Q&A: What colors work well with very light sage green?

Q: Thanks this is great 🙂 but I need HELP! What colors work well with very light sage green? I look great in bright warm colors (and totally washed out drab/light colors), but I was gifted a beautiful (very expensive) light sage sweater-vest (button up) from my mother-in-law and I want to show it off to please her (she keeps asking about it). Thanks!

– seanymph007y


A: Alright, so here’s the thing, before I actually get to the real answer of this question let me start with a brief introduction on how I’ll be conducting questions on The Style Note from here on out. Whether it’s someone asking about the best online shops to find a cute pair of shoes, how to combine certain colors together or about fashion events in the area, I’m constantly receiving questions from readers and I haven’t known the best way to go about answering them until now.

I tend to answer whatever questions I receive, in detail, on the particular blog post the reader has commented on. However, I’ve come to the realization that if one person has a question about something, chances are that many people probably have the same question so it would be more beneficial to answer questions in a Q&A format.


… Moving on, 

I recently received a question from seanymph007y (see above) in the comment section of  Styling 101: Color Combinations. To answer your question, seanymph007y, sage, especially light sage, is a very, very, strange color, and I kind of feel bad that your mother in law actually decided to gift a vest in that color to you. However as awkward of a color as it can be, it truly isn’t difficult to pair with other colors.

Sage is a quaternary color, meaning it’s an equal combination of tertiary colors citron and slate. Most closely related to olive green, sage is easiest to pair with neutral colors but can also look great with hints of other quaternary colors as well as pop colors like aqua, purple and bright yellow.

Unsurprisingly it is difficult to find fashion photos that demonstrated complex combinations when it comes to pairing sage. However, I’ve created a few color palettes below that you can use for reference when trying to create an outfit with your light sage sweater vest…

Screen shot 2014-08-08 at 10.34.02 PM

Screen shot 2014-08-08 at 10.37.55 PMThe colors above work combine a lot more neutral color combinations. They’re pretty safe and will look good no matter how you pair them whether it’s a brown pair of slacks, a cream top and your sage vest or a dark aqua blue dress, light brown heels and your vest.

Screen shot 2014-08-08 at 10.46.24 PM


Screen shot 2014-08-08 at 10.52.08 PM

Screen shot 2014-08-08 at 10.56.53 PM


While each of these palettes all have 5 colors, I wouldn’t recommend using more than two colors, excluding a neutral, especially with the palettes featuring brighter colors. Sage, can get kind of weird so you don’t want to over do it. However, if you find something that works for you then by all means go for it.

When you look up sage color combinations you’ll most likely find, like I did, that the color is much more common in interior design and nature. However, there’s no reason you can’t be inspired by either one of these and translate them into clothing color combinations. Take a look at how a sage chair cushion is paired with rich mahogany table and maroon place mats or the beauty of light violet flowers blooming between sage leaves and you will find that inspiration is everywhere.

Best of luck, seanymph007y. I hope this helps.

– Emma


Emma Klug started The Style Note in the fall of 2012. Her writing has been featured in DBusiness Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Nothing Major, The Working Wardrobe, Chicago Talks, Inexpensive Chic, and The Wayne State University student paper: The South End. When she’s not writing you can find her eating pizza, binge-watching Netflix and working her day job as a magazine editor.

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1 Comment on "Q&A: What colors work well with very light sage green?"

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Thanks Emma; this really helps me with my dilema!
With your assistance, now I can see a few color combos that will work for me. I certainly appreciate your detailed (and kindly) reply, as well as your original article which is very well done!