I love the idea of mixing without matching. It can be a little trickier than close or exact matches, but the complexity makes it modern. And it's way more practical! Imagine having to exact-match every color in your wardrobe. Ugh. I was wearing essentially the first pairing here the other day, and it gave me the idea to expand on the topic a bit more.
One of the easiest ways to make the mixy kind of pairing work is to put together similar shades in different intensities. This lilac top is much softer than the tanzanite pumps, but they are both to the blue side of the purple spectrum, so they coordinate nicely. Light aqua with teal, powder blue with cobalt and blush with coral will all work similarly. The key is in the similarity of hue. Aqua is a blue-green; hence the pairing with teal, as opposed to ,say, kelly green, which has more yellow in it. I gravitate toward doing the lighter color for my outfit and the darker shade for my shoes, but going with the lighter shade on the bottom is 100% acceptable, as is bringing in the color play with other accessories (belts, bags, scarves) or jewelry.
Another way to mix without matching is to connect different shades with colors that bridge the difference. The easiest way to do this is with colors in the same family (all blues, for example). This second look starts with a carnation pink top and peach-nude shoes. The shoes are a warm, neutral orange, while the top is a cool pink - i.e., there is a blue tone in the red it was derived from. To bridge the difference between them requires a color that's warmer (more brown or orange in it) than the carnation shade, but cooler than the shoes. The rose-nude tone of the bag works perfectly. For a little more fun, the coral-orange tone of the sunnies acts like a brighter pop of the shoe shade, carrying that hue upwards through the look (a lip shade in this hue would do the trick nicely as well). With green shades, you might blend lime, celery and mint. Lime is a yellow-green, mint is a blue-green and celery acts as the bridge color. If you don't want to try a verdigris lip shade ;), add a bit more color via your nail hue.
PS One of the best ways to get a sense of how colors work is to mix paints :).
Happy mixing, loves!
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets- fashion fairy tale world.