Color,  Wardrobe 101

Choosing Your Wardrobe Colors

Happy day, Reader Dearest!

Welcome back to another replay post. I’m taking a break and recycling and recombining content. Think of it as a month green blogging!

I hope you’ll see something you’d previously overlooked.

Or maybe you’ll see something old with new eyes.

As I mentioned last week, our theme for August is Wardrobing—Thinking about the big picture: Shopping, Editing, Deciding on Your Must-Haves and Your Rules. Not styling per se, but more about how to make your wardrobe work for you and the life you lead.

Which brings me to a question I am asked frequently about wardrobing (or building a capsule for) a client. What colors should I choose?

Well, that depends… For whom that wardrobe is being built! Here are some of the things I look at when helping a client build (or build out) a wardrobe!

Overall Coloring: Light or Deep

If a client’s coloring is light, then I’m going to opt for more light neutrals and colors for her (OR him!). If a client’s coloring is dark, I’m going to look for darker neutrals and colors.

I’ll be honest! Overall Coloring (Overall Value) and Value Contrast are simple ideas, but two of the hardest to put into practice. Why? Well, the stores don’t always cooperate with our wishes and we have our own ideas about what is stylish… And why black has a stranglehold on the female psyche.

Just in case your wardrobe looks like a black hole, let’s talk about why black doesn’t look good on everyone.

And how black might actually make you look heavier. WHAT?

Value Contrast

Then Value Contrast comes into play. If the client’s Value Contrast is low, I want the wardrobe to reflect that. That makes dressing easy and keeps the focus on the person and not on the clothes! The same goes for high value contrast. High Value Contrast outfits (Think dark paired with light.) are a popular way to dress. However, it’s not the best choice for many. Unless the wearer’s Value Contrast is also high, that combination draws the attention away from the wearer and to the clothes.

Color Contrast

For many of us (Especially those of us with the very common 2N+1C or 3N Coloring), neutrals are the building blocks of our wardrobe. That’s a GREAT place to start, but an all neutral wardrobe can very quickly feel boring. There’s no reason, however, to default to the black, grey or beige, white and denim capsules you see all over the interwebs. You can choose from other neutrals! Don’t know what your Color Contrast is? Read this.

Those boring capsules? They will usually add an “Accent Color” like olive (Really?) or Red. Sometimes Turquoise or Green if they are feeling frisky! (Can you feel the snark dripping through your screen?) Let’s get more creative with the Neutrals and Colors we combine!

Looking for more colorful wardrobe inspiration? Try here!

Now most of us aren’t starting a wardrobe from scratch, but if I were, the basic formula I’d start with would be:

Basic Wardrobe Planning–Choose 2 Neutrals + 2 Accents

This could change if your color contrast is 3C, but for most of us, this is a good starting place. (If your coloring is 2C+1N or 3C, try building with 1 Neutral, 1 Colored Neutral + 2 Accents.

Make sure one of your accents is a color you LOVE! Life is too short to wear boring clothes. And the other? I’d go for a color that makes your eyes pop. Because Coco had it right…

Stylishly yours,

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