Color Theory: Summer Edition

When I went back to school for fashion, the one course I really wanted to take was Color Theory. Because, while I can choose silhouettes for clients and kind of just know what colors look good on them, I was interested to learn the reasons WHY. Unfortunately, the program track I chose didn’t offer that course and my electives were already completed. So I did the next best thing: I read Pantone’s Color: Messages and Meanings book. I still would like to take a course on Color Theory someday but for now I’ll share a little of what I learned.

In fashion, designers often will punt to the colorways from the changing seasons: soft muted pastels for spring taking a cue from budding flowers, bronze and deep orange for summer from gorgeous summer sunsets, jewel tones and leaf-colors in fall and grays, black for winter plus some metallics and rich holiday reds, greens and blues. I typically follow this formula as well, along with my beloved neutrals carrying over for EVERY season!.

So I've shared one of my favorite summer color pairings, along with some other great warm weather palettes and outfit ideas. Let me know which one is your favorite!

color theory: summer edition

Gap flutter sleeve peplum top - also in white & black AND 40% off right now! | Old Navy linen pants | Sam Edelman leopard sandals | Magnolia Market leather drop earrings | fedora (old) similar and similar - Peter Grimm/Kohls collaboration

Other colors that work well for summer are ocean blues and greens paired with white denim, bright yellow with tan sandals or black pants for the office and of course,  the classic black and white color combo - in just about any pattern (stripes, polkadots, etc.) or solid together. 

green and blue swatch
summer blues
summer green, white and stripes
striped skirt blue and green summer
yellow dress tan sandals
classic black and white summer outfit
black and white work outfit

All images via Pinterest. Follow me for more styling inspiration!

Concrete Jungle

Jen Grano by Ariana Clare Photography_16 Jen Grano by Ariana Clare Photography_17

Jen Grano by Ariana Clare Photography_26

Jen Grano by Ariana Clare Photography_19

Jen Grano by Ariana Clare Photography_22



This background is everything. Anyone remember that show called Lipstick Jungle? Based on a Candice Bushnell novel, it had it all - an all-star cast, fabulous clothes, great story line, set in NYC with fabulous shots of scenery...ah, how sad I was when it was cancelled after only a season or two. Anyhoo...this background immediately made me think "concrete jungle." I love how almost anything looks soft and feminine against the rough edges and neutral color. And while there are plenty of lush green spaces and parks in Charlotte, some of these rough walls make for a great backdrop.

This skirt is something a little outside of my normal comfort zone, being a little longer and bright yellow. But I love the way it came together with a pineapple tee and silver heels...I can't wait to pair it with a tank and sandals later in the summer. What would you pair with it?

Photographs by Ari Clare

Eyelet LOFT skirt | Pineapple tee (old) similar or similar| Jcrew heels (no longer availablesimilar or similar | Forever 21 handbag similar and similar | Stella & Dot bracelet and necklace | Kate Spade ring via Nordstrom Rack