Color Shades & Types of Color Schemes

Analogous colors (ADJ.) [uhnaluh-guh s kuhl-erz] Also known as dominance color harmony, a color scheme that comprises of colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel is called analogous color scheme. In this color scheme palette, one color is always dominant and brighter than the others. Analogous color schemes are a more vibrant and not-so-subtle variation of the monochromatic scheme. For example, blue with turquoise, the sea palette.

Bright colors (N.) [brahyt kuhl-erz] Colors that are vivid bold, pigmented or pure are called bright colors. Also see dull colors.

Berry shades (N.) [ber-ee sheydz] Shades of pink, red or purple that resemble any berry are called berry shades, such as strawberry red, cranberry pink, red current, blackberry, purple, etc.

Color blocking (N.) [kuhl-er blok-ing] Color blocking is a design technique in which blocks of colors are mixed in a single outfit. This may be done by pairing different colored pieces, or the pieces may have large patches of bold colors. Color blocking is also used to look slimmer.

Read: Do’s and Don’ts on How to Look Slimmer


Complementary colors (N.) [kom-pluhmen-tree kuhl-erz] A color scheme that is created by combining two colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel is called a complementary color scheme. Complementary color schemes have a powerful visual contrast and are quite bold, such as red and blue, which the American flag uses. Also see contrasting colors.

Contrasting colors (N.) [kon-trast-ing kuhl-erz] A color scheme where the two main colors don’t match, are from different color families, or are somewhat far apart from each other in the color wheel is called a contrasting color scheme. Also see complementary colors.

Dull colors (N.) [duhl kuhl-erz] Dull colors have shades of grey mixed to any color, and are the opposites of bright colors by definition. Also see bright colors.

Holographic (ADJ.) [holuh-graf-ik] A color scheme inspired by holographic paper or CDs, including colors like silver, pastel green, light pink, powder blue and cream is called holographic. Also read about holographic clothing, holographic makeup trend.

Monochromatic (ADJ.) [mon-uh-kroh-mat-ik] A color scheme made up of analogous shades, or colors within the same color family is called a monochromatic color scheme, and these shades are called monochromatic. For example, grey with white, violet with eggplant, blackberry amethyst and royal purple. Also see analogous colorsmatching colors.

Matching colors (N.) [mach-ing kuhl-erz] Shades of color that are too close to each other on the color wheel that it’s difficult to tell them apart are called matching colors. Also see monochromatic.

Nudes (N.) [nyoodz] Color shades that match skin tones are called nudes. They may vary just like natural skin colors like beige, cream, mocha, ecru or biscuit, etc. Also see neutrals.

Neutrals (N.) [nyoo-truh lz] Color shades other than primary, secondary or brights are called neutrals. They include shades of white, black, grey, brown and nudes. Also see nudes.

Neons (N.) [nee-onz] Named after neon lights, the brightest shades of any color are called neons, for example neon green, shocking pink, neon red, sunflower and neon orange. Also see bright colors.

Pastels (N.) [pa-stelz] Light, pale shades of any color are called pastels, such as baby blue, petal pink, lilac, mint green, celeste, lavender. Also read about celeste fashion trend.

Split complementary (ADJ.) [split kom-pluh-men-tuh-ree] A variation of the complementary schemes, a split complementary color scheme uses a base color with two colors on either side of its opposite color on the color wheel. It’s not as bold as complementary, but still impactful. For example, Taco Bell’s logo, which consists of blue, purple and yellow. Also compound color schemes. Also see complementary colors.

Triadic colors (N.) [trahy-adic kuhl-erz] Three colors that are spaced apart equally on the color wheel form a triad color scheme, and these colors are called triadic colors. For example Superman’s colors – red, blue and yellow.

Technicolor (N.) [tek-ni-kuhl-er] A color scheme inspired by technicolor films, techicolor color schemes involves vivid shades of basic and secondary colors like leaf green, hot pink, lemon yellow or hot pink. Read about technicolor trend of Spring 2018.

Tetrad colors (N.) [te-trad kuhl-er] A tetrad color scheme can be of two types – rectangle and square. Rectangle color scheme is created by using two pairs of complementary colors, so, four colors in total. And a square color scheme is when four colors that are equally spaced apart on the wheel are used. For example, the Microsoft logo.

Wintry shades (N.) [win-tree sheydz] Dark colors, greyer versions of primary and secondary colors make up wintry shades, as they are popularly seen in fashion designers’ winter collections. Examples include wine, burgundy, chocolate, violet, charcoal, deep olive, aged mustard, and midnight blue.

Also in SlubWords fashion glossary:

Types of Dresses

Types of Sleeves

Types of Tops

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The Dress to Express Issue Fashion as a Form of Self-Expression May 2023 Issue | Photo: Filonenko Kseniya (@filonenko_photographer); Makeup: Regina Kulik (@regina__makeup); Hair: Tatsiana Kulik (@tatsiana_kulik); Stylist: Liza Logvina (@lizalogvina); Backstage: … Read more