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.
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.
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?