Curated Closet: Color Palette

I’m a little late to the “Curated Closet” trend of a few years ago. I decided to work through it for myself, because quite frankly I don’t love my wardrobe lately. I have been at a loss of what to wear for my casual and frequently work from home job. I no longer work in a professional, public-facing office so I didn’t need the sharp suits, fancy dresses and clothes that regularly stocked my closet. I’ve kind of fallen into sweatshirts and skinny jeans every day. It all came to a head when we attended a funeral and two weddings back to back. Each time I needed to get dressed, I wasn’t happy with what I had to wear.

Since I make most of my clothes, the world is my oyster. I thought the Curated Closet would help me focus on my personal style and be able to make better choices in fabric shopping and what garments I sew. I also really want a more cohesive wardrobe where pieces go together.

While not the first step in the book, I’m sharing my color palette today as I am seeking a little feedback. I believe the colors work as intended, but some of you are much better at final decision making than me, lol. And, as noted, I get overwhelmed by choice.

COLORS

Here is the Pinterest board I built of outfits and garments that I found and liked. The prevalent colors seemed to be red, camel, pink. navy, yellow, orange, olive and pale blue.

A color palette doesn’t mean you can’t wear other colors. It’s to help focus your selections to have a streamlined look and shopping experience. For me, it was selecting colors I am regularly drawn to.

Three Main Colors: red, camel, navy

Four Accent Colors: lemon yellow, cornflower blue, pale pink, saffron

Tow Neutral Colors: olive green and heather gray

Here’s how the colors should work

  • MAIN COLOURS Your main colours should be ones that you can see yourself wearing A LOT, and that would work especially well for your key pieces, like jackets, shoes, trousers, coats, etc.
  • NEUTRALS Pick neutral colours that would suit your basics, i.e. simple tops, trousers, cardigans, etc. Black, white, cream, tan, and all shades of brown and grey are obvious choices, although any other shade that creates a neutral (duh) canvas is also good, like a muted light blue for example.
  • ACCENT COLOURS Accent colours should work for accessories and single items, like tops or skirts, that you would pair with your key pieces or basics. This doesn’t preclude you from wearing an accent color as your main color, it’s just not the foundation of your wardrobe.

Personal Color Palette (1).png

  • NEUTRALS – Each of your two neutrals should go with every other shade of your palette.
  • ACCENT SHADES — Each accent colour should work with each neutral and at least two of your main colours. Bonus points if they go with each other as well.
  • MAIN COLOURS Each main colour should should work with each neutral, each other main colour and at least two accent shades.

So… what am I looking for feedback on?

  • I’d love to know if you think that they work as they should, and if you would change the hue or intensity of anything above to better work?
  • Would you switch up any of the accents or neutrals for main colors, or vice versa?
  • The only colors I’m willing to exchange / better select are my neutrals. I struggled a little with my neutrals. I kind of threw gray in, because I didn’t have another neutral. It seemed it would fit the criteria. I liked a lot of olive /Army green, and wasn’t sure where to stick it. So if you have a better neutral shade, please let me know (but, no black. This exercise taught me I actually don’t like wearing black).
  • I would be interested in hearing an argument for the intensity or particular shade of a color to help them be more cohesive.

ETA: If you have a color suggestion change, a HEX Code would be helpful since we might be calling colors different things.

I don’t think this is an overnight project, but it will help my purge some of my stash and be better focused with my sewing and knitting.

Thanks for your feedback!

31 comments

  1. It might be helpful to look back in your blog and instagram to see what colors bring out your best–both in the way you feel and the way you look. (Your glorious new yellow raincoat comes to mind of course!)

  2. I’m still trying to get mine together! I seem to have different “wardrobes” for different things, and they have vastly different colour pallets. I lack basics – basic black pant/skirt/jacket suit combo (for formal things) I’m slowly getting there, but there are huge gaps. (Also thank you for making the curated wardrobe easier for me to understand somehow!!)

    • Hi Becky. My gaps are enormous too. No black dress for dinner events, no cocktail dresses, no cute outfits for drinks with friends or receptions. It’s just abysmal. Working through the “needs” helped a lot as did “key pieces”. By the time I finish those, maybe I’ll be better at “outfit combos” 😄.

  3. Can’t the Olive Green be your neutral. I have heard people saying they use colours like purple etc as a neutral so why can’t the green be neutral. If the olive green is the colour you love then use that as the neutral and base your accents around that. A number of those colours would go with it. I may be wrong but why not see if it works.

    • Thanks, Lynda. I think you’re right. She does recommend selecting two neutrals, so that’s why I added the gray. I won’t stop wearing say, black pants or coats. I just don’t want it to be a foundation of my closet. Gray seemed like a compromise and I couldn’t think of another neutral I liked that I wouldn’t mind wearing by my face also.

  4. Lovely palette. What is the difference between the main colors and the neutrals? You look great in all colors, so it is really a matter of organizing the wardrobe, and having things work together, right? What about prints? Maybe I should buy the book to answer all these questions? 😘

    • Prints can go on, that’s more about style than colors. I like prints too. But, yes. Since I can wear most colors, my closet has been all over the place. This is an effort to be more organized and thoughtful.

    • Thank you. It’s not something I’m drawn to when shopping though. Same with say purple. Pretty color, quite like it, but just a few random pieces and not core wardrobe for me.

  5. These colours look nice for you. Like the stuff on your pinterest board. Just remember to wear a bright colour near your face! I have started doing this and it really makes a difference. Casual smart is the way to go when you no longer need the “Corporate” image. Good luck with this! All the best.

    • Thanks, Susan. Yes. I definitely do better with bright colors, I just don’t like them on me head to toe. I’ll bear in mind the brighter colors by my face.

  6. It’s a beautiful palette! But I wonder if you might want to add a black and a brown (like chocolate brown, not camel/tan)? If you plan to wear colors in these items it would be good to include them in your palette. Here’s an example:

    I created an acid and jewel-tone palette a couple of years ago and used black, navy, white/cream, lime, olive, hot pink and a sunset orange. I completely cut out brown and over time I ended up having a closet that doesn’t work with my love of brown leather… I should have kept it! I’m working on a split palette; think of it like a ven diagram where most colors work with both brown and black and a couple of accents skew toward black or brown.

    • Ah, yes. I see what you’re saying. I haven’t thought too much about shoes / purses / leather, etc. If I understand correctly, I can use the camel as my clothing and can use variations of it (leather brown) for other items. Thanks for your example! It makes perfect sense.

      On Sun, Dec 8, 2019 at 10:55 AM Miss Celie's Pants wrote:

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  7. I desperately need to do this, as my closet is in transition as well. Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth. I don’t particularly like the lighter colors on you. I think your skin tone demands a darker hue. I would consider going to a mid or charcoal gray, and a cobalt blue, along with a deeper pink. But what do I know? LOL Otherwise, I like your choices. I hope you share more of this journey with us.

    • Thank you! I’ll try the gray a little deeper perhaps. The good thing about that blue(s) is I can work with a range of them. Cobalt blue isn’t something I’ve tried on before. I’ll mosey on over to the mall and dee how it works.

  8. Personally as I read this and then looked at the colors, I thought you nailed this color palette. This is you and I’m basing it upon conversations we’ve had, comments you’ve left about color combos on my own blog and things you’ve been excited about. I don’t think you should change any of it especially since the blue works for the jeans you’re wearing daily and ALL of the other colors will play upon that base.

    Secondly as someone who went through this same process too and who works from home in her pjs, I understand this challenge. It took me four years to sew enough to have a wardrobe I like..with the basis of it being jeans/leggings that I purchased. So you can do this and determining your color palette is a good first step.

    • Thanks, Carolyn. When you do red and camel color blocking, I do sort of salivate on the screen! I am thinking it will take me several years also to have the kind of wardobe I want. The good news is this has made it much easier for me to pick out my next few garments, and scale down my wardrobe.

  9. Fun to read your process on this! Since you asked… one thing that struck me about the colors is that your neutrals are supposed to go with every other shade in your palette. I’m not quite sure that’s the case with your two choices right now, and maybe while you’re struggling with them. But the navy and tan from your main do seem to go with everything. So maybe it’s just a matter of moving some of the colors between categories. Good luck and I look forward to reading more of your process!

    • Meg, you got my small dilemma right off! Camel and Navy to me are neutrals, but I found I liked SO MANY navy and tan garments, that I figured they must be my mains. I can definitely see myself wearing more head to toe of a few of my accent colors, but I also don’t want to look like a pinata.

  10. This is fun! Let me preface my remarks by saying that I have long admired your coloring and how wonderful you look in strong colors. So then I scrolled back through your blog and noted colors that I thought were particularly flattering. Based on that I would lose the grey and camel, or at least keep them for bottoms vs tops. And I second the comment that a strong bright near your face is a terrific idea. That fuchsia scarf proves my point.

    HOWEVER as a person currently wearing a strong mustard colored shirt, which I enjoy even though I realize it is a dire color with my skin/hair tones, I don’t know why anyone would take my advice.

    ceci

    • Hahaha! I’m knitting a mustard / saffron colored sweater myself at the moment. I’m calling it a variation of yellow. Yes, the camel, gray and navy aren’t colors I would wear as say an all over color or a top. I would use them as a basis to wear other, brighter colors in doses. I agree the fuschia is a fun color on me, but I actually don’t like it all that much (if you can believe it)! I bought it specifically to go with a teal coat I sewed for myself. I tend to avoid fuschia and hot pink because I find them just a little too loud for my personality. I love camel coats, camel and navy slacks and grey in small doses (pants and skirts).

  11. I’m working through a similar transition; beefing up my at home wardrobe as my work environment has gotten a bit more casual. I find the Curated Closet’s particular method of color assignment to be a bit overwhelming, First, since we both live in seasonal climates, I think it might make sense to start with one palette for fall/winter, and then revisit for spring/summer. Second, might I suggest you take a look at the system of 4×4 grids that Janice at theviviennefiles,com has created? It’s also based on two neutrals, with a couple of accent colors built in to create a cohesive whole? She’s just completed a year-long process of creating 6 different wardrobes inspired by scarves. Just some food for thought,

  12. I am extremely opinionated about color, and have been following your blog for years… thanks for asking the question that *will* get me out of hiding.

    I don’t feel like these colors go together very well. You have icy-cold yellow/blue/pink mixed in with an otherwise warm/muted palette. I would recommend either warming and deepening these colors (moving lemon to buttercup or sunflower, for example) or moving your basic olive and camel into cooler tones (pine/greige).

    Have you ever had your colors done? Might give you a place to start.

    Love the idea of a curated closet. 😀

    • Thank you very much! I’ll play with deepening a few of the colors and see what I come up with. I haven’t had my colors done since college. I found that so many things work for me, that getting my colors done felt limiting — and not what I actually wanted to wear.

  13. This seems way over-complicated to me. I love color, and restricting what I can have is not appealing. But take a look at the capsule wardrobe month at curvy sewing collective, there are some much more straightforward concepts there. One that’s working really well for me is the super-simple 4-pack from Vivienne files, which gives you a solid basis in neutrals. Then all your other colors can play on top of that

  14. How fun! Love all of it bar the grey, as it just doesn’t seem to be in the same family to me. Jars a bit.
    My favourite combo from your choices would be the navy, red, and cornflower blue (I’m thinking slacks, jersey, and gingham shirt). Is that allowed?

  15. I think that the gray is a bit too cool to go with the rest. I agree with the woman above who said that the accent colors are too light and too cool and don’t really go with your main colors. I’d deepen and warm up the yellow, the blue and especially the pink . The saffron is fine.

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