When you’re putting together a capsule wardrobe one of the most important things to consider is your capsule wardrobe colors. This will be one of the main things that help you choose high impact items to buy and include in your wardrobe. Need a basic course on creating a capsule wardrobe? Check out Putting Me Together!
One of the keys to a successful capsule wardrobe is having items in a color palette that work well together. I always have a color of some variation of pink, blue and yellow.
In the spring, they might be more pastel. In the summer, the colors might be brighter with mustard yellow. Come fall, I might substitute rust for pink. In the winter I do red instead of pink and usually throw in some emerald. I have noticed over time that these are really the only colors I’m interested in wearing. Of course, that might change in the future, so I reevaluate every season. If I change my mind, it’s not too hard to start adding in a couple of pieces of that color and slowly shifting the palette.
Tips for capsule wardrobe colors
Create a Pinterest board with what you like.
I like to do one for each season then apply it for the next three months. Look at your board and look for patterns in shape, color and texture.
Choose colors that look good on you.
Think about what colors you wear when you get compliments and feel like you’re glowing. What colors wash you out? If you change your hair color, you’ll want to do this again, because your clothes and makeup can look very different after a hair color change.
Consider whether your skin tone is warm, neutral or cool.
One way to tell is that gold typically looks better on warmer skin tones, silver on cooler and neutral look good in both. Another way to tell is to look at the veins on your wrist, if you can see them. If they have a blue or purple tint, you likely have cool toned skin. Blue green veins means you have neutral toned skin. Green or brownish veins mean you have warm toned skin.
Here’s an example of a warm skin tone in a yellow (warm) and blue (cool) outfit. See how much the color of the outfit changes how the skin looks?
This one is an example of a cool skin tone in a blue (cool) and yellow (warm) outfit. Look at the difference.
- Consider how the colors work with your overall look. I have a neutral skin tone with pale skin and dark hair, so I tend to look best in pastels and jewel tones. Depending on the time of year, I pick colors that I like that compliment me.
- What if you like a color that your skin tone doesn’t “qualify” for???? First of all, wear what you like, because feeling happy and confident in what you wear will make you look better than a color ever will. 🙂 Also, there are SO many shades of each color, so if you really like blue but have a warm skin tone, you can definitely find a warm blue! If you like yellow but have a cool skin tone, then you can find a cool yellow.
Great! Now let’s put together your capsule wardrobe color palette.
1. Start with your base of neutrals.
You will want to choose at least two contrasting neutral colors. I’d suggest three or four, but do what works for you. Make sure they are neutrals that can go together so you won’t have clashing neutrals. For example, don’t choose dark brown and black; instead, you could choose camel and black. Think of your wardrobe as one cohesive thing, not just a bunch of outfits.
2. Add colors
Select colors that work well together so you can mix and match easily. Here is a brief overview of types of colors that work well together. Think about what colors you like and wear and build from there!
Types of color harmonies
Colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel
Split complementary colors
One color and the two colors next to its opposite color.
Located next to each other on the color wheel
Three evenly spaced colors around the color wheel (this is what I use!)
Group of 4 colors, every third color in the color wheel
One hue (color) with shades (color + black), tints (color+white), and tones (color plus gray) of that hue.
3. Add textures
Texture is another way to add variety to your capsule wardrobe. Add textures that are appropriate for the season and pick textures with some contrast to increase variety within your clothing. Textures can either be neutral to mix in regularly, or they can include some strong statement pieces that you’ll use once in a while to spice up your outfits.
Feel free to move around these options and create a palette unique to you! Want to give it a try?