Home  |  Get Started  |  Download  |  Advertise  |  Donate  |  Contact Us
Book Download
Would you like to download the definitive guide to dress making?
DRESSSMAKING HANDBOOK Click Here to download the printable PDF version
Free Chapters
Dress Making Home

01. Fashion Clothes
02. Fashion Design
03. Color
04. Fool The Eye
05. Dress Designing
06. Sewing Techniques
07. Success
08. Dress Fabric
09. Garment

Designer Clothes
Bookmark and Share
Suggest an Article
Haven't found the article you are looking for? Please
suggest your article. We value all your suggestions and comments.
3. Dress For Success With Color!


As color has a tremendous emotional impact and effect on moods and appearance its importance in when you dress for success is without question; and because of its importance it is well to learn something about it now.


Color comes from light reflected, from the visible spectrum of radiant energy produced by electromagnetic waves. Light and color are com­posed of atoms traveling in waves at a speed of over 186,000 miles per second.

Various colors in the visible spectrum are of different wave lengths — red has the longest wave length and violet the shortest that the human eye can see. White is the combined reflected light of all the colors of the spectrum; and black is the absence of all reflected light and color.


The use of colors in lighting differs from pigment colors or paint — and it mixes quite differently. In lighting the primary colors are not red, blue, and yellow — but blue, green and yellow red.

Blue, green, and yellow red light combined produce white light.

Blue and green combined produces blue-green light; blue and yellow red produces violet; green and yellow red produces yellow.

Red filters absorb all colors except red, which passes through; green filter absorbs all but green; blue filter absorbs all but blue; and the yellow filter absorbs all but red and green which pass through the filter in combination as yellow.

Green and red filters combined, absorb and stop the passage of all colors. The same thing occurs when blue and yellow filters are combined.

For the fashion designer who is going to create costumes for the theatre,-it is of prime importance to know how the colors of her costumes will react to the colors used for stage lighting.


In pigments, the substance we use to paint or color our material, the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. These are the colors with which we can reproduce all the colors of spectrum. In addition to these, the chromatic colors, we have the achromatic or neutral colors which range from black, through the various shades of gray, to white.

When these are mixed, one or more with another, in various proportions and combinations we can get tremendous variations in hue, value, and intensity.

dress making pattern


The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.

The secondary colors are midway between each primary color:

Mixing yellow with red we get orange. Mixing red with blue we get purple. Mixing blue with yellow we get green.

The tertiary colors are midway between each primary and secondary color:

Yellow and orange produce yellow-orange.

Orange and red produce red-orange.

Red and purple produce red-purple.

Purple and blue produce blue-violet.

Blue and green produce blue-green.

Green and yellow produce yellow-green.

Complementary colors appear opposite each other on the color wheel, and when mixed with one another in equal parts will produce a neutral gray which is worth knowing when you dress for success — or when in unequal proportions the complementary color will have a softening or neutralizing effect on the dominant color. For example, the following pairs of colors are complements to each other:

Red and Green Yellow-Orange and Blue-Violet

Yellow and Purple        Red-Purple and Yellow-Green

Blue and Orange           Red-Orange and Blue-Green


HUEis the name for a particular color to distinguish it from another, such as red from blue, or pink from purple, etc.

VALUE expresses the tones tints, or shades of any particular color or hue ranging from very light — almost white but with a slight tinge of color — to very dark or almost black.

INTENSITY represents the purity of a color — color which is not neutralized or softened by mixing with its complement.

dominant harmony is self color harmony of different values of the same color. Soft effects are achieved by combinations of closer color values, and more striking effects by values farther apart

dress making pattern

analagous harmony is a combination of hues adjacent to each other in the spectrum or on the color wheel; for example •

Yellow and Yellow-Green and Green

Yellow and Yellow-Orange and Orange

Violet and Blue-Violet and Blue

Red-Orange and Red and Red-Purple

dress making pattern

Complementary harmony is a combination of hues or colors opposite each other on the color wheel. These should never be used together in equal intensity and value as the result would be too striking

dress making pattern

triadic harmony is a combination of analagous colors with one com­plementary color added; for example, Red-Orange and Red would com­plete the triadic harmony with the addition of a blueish green.

dress making pattern

contrasted harmony is the combination of any chromatic hue in the color spectrum with any achromatic or neutral color such as black, white, or gray.


dress making pattern


Today most colors are produced chemically in... [Chapter Incomplete]

Click Here to download the complete PDF ebook (including the rest of this chapter).

Or are you ready to move onto the next lesson? Click Here

Who Else Wants My Best Dress Making Patterns and Design Tips?
Just enter your first name and valid email - then click the "Sign Me Up" button to start receiving my dress making mini series.
(All information kept 100% confidential and you can
unsubscribe at any time).