Color Inspirations

Happy day, reader dear!

Sometimes clients (or others who see wardrobe plans I have created) ask “How did you come up with that combination?” Well, I’m not always sure exactly where a particular one comes from, but I can tell you they can come from almost anywhere. One was inspired by the design on a coffee mug!

When working with a client (male OR female) on a wardrobe plan, I start with their coloring. Are they Warm or Cool? Light or Dark? Bright or more Muted? I look at their Value Contrast and their Color Contrast. We talk about their personality and lifestyle, and I look around their home (If I have the chance!).

A wardrobe color plan might come from nature, a landscape or favorite place, a painting, a feel, a pattern, a scarf, wallpaper, or even a building! I’ll confess; I’ve gotten to be a color snob. (Embarrassing, but true.) I struggle when designers combine colors harshly; unharmonious (Is that even a word?) coloring makes patterns hard to wear, and suit almost no one well. (Like one size fits all clothing!) I’ve come to prefer harmony in my color schemes. The up side of harmony is that everything plays together well, like Garanimals for grown-ups. Harmony creates maximum versatility.

I based both my Spring and Summer 2019 capsules around this scarf.

Last time I was out in California, we spent an afternoon happily lost at the Getty Museum of Art. My friends and I wandered the galleries of one floor at our own pace. When we finally met up to head to the next level, each asked the others if we’d seen her…

Strange that such a softly colored painting of a young girl would strike all five of us. Especially when you consider what wildly divergent tastes, styles, and personalities we have. I wanted to come home and build someone a wardrobe based of the colors of this painting: light, soft, cool, slightly smokey. Taupe, slate and soft white for the neutrals, mint and blush pink for the colors, and some touches of charcoal or chocolate for punctuation. I can see the soft plush textures, and simple lines… Pewter and pearls. Mmmmmmm Luxe!

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a thanks to Janice at the amazing Vivienne Files with whom/which I was obsessed at one point in my style journey! She taught me to think about building a wardrobe instead of buying higgledy-piggledy, and started something that grew out of control. Thank you, Janice.

So how about you? Do you plan a color scheme? Or buy what appeals to you and figure it out as you go along? Does you wardrobe work well for you? Do let me know in the comments below… I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,


  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    What a palette in that painting. A combination of cool colors but with hint of warmth in that creamy color on the kick plates and frame around the doors. These soft pastels probably speak more to me than any other combination but I probably wear brighter colors better, just more reluctantly. Wonder who this charming, well dressed toddler was?

    • closetplayadmin

      Charming is such a lovely word to describe the painting, and maybe a bit wistful, as well. We, too, all wondered who she is/was! Thank you for visiting, Leslie!

  • Lise

    That would be a fabulous color combination for clothes. I also love the Vivienne Files. I am trying to make my closet colors more cohesive. It is a work-in-progress.

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for visiting, Lise! I can attest that the discipline to create color cohesion is a challenge, but the results are SOOOO worth it. You can practically dress in the dark, and still come out looking fabulous!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.