The Wardrobe Architect is a popular series that ran in early 2014. It’s currently being expanded (with help and feedback from you) into a comprehensive toolkit. You can read all the posts here. If you want to give feedback and get first access when the toolkit is finished, enter your email:
Last week, we discussed the idea of creating a palette that represents your own unique tastes and preferences.
So the question now is, how do you go from a list of colors to a wearable palette? How do you decide which colors you need more of, and which you need fewer of?
To help us along, we’re going to organize our favorite colors this week.
I’ve divided my palette up into 3 parts: neutrals, near neutrals, and statement colors. I’ve also added one more category, metallics. I’ll go through each one in turn, showing you my own choices.
Once you have your palette categorized like this, it will be easier later to create smaller palettes for seasonal wardrobes. We’ll cover that process in the coming weeks.
Neutral colors are basics that go with just about anything. Think browns, grays, black, white, beige, etc.
Generally, neutrals convey an air of sophistication and elegance, though they can become boring if used exclusively or untempered by other kinds of visual interest, like texture, silhouette, or detail.
I find that the more neutrals you incorporate, the easier it is to build outfits from just a few pieces. If you’re not into neutrals, that’s absolutely fine, but I do think that without neutrals you may need to own more clothing to create the same variety of looks. It really depends on your personal preferences.
Just keep in mind that a healthy serving of neutrals (or nearly neutrals, our next category) helps to keep things simple. I pulled out the neutrals from my palette:
I call these colors “nearly neutrals” because they act like neutrals but have a little more visual impact.
Your own definition of nearly neutrals can vary. Think of colors that seem to go well with everything, like burgundy, navy, wine red, very pale blush pink, olive green, gold, etc.
Nearly neutrals are anything you personally wear like a neutral. You feel confident combining them easily with other colors.
These are the colors that don’t necessarily go with everything, but have a lot of visual impact. For me, these colors elicit some of the strongest feelings. They have a lot more visual weight, and they tend to make clothing more recognizable.
Statement colors can be used in large or small doses. You can have many of them, or just a few.
Metallics will probably be most present in the jewelry you wear, but might show up in other places too (shoes, buttons, bag hardware, etc).
I love metallics because they act like neutrals but have a bit more spark to them.
I find that people are usually drawn to either cool metallics (silver, white gold, pewter, platinum) or warm metallics (gold, bronze, copper, rose gold). I am definitely of the warm persuasion.
Organize your palette. Take your collection of colors from last week and try dividing it into the categories above: neutrals, nearly neutrals, statement colors, and metallics. If you feel like adding more colors to your palette at this point, go ahead! I added metallics to mine.
Do you feel like your color choices are balanced, or do you lean more toward neutrals or statement colors?
PS: Guess what, you guys? This is the 1,000th post on this blog! Thank you guys for being with me through the years, I’m so thrilled to have made it this far. I’d like to be more reflective, but I’m still on work-cation right now (writing this poolside with a G&T, in fact), so for now I’ll just say a sincere thanks.