How to pinpoint your wardrobe color palette

Choosing a color palette is a crucial component in developing a cohesive wardrobe.  In this post, I will take you through my color palettes as a step by step example of the approach and process. Grab your favorite notepad, a pen and your beverage of choice…settle in, and enjoy!


The pieces pictured above are all items (within my primary palette) that I own and wear often.  Since I need visuals, I figured others probably do as well.  In fact, when I choose a cookbook or a style book, the first thing I look for is lots of engaging graphics because I know that will keep me interested and inspired!

I will be sharing additional posts pertaining to the process of identifying my true style, and editing my wardrobe over and over…and over.  The path can be arduous, sometimes frustrating and sometimes very rewarding but so so worth it.  I want to share what I’ve discovered and I hope to make the process easier for you in any way possible. 

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I recently read “The Curated Closet” which affirmed so many of the conclusions I came to during my own journey.  Although, I had already determined my color palette by the time I read this little masterpiece, the author does discuss the importance of pinpointing a color palette as well.  My color palette sort of evolved as I leaned into the colors I’m drawn to.  While in “The Curated Closet”, the author suggests choosing a palette as a preliminary step.  For me, it felt more natural to let it evolve while being mindful of making sure the pieces I purchase or retain work well together.

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At this point in my editing process there really are not too many “outliers”. For the past few years, I’ve had regular closet purging sessions and with each one came more clarity and and more honesty with myself about what I am actually going to wear going forward.

One oxblood leather shoulder bag, one nude cashmere sweater, and one nude pair of pumps are the only items (not falling in one of the first three palettes) that have made it through all the cuts.  I’ve retained only high quality items that are comfortable and that I love. The fact that these three made the cut has more to do with those reasons than with the colors.  I thought that was worthy of noting here.

 As I’ve mentioned before, one of my self- imposed style rules is that my bag & purse match.  As I’ve refined my style more and more, this preference has only grown stronger.  So…you may have guessed by now that I’ve highlighted two gaps in my wardrobe.  I need a nude bag, and oxblood shoes or booties.  I love how this bag & shoe formula elevates an outfit and switching up this pair of accessories is such a great way to remix and get more mileage out of the wardrobe.  Until, I find the right (for me) pieces to  fill these gaps I use my oxblood bag with all black as I do with my cheetah clutch , and then I have a cute ivory & black clutch that looks chic with the nude pumps for spring & summer. Waiting for the perfect piece does pay off, and it is possible to find the perfect for you piece.  Trust me, it is worth the delay.

In this last round up, I’ve included the stripes as well.  The classic Breton stripe, and the gauzy button ups with vertical stripes are favorites of mine & will always have a place in my closet.  I’ve included them here  because I wanted to provide a visual for everything in this post.  Again I am such a visual person so I just can’t imagine taking in all this info with adequate visual representation.

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Aside from my nude pumps, all of my other footwear is either cognac, leopard or black…or sneakers which are white or black & white. I’ve included some of my most frequently worn bags & shoes above so you can see how the bags & shoes palette sort of pulls everything together.  

Every girl has one piece in her closet that transcends any rules or boundaries she may have set for herself.  For me, it is the classic Louis Vuitton monogram.  It isn’t black or cognac, and it is a print…yet somehow it doesn’t matter.  The only explanation I have for this is a memory I recall vividly. Sitting in a bookstore with my mom (in my early twenties), I was thumbing through a copy of  The Lucky Shopping Manual. Way back then, this was one of the first books like this and the Internet was nothing like what it is today.  Living in a small town in Rhode Island, we weren’t privy to all the style resources we have access to now and, although I always loved shopping and style,…I still had  A LOT to learn.  Anyway…as I thumbed through this glorious style guide dreaming of building such a wardrobe of my own…I came upon the bag section and there it was…The Louis Vuitton monogram speedy 30.  The caption said something about the piece paired with it (the LV speedy)  being cool by association, and for some reason my obsession with this bag began that day.  I especially love it paired with all black…yes, even evening wear.  Believe it or not, it works with my UGGs for a grocery or Target run too!  Maybe…,for me, this piece is more about that memory and the anticipation of someday creating a luxe wardrobe for myself than the actual item.  Either way, it holds a special place in my heart.

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I hope you found this post helpful, and I would love to hear your feedback.  Please let me know if there are any specific aspects of wardrobe editing you would like me to cover  in the future.  Or share some of your tips and experiences with me.  I would love to hear your thoughts!


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