Sunday, 22 September 2013

What is your colour palette?

Regular readers will know that I am trying to build a more coordinated and versatile wardrobe as part of Project 333. The idea behind the project is to have a maximum of 33 items of clothing to wear over a 3 month period and the overall aim is to live a less cluttered life. I have to admit that after an initial enthusiastic purge of my wardrobe - throwing out everything that didn't fit, was past its best or didn't flatter me - my progress has been slow. One of my problems is that I like lots of different colours and I have all the colours of the rainbow hanging up in my wardrobe. I am a member of the Project 333 group on facebook and have been admiring the Autumn 33 of one of the other members, whose core pieces are navy, grey and black, with accents in pinks and purples. I'd love to be as focused as she is!

Another member posted her colour palette as a shopping guide, so I decided to do the same thing. We are allowed to shop as part of the project - in case you're wondering - however it's a case of one in, one out. The idea of having a shopping guide is to avoid making mistakes and buying a new item of clothing that won't fit in with your existing wardrobe.

These are my neutrals and you will no doubt notice that black isn't there. I have accepted that black isn't the most flattering colour for the majority of over 60s, including me, so I am gradually replacing it with navy or dark brown. The lighter colours won't be too much in evidence during Autumn and Winter, but form part of my Spring and Summer wardrobes. White is also absent though I do have some white clothes, but I hardly wear them as they're so impractical!

Now here come my accent colours: I hope that you're prepared for this?

Shades of blue plus green
Did you think that was it? Different shades of blue and green?  No, there are more to come....!

Coral, yellow and red
Pink and purples
That makes ten accent colours in my wardrobe - did I mention a rainbow? Just to give you a flavour of what this means in terms of limiting myself to 33 pieces of clothing, I have posted below some of the items that will form part of my Autumn 33. At the moment there are 28 items, so I will be able to choose 5 more.

To my surprise, when looking at the wide range of colours, I realised that most of my tops will go with most of my bottoms, which does add to the possible permutations. However I know that if I cut down on the number of accent colours my wardrobe would be even more versatile. What do you think? Which of these colours would you eliminate - and how many different colours do you have in your wardrobe?


  1. Hi Sue, when I saw your colour palettes I couldn't make them work in my minds eye, but when i saw your clothes suddenly I could see them forming a series of outfits that worked very well. Amazing how a change of presentation can make a difference. personally I would keep the variety as knowing Spanish winters, there will be days that are right for darker colours and there will be beautiful sunny winter days that cry out for something brighter.

    I'll be interested on your final 5, will you choose wisely, sensibly or frivolously?

  2. Hi Jacqui Some of the colours in the colour palette are brighter than my clothes, but when I printed it the colours were more muted so closer to the actual colours of my clothes. I have also printed off the wardrobe pictures, so when I go shopping I have a reference point. Most of the items shown are in good condition so shouldn't need replacing, however when it becomes colder and the short-sleeved tops are put away it may be a different matter. It will, of course, be done on a one in one out basis. You're quite right in saying that we do get sunny days over here in winter, which are perfect for wearing brighter outfits. My final 5, what do YOU think? Frivolously probably.....!

  3. Hi Sue

    For your palette I'd start eliminating the brightest colors and high-contrasty stuff. Not sure about the blues in general but I do like you in "harvest" colors best: coral, orange, browns, greens and deeper yellows. Not sure that light pink does you any favors either. A deep warm pink would be good.

    Since I've taken a hard look at my own closet lately, I've eliminated bright colors and lighter colors, although I still have some. In fact I just got a lilac lightweight sweater for travel and realized when I saw a photo that I looked like I was on the point of crying. Imogen over at InsideOut said something about summers not wearing lilac because we look bruised. I look like I've been crying when I wear lilac/violet eyeshadow, so out that went. I'm realizing that in spite of looking like a low contrast "summer" (or cool and soft and muted) I look better in cool, soft, muted but deeper colors. For you, I think warm, soft, muted and deeper (more saturated). Seems most of what you posted is headed that way.

  4. Did you see this post on Style Workshop Berlin (26 Sep 2013 post):

    I'll never get there as far as Parisian style, but this is my goal, to buy/have/wear only the best colors for me.

    1. Thanks for the link. I've never come across this blog before but it looks really helpful and interesting. I'm off to investigate further, and I may very well add it to my links or blogroll! I doubt if I'll achieve Parisian style either, but it's good to have something to aspire to. There are occasional days when I check my outfit before going out and think "Not bad." I'm aiming at more of them!

    2. Berlin Workshop has a slightly older post (a few months ago?) where she extols the virtues of monochrome dressing. She uses lovely colors that remind me of the background for your blog. So I think yo two would get along well!

    3. I've definitely enjoyed browsing the Berlin Workshop, thanks. The background for my blog comes from a photo that I took of a sunset on the Costa Blanca by the way!

  5. Robin, thanks for your comments. It's interesting what you say as I was told many, many years ago that I was a Winter. Of course I was a lot younger, but even then many of the colours weren't good on me. Prior to that, outfits I can remember buying and loving when I was younger, included a green kaftan, a deep yellow trouser suit, a brown and cream dress, and a bright pink top. Looking in my wardrobe now, the main colours are coral, plus some greens and browns. I have a variety of blues including turquoise, a grape top, a warm pink top etc. I think you're right in saying that the warmer colours are better for me and my wardrobe is gradually heading in that direction (with the occasional blip!)

  6. Hi there, I just found your blog. I have to say that years ago I had my colors "done" and it was the smartest thing I ever did, because it means (especially as an artistic type) that almost everything mixes and matches. I am a spring, but can wear colors that are autumny as well. I cannot-ever, no matter what-wear purple, black, red or pure white.

    I would think about moving out of the winter sphere for sure. I wear soft yellow, turqouise, blue, warm green, cream soft coral and the like. I do wear black on the bottom but never as a jacket or a sweater. Oh, and I wear gold, never silver. Just a thought.