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A guide to bright colors: How to mix and match

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Make the perfect match

This summer is all about mixing and matching bright colors that you never imagined would go together. Although it may look like anything goes, there are actually a few guidelines you should stick to when you’re breaking all the rules.

woman with bright accentsColor blocking

Color blocking is a big trend this summer, and though it looks simple, it can actually be tricky to do right. Color blocking involves using colors in blocks, or large chunky pieces, instead of tiny prints and little pieces. The easiest way to do it is to pick solid separates, all in different bright colors. You can also color block by choosing a solid-colored dress and then selecting accessories all of another color. Your accessories are a great way to get started with color blocking, since there's no big investment such as with an entire outfit. A chunky bracelet in a bright color with a matching bag or shoes can take a boring outfit to a whole new level.

Check out Celebrity-inspired color-blocking trends >>

If you're nervous about picking out your own color-blocked outfit, start with a blouse or dress that's already color blocked, and pick one or two colors from that pattern for your accessories.

Find Cute color-block dresses for under $100 >>

You can also look to fabrics and pattern for inspiration. Find a blouse or a scarf with a color scheme that you love, and then design an outfit based on those colors. You don't even have to use the original piece in the outfit, just use it for your color inspiration.

Keep it in the family

When you're mixing several colors, try to keep most of the colors within the same family — then add one contrasting item just to throw people off. Think shades of green with a pop of purple or several blues with a yellow punch.

Getting neighborly

When you're choosing your colors, there's a fine line between a fun mismatch and a downright clash. The easiest way to stay safe from clash crimes is to stick with colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Blue and green, pink and purple, and yellow and orange are combos that can almost never lead you wrong.

Find out How to match accessories to your outfit >>

More summer style tips from SheKnows

5 Heels perfect for a girls' night out
Bright, bold dresses for date night
Summer style made easy: 5 Sunny outfits

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