Jumping back in with Wardrobe Colour Palettes!

Figuring out “my” colours was a milestone in my sewing.

It started back in *cough* 2012 – I’d been sewing a few months, and Colette organised a Spring/Summer Wardrobe Palette Challenge. From there, it took a a bit more experimenting to come up with my personal wardrobe colour palette, which has be a constant part of my sewing ever since!

colour palette updated_Snapseed

These colours still make up the header of my blog, and the vast majority of my clothes!

Here’s how that palette played out in 2013…

Putting colours into action!

… and how it looks now!

colour palette 2017 Collage.jpg

 

Having a colour palette is helpful in a lots of ways:

  • Figure out which shades are flattering. I realised that cool colours suit me best, and that I prefer vibrant jewel tones over pastels or deep shades.
  • Decide what to stash. When I see jersey or a cute print in any of these colours, I  know it’s worth buying! If it doesn’t fit my palette, then I usually walk away.
  • Strategically fill in wardrobe gaps. If I see RTW or second-hand jeans or cardigans in one of “my” colours, I know they are worth buying.
  • Easy to get dressed. When most things fit my colour scheme, it’s easy to mix and match!

It’s been a few years since I blogged about colours, but you can find all my posts in the header above under “Colour Palettes“. It’s a topic I love, so I’m planning to dust off a few classic posts and add some new things I’ve been thinking about since. Me-Made May feels like a good time to start, as we all reflect on the current state of our closets!

What do you think? Have you ever strategically planned your wardrobe, or figured out “your” colours? I’d love to hear how your colours have developed and changed over time!


35 thoughts on “Jumping back in with Wardrobe Colour Palettes!

  1. You’re not getting older, you’re getting BETTER! (And I’m leaving now to “do” my colors…and maybe my hair…)

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  2. I love your dedication to your colour palette – it really comes through! I have one but am less good at sticking to it (oooo, shiney!). I think I need to nail it down more and keep a reminder on my phone for the fabric store!

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    1. That’s interesting! When I think offhand of what you sew, I picture rust, indigo/navy, khaki green, black, and generally dark warm colours, with some pattern and texture thrown in. Is that what you’d describe as your palette?

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      1. Definitley, I love rust most of all and I am having such a moment with Olive green lately! I’ve been working in more white since I got highlights, i just feel that it actually looks good now, which is interesting! I have a colour palette post in the works, hope to share that soon.

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    1. Wait, are you saying you *do* remember other clothes in that collage? That’s going WAY back! 🙂 The seersucker was a Colette Truffle – I loved that dress, and I’m sad it’s too small now!

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  3. I looked at your colour palette and thought, “wow Gillian’s colours are so close to what I like too!” but then I really looked at more carefully and realized it wasn’t. I think I’ve always known what colours I LIKE but over the years I’ve had to discipline myself to know and wear what I suit which are 2 completely different things! People would say to me, “You look wonderful today! So fresh and happy!” and I’d look down and realize I was wearing my least favourite top because it wasn’t in a colour I particularly liked. (RTW) Over many, many, many years I’ve come to accept this and now buy only colours I know I suit. An example of this is my love of cool but suiting warm 🙂

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    1. Oh that is SO INTERESTING! What colours earn you compliments?
      If you like “my” colours, I wonder if something like my sister’s colour palette (here: https://anniebeeknits.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/colourriot-closet/) would work on you. It’s like mine, but everything is a bit warmer? My mom recently told me that since her hair went grey, she’s stopped wearing the warm colours I always sewed her, and she’s sticking with cool colours now. I hadn’t notice, but now she points it out, she definitely had changed her style!

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  4. I absolutely love when you discuss your color palette. It’s so inspiring, especially because so many of your colors are my colors, too. I always get overwhelmed/intimidated and end up “playing it safe” with navy & black, and lately it feels like that’s my entire wardrobe. Nobody would ever know I love color, judging by the way I dress. :/

    We’re in the process of moving but once I get settled in, I think I’m going to get busy making things I want to wear. Meanwhile, I look forward to your upcoming posts! 😀

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    1. Aw, thanks! I hope your new space inspires you to make what you really want to wear… because why waste time in boring clothes??? I do wear more dark colours in winter, and by time spring hits I’m itching to dress like “myself” again.

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  5. After one of those colour consultations (Colour Me Beautiful) I learned I was soft, cool and deep. Oh wait, my colours were soft, cool and deep 😛

    Been playing it safe with that info and going for lots of muted colours, charcoal and navy, but I’ve realised recently that I’m happiest wearing more vibrant colours: red, black, pink, purple. They’re all in my CMB profile (except black) but just emphasising it differently. I’m much happier now I’ve worked this out and I know it’s going to make fabric shopping easier in the future 🙂

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    1. LOL – so deep and cool, man! 😉
      I totally agree with you on brights. I’m always in a better mood when I wear a bunch of colours at once! I hope you have fun shopping now that you are looking to amp up the “accent” colours in your clothing!

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    2. I had a CMB consultation too – mainly out of curiosity – and I was pronounced soft cool and deep like you. That wasn’t a huge surprise. Weirdly, rather than feeling restricted, it actually opened my eyes to lots of colours that I love but didn’t think to wear before. It’s been good for me to stop just buying everything in blue and bring other colours – like green and brown – into my wardrobe. I love snooping other people’s palettes and seeing what colours they put together!

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      1. Yeah, I wasn’t surprised really, but I think I just took the muted thing as a rule, when actually there are plenty of stronger colours that suit me too. Glad it helped you!

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  6. How interesting! I’m slowly preparing to de-clutter and organise my wardrobe as I’ve moved away from buying clothes and sew them myself. I was thinking more about basic items, less about colours. Now you have me thinking about “my” pallette and I’m not sure I actually have a clue 😉

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    1. My theory on colour palettes is that most people subliminally self-select the colours they are best in – so look at the fabrics you buy, the clothes you love to wear, and what you are wearing when you get the most compliments! If you look in my old colour palette posts in the header (https://craftingarainbow.wordpress.com/wardrobe-colour-palettes/) I talk about looking through my own closet and my sister’s pinterest boards to figure out our palettes… and it is surprisingly easy once you start, I promise! 😉

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      1. So, now is the time to chime in for me 🙂 (have been reading silently along for quite some time now) – when I had my colours done professionally, I learned a bit of the background too. And your theory that people naturally select the colours they suit best is also the “official” theory. The lady I went to does online consultations as well. One of the first tasks is to look at the colours you choose for your home because you tend to stay true to yourself there whereas your colour choices in clothes (and fabrics) can be influenced by your environment and can reflect the picture you want to show of yourself more than “your” colours. I prefered warm, soft autumnal colours (like many women tend to, allegedly) but I am a deep winter type and dark, cold, clear colours suit me best. I changed my colourscheme a year ago and the interesting thing is that I now don’t like the autumnal colours on me any more 🙂 so, because I can “do” high contrasts my basic colours are black and white. My highlight colours are red and emerald green. But I mix it up with cool blues and greens.

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        1. How interesting!I’ve never heard the bit about looking at what colours you choose for your home… but since the Japanese fabrics that is collages into my palette has hung on my living room wall in every home for 8 years, it does seem wise! So many people have very, um, tastefully beige homes though – I wonder if that also reflects their colour palette, or just prevailing trends?

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  7. I did actually try a color scheme and capsule wardrobe so to speak for my recent trip back home – and I really liked making sure all things went together, using my spreadsheet 👍🏼👍🏼HOWEVER that was for Australian Autumn (which turned out to be summer as far as I was concerned!) so I have some nice things but in ‘autumish’ colors, which I now have to work out how to wear in spring! Do you find that strange with your color palette? I remember an early spring post you did, where you were changing your winter clothes to add more spring colors, even if the weather outside didn’t agree and I thought that was a great idea, and very organized on your part!

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    1. On of my posts coming up this months is about breaking out of your colour palette, and I definitely do that seasonally. My fall/winter colours are darker and include more red… in spring I wear exactly my favourite colours, and in summer I mix in more florescent brights!

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  8. My colours… hmmm… well purple has been my favourite colour from as far back I can remember. Any and all shades of purple and I’m sold. As well as black and white prints; those are easily my weakness. So purple, black and white feature a lot in my makes and my fabric stash.

    But for my wedding, I chose a beautiful orange colour for my wedding gown because I have found that orange is one of the best colours for me to wear. Not to mention I love how I feel wearing orange. I guess it’s my power colour or something. LOL. I will almost always gravitate to a print with orange in it, but I am less likely to buy it as a solid colour.

    Then there’s the blues and the blue-greens – royal blue, navy blue, teal, turquoise, mint. I also seem to have a thing for olive as I have a tee and skinny jeans that I often find myself reaching for. And I can’t seem to stop buying gray shoes – sneakers, booties, sandals (current count is 7 right now like seriously… guess what’s getting evaluated first in the upcoming spring cleaning?)

    My most unexpected colours that I tend to purchase and wear unconsciously? Coral, hot pink and fuchsia. These are odd because I have always had an immense dislike for pink. Like when did these sneak in my wardrobe and stash? I really noticed them in my underwear drawer first and then started recognizing they were everywhere! Then I realised that coral is basically just like hot pink mixed with light orange and fuchsia is hot pink mixed with orange cream and a swirl of purple in it. That made me feel better about liking pink now I’m older. HAHA!

    Do chambray and denim count as a colour? Because I LOVE both of those fabric types and will snatch up those whenever I can afford them and especially in any of the above colours. I love that chambray and denim are instantly both a staple no matter what you make with it.

    I also have favourite prints too – anything geometric, chevrons, houndstooth, buffalo plaids (newest crush) – and will most likely purchase any African waxed prints in my favourite colours. African waxed prints are also a weakness.

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    1. What a great description of your colours! I love your thinking around shades of pink/coral/fuschia – they really do fit in with the colours you love! I think your theme is bold colours – no weak pastels or muddy earth tones.

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  9. So pretty! I love your colours. I had the opportunity to get my “colours done” with a few co-workers and although I didn’t pay too much attention at the time, it has really inspired my sewing now! Funny how many of my colours are ones I would have liked and chosen myself anyway!

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    1. It really does make things easier! i can look at wardrobe orphans and fabrics that have been in the stash for too long, and know it’s because the colour isn’t quite right!

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  10. I figured out years ago that colors like olive green and brown look best on me. Problem is, I hate them! What I like is lots of bright jewel tones with black–clothes like that make me feel good. So, for me, it comes down to a decision of looking better versus feeling better and that’s an easy decision for me. Bright colors it is.

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    1. You aren’t the only person who has mentioned that your best colours don’t actually make you feel happy… and I”m finding that so interesting! I think I assume that everyone would feel great in what suited them, but clearly that was a misassumption. Good for you for choosing happiness over everything else! 😉

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  11. I have been trying to build a wardrobe within a select tonal group of colors, things like eggplant/Aubergine, teal, burgundy, emerald, navy, charcoal grey, Magenta/Fuschia, and cobalt blue. I feel fabulous in these deep saturated colors and slowly my wardrobe is coming together. Both with sewing and thrifting. Your blog has been a huge inspiration!

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    1. Those sound like a beautiful colour combinatation! And I’m so with you on the thrifting piece – it’s such a good way to add to a wardrobe without trying to sew every single thing by oneself!

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  12. Lovely palate that works so well for you! I’ve decided my colors are the ones I like:), brights and blues. If I choose other colors they just hang in my closet and are never worn.

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    1. I feel the same way! In fact, almost everything I sew that isn’t in my colours gets given away to someone else after just a wear or two!

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  13. When NATURE CHANGES your colour palette whether you want it to or not! I have always had deep auburn, sometimes mahogony hair which I have always played up with rich, warm or vibrant jewel tones. The combination of my hair and colour has worked perfectly with my complexion…until now. I got my first grey at 19 but it definitely was a gradual thing. I never did anything outrageous with hair colour, always staying true to the main colour family but soemtimes a bit more orange or red or brown. On most colour boxes it states something about not being suitable after 30% grey-which I COMPLETELY IGNORED. My transition with grey hair in reality is it’s completely white and comes in 3 inch wide stripes framing my face-very cool that it’s natural because always ask me how I got it dyed. You’d think that would be great, right? I decdided to let all colour grow out and niw I am white with some left over naturally dark strands ( I am 45). Love my hair (I was having to colour it every 4 weeks which just got ridiculous) BUT, it casts a sallowness on my face and complexion. All those colours that I love and used to look great it cause my face to look yellow and tired. Ugh! This winter, I decided that I would not even look at fabric that I am drawn too-awful, right?! I pulled things I liked (not loved) but that bring out silver and grey. I was surprised to see the change in how I felt about certain shades. When I put them on I actually had a glow and radiant. I couldnt’t believe it. I have had to start from scratch with my colour palette which threw me a real curve. I am not feeling old but my former palette made me LOOK old. Now that I am trying to work with what nature has given me I am starting to look as energetic and full of life as I feel again. What a transition! People still have preconceived ideas about age and grey hair but when 20 somethings are putting the same streaks in that I have naturally, I have looked to my once dismissed colours (used to think were drab) with fresh eyes. Because hair frames your face it really can change how you look at yourself. Not as old or young, but what colours work and accepting when they stop working so you can find others that do for every stage of your life!

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