26 July 2010 – 0.666667

July 26th, 2010 § 10 comments

26 July 2010 – 0.666667, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Cami – Target
  • Ruffled tank – JCrew
  • Belt: Old Navy
  • Skirt: refashioned from a Gap Outlet clearance dress
  • Wedges: Naturalizers, via DSW

End Notes:

We’re taking a little refresher course on the color wheel as summer winds down, and I’m starting by revisiting the realm of the so-called “two-thirds” color combination.

Did we ever admit to you that we totally made up the term “two-thirds color combination”? It’s not something gleaned from years of art historical study. Instead, it’s a theoretical structure for an observable phenomena, namely, the fact that A., S., and I all gravitated towards color combinations that we had no other means of explaining. I’ve long been a fan of blue and yellow together, for example, and S. has embraced orange and purple for years. We realized that these pairings could be understood as part of a larger color scheme, two-thirds of a “triad.” Think of the three primary colors — red, yellow, and blue — and then pick two of them. Voila. Two-thirds combo. Or think of the three secondary colors — orange, green, and purple — and pick two of those. Again, two-thirds combination.

I think the most valuable point of the two-thirds idea is that your gut color instincts can have quite a lot to say. (But what makes me a nerd is that I have an insatiable desire to contextualize that instinct within some bigger theoretical framework. Give me structure!)

26 July 2010 – 0.666667, originally uploaded by academichic.

More interestingly, I’m foregoing my two favorite two-thirds combinations (blue & yellow and purple & orange) in favor of trying out a less-used alternative: blue and red. There is something so fresh about pale blue with bright red. I think this skirt and shoe combination would have worked well with a white top for an utterly romantic feel, but I do like how the dark gray pushes the look more towards cool quirky chic.

In my self-indulgent daydreaming as I pieced this outfit together, I thought of Zooey Deschanel in one of those cotton commercials. And then I realized that I wasn’t actually thinking about Zooey Deschanel at all, I was thinking of Kendi of Kendi Everyday, who herself recently had a “fabric of our lives” moment and whom I have subconsciously elevated to cute brunette style icon of my mind. Hence, the spinning:

Twirly Times, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 10 Responses to 26 July 2010 – 0.666667"

  1. Sara says:

    I’ve got a bright blue cardigan on with BRIGHT red nails right now and I’m LOVING the combo! :)

  2. EmilyKennedy says:

    He he he! I too love baby blue or aqua blue with bright red. It’s a great mix. It evokes the ’50′s a bit for me.

    Also, I think it’s so adorable that you were daydreaming of Zooey and came up with Kendi. Of course!

  3. Sam says:

    Slightly unrelated, but you mention art history and brunettes, so I’m naturally turning to the topic of the hair styles of art historians. I just graduated from an undergrad art history program and am starting a masters program this fall, currently working as a curatorial intern for the summer

    My peers and I in our undergrad art history program noticed that all of our art history professors tended to have above-shoulder hair styles. This has held true for my museum internships, and I notice it here with A, E and now L! (all in art history departments, right?). Is this a universal thing, or am I drawing connections where there is none to be drawn? ;)

  4. Vanessa says:

    That last picture is so cute! I love the color combo, especially the blue and brown. Blue and brown is one of my favorites.

  5. Lauren says:

    I love this outfit! Perfect mix of colors – aqua blue/turquoise/etc is my favorite color – I have it everywhere – in my wardrobe, my home, jewelry, etc, etc.

  6. Sarah says:

    Okay, that is really interesting to know that the “two-thirds of a triad” formula is “made up.” It has occurred to me when you all have talked about the color wheel before that, for example, you can combine red with yellow or blue for two-thirds of a triad; you can combine red with orange or purple for an analogous pairing; or you can combine red with green for a complementary pairing. That about covers it! Am I understanding the theory correctly?

    Anyway, I don’t mean to suggest that you’re saying anything goes–because figuring out what works is in the details, as you have shown over and over again. But it’s really interesting to me how these formulas can be helpful by bringing structure to one’s creativity, even if any color can in theory be paired with (some shade of) any other.

  7. Liz Rosas says:

    I love this mix! I’ll need to try this out sometime! Also a question. Since all of you are the queens of belts, any advice on good stores? I’m looking for a few skinny belts as well as some like what you are wearing now. Not really wide but substantial! I’ll have to check out old navy for yours :)
    Maybe this could be the next “scarf month”!

  8. Rachel says:

    What’s fascinating about the “two-thirds rule” is this: on a red-green-blue color wheel, some of those striking color combinations are actually opposites.

    Red and aqua blue? Opposites. That old standby, blue and yellow? Also opposites.


  9. Sally says:

    Hah! I always wondered where those terms came from!

    The pale blue and red are fab together. And I agree that the gray is an unexpected choice, in the best way.

  10. Chaucee says:

    Love love this outfit! Great job!

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