates soft and romantic visual appears.

- Creates mood of day dreaming.

- Easy to use as base colour and also to accenting other colours.

- With neutrals, creates or maintains composure and elegance.

- With warm hues, sporty and casual look.

- In monochromes of white, powerful and sophisticated look.

- With black, timeless classic, high contrast vibrant or sober.

- In summer worn anywhere, in any clothing.

- Transcends all cultures, seasons, occasions

- Has its own palette – looks different in linen, wool, lace, cotton, woven, knitted.



- Considered Monarch of the fashion world. Always in fashion, a classic colour.

- Colour of Force.

- Colour of night, death, evil, mystery, corruption.

- Traditionally not preferred due to its negative emotions.

- Creates a definite silhouette and form, does justice to ethnic costume.

- Gives strong, festive effect when used with bold and vivid colours.

- Black absorbs other colours. Most hues look richer against black. Hence men wear it to a party to bring out the colours of ladies dresses.

- Black is versatile.

- Based on how it is used and designed, gives the wearer different personalities such as warm, cold, modern, dramatic or subdued.

- Core of a wardrobe, a standard in evening dresses.

- Has its own palette – looks different in laces, silk, chiffon, velvet, brocade, beaded, embroidered, pleated, crinkled or embellished.

- Looks different in artificial light when compared with daylight.




- Dignified and confident. Evokes sense of permanence.

- Foundation for wardrobe.

- Adds sophistication, subtle and elegant.

- Is charming, refined or lively with warm colours like red, magenta.

- Is bright and sophisticated or modern with cool colours like blue.

- Associated with professional (formal of factory) wear implying seriousness and hard work.

- No decided effect, depending upon tone or shade looks different.

- Pearl Grey – innocent, subtle and refined look.

- Steel Grey – strong, dominant, steely look.

- Look changes with fabric type and texture of fabric.

- Grey is melancholic hence used with bright colours to balance. 

- Silver, Indigo, Brown, Steel and Dove are some versions of Grey.



NEUTRALS (browns, off-whites)

- Quite, reassuring, timeless, elegant and soft.

- Warm, peaceful, comfortable – unbleached cotton, pale linen, rough textured in their natural state.

- Suitable for summer, classic look.

- Has the power to blend with bright, vivid colours.

- Versatile and changes mood of dress.

- 2 neutrals of same underlying colour are harmonious and tranquil in mood.

- Rich and artistic mood when combined with warm rich hues.

- Earth colours are rich, warm and full of vitality.

- Excellent choice for casual and business wear.

- Looks good in textured fabrics.

- Can be combined with shades of single hue.

- Harmonious, darkens in evening light.

- Sometimes sad ad wistful.

- Exudes strength, courage, steady and firm.




- Vigorous, Romantic, Fiery, Dangerous

- Warmest colour, hottest colour.

- Image of confidence, commands attention.

- Symbolises life, passion, elation and energy.

- Invokes strong images, has an advancing effect.

- Seductive, passionate, powerful.

- In chinese culture, combined with black(passive force) + red(active force)

- Even a hint of red in sombre outfits makes a dramatic effect and totally changes the impact.

- Has strength of its own, can combine well with other colours and harmonize as well as compliment.

- Can never be ignored, whatever the quantity used.

- Sends message of vitality, awareness.

- Always attracts attention, with other colours is youthful and energetic. 

- Goes well in contrasts of blue and green.

- Freedom, boldness, beauty.

- In monochromes, can be energetic, cool, vivid, subdued, spicy, contemporary.

- Versatile – daywear or evening wear.

- Changes effect with season, climate, fabric type and weight.

- Deep red is less aggressive and exotic.

- Warm in artificial light, cool in daylight.

- In India, auspicious and symbol of being married



- Powerful, versatile, friendly.

- Misunderstood as not a wearable colour.

- Energetic, Glowing, indicates safety.

- Palest is peach – flattering to shades of earth 

- Can be in versions of electrified to subdued.

- Can invoke varied images

- Different hues of orange project different images, hence to be chosen carefully.

- With brown or yellow – evoke sophistication and reliability.

- With contrasts of green evoke young, trendy, fresh look.

- In combination with other colours, conveys friendliness, adds energy, adds movement.

- Projects good in food, friendliness in interiors.

- Energetic and glowing – standard colour for international safety.

- Brown and dull colours subdue orange, harmonise and balance orange creating sophistication and elegant image.

- Increased energy, brilliance with bright complimentary hues.

- In its own monochromes, compliments and creates images such as bright, rich, quite, elegant, warm, classic, pale.

- In daylight, tones, tints works best by flattering skin tone. Saturate or pure orange is also good in daylight.

- In deeper shades of rust and brown, is conservative and business like, warm or rustic look.

- Elegant in evening – taffeta or velvet fabrics

- Deeper shades for dark skin tones.

- Looks different on linen, silk, velvet, wool and cotton.

- Fabric texture affects look, tone intensifies as fabric turn heavier.




- Can be Radiant, bright, Energetic, strong, zesty.

- Lively, happy, sunshine, friendly, optimistic, breezy, spring, relentlessly cheerful.

- Bold and electric, stands out, highly visible.

- More suitable to Indian skin tones than pink.

- Associated with Sun, sacred colour with primitive appeal.

- Combined with white, off-white – good for day wear.

- Eternal summer.

- Refreshing and sporty when contrasted with lilac, blue or lavender.

- Transparency in colour gives modern, bright look.

- In organdie and silk fabric looks sophisticated and mysterious.

- Dramatic and bold when contrasted with pink or black.

- Bright Yellows mix with any cool colour. Deep Yellows mix well with any warm colours. Yellows mix best with neutrals.

- For day wear pales shades of yellow, for evening wear exotic shades of yellow.

- Royal yellow shades look best in silk, velvet and taffeta.




- Vitality, fertility, jealousy, poison.

- Tranquil, pastoral, soothing, peaceful, calm.

- Fresh to sophisticated palette.

- Eternal, life, permanence, growth, wealth.

- Bright shades evoke excitement and activity.

- Not considered a fashionable colour until recently.

- Shares a lot of shades with blue.

- Deep Green + Navy Blue = perfect harmony as one results from the other.

- Monochromatic is dull, needs to be paired with contrast for excitement.

- Bold and dramatic when contrasted with Red.

- Sporty when contrasted with Yellow.

- Highlights the warm colours when contrasted with it especially red.

- With cold Blue forms a strong and attractive colour combination.

- Evokes coolness in hot and humid weather (should be pale, light green).

- Opal and Jade colours for all seasons.

- Green colour schemes are functional and elegant. Especially in various climates while tranquil.

- Green velvet gowns are a classic.




- Calm, powerful, quiet, restful, reserved.

- Light Blue – young and sporty, Dark Blue – wealth and powerful.

- Reliable and strong, easiest to wear.

- Has mystery, clear, cool and defined effect.

- Message of authority.

- Holy colour in some cultures 

- Stands for spring and victory

- Workers clothes – lower end or hard physical labour.

- Different hues evoke different feelings or messages.

- Pale Blue= innocence, Navy Blue = exciting

- Monochrome, vivid blue = strength, over powering

- When combined with red and gold, sombre but firm and strong.

- When contrasted with neutrals, modern, urban and business like.

- With white = strikingly dissimilar

- Royal blue + black = rigid, hard but sophisticated.

- Pale blue + any pastel + any 3rd colour = interesting.

- True hues of blue = sophistication.

- Blue + Green creates harmony in hues of different intensities.

- Harmonizes easily with any colour.

- Tone and fabric texture should be chosen carefully.

- Evenings wear – dramatic, rich in silk, crepe, taffeta, velvet.

- Is a classic colour, never out of fashion and staple of all war-drobes.



- Considered an artificial colour for long as it is not easily found in nature.

- Vibrant and Sensual.

- Considered a neutral colour by some.

- Associated with royalty, wealth due to rarity of availability of colour.

- Evokes dignity, drama, sophistication

- Sometimes cool or unpredictable, hard to use.

- Looks good on blondes, red heads.

- Not supposed to look good on pale and dark skinned people.

- Evokes magic and surprise.

- Amethyst and Lilac were fashionable for some time.

- Pale violet = dreamy, red violet = sophisticated.

- Whimsical, clownish or peppy with YellowGreen or Orange.

- Compliments Yellow, difficult to achieve balance.

- Combines well with secondary colours.

- Red+Violet = vibrant, sensual, daring.

- Pale violet floral print popular with older women.

- Lavender+Blue was popular for some time.

- Violet in satin fabric with simple silhouette creates a regal look.




- Romantic colour, popular in summer wear.

- Sweet and Though. Associated with youth and innocence.

- When worn as only pink monochrome, sometimes overpowering.

- Chameleon colour, as it also reflects the colour it is combined with.

- Tropical and fresh look when combined with emerald green.

- Dramatic when monochromed with red or basic red. Varies from baby pink to very bright pink to saturated pink.

- Looks good with pure hues.

- Bold and electric with orange. Mint and pale pink for light complexion or grey hair.

- Pale pink combines well with pale and soft colours.

- Beige + pink = natural and gentle combination.

- Strong daylight = saturated or accentuated pink.

- Contrasts and sharpens well with white and pastels.

- Dramatic when shiny or in shades of magenta.

- Arouses interest, excitement in soft versions.

- Evokes quietness in very pale versions.