Color Scheming: Day 1

Sunday, May 8, 2011

From the time I was teeny-tiny,
I followed my mom around in
the fabric store while she paired
different color fabrics together,
analyzing which shades most beautifully
complimented the other for whatever
sewing project she was working on.
She was the source of many lessons
on how to pull different colors tones together
in eye-pleasing ways.

Color coordinating to construct a piece from
scratch is something I've carried over into
working my wardrobe into as many outfits as possible.
And this is an awesome way to rediscover the really
great pieces that are at the bottom of your dresser drawer
simply because you haven't been able to think
of a way to style them.

Like anything else, this is a process.
It might start with a picture of a well-decorated room
I see in a home decorating magazine,

or with a Kate Spade advertisement,
or the colors on a paint swatch...
all of which might give me interesting ideas on how to rework
particular colors together to create new outfits from
the pieces I already have in my closet.

This is something I do with the clothes I own on a regular basis
and in the interest of keeping myself inspired while
NOT clothes shopping this month,
I thought I might as well share my little technique
with you this week, using this particular color scheme.
Collect all the possible pieces in one place.
The process generally starts with all the items I own
of those colors piled all over my bed,
but because I'm nice, I organized things a bit for you!
I pull everything remotely close to the color scheme,
because even if I don't initially think something will coordinate,
it might be the one piece that gives an outfit some extra personality.

Start with a bold piece or print like this skirt,
and then try it will all your cardigans.
I really like this skirt with any one of these orange shades,
so from there, I just throw every blouse and tee with it
to see which looks are my faves.

When I put this tee with this cardi and skirt,
I was instantly intruigued.
I've always loved khaki and navy together,
and even though the orange lettering is
not quite the same shade as the cardi,
the way they pop out is sorta cool.

Of course, because I loved the khaki and navy,
I wanted to find another way to wear this together.
Easy solution: remove the cardi and add a scarf and belt.

Another quick tip:
You know how we're always reading fashion advice that says to
pair a masculine piece with a girly one?
This is how you do that...
you know, without going straight to military boots, and whatnot.
The color of the tee itself is masculine and the font of the
lettering makes it look even more tough (the belt adds to that),
so pairing a completely girly, floral scarf on top
is visually interesting because you've got these two
elements juxtaposed against each other.

Once you get on a roll, it's hard to stop.
Same formula here--different outfit.
Cardi, tee, skirt...cardi, tee, skirt...over and over.
Now go try it yourself!
I promise you'll be shocked at how many new outfits you end up with.

If you afraid you won't remember your faves,
then buy a notebook and write down each pairing
that you really like and want to repeat.
I had a friend who actually took a picture of all her outfits
with a Polaroid camera and tacked them to a
cork board on the back of her closet door.
That way, she never found herself staring at her
closet in the morning and wondering,
"What in the world can I wear today?"
She had visual reminders of outfits she loved.
Do whatever works for you.

Of course, once you've decided what to wear,
there's always the little issue of what shoes to pair with
an outfit (which I'm notoriously horrible at)...
Not kidding.
In college, I'd have to walk across the hall to my friend,
Amanda's room, with a different shoe on each
foot and ask her which one I should wear.
Unfortunately, she no longer lives across the hall from me,
so I'm never completely confident that I've made the right decision.
Go figure.
That's the end of day 1: rediscovering your closet with a color scheme.
More to come tomorrow.
G'night, mah dears!


  1. Thank you for sharing! This is super helpful.

  2. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your amazing color creativity.

  3. you never fail to inspire. thanks for posting, dear!

  4. I was reading your blog on my couch this morning and my 2 1/2 yr old looked over my shoulder, saw your blog header and asked if you were a princess. :)

  5. This is such a great way to rework your clothes! Thanks!
    Sarah Kate


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