Clothing Design Color Cues: Somber or Bold?

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

January 17, 2007

Send Article to Friend Send to a friend | Printable Version

Pursue A
Fashion Degree
The Art Institutes

The Art Institute
Clothing designers and style-setters are often divided into two camps: those who embrace black and neutral tones and those whose celebrate color. One could argue one approach is better than the other, but each has its charm. As a budding clothing designer, learn how to cater to both markets.

Fashion Showdown: The Socialite v. The Sophisticate
The highest echelons of fame are large enough for both bold sassiness and muted sophistication. The color-lover market may be best embodied by the indefatigable socialite Paris Hilton, who regularly sports vibrant colors like bright pink, red, and yellow. Then you have sophisticates like Gywneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, who subscribe to a more understated kind of style characterized by soft colors and classic lines. If you want make it big in fashion design, you have to appeal to both.

Color and Fashion School
You'll likely discuss some of these issues in fashion school. You, your clothing design peers, and your professors will consider color and how it affects the entire perspective of a design. You may also learn how trends in color influence clothing design choices. Fashion school will introduce you to different schools of thought about color, such as how to determine when you've crossed the line of good taste, or how to use color to create stunning outfits for any body.

Versatility Breeds Fashion Career Opportunity
But getting back to the original question: Why should young designers on the cusp of their career in fashion care about these two color markets? Obviously, if you can cater to both, you open up many more opportunities for your career in fashion. You can create designs for the monochrome Northeast as well as the color-loving glitterati of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, and South Beach.

As you begin making strides toward a career in fashion, be sure to study seriously the various uses of color during your time in fashion school. If you're already a color pro, take time to explore your ability to tone down your fashion for those who prefer a more subtle look. It will make you a more diverse, and skilled designer, and that's a good thing for anyone seeking a career in fashion.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads

  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.

See more facts about Full Sail University - Online

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

We want to help you get that degree. Consider:

1. Start Fast, Finish Fast: You can earn an Associate's degree in 20 months, and a Bachelor’s degree in 30 to 36 months.*

2. Save up to $5,000 on your college degree.You can afford college with our new Fresh Start Scholarships!

3. Tuition Assistance: Financial aid and grants are available to those who qualify.

4. No additional Fees, No Hassles: No parking fees, no long lines, no lab fees, no cost for books, no waiting for class availability.

5. Employment Assistance: We’ll help you find your new job when you graduate.**

6. Career-focused Curriculum: You’ll receive practical instruction for work-related knowledge.

7. Convenience: Day, evening and online‡ classes are available to fit your schedule.

8. Accredited Institution: California College San Diego is an Accredited Member of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

9. Programs Approved for Veterans: Take full advantage of your military benefits to earn your degree.

10. A New Laptop Computer: Get it when you start and keep it when you graduate.***

You can get started toward a high-demand career in healthcare, business, information technology or graphic arts right now. Complete the form and see how you can qualify for a scholarship (not based on grades or exams!) and save up to $5,000 on your college degree.

We invest in you! California College San Diego® is a nonprofit institution and an accredited member, ACCSC.

Accelerated Degree Programs are compared to traditional colleges and universities. See National Center for Educational Statistics, table 4 (

Financial Aid is available for those who qualify.

See more facts about California College San Diego

Campus Locations:
Matching School Ads