Thursday, May 18th, 2017
Picking a colour palette! This has to be the easiest part of the process! I mean, you’re just picking the colours you like to wear, and leaving out the ones you don’t. The book recommends picking three main colours, two neutrals, and four accent colours. Simple.
Neutrals are easy, so let’s start there. Black and white. Done. Oh, but I also like wearing cognac. And I have a lot of grey in my closet… Oh shoot, navy is a neutral too right? I can’t leave that out. Does cream fall under the heading of white, or is it a different colour altogether? Does taupe count here? What about camel?
Maybe I’ll look at accent colours instead. I like burgundy, red, kelly green, olive, blush, cobalt, mint… ah crap, that’s too many.
Maybe I’ll remove colours instead. I look terrible in yellow. Oh, but I have those yellow flats. What do I do about those? Eh, I’ll think about that later. No pastels, I look terrible in pastel. Wait, does chambray blue count as a pastel? Blush is a pastel too. So is mint. Damn it.
The seemingly simple exercises in this book tripped me up more than I was expecting them too. They forced me to address questions that I never fully had answers for. Questions like – is your skin tone warm or cool? I didn’t know. If I check to see if my forearm veins are green or blue, it honestly depends on which vein I’m looking at. The last time I was matched for foundation at MAC I fell under their neutral colour range. My eye colour migrates back and forth between brown and green, which normally suggests warm, but my naturally dark ash blond hair and light skin point to cool.
Sherry from over at Save Spend Splurge sent me a couple links to Cardigan Empire to try and help determine where I fell in the spectrum. After a little discussion she commented that I had the same colouring as Anne Hathaway, and something clicked. Looking at pictures, I like almost everything she wears.
A couple days later I was trying on neutral shoes, and was stuck between the warmer “nude” pair and a cooler taupe pair. I messaged a bunch of friends about which shade looked better, and the unanimous answer was taupe.
I have a cool skin tone. I know that now. That answer alone helped narrow things down considerably. White, not cream. Taupe, not camel. Black, not brown.
The next big thing I had to do in this exercise was stop looking at my closet and trying to figure out how to fit everything into my palette. Not everything was going to fit, and that’s a big part of why it never felt cohesive! Yet it took some major effort to stop doing that. A big part of me didn’t want to look at some of the more expensive pieces and acknowledge that they were mistakes purely because of their colour!
At the end of the day (weeks), this is what I ended up coming up with:
My main colours are navy, white and olive. My neutral colours are taupe and black. My accent colours are green, tan, red and burgundy.
Two things I reminded myself of during this process were that:
Looking at this palette it does run darker than a lot of the cream/blush/dove grey palettes I see featured on Instagram, or even in the book, but there’s nothing wrong with that! For me, this is a very wearable pallet.
Blue jeans, breton stripes, olive utility jacket, and taupe flats? That’s in the palette.
White jeans, black t-shirt, green scarf, a tan trench coat, and taupe flats? That’s in the palette.
Blue jeans, black jersey top, and black booties? That’s in the palette.
White and black sweater, blue jeans, red purse and flats? That’s in the palette!
Actually, thinking back on outfits in recent memory that I actually liked, almost all of them fell within this palette. I might swap out the burgundy for blush during warmer spring weather, and occasionally throw some cobalt or cognac leather into the mix, but other than that I really don’t feel constrained by this at all. I like my options, and I feel like I have a lot to work with.
Have you done this exercise yet? What does your colour palette look like?