I touched on how to add a new colour in a recent post about building the palette of your wardrobe, but here I’m going to elaborate in more detail. When adding an item in a new-to-you colour, it’s important to think about how you’ll wear it in outfits. 

It’s very helpful to think about your wardrobe in terms of capsules. This does NOT mean that every top and topper has to match every bottom. Not at all. Thinking in capsules merely means thinking about how your wardrobe items relate to each other so that you can create complete outfits that make you feel fab. This prevents the random purchase of items that don’t go together or don’t work for your lifestyle.

I will illustrate the four-step process with a blush jacket that we added to a client’s business casual wardrobe last season. The current palette in her wardrobe was mostly dark neutrals, earth tones, and some jewel tones. Denim was not part of the capsule because of the business casual dress code. 

Here’s the easy four-step process.

1. Scan the Contents of Your Wardrobe

My client fell in love with the blush jacket when we were refreshing her style for Spring. She really wanted to make it work because it was a wild card and a way to evolve her style. She could immediately match the jacket with a column of black or navy because she already had those neutrals in her closet. But combining the pastel with dark neutrals didn’t look sufficiently crisp to her eye, and there was room for improvement. This meant that we had to purchase more pieces to work with the blush jacket.

2. Purchase the Support Act

The absence of LIGHT neutrals in my client’s wardrobe was a glaring hole because they work particularly well with pastels like blush. So we set out to purchase a foundation of two pairs of white trousers, a white skirt and a few white tops. We also threw in a pair of taupe trousers. We finished off the outfits with taupe and gold footwear, and an off-white handbag. 

3. Build Onto the Capsule 

Now that my client had several light outfits to wear with the new blush jacket, we set out to add a few more blush items to this capsule to create even more outfits. We added a blouse in a blush, black and white pattern, a few blush pullovers, a blush tweed skirt, and a blush and taupe patterned scarf. 

4. Lay a Foundation for the Next New Colour

The purchase of the light neutral support act for the blush jacket was quite a substantial investment of time, effort and money for the addition of one new colour to my client’s wardrobe. But it’s the gift that keeps on giving because it paved the way for a much easier and cost-effective addition of the next new colours my client added to her wardrobe, which were chartreuse and light blue. Pastels and brights can be worn with black and navy, but look fresher and more Summery when combined with light neutrals in warm weather. 

Adding a new colour into your wardrobe is easier, less expensive, and becomes more of an intuitive process when: 1) you have an assortment of light, mid-tone and dark neutrals in your wardrobe already, and 2) when your affinity for colour mixing is relatively high. If my client had light neutrals in her wardrobe to start off with, she wouldn’t have needed to purchase the support act. She would have moved straight to building onto the capsule with more patterns and solids. And if her affinity for mixing colours was higher, she would be combining the next new colour — chartreuse — with the blush and white.