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Page 2 in the conversation "How conscious is your palette?" by viva
I don't have a conscious color palette. Like you, I tend to gravitate toward colors more emotionally. I like to have a core wardrobe that is mainly neutrals, and then I buy a handful of pieces in color for those times when I want a little fun. My main colors are red and mint, and then I have odd pieces in various colors, usually only one piece per color. I think I would feel assaulted if I had too much color staring back at me from my wardrobe, ha ha.
Conscious color palette here! I think I was raised to use one. It has shifted over time, and run the gamut. My all time favorite and most consistent colors to wear have been teal, turquoise or Aqua and some shade of coral. Coral is interesting because it runs from very reddish pink to very orange yellow. My coral is reddish pink but still has a warm undertone. To come up with my palette, I visualize a specific image of the beach and ocean, sky and clouds, sea creatures and plants, shells, and sand. It is a picture with depth and movement so there is a lot of color and variability, but I can use the image for shopping, so I don't have to carry swatches.
Since my hair is gray now, I wear less gold, but I still think I can wear gold. My metals are both gold and silver and I like to mix my metals. If I could find any, my favorite neutrals would be aubergine, pewter, stone, and possibly cocoa. They are hard to find. Instead I am using charcoal, grey, medium to light wash denim, and winter white/soft white. The colors in my palette are light, soft and cool. The accent colors I am using at present to complement my neutrals are light Emerald green, light teal, jade green, pink coral, fuschia, watermelon red, sky blue, periwinkle, royal blue/lapis.
It isn't easy to stick with such a rigid color palette. Finding something in the exact color I want, in the right size to fit a tall frame becomes a challenge.
There are certainly other colors hanging in my closet, but they look like foreigners. They stick out and do not play well with the rest of my clothes. I'm not sure how many people use images to keep their palette sorted, but when I walk into my closet, it feels and looks a bit like going to the beach with all the pretty ocean colors and it makes me very happy.
I love your palette, and it seems very cohesive to me. It certainly doesn't seem as schizophrenic as my closet used to be, with any beautiful color that caught my eye. I had a bit of trouble mixing and matching it some days. Mostly, I only stick to a very narrow color palette now because of my lifestyle--I live a VERY rural lifestyle so I want to hide dirt.
I've started being mindful of my palette for the last few years because I noticed one of the sure fire ways an item in my closet becomes an orphan is if I don't have other items that work with it color wise.
What an interesting thought. After I reflected, I decided that for me it's a right brain/left brain thing. The logical part of my brain goes for darker and neutral colors because they seem more flattering. But my right brain rebels at some point and starts pointing me toward the brights because they're just happier and make me feel good. That's my brain in a nutshell, always fighting with itself!
I think there are parts of my color palette that are very intentional and parts that are not. But I should preface that by saying that having my colors done in my twenties gave form to my choices. I know what to definitely leave in the store. Before I had absolutely no clue what looked good on me.
Navy came into my wardrobe the summer I couldn't find any black. And because my hair had gone gray, it worked better than when my hair was dark. I love teals and blues and purples and reds. But for many years there wasn't much purple available. So, it wasn't in my wardrobe.
Like Gigi posted above, I have a core of neutrals -black, grey, blue, white, cognac and silver. When doing a big seasonal refresh shop I will let myself be inspired by a fabulous item and then try to build a core of 4 items in that colour, so I have a capsule. Sometimes the love affair with that colour continues, and sometimes it is a short term fling.
Right now I am exploring blush. I have 2 lacy tank tops, a sweater, and a pair of chinos. The colour mixes with all my neutrals, except the cognac. I've also got some wine (2 tops and a belt)' olive (one sweater and a coat), mustard (one pair of trousers) and red (a sweater and a pair of shoes). I haven't 'grown' any of these colours to a core of 4 yet. 'Dirty' colours seem to work for me better than bright or clear colours.
Once you've got some colour in your wardrobe, and have worked it successfully into outfits with your neutrals, try doing all colour outfits to test your tolerance and expand your boundaries.
This is a great idea Carla, thank you! Sometimes I haven't bought a colour for a couple of decades. This happened recently with pale pink, last year. My last pale pink knitted wool jumper was bought by Mum in 1989 and passed to me. I loved it for years but wore it in pregnancy and it stretched out, so after my son was born in 1996 I passed it on. Then no more pale pink until 2016, just don't think I'd seen it. I guess in the interim my sweet girls were wearing it too and maybe it felt a bit ballerina or princess. But they're grown and left home, so... it helps to think of it as part of a "seasonal refresh". I now have shoes to go with the pale pink knit, and then I bought the camo top.
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I was not raised to use a certain color palette, but I have done so for the past several years because it makes it easier to create different outfits. My wardrobe is more cohesive and my clothing budget is lower. That said, I do find it frustrating when I can't find colors I know are my best. For that reason, I think that while it's great to know what my best colors are, I also have to be realistic when I shop and know the color(s) I'm looking for may not be out there. Not every item in my closet is my best color, but some were necessary purchases such as heavy sweaters for the winter--purchases that had to be made and couldn't be put off until later. Those items will hopefully be replaced with my best colors over time; but for right now, they'll just have to do. So yes, I do have a color palette, and I do stick with it as much as possible.
I started rebuilding my work wardrobe a year or so ago and I've been pretty deliberate about making sure all the pieces work with each other. I'd prefer that the base color be navy, but it's mostly built around black and wine/maroon. As the weather warms I think the wine will give way to teal and royal blue, as they will work with my black pants and black/white dress/skirts. My home is decorated with neutral background (white/cream/pale grey walls, white slipcovers, pale wood or black-painted furniture) and I enjoy changing out the textiles and accessories seasonally. I have a big stash of pillow covers and throws and more china to display on my hutch than any one empty-nester needs... but that's the approach I've been trying to take with my wardrobe. My casual base is denim and black, and I like to wear a variety of colors (cardigans, tees, blouses, shoes), and my work wardrobe has a base of black with colorful accessories and tops (more restrained than my casual wardrobe).
Thirkelgirl, it's interesting to hear you talk about your home decor and how it relates to your fashion palette. I find there is a correlation in my life, too. Thanks for sharing.
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