Styling & Colour Palette // The Curated Closet // Closet Case Patterns
Fashion Sewing & Wardrobe

Styling & Colour Palette in my Wardrobe // Lessons From the Curated Closet

Last week I talked in depth about how I’ve recently refined and analyzed my personal style using the book The Curated Closet. I’ve defined it as “cozy minimalist chic”, and am trying to build a highly functional wardrobe that caters to my low-key lifestyle.

The book is extremely thorough, and a big part of the process is figuring out a colour palette. I was happy to give this area some serious thought, since my relationship with colour has been all over the map over the last ten years. In my early twenties, I wore black almost exclusively. When I went back to design school, began working in interior design and then started sewing, I started having a  lot more fun with colour and prints.

My early sewing career is filled with bright, colourful dresses and bold prints, which worked well for my life since I went out a lot and had lots of work events to attend. As my life has slowed down, I rarely wear most of those garments, and find myself gravitating towards the simple, classic basics in my wardrobe. I almost always wear neutrals these days, and while I still love colour, I find I prefer it in thoughtfully small doses. If I gravitate towards prints, they are generally bold and larger in scale, and something I use mainly for special occasion pieces (like my recent largescale floral Ebony dress). I wear a lot of stripes and like to sprinkle in the occasional animal print, both of which I consider more or less neutrals.

This really sums up my colour palette and material proclivities these days:

I gravitate towards soft textures like cable knits and high quality wools. I love the drape of silk, the softness of linen and the feel of denim. Colour wise, I like outfits with a strong grey, cream or black base, and then offsetting them with other neutrals like camel or navy. In terms of actual colour, I mostly wear khaki green, sapphire blue, blush pink and bright magenta (which seems like an oddball choice but I always beeline straight towards it when I see it in fabric stores).

MY COLOUR PALETTE

I made up a basic colour palette to work from, and while I won’t slavishly obey it, this gives me a good foundation to build up the missing pieces in my wardrobe.

Colour Palette // The Curated Closet // Closet Case Patterns

Cream, black and grey are dominant (although the grey I have in mind is more of a textured marle), with khaki green and a navy/sapphire making up the main accent colours. For additional accents, I chose a soft denim blue, blush prink, camel and my favourite fuschia/magenta hue. Not represented but also colours I love are bright cobalt blue, mustard yellow, rust, coral red and kelly green.

STYLING

Styling // The Curated Closet // Closet Case Patterns

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve

One of the things Anushka suggests you think about in the book is styling. These details makes your wardrobe and individual outfits feel more cohesive. Just like in my overall personal style, I am definitely feeling more minimalist these days. Gone are the days of massive statement necklaces, wrists full of bracelets and a full face of makeup. These are my preferred styling tricks:

  • Layers in neutral tones
  • Classic watches with leather or gold bands
  • Minimal gold earrings and necklaces that look great against skin but don’t call attention to themselves
  • Oversize eyeglasses and sunglasses in metal and tortoise
  • Leather bags in simple, classic shapes (I have a growing collection of vintage Coach bags, the best)
  • Casually tucked in shirts, unbuttoned to the breast
  • Leather ankle boots, modern clogs, simple sneakers and flat leather sandals for day to day wear
  • Wool hats in the winter, straw hats in the summer
  • Cuffed sleeves and rolled hems
  • A mostly bare face with a strong red lip and red nails

Have you ever thought about developing a colour palette? What are your styling tricks?

  • I looooooove this!!

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  • Regan

    This is really neat to see!
    I’ve actually had very organic process of adding in colors and figuring out what I like throughout the past semester and January. I tend towards dusky reds, mustards, and olive greens, with teals and oranges seasonally. My surprise color was blush pink, but every February I start hankering for it and then by May I don’t want to see it anymore, so I’m sticking with it for spring.
    Color is something I’ve always found interesting, so thanks for sharing!

    • Glad I’m not the only on the soft pink train. Maybe its because i’m using it a lot in the company branding, but I just want everything in shades of blush silk these days!

  • Sarah Curtis

    You’ve officially convinced me that I need to buy this book. My full wardrobe overhaul will be happening soon. Also, can you please post links for the photos in that final collage? There are a few real beauties in there that I’ll need to look into further. Thank you.

    • Thank you for noticing that Sarah – I totally forgot to caption them, its done now 🙂

      • Sarah Curtis

        Thank you! I think I need those sandals and clogs, immediately

  • I’ve had the hardest time styling outfits since my life slowed down. That was one of the reasons I bought the book, to get my styling on!!! So now I have outfit inspiration for all the seasons, outfit formulas written out and a shopping list!
    I can’t wear any jewellery at work (since I make beds for other people) also, no nailpolish or heavy make-up. So these ‘extras’ are all reserved for weekends. It’s totes fine since I gravitate towards more natural look anyways. I just bought the perfect shade of lipstick – my natural lip colour! Ok maybe a shade darker but it looks like I have nothing on.
    I had the hardest times figuring out my colour pallet so, I have two – one for winter and the other for spring-summer-autumn. And my colour pallet is like white squares with colour names written in them. It was too hard to decide which greys I like best bc I like all the greys!!!

  • missceliespants

    I’ve been trying Cladwell for developing and sticking to a palette this summer. But, I’m a magpie who can wear most colors so it is really hard. But, I’m committed to having separates this year. My entire working career I went into an office daily, had meetings and late night events. Things have relaxed for me and I’m really trying hard to develop a style, color palette and reduce my everything.

  • My ‘style’ if I have one, changes slowly all the time. My colours remain mostly blues/greens/purples, neutrals are black and white. I’m craving red right now though, so a shift may be on the way! I abandoned jewellery almost completely some years ago, when my work shifted from school to college, and became more casual. A few pendants, nothing much else. Right now, I’m venturing into art teacher chic…because there isn’t a ‘maths teacher chic’ other than wearing jokey T shirts with bad puns, and geeky ties. Watch this space!

  • As I keep getting more honest with myself, I really only wear navy, royal blue, white, black and grey on a regular basis, in solids or stripes. Mostly, I want to get dressed without thinking much about it and keeping the colors and silhouettes consistent makes it easier to mix and match, and I don’t see that changing. But I’d like to sew a few more interesting statement pieces with bold colors and/or luxurious fabrics like jacquard and brocade. We’ll see if anything like that comes to fruition! Your style boards are so pleasant to look at. 🙂

    • Thanks Morgan! I like your plan. I always like having that “wow” piece to throw on. It actually makes it easy to look put together if you have a few of those out there things you can mix in.

  • Susan Buchanan

    I love this kind of post! It’s so interesting to hear about someone else’s process and discoveries. I think after working in fashion, I’ve discovered that I only like really specific colors and shades and combinations, and also that it’s totally ok to admire something on someone else and never try it myself. Being mentally comfortable is so much more important to me at this point!

    • Absolutely! It takes a long time to get there though. I think sewing really helps you drill down and figure it out since you make so many things you don’t end up wearing that there is more of an urgency to narrow down what you truly like.

      • Susan Buchanan

        So true! I banned (mostly) fast fashion a couple of years ago and then later realized I was doing the same with my sewing! Quick projects with fabric I got free or cheap and then never wearing those items or giving them away immediately. I’m now spending more time on fewer projects and ending up with so many more wearable things! I save my instant gratification projects for my two baby cousins’ tutus, panda hats, etc. 🙂