So happy together: searching the color spectrum for shades that enhance each other

So happy together: searching the color spectrum for shades that enhance each other

Posted by Rose on 15th Apr 2022

Here’s why finding coordinating shades is tricky and why hemp clothing takes color so well

The simple elegance of a Black Princess Top with Grey Fog Stovepipe Pants is at home in nearly any setting.

The simple elegance of a Black Princess Top with Grey Fog Stovepipe Pants is at home in nearly any setting.

When I set out to choose a new shade for the Sympatico collection, I work with Chris, a retired dyer and color specialist who has a remarkable feel and eye for colors. Chris knows that one of my prime goals is zeroing in on new hemp clothing shades that complement most, if not all, of the other colors in the Sympatico palette. Just to make Chris’s role more challenging, I’m also looking for shades that will work well with a variety of complections and hair colors. 

womens hemp Tencel topswomens hemp Tencel skirtswomens hemp - Tencel pants

The good news is that the hemp content in Sympatico’s hemp and Tencel blended fabrics takes dye wonderfully. The lenticular (lens-like) qualities of the Tencel fiber, adds luster to many colors while also imparting a subtle heathering effect on mid-tones. The hemp contains lignin and cellulose, both of which respond very well to fiber reactive dyeing. When garment dyeing the Sympatico collection, I specify low-impact fiber reactive dyes that molecularly bond with the fiber for a long-lasting shade as well as minimum impact on the environment. As you probably know, global apparel manufacturing is a big-time polluter, so purchasing artisanal clothing that is made using environmentally sustainable dyeing is a mark of a responsible apparel consumer.

It's a truism that often the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, and I’ve found that’s especially true when it comes to artfully coordinating shades for pleasing combinations. One of the more challenging and interesting parts of creating a color palette is finding the precise tones that tend to get along well with one another and look great on a variety of skin colors. I look for those shades that will continue to make sense in the Sympatico palette years from now, making it easy to mix and match old favorites with newer purchases.

Vintage Rose Tuxedo Tops coordinate attractively over Plum Stovepipe Pants.

Vintage Rose Tuxedo Tops coordinate attractively over Plum Stovepipe Pants.

Chris and I certainly do pay attention to color trends; in the world of fashion that’s pretty essential. But the trick is to discern among fad colors (remember the neons of the ‘80s and ‘90s?) and shades founded in classic hues. We’re also usually thinking in terms of meeting the needs of women who lean toward coordinated versus matching outfits. 

Trapeze Tunic in Bayleaf and Black Stovepipe Pants over a black knit basic makes for a classic look.

Have you dropped a subtle hint about wishing for a Sympatico gift certificate this holiday season?

Have you dropped a subtle hint about wishing for a Sympatico gift certificate this holiday season?