Creating A Capsule Wardrobe Part 2 // Choosing a Colour Palette

I love colour. In fact I have had almost every colour of the rainbow painted on the walls in my house at some stage. (I also love to decorate but thats a tale for a another time). Having such a huge variety of colours results in something a little messy and not very relaxing. On the other hand I have been in houses where every single wall, every piece of furniture and all the art on the walls is black and white, it may be very stylish for some but to me it's a little boring. The trick is to find a nice balance of colour and neutral. The same applies to the colours we wear.

If you're hoping to create a capsule wardrobe (read about that here) then choosing the colour palette is a very important step. By colour palette I mean a few colours that you know work well on you and with your other clothes. The colours in your palette should all work together and they can include any colour you like.

This post will look at some things to think about for your own colour palette. The idea is to write down your answers to each question and then compare them to see which ones occur often. I'll also work through an example (my own).

Question To Ask When Choosing a Colour Palette that is Right For You
When choosing a colour palette there are serveal things to consider. In the following questions I'll get you to write down some things about yourself in order to choose the right colours for you. Try to be specific but not too specific. For example if you want to write down 'blue' as an answer, try to narrow it down a little; light or dark? Just blue or is it slightly green or slightly purple? But try not to write down 'shade 630 from the pantone colour range', we are thinking more general than that. But if you answer is 'all the blues' than that's ok too.

Which Colours Do I Love
Most people have some colours they love, the ones that make them feel good when they see them or they will choose each time. They will also have some colours that they dislike or would never choose, the colours that make them think something is ugly (even if it's not). This should be a one of the main factors when you choose your colour palette. Are you always drawn to white or pale fresh colours? Do you prefer a deep shade of red or green? Do you love all the pastels? Do you hate a particular colour? Do you get a kick out of brights, neons, earth tones? Write down a list of colours you love and other colours you hate. It is ok to write down colours you love but would never wear on your 'love list'. Then put this list aside before you move on. Try to think with a clean slate before you answer the next questions.

Example: I love blue, red, green, orange, yellow and white. For all these colours I like a good bold and rich tone and for blue I love all the blues.

Which Colours Suit Me
You probably have a few colours that you know suit your complexion. You probably also have a few colours that aways make you look ill. To work this out if you don't know already think about your favour items of clothing, make a list of them and what colour they are. You may notice that your favourite items all fall into a similar category of colours. This might be in part because they are your favourite colours too but probably has something to do with what looks good on. If you can't see a theme then pop into a clothing shop and hold up a range of different coloured items near to your face. Do some make you look good and other not so much? Try not to just experiment with the colours that you like but also with colours that you wouldn't usually try. You might be surprised that some of them suit you when you wouldn't normally wear them. After you have thought this through, write down a list of the colours that look good and another list of colours that look bad. Keep this list with your 'Colours I Love List'.

Example: Black, red, blue, white and brown all look good on me, particularly navy and teal from the blue spectrum.

Which colours do I already own
Another important thing to consider is which colours do you already own. Have a look in your wardrobe and write down all the colours you can see. Then tally up the ones that occur often. You might see a theme emerging here. If you can't see a common theme try this: for the clothes that you know you wear often add an extra tick on your tally.

Example: In my wardrobe I have many colours. Blue, red, orange, white, green, yellow, pink, purple, grey and black. You name it I've probably got it. However I have more of navy blue, black, white and red in my wardrobe than any other colours and a fair bit of dark green.

At this point you can compare the lists that you have. You probably have some overlapping colours, if you have a colour on every list then this is probably a good place to start. Group your colours into 3 groups, one that has only the colours in all three groups, one that has colours that occur in two groups and a third for those you have only written down once.

Group 1: Red, Navy Blue, White
Group 2: Black, Green, Yellow, Light Blue
Group 3: Pink, Purple, Brown, Grey, Teal, Orange

Now to have a varied enough wardrobe without going wild its a good idea to have around 5-6 colours in your palette. Have a think about what the colours in group 1 (and 2 if you need more) have in common. Are they all pastel tones? Are they primary colours? Perhaps their 'earth tones'. Maybe you're all about the neons. I'll be writing a post with some examples soon so you can have a look to get some ideas.

Also think about whether they work together well, you might have a few that clash so play around with the ones you have and remove a couple that don't work. If you start with a limited colour palette now you can always add more colours in later once you have a working wardrobe.

Whatever colours you have chosen you can always add white, black and grey as these are total neutrals and go with anything.

Example: From my list I knew I wanted red, white and navy blue and light blue. I also added in black because I needed some more neutral colours. I consider these 5 colours to be my 'main palette' but I also use dark green in the Autumn/Winter and yellow in the Spring/Summer. Plus the light blue in the summer would be a much brighter more 'teal' shade. So if you cover over the two left most colours you'll see the summer palette, or cover over the two right most colours to see the winter palette. Cover over both to see the 'main palette.'

So do you have a chosen colour palette? Maybe now is the time to think about creating one so you can have a more meaningful wardrobe. If you have any questions or ideas you can leave a comment and start a discussion or head over to our community page. Speak soon, Zoe x

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