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Rust Color Combos: Blue & Green

This is part 8 of the rust color combo series (inspired by Bettye's "colors of fall" post over at Fashion Schlub) that I started last autumn...and it's the final one in the series!

Here are the three rust items in my closet that I will be evaluating with a variety of colors in the Blue and Green segments of the color wheel.

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This is one of the most hodge-podge sets of yes, no, and maybe opinions in this entire series. The pale green/mint colors were a question mark for me, as were the light yellow-greens. Of the bright greens, for some reason I liked the green pants with rust but disliked the other three.

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Let's see how some of these combinations look when placed in the context of a complete outfit. First up is the "pure green" pants and rust vest to which I added a bright navy T to create a colorblock look in Outfit #1. I added two bridge pieces that bring together the three colors from the clothing: a rainbow striped scarf and floral sneakers. I created a colorful bead bracelet stack in the main outfit colors of navy, rust, and green for some extra matchy-matchy.

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Outfit #1: Rust & Light/Bright Green

For another example of rust with a bright mid-green, check out the green print dress + rust cardigan outfit from Thursday on Jodie's recent daily looks post.

Next let's see what we can do with the questionable light "tea green" and rust combination. When in doubt, a bridge piece combining the two colors (or a "sorta" bridge piece with variants on the two colors) is an easy way to make a color combo look intentional. Although this is a summery scarf with bright colors and lightweight fabric, it certainly can be worn in the fall too! I liked it as a "sorta" bridge piece option because it has orange (which is basically light rust) and two shades of green. Although Outfit #3 doesn't have teal in it specifically, teal is a Blue-Green that sits nicely among the Blue and Green-based colors, so I chose teal earrings and loafers. My bracelet stack has the familiar rust/silver rabbit as well as two DIY paper bead bracelets in teal and rust.

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Outfit #2: Rust & Light/Bright Green

Outfit #3 is an OOTD that was featured last month in my "mint fall outfits" post, and it's what really sold me on the mint + rust color combination!

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Outfit #3: Rust & Light/Bright Green

Now for the bright yellow-green options. I think these colors should work well because rust and yellow-green share that underlying warmth, but it's tricky because rust is more muted and the greens are quite clear and bright. Outfit #4 is a warm weather look that uses a floral print skirt as a "sorta" bridge piece to bring together the rust and green. Once again, I'm using orange in a print to tie in the rust. I added my DIY paper Castle & Sky earrings that have rust, orange, and light well as yellow and blue like the skirt. Since I was going big with color in this one, I put together a bead bracelet stack with four DIY pieces in gold, dark blue lapis lazuli, rust agate, and cream with light green tiger-eye beads.

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Outfit #4: Rust & Light/Bright Green

OK, I actually LOVE Outfit #5, despite my initial uncertainty about the apple green tank + rust pants combo. The floral scarf has a green background that plays very nicely with the top and has enough orange and yellow to vibe well with the rust pants. The white polka dots inspired me to use a white cardigan as the third piece in the outfit. I added additional touches of orange/yellow in the world's easiest DIY light orange glass pearl/gold hoop earrings. This outfit has a lot of warm color to it, so I thought the leopard calf hair smoking slippers would add to that. Once again the bracelet stack includes a variety of colors from the outfit (light green beads, orange beads, navy/rust DIY paper beads, and mixed metal spacer beads).

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Outfit #5: Rust & Light/Bright Green

Having a super-harmonious element to an outfit, like a bracelet stack that includes all the colors together, is a go-to trick for me to make an outfit with a questionable/outside-my-comfort-zone aspect feel more right. You know how a cat will shift its footing on a window sill and 100% totally straight up fall off the window sill by accident...and then sit up on the floor and calmly start licking its paws like "I meant to do that"? And you're like, there's no way that was intentional, but the cat kind of sells it? Sometimes my extremely coordinated bracelet stack is the thing that tells me, if no one else, "I meant to wear these colors together." (I do draw the line at licking the bracelet stack, though!)


Dark green and rust are both colored neutrals/semi-neutrals with warmth and a muted quality, so they tend to work together very easily. I liked almost all the dark greens in my closet with the rust, even though some have more blue ("cool") than others. The two pieces I felt less sure about were the emerald green pants that have a brighter look (due to the fabric) and green cardigan with a marl knit that gives it a bit of a faded appearance.

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Starting with the bluer green tank, I surprised myself a bit with Outfit #6 because I really didn't need much visual convincing that the two pieces go together, so instead of a bridge piece, I added a plaid shirt in a variety of shades of mint/teal/tea green as a topper. The charm necklace and bracelet stack do include similar colors to the rust and green as well as others for an overall "colorful" look. I wanted simple stud earrings, but simple can mean "faux pearls with rabbit ears," right? The animal print flats have black in the print that ties back to the black stripe in the plaid shirt.

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Outfit #6: Rust & Dark Green

In Outfit #7, I used this black scarf with an exuberantly colorful print as my "sorta" bridge piece to tie together the dark green sweater and rust pants. I accessorized with gold, black, and white (plus a sliver of several colors in the tweed flats).

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Outfit #7: Rust & Dark Green

Outfit #8 uses the rust pants as a pop of color against a palette of dark green, cream, beige, and gold. I combined the rabbit print blouse and cheetah print Oxfords for a low-key print mix. (I recalled that Bridgette Raes calls this "focal point styling," and imagine my delight that her example Outfit #3 in this post uses rust-orange corduroy pants as the focal point! She says "I think colorful pants as the focal point will be the least likely way anyone will use this strategy," haha. I am all about the colorful pants!)

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Outfit #8: Rust & Dark Green

These dark green pants have such a rich, warm color to them that they make the perfect autumn combination with the rust vest. So I went Full-on Fall in Outfit #9 using the Woodland Critter scarf with its autumn tones and cute animal motif (see the rust-brown foxes?). Next I added the DIY bracelet stack I made to coordinate with this scarf and its matching T. The scarf has both black and brown in it, but since I don't own a long-sleeved brown T, I picked this black polka dot one for a neutral to ground the look. Earrings and ankle boots were selected to match.

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Outfit #9: Rust & Dark Green

Outfit #10 works the questionable muted green marl cardigan and rust pants combination. I decided that I would incorporate a variety of shades of green in the look, including several that are more readily "right"-seeming with the rust than the green of the cardigan. The butterfly scarf is a pretty good "sorta" bridge piece with its maroon background (similar to rust) and light green butterflies. I added a pair of world's easiest DIY earrings in multiple greens (including one that matches the butterflies) and a DIY bead bracelet in dark green. The black in the marl knit and in the scarf print prompted the black top and flats.

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Outfit #10: Rust & Dark Green

That's two outfits in a row in which I selected the top and shoes last, in a neutral to complement the other pieces. Not my normal MO, but it can work very well when you are starting with colorful pieces to see what neutral works best when everything else is in place.

Now let's move on to blue...


I did not like any of these light blue + rust combinations at all! They all have a combination of bright/clear and/or pastel coloring that just does not sit well with the toasty rust color. Of course, that's just my opinion...if you like rust and light blue and can find a way to put them together that delights you, go for it!

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I had higher hopes for these blues that are darker, but they are just SO BRIGHT and the rust is SO MUTED when they are together. Imogen Lamport calls this visual effect, where the appearance of a color is dependent on the color its paired with, "simultaneous contrast." It's quite possible that a well-chosen third color (or print) could bring some of these combinations into greater harmony, but for me, these colors are too jarring together.

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It turns out that my muted blues are almost entirely "tones" with grey added to it, which both softens and cools down the blue color. Put a greyed-out blue with warm rust...well, I'm not a big fan of the result. But the sweater and cardigan that are darker blues that look like "shades" (a color + black) instead of "tones" are possibilities.

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An awkward color combination for a fall outfit means Bridge Piece (or "Sorta" Bridge Piece) Scarves to the rescue!

For Outfit #11, I selected a floral print scarf with an orange/coral (similar to rust) background and dark blue/black flowers in the print.

I picked up the stone/tan color from the scarf print in a utility vest to wear over the sweater. I visualize wearing the scarf long down the center of the body, and between that and the vest, the blue sweater and rust pants won't be in close proximity in the outfit, which can make tricky color combos easier on the eyes.

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Outfit #11: Rust & Muted Blue

At this point you could probably guess that the print scarf for Outfit #12 will have orange standing in for the rust + dark blue. What can I say? Orange and Blue are complementary colors on the color wheel, so it's a combination we see quite a bit in prints. This feather/palm (not sure which) print scarf has the orange and blue, plus light blue, brown, and white.

I grabbed onto that brown neutral from the scarf for the top, earrings, and shoes. My DIY bracelet stack has bead bracelets in rust, blue, and two versions of brown.

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Outfit #12: Rust & Muted Blue

So green worked quite well with rust, but blue was a bit of a bust. I was a bit surprised by how poorly my range of blue colors fared here. But the rust I have is more dark Red-Orange than dark Orange, so the opposite color on the color wheel is Blue-Green rather than Blue. Perhaps if my rust had been a more orangey pumpkin-like color rather than this rusty red, my blue pieces would have coordinated more readily.

But that's why various teal colors were so easy to pair with rust in part 7 of this series. I am going to close out this post with an OOTD from last spring in which I successfully combined my rust pants with multiple shades of Blue-Green, including light and medium teal (striped top) and dark aqua (cardigan). I am eager to try some new combinations of rust with this dark aqua cardigan because the rich muted warmth of these colors are a match made in heaven to me. (And the cardigan brings out the warm blue colors in my eyes, which is always fun.)

OOTD 4/19/22

Whew, we have now survived the Rust Color Combos series! For the other posts in this series (from last fall), do a search on my blog for "rust color combos" and the other 7 will pop up.

Are you now thoroughly tired of rust? Haha, I have been doing a lot of thinking and planning and wearing of rust this fall, and now that Thanksgiving is in the past, I'm starting to think a bit about the fall to winter transition.

Do you treat fall/winter as the same season in your wardrobe/outfits or do you make a distinction between them? What differentiates a fall vs. winter outfit for you, if you do make a distinction?

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