30 July 2010 – Complements

July 30th, 2010 § 32 comments

30 July 2010 – Complements, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Top: thrifted
  • Cardi: Target
  • Shorts: Ann Taylor
  • Ring: c/o Lala B Jewelry
  • Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell, via Rue La La

End Notes:

In the last few days I went to New York, sans camera, for a whirlwind two and a half day dissertation research trip. I overlapped with A. for half a day, came home, and am now about to embark on a road trip to somewhere-in-Oklahoma for a family reunion with my in-laws. I will say, though, that take-offs and landings (and the very long lead up to both wherein you are not allowed to have tray tables down or lap tops out) is prime outfit-planning time.

I really struggled with putting together a complementary color scheme though, which is a little unexpected since I have worn them before, even when it’s not part of a challenge week. For some reason, though, I was really having a hard time. I think part of the problem was that I initially wanted to stay away from saturated complementary colors and instead play with complements in softer hues: lavender and yellow or peach and blue or something like that.

But you know what? Let’s be honest, I’m a saturated color kind of girl, and I know that I can wear mustard and royal purple well separately…so why not together? I’ll tell you why. Purple and gold are pretty quintessential school colors. Eep. No one wants to walk around looking like a college mascot. Still, I think the ruffles on the purple top and the play of proportion with a longer top and cropped cardigan, keep things from looking too school spirit-y.

La La B Ring, originally uploaded by academichic.

Jeffrey Campbell Sandals, originally uploaded by academichic.

Plus, school mascots don’t wear chunky rings and cutout wedge sandals, right?

Is there a color combination you now avoid because it brings back memories of school colors? Or rival school colors, I suppose.

30 July 2010 – Complements, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 32 Responses to 30 July 2010 – Complements"

  1. Jennifer says:

    The color combo I avoid is actually this one because it was my high school’s colors. However, it makes me said because I love these two colors together. I think a couple more year’s separation will allow me to wear them together again.

  2. Bri says:

    Just a warning- it is BLASTED HOT here in OK right now. We’re expecting a week of 99 degree days with high humidity and it doesn’t get a whole lot cooler at night. Pack accordingly! :0

  3. Sarah says:

    This is exactly why I have a hard time wearing and kind of blue and gold together — if it’s not on a school-spirit t-shirt (Go Bears!), that is! I am really happy to see you mention this explicitly, because it was the first thing that came to mind when I read the previous post about two-thirds color combining: “Well, blue-and-yellow is out…”

  4. Shan says:

    Hee, those are my high school colors too. Go Fighting Fishermen! (Fear not — you don’t look anything like that grouchy, raincoated fellow.)


  5. Natasha says:

    Lovely! I am seriously beginning to think mustard yellow is the new neutral. It looks so good with everything.

    I love your header too.

  6. Sally says:

    I think you’re safely OUT of mascot territory with this chic ensemble!

  7. Katja says:

    It’s not just schools, it’s sports teams. I find myself putting together complementary blue and orange outfits and then not wearing them because I don’t want to be mistaken for a Denver Broncos fan.

  8. Sarah says:

    You are wearing two of those colors, which look cute on you, but just make me think of LSU. Everyone else around Louisiana thinks the same thing and since I am not a fan, I avoid the two together. That and green with purple because that just reminds me of Mardi Gras.

  9. elbee says:

    When I used to have orange in my closet, I could never wear orange and blue because those were my high school colors. Blue and gold are my middle school colors, but I like them together so much that I would wear them together anyway. Your outfit is inspiring to me and I might dig through my closet to try something similar. :)

    Oh, and I would totally wear purple and gold together because I’ve been a huge Lakers fan since birth…but I don’t think that would go over very well where I live right now :P

  10. Beth Ellen says:

    I always avoid purple and gold. It was my college colors, and I had the least amount of school spirit while I was there. Purple is actually my favorite color, but since my sister went there (we went to the same college, but she’s 6 years older) I have always hated this combo. Maybe someday I will wear it, but it just brings back memories of being one awkward kid.

  11. spacegeek says:

    Must be because you are in an academic setting… I didn’t even realize those were some school colors, and all I thought upon seeing you was “Cute!”

    Although now that you mention it, I kind of avoid Blue and Gold/yellow because those were *my* grad school colors (and I still live relatively near by the college town). So perhaps there is something subliminal about one’s college colors… interesting!

  12. maureen says:

    Very chic, nice, interesting proportions with the cardi short, and the tee long, the shorts and wedges = it all works beautifully together. Hope you had fun in NY!

  13. Nicola says:

    It took me years after leaving school to wear brown again. I am from the UK so uniform was compulsory at school. Both my primary school and high school had brown and yellow colour schemes. I am 29 now and have only embraced brown again in the last two or three years!

  14. Sara says:

    I avoid blue and gold/yellow as those are my grad school colors and it just never felt right to be into school spirit for my grad school when at heart I was still so attached to my undergrad school. It felt like cheating on my undergrad alma mater!

  15. Sarah O says:

    I try to avoid my high school colors- kelly green and white.

    Enjoy your trip to Oklahoma and enjoy the Native American history and cowboys! :P

  16. Robin says:

    Love this outfit! Yea, I don’t think I’d ever be able to wear orange and green for that exact reason (and feeling like I’m a pumpkin). That reason would also keep me from wearing red with gray or white, but I imagine I can only avoid those color combos for so long.

  17. dorothy says:

    make that purple a little bluer and you’re wearing my college’s colors!

  18. Fia says:

    I’m definitely a saturated color kind of girl, too! Amp that saturation way up. :)

    I love these sandals. The cut-outs are really beautiful.

  19. MONKEYFACE says:

    The first thing I thought when I saw your outfit was that you looked REGAL. I was surprised to see your concern about the school colors b/c I thought for sure you were going to talk about royally conquering the color challenge!

  20. Jacinta says:

    My primary school colours were black and red. I never wear that combo but then i dont wear black!

  21. Rebekah says:

    This isn’t a school issue, but red and yellow together ALWAYS make me think of McDonalds. Alternatively, I envision ketchup and mustard smeared together AT McDonalds.

    Too bad, really.

  22. Cee says:

    My high school’s colours were maroon and white, my undergrad’s were maroon and gold. Needless to say, I possessed lots of maroon by the time I was 22, that I’ve subsequently trimmed from my closet.

  23. tastymoog says:

    I wore my mustard cord pencil skirt with royal purple tights once, and this kid asked me if I was going to a Lakers game. As an eastcoaster and lifelong Celtics fan, I was not amused. :P

    When I lived in VA, I had to pretty much give up orange and navy and orange and burgundy as those were rival university colors (and I went to neither school), and living in a university town, people take these thing seriously. I had an orange coat that I didn’t wear for 3 years!

  24. may I just take a moment to note that AC is a breath of fresh air, both because of its wearable daily style inspirations and the care with which it uses standard English? It’s sad that I’m excited about the correct spelling and usage of ‘complement’ on a style blog, but I am. Really, I am.

  25. Lyddiegal says:

    Love this look, the color combination and the sandals are simply fabulous!

  26. meg says:

    While not primarily a school color combination, red, white, and blue are three colors I hesitate to wear together for fear of looking like an American flag. Many of the comments above have highlighted the different meanings that certain color combinations have in different regions of the country (or world). I find the way that colors permeate and influence a region’s culture to be really fascinating!

  27. admin says:

    Clearly, color and color combinations seem to have an extraordinary power to dredge up memories and cultural connotations and elicit an almost visceral response from folks! I think it’s so fascinating, and I’m so tickled to hear from so many!

    - e

  28. [...] was made obvious in the outpouring of responses regarding colors or color combinations that have associations with colleges …, colors have meanings that shift according to varying cultural contexts, so I’m acutely aware [...]

  29. Emily says:

    I love these colors together! And I’m particularly pleased to see the cardigan, since I have the same one (only in blue) and have been struggling to create a flattering silhouette with it. Maybe I’ll try a longer top like you have here.

  30. [...] when the colors are too bright or the colorblocking is too severe. But, as with my earlier foray into saturated complementary colors, I decided that color module weeks deserve a bold [...]

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