Today's blog post was a perfect nudge to put in writing what I have been thinking for a while in terms of color groups and what that means for my wardrobe. My neutral definitions are very similar to Angie's, what I call neutrals covers her first two categories, pure and fashion neutrals: black, white, greys, browns, navy, denim, etc., and I have exactly the same category as her personal neutrals, only I call them "pseudo-neutrals".
My coloring is that of a cool/true summer: cool and medium-ish ( light blue eyes, dark blond hair with ashy undertones, pretty pale cool under-toned skin), I wear most cool colors and even borrow some stronger ones from sister season of true winter, and some slightly warmer ones from soft summer. I follow the flattery guidelines based on seasons loosely.
I have developed a system when it comes to color groups and their place in my wardrobe. My first group is what I call my main neutrals, and this includes navy, black and shades of white. These are the backbones of my wardrobe and my essentials come in these colors. If I am contemplating a big ticket item I hope will last for a while (e.g. a wool coat, a modern classic suit), it will often be in one of these colors.
All the other neutrals in my wardrobe have the role of "accent neutrals" - I have and wear them, but in smaller quantity than the three above. I further subdivide these based on flattery: subgroup A are flattering, cool ones I can wear on any place on my body ( greys, taupe, cool chocolate brown), and subgroup B are less flattering, warmer neutrals, that can be worn strategically away from my face and/or in accessories (most of warmer browns/tans/earthy shades, olive, etc.). Greys are interesting - they have potential to become a main neutral, and I suspect that may happen again when the start trending like they did in the '90s, the way earth tones are now.
The next group are my pseudo-neutrals, which I wear pretty much the same way Ange described in her "fashion neutrals". For me these are: burgundy (have to avoid very warm shades), light blue (any shade), blush ( cooler ones, they often serve as my nude, but have to be careful about exact shades), and eggplant, to a smaller extent. I don't have too much eggplant as it has not been available a lot lately.
Then, I have my "signature colors" which are basically my favorite colors that make me happy and I always wear to some extent regardless of trends. For me these all the shades of purple and teal.
Finally, I have my regular colors, which are all the remaining shades of blue and pink, berries, red ( deeper blue-toned and a bit of true red). cooler greens, and theoretically at least, pale lemon yellow ( I may have 2-3 pieces only).
I like to organize my clothes in terms of seasonal capsules, especially when it comes to planning and shopping. The formula is : 2 main neutrals + an accent neutral (not a requirement) + 2-4 colors for seasonal capsule. These change seasonally according to my mood, and what is trending/available. However, I have noticed in the past couple of years that the base/main neutrals never change. Winter is always: black + shades of white +greys; spring always navy + shades of white +accent (usually olive or black), summer is always shades of white + touch of black + accent, and fall always navy + shades of cream + accent. Most recently the full color schemes have been:
Spring (2021): navy and whites (main neutrals), no accent neutral, light blues and various pinks (colors);
Summer (2021): whites and touch of black (main neutrals), shades of brown (accent neutral), light to mid purples (lilacs, orchids), and shades of aqua/teal/turquoise (colors);
Fall (2021): navy and shades of cream/soft white (main neutrals), shades of brown (accent neutral), burgundy, light blue, light to mid purples (lilacs, orchids), fuchsia (colors) and
Winter (2022): black and whites (main neutrals), shades of grey (accent neutral), shades of purple (emphasis on eggplant) and teal (colors).
Since my three main neutrals are navy, black and whites, I like pieces that contain more than one of them and serve as connectors. Pieces that combine (print, color-blocking) black & white and navy & white are easy to find, however navy & black (with or without white) pieces are not. As a consequence I am always building /adding to my capsule of navy & black items.
Thank you if you made it this far! This may sound overly analytical and not work for everyone, but it works very well for me, a type of adult LEGO system. It makes "splurge vs. save" decisions much easier. I don't stick exclusively to the color schemes/capsule when wearing my clothes (would wear a fall colored outfit in winter and vice versa), but find that the system especially helps me with narrowing down the focus when shopping and planning ( I like so many different things!). It also helps with color decisions when shopping - I am much more likely to get a pricey non-neutral item if it is in my pseudo-neutrals or signature colors. Similarly, I will stick to those two groups of colors if I don't like what is trending.
To finish, I have attached some of my favorite color schemes ever, comprised of my main neutrals and signature colors, that are very safe fallbacks in most seasons and for most occasions and that always feel like me. Please share if you have somewhat similar systems!
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