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Color Blocking

You know that “closet full of clothes but nothing to wear” feeling? I hate that. I’ve tried many times over the years to do something about it–I’ve tried reorganizing my wardrobe, picking outfits in advance, separating clothing and accessories by style–all to no avail. Some days I stand staring into my closet with no idea where to start.

So now, I’m trying something different: I’m limiting my wardrobe and any future purchases to a defined color palette. The palette consists of my favorites as well as the usual standbys, so hopefully I won’t feel as if I’m missing out on anything. The idea is to develop a wardrobe in which at least 80% of the items can be worn together in some combination and amass a substantial collection of pieces that work with anything.
Top to bottom, left to right: Black, blush, gray (my favorite!), cream, greige (gray/beige), chocolate, mustard (can’t just call it yellow), loden (can’t just call it green), animal print (not just leopard, baby!), red, purple (my favorite actual color), & stripes

Right now my goal is to have all of the basic pieces (tops, trousers, skirts, sweaters, etc.) in black, white/cream, and gray, then add from there. I’m currently on the lookout for interesting/funky/detailed blouses, so if you see anything Margiela-ish or Westwood-y that I might be able to actually afford, let me know.

Tops from one of my Top 10 online shops, Farfetch.com

Surprisingly enough, I don’t feel limited as I thought I would. Conversely, I feel free–no more second-guessing whether this dress or that skirt will fit in with anything else in my closet. It makes shopping easier because there are some items that can immediately be eliminated–I don’t feel as if I’m prohibited from purchasing those things, I feel like it’s easier to determine when my money would be better spent on something else. I’m telling you, so far it’s been extremely liberating!

Of course, this could be an attempt to give myself a sense of control in a world otherwise filled with chaos, as the wise Dionne would say. WHAT-ever!

Have you ever tried to stick to certain colors or is your closet pretty much a free-for-all?

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9 Comments
  • Fajr | Stylish Thought

    October 15, 2009 at 9:04 am Reply

    Good for you! I’m entirely too style schizophrenic to be that decisive with my wardrobe. Though I hate staring at my clothes with the “stink face” not wanting to wear any of it!

  • Alicia

    October 15, 2009 at 12:26 pm Reply

    This is a great idea. Ashe Mischief did something similar, too. I think this is a sign for me to get on that train. =D

  • tanesha

    October 18, 2009 at 11:47 am Reply

    i’ve been trying to incorporate a high style “garanimals” aspect to my closet for years… I swear it’s not limiting and co-workers continually compliment my fill-in-the-blank item i’ve worn a hundred times before like it’s the first time they’ve seen it.

  • Michelle

    October 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm Reply

    I definitely do that. I have bases, accents, and neutrals, and I don’t buy anything outside of those colors! Like you, I feel it works SO much better for me because I don’t buy things and then actually have trouble working them in to my wardrobe.

  • Moe

    October 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm Reply

    DH gives me a hard time about my colors. If you look in my closet you see obvious color blocks (it was not intentional) blue, red, grey seems to be the main theme. With a little black and tan thrown in for good measure.

  • Black + Blue | The Style Sample

    June 7, 2010 at 7:51 am Reply

    […] For some reason, wearing black and navy together makes one feel very French, n’est-ce pas?  Really, I think that particular combination makes both (neutral, sometimes boring) colors more interesting. They’re both integral to my wardrobe palette. […]

  • Kiffe Coco

    June 11, 2010 at 9:00 am Reply

    This is such an awesome idea! I am definitely going to try this…Sometimes I can get a little too crazy with colors and then wind up not being able to pair those pieces with anything. I will definitely keep this in mind for the next purchase! Thanks for posting this!

Post a Reply to tanesha Cancel Reply