The Importance of The Color Theory and Why Your Sneakers Are Your Foundation for Streetwear

Photo Courtesy: Jeff Dominguez (The Sting – University of Baltimore)

You do not have to be a total “sneakerhead” or a “sneaker connoisseur” to know which shoes are the best when it comes to streetwear. It really all depends on which colors you have to complement your shoes based on your knowledge of The Color Theory.

The Color Theory proves that every color (no matter what shade, intensity, and other combinations) have an immediate effect on each other. Marcie Cooperman, professor at Parsons University of Design in New York and color theory expert, explains the importance of the Color Wheel. “The color wheel helps people visualize colors, and understand what to do with all the opportunities,” Cooperman says.

Color Wheel (Photo Courtesy: HGTV)

So how do we know which colors complement each other? Color Harmonies.

They are basically a set of different color combinations calculated to make a specific color theme. There are six main types of color harmonies: analogous, monochromatic, complementary, split complementary, triadic, and tetradic. Click here to experiment with different colors.

Photo Courtesy: Jeff Dominguez (The Sting – University of Baltimore)

What does this have to do with sneakers?

Some sneakers already have their own color theme, in which they might feature up to four or five colors. Your safest bet is to probably wear neutral colors (such as black, white, beige/tan, and gray) for your top and bottoms. Or match the scheme from your shoes and work your way up.

Photo Courtesy: Jeff Dominguez (The Sting – University of Baltimore)

Don’t go overzealous on the brighter spectrum of your color theme, but layer dark and lighter shades of your “fit”. For example, if you have a pair of sneakers that contain a theme of yellow, blue, green, and white; my suggestion is to wear a matching yellow graphic tee, black or gray shorts, white socks, and those dazzling shoes.

Take a look at your sneaker collection and observe all of its colors, whether it be your favorite Nikes or your favorite pair of Converses. Small details like the sneaker’s laces, tongue, soles, and toebox are things to look out for.

Jeff Dominguez is the Communications Director for The Sting and writes The Color Theory, a bi-weekly fashion column.

MICA Mondays: Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones is a senior at MICA studying painting. His art, inspired by his love for sports, draws on experiences from himself and other athletes to include perseverance, injury, defeat, and triumph.

MICA Mondays is a project of the UB Post (University of Baltimore) showcasing the talent and work of students and alumni of the nearby Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) released every Monday during the fall and spring semesters.


Produced by: Benjamin Kahn and Jeff Dominguez

Host: Benjamin Kahn

Edited by: Jeff Dominguez