Angie's post on this really hit me, in a good way. I’ve read it before but it was great to see it again. I’ve been feeling a lot of wardrobe discombobulation this spring and summer and have been wondering how to address it. Doing a color review seemed a great place to start. I had a real AHA moment (actually a bunch of them) after I did the review.
Color is the single most important thing to me in wardrobe/outfit creation. I will not wear colors that don’t feel harmonious to me, not even when at home. I can live with silhouettes or styles that are less than stellar, but not color combinations. I have a LOW affinity for color mixing and prefer mostly neutrals because they make me happier than a lot of color.
My color preferences have been consistent for a few years. Mostly warm. Neutrals of black, grey, tan/camel, and bit of white, with colors of olive, cinnamon, light blue, and lavender. (I used to have more burgundy but less interested in that now). I tend toward mid-tone or dark colors but do like lighter colors in small doses. I prefer low-contrast outfits. Mostly solids, some patterns. I do best when I generally (but not 100%) go with neutrals for bottoms, shoes, and toppers, and use color for tops and toppers.
I typically organize hanging items (jeans, pants, tops, jackets), by type, sleeve length, and color, in that order; e.g. short sleeved tops are together, with colors in rainbow order from left to right. With pants/jeans I tend be disorganized in terms of color. For folded sweaters I also do it by type and then color but also by space limitations.
I decided to mix things up and organize everything by color, and that led to the AHA moment. I decided to share in case this might work for others. Here are the highlights of what I discovered:
1. Way too many black tops of all types and sleeve lengths, and nowhere near enough of other colors. No wonder I’m sick of black and am bored with outfit combinations. (On the flip side, an outfit of all black items plus blue jeans will always be a FFBO for me. )
2. Hardly any grey – two pairs of pants
3. The tan/camel collection is out of whack. I have sandals but not short sleeved tops (for hot days), and sweaters but not closed footwear (for cooler days). I can use white and light denim here but it feels like there is no cohesive capsule
4. I have mixed feelings about white. Too much bright white does not appeal, but I like a small amount, and my two white denim jackets do get a fair amount of wear. Again a capsule approach would help
1. I don’t want a lot of bright colors but I don’t seem to have much color at all which feels not so good
2. Sometimes like to see a color in my closet but don't feel like wearing it. Like lemon yellow. I actually wore the one top I have earlier in the summer but haven't reached for it since. That's ok I suppose
3. I do wear lavender and olive but have very few of either. Maybe that’s ok, maybe a few more pieces would be good, again need a capsule approach.
4. Blue is a COLOR for me, not a neutral. Even blue denim is a color. I realized that I don’t like to wear just any blue top with just any jeans; the blues have to coordinate. I prefer pale icy blues, mid-tone denim blues including with a little grey, bright navy, dark cobalt. Other than jeans I have surprisingly little of this in my wardrobe, for any seasons.
5. Cinnamon is the only non-neutral color where I have summer shoes(sandals) and a bag, which work really well with all the other colors. Only one other piece, a sweater.
Things not related to specific colors
1. I often think items look good together but then don't actually FEEL like wearing them together. I think I need to do a big try-on session.
2. I do not have distinct capsules for hot summer (shorts, short sleeved tops), and cool summer (longer sleeves and pants, or short sleeves with toppers). Cool summer has crossover with spring and fall, but hot summer stands alone. Right now my collection of tops is especially out of balance, too many for hot summer and nowhere near enough for the rest.
3. I don't have good capsules in general
4. Something is off about my summer toppers. The denim jackets in white, light blue, and mid blue are fine, but the few cardigans are not great. I don't have any other choices.
5 I already knew that I’ve gone completely off skinny pants/jeans and need to replace them with other styles. I struck out on a search for non-denim summer pants (an earlier posting of mine) and am now going to focus on fall, but I still have not caught up to a reasonable collection of pants/jeans after losing weight last year.
6. I have a lot of very simple classic pieces that are sometimes downright boring.
Time for an action plan. Will focus on cool summer/fall wardrobe
1. Think capsules.
2. Need some long sleeved tops/sweaters in neutrals first, but no more black
3. Look for more modern, classy toppers in neutral colors
4. Need capsules for tan/camel for fall. I think I have a better collection of items here.
5. Look for pieces that are less simple/classic
6. Add some blue. Now that I’ve realized that for me it’s a color, not a neutral, even for jeans, this should be easier.
7. Continue adding pants/jeans
8. Think capsules
Next year I need to create a very tight capsule for hot summer. It can’t be too small due to laundry needs but It needs to be based on capsules, have more color variety, be just big enough, and I need to start shopping earlier.
I think I need to do this same exercise again but about style/silhouette.
Thoughts, comments all welcome as always!