Fashion Magazine

How to Choose Colours for a Capsule Wardrobe

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

I have a style challenge that I need help with. I am a Spring according to the color theory websites. I am the one season that does not look well in black, in fact, I have given away my black garments with the exception of a black dress that I only wear to funerals. My neutral is camel or warm sand. My tops for the spring and summer season are aqua, turquoise, peach, or salmon. I feel like I am so limited in my colors. I also have trouble putting together a capsule wardrobe or travel wardrobe, because I cannot seem to mix and match the colors correctly. I would appreciate any tips and suggestions. Thank you, Adonna.

How to Create a Capsules Wardrobe Colour Scheme When You Don’t Wear Black

When you work with a color palette it makes it easy to put together wardrobe capsules as your colours naturally have the same color properties which means that they are easy to mix together.  Spring’s color properties (or Zesty and Radiant variants in my Absolute Colour System)  are warm, bright and lighter.   You may find that if you get a color swatch from an image consultant that it opens up a whole range of extra colours that you hadn’t thought about (in my swatches there are around 50 colours and neutrals and I call them 50 of the 50000 colours available to you).

So when you’re putting together your wardrobe, you want to look for colours that have these color properties so that they easily mix and match, which gives you more outfit options.

If you are choosing colours that have similar color properties it should be fairly easy to put together a capsule wardrobe for traveling.    Remember that your tops need to go with your outer layers (jackets and cardigans) and your bottoms, but they don’t need to work with each other, unless you are planning on layering them.  This gives you more color options to play with in your capsule.

Here is an example of a warm coloured wardrobe capsule using the tan, brown tones as the neutral basis.

Creating a wardrobe capsule in warm colours

And if you’ve got cool colouring, but you don’t want to wear black (or it just doesn’t suit you either as you don’t have the depth or clarity in colouring to make it work) then here is an example of a capsule based around the neutrals of gray and navy.

Building a capsule wardrobe without black

When you’re putting together a capsule it’s all about finding colours that work together.    If they’re smoky, then choose all smoky colours, if they are warm, then only choose other colours with a similar level of warmth.  

How to create a capsule wardrobe color scheme using your color swatch

The reason many women find it so hard to mix colours and create a capsule is because the clothes in their cupboards have different color properties and they just don’t go together (no matter how hard they try)!

When mixing your colours it’s often easier to choose colours with a similar value (lightness or darkness) and then create your ideal value contrast using your neutrals.

Discover more about creating attractive color schemes here.

Read all my posts on creating wardrobe capsules here (which include different color scheme options)

Discover the colours and styles that suit you with 7 steps to style

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