Red, white, and blue are a classic colour combination. Red and blue are primaries, and when used together are associated with the most iconic of superheroes, and therefore stand for truth, justice, and whatever way is currently held in good standing. Together with white these colours evoke purity and goodness. Nothing nefarious could be stirring in the mind of someone wearing such a wholesome combination, right?
Blue is calming, like an ocean breeze. Grey is moody, like a lingering mist. Black is somber, like an emo kid from the 90s. Together they are crisp, cool, and collected, and just like that emo kid, they hope to get noticed while simultaneously conveying a don’t-give-a-shit attitude.
Brown is probably the least popular neutral, as it is literally muddy, and derived from mixing complimentary colours. Blue, on the other hand, is the most ubiquitous colour, being so safe an option it is sometimes seen as a neutral itself, such as with denim. Brown is a good option for people such as myself, who are so pale that they can appear unintentionally goth in black, or washed-out in white. Brown is earthy and warm, and makes a nice contrast to cool and collected blue. Together they are smart, matter-of-fact, and no-nonsense. A good option for work wear on a crisp autumn day.
Black is strong, moody, severe, and intense. Blue is calm, intelligent, and serene but when paired with black it too can be fierce. A pastel blue may be playful but royal blue is passionate and bold. Such a bright jewel tone does not contrast with black, it plays with it cooperatively, evoking power and a take-charge attitude. This is the right look for a business function in the evening wherein you want to be instantly respected and taken seriously.
Pink is sweet, and so is blue. Blue isn’t typically thought of in cloying terms the way pink often is, but when paired with pink its inner sentimentality is revealed. Blue is calm, clever, controlled, and always kind, but never aggressive. You wouldn’t think of pink as being particularly assertive either, but it is, after all, just watered-down red. But even when veering towards fuschia, pink isn’t overly forceful when paired with blue. These are, of course, colours we associate with newborns. Together their giving, non-threatening natures bolster each other to reveal a candy-coated treat. Perfect for garden parties, but maybe avoid this pairing during business meetings.
It’s safe to say that blue and red are the two most important colours in the spectrum. Along with yellow, they make up the primary colours, but yellow is so bright and cheery that it rarely gets to take center stage with its peers. Blue and red on the other hand, are both basic, standard, ever-present, but never disrespected for this ubiquity. They are both well liked, and well used, though are complete opposites. Blue is cold, red is hot. Blue is calm, red is passionate. Blue is soothing, red is seering. When used together they somehow evoke the cheeriness of yellow without its childishness. Blue’s coolness tempers red’s fiery nature, and red’s brightness elevates blue’s sedate nature. Elegant, respectful, bold, admirable – paired up, it’s safe to say, they are power personified.
Blue is so calm and reassuring it can often be seen as a neutral. It is crisp and cool, no-nonsense, but also soothing and helpful. All of these terms could also apply to green, though it also carries an earthiness which makes it a tad warmer than blue. Green and blue can be tricky when paired since they are so close together on the spectrum. In fact, some languages don’t even differentiate between the two colours, and only have one term for both. Yet they are distinct, as green is a combination of blue and yellow and therefore contains yellow’s optimism and positivity, perfectly balanced with blue’s calm intelligence. A vibrant, emerald green will pair well with a baby blue, just as cobalt will work well with lime. Juxtaposed in this way, both blue and green are elevated, and become more bold than either would be on their own. Do not underestimate these cool tones, as their forces combined will heat up a room.
Blue is business casual. Always a safe bet, blue can be worn with anything, because it can be interpreted as a neutral in almost any shade except perhaps the most vibrant of jewel tones. Purple, on the other hand, is very particular. It is lush and opulent. Decisive and daring. Paring a bright purple with a toned-down blue allows the purple to shine, and take its place in the spotlight, just as it deserves. Of course, the opposite works as well. A pastel violet will work very nicely with a bold cobalt, lending a sweetness to something vivid, yet even in this context, the violet will be dominant, because purple is so very powerful, and blue so very accommodating.
Orange is the colour of autumn, and of the 1970s, so even though an autumnal palette simultaneously evokes warmth and the cozy crispness of fall, it can also cause traumatic flashbacks to shag carpeting, brutalist architecture, and questionable fashions.
Blue is similarly contradictory. It is well loved, and ubiquitous in both fashion and administrative work, but this popularity is exactly what makes it so basic, so safe, so essentially neutral.
It is these dichotomies that make the pairing of orange and blue so daring. Orange is one of the most controversial colours (only yellow is more difficult to pull off), and blue is the most agreeable. Together they allow for rather low-risk experimentation.
Blue is smart,
The taste of blue is blueberries,
juicy, tangy, sweet,
The sound of blue is ocean,
waves. Sea flowing,
The feel of blue is silk,
Blue is power
Wanted, liked, admired.