Feeling a little artistic or creative? Try thinking of dressing as a way to create a composition, like taking a terrific photo or painting a great picture. It’s a means of expression that’s accessible to everyone, even if you don’t know one end of a paintbrush from another.

Color ShadesTake a moment to check out the color wheel. It was developed by Sir Isaac Newton (yes, THAT Sir Isaac Newton, cool huh?) in 1666 as a result of his experiments to discover the color spectrum of light and it’s the basis for all color theory. This one has 12 shades on it, which means there are 66 possible combinations just by combining two colors. (We’ll leave figuring out the possibilities of combining 3 or more colors as an exercise for the student, Grasshopper.)

In theory, all colors are connected and can be coordinated. In practice, there are a few tried-and-true methods of doing so. The two basic principles are: Matching and Contrasting.

Contrasting comes from complementary colors:

These are the ones that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. It’s why you can pair dark green with burgundy and have it look cool – and although bright green and red are just a little too Christmassy to wear on the reg, it’s why that pairing is so huge it has its own holiday.