We’re chatting about the guts of my fall wardrobe planner so far — and you can get yo’self one right here. This is part 4 — creating a color palette.
Just glancing at this color palette makes me want to light a pumpkin spice candle + curl up on the couch + sip coffee.
And … I’m in need of some slowing down + breathing deeply this morning. It’s been one of those stressful, spinning mornings.
So … be right back … I’m going to get cozy with some candles + coffee.
While I’m gone, take a look at my color palette.
Take a look at it as a whole.
Then look at it in small slices — for example the top 6. The bottom 3. The 3 on the left side. The 3 on the right side. Etc.
I love how it looks different when viewed it in slices. Mini palettes show up — perfect for individual outfits.
(You’ll notice the format doesn’t exactly match with the planner, but that’s what this is all about right? Changing things up + creating your own rules + making it work for where you are right now.)
How did I choose my color palette? Good question.
About 90% of the answer was internal — it just felt right in my heart + gut:
First of all, I visualized myself living in these fall + holiday months. I saw family gatherings, playing with my nieces and nephews on the floor, going to pick a pumpkin, making soup at home, etc. I wanted a color palette to reflect the coziness + joy of this season. So I picked toasty neutrals + red shades that represent joy, love, and a quiet energy.
The remaining 10% was external:
I looked at new fall lines + magazines to find out what colors are big this year. I found this aubergine color and immediately latched onto it. It meshed perfectly with my reds + added a bit of femininity.
Here’s how these colors play in to my wardrobe:
CREAM | oversized, cozy sweaters + graphic tees
STONE | suede boots
COGNAC | boots + a buttery leather jacket + cheetah print
SOFT GREY | jeans + knit tops
INDIGO | jeans + chambray
CHARCOAL | jeans + a moto jacket + boots + a felt hat
CARMINE RED | buffalo print flannel + a plaid scarf
AUBERGINE | cozy sweaters + scarves
BERRY | lip color (maybe) + knit tops
And remember, while color is an easy way to add interest to outfits, you can also use shine + pattern + texture.
Want to see the rest of this series? Here you go!
(Many thanks to Ciruelo Interiors for creating these beautiful swatches!)
I love how you took your color palette and assigned each color to specific elements of your wardrobe. I will definitely have to keep that in mind as I’m shopping for winter (already started my fall capsule!).
Sarah Petersen says
I just adore your thorough posts. This palette is gorgeous. I’m excited to see how you mix color in your wardrobe. I have a really neutral style and color can be intimidating to add in, especially when you are working with a capsule wardrobe (will they all go together?! Will my outfits be limited by color??). Maybe you can address color intimidation and give some tips for it :)
Great post. Loved seeing where you will specifically put the color in your wardrobe. And you can definitely pull off a wonderfully berry lip color ;)
Have a wonderful day!
I don’t know.. that seems pretty fancy!
Do you look at colors in terms of warm or cool and see how they’ll go together or how they’ll look on you? For example, I bought a red lipstick this summer. I’ve pared down my make-up and thought this was the final, perfect piece in my small collection. However a few months after I realized something wasn’t quite right with it. I finally determined that it’s a warm, brick red and I look better in cooler colors. So when you find that berry lip color I hope you’ll share!
I probably would thrown a green in as well, but very nice palette as it is!
I just put together my very first capsule for September through November (yay!) and I found that the colors came together mostly on their own based on pieces that I already had in my closet. For example, I already had a lot of grey pieces and a lot of indigo/chambray/denim, so those became some of the core colors. For me, it was more about subtracting superfluous pieces/colors and “whittling down” to a core set of colors, though I did add in some cranberry/rose pieces for fall.
Mostly, my main colors ended up being white/cream, navy, gray, and cognac with accents of olive green, a little black, and shades of red.
Anyway, thanks for sharing! I love seeing these in-depth posts about the thought process behind your capsules. Super helpful!
Michelle G says
When I did this before starting my fall capsule, I realized that I didn’t like to wear black clothes! I wanted to do navy as my dark neutral instead. BOOM! It blew my mind and made the rest easy.
Ah! I love this post. I have my main colors figured out, but was struggling with accents! Thank you! :)
This is my first time trying to build a capsule…and this step is the one on the worksheet that I am stuck on. I feel like all the pieces should be harmonious however…what about that red dress i like? LOL I think the problem is I have always just thought of my clothes in terms of individual outfits, not as part of a bigger thing. I am really going to need to think about the weeding-out process and what I tend to wear the most. Maybe I will just have a fall capsule of grey, cream, black, olive green, cognac, berry…and my red dress. I love these posts where you show us your thought process.
Jennifer Daily says
I’ve been working on capsule wardrobes for a couple of years now. It often works for me to throw in a dress wildcard. Since i don’t have to coordinate it with anything, and my accessories are neutral, it often satisfies me on the occasions that I want to wear something bright instead of my usual neutral palette. Go for it!
Oh, I love this palette! It is a beautiful group of colors in itself, but what I really appreciate is the way you’ve included several different shades of each color. Often when I read posts about focusing one’s wardrobe on a narrow color palette bloggers just include one shade of each color, and the result tends to seem flat and uninteresting to me. But this is so rich and layered. (And practical too!–Since a girl is unlikely to find exactly the same shade in different items in different stores across time.) I am not a closet minimalist by any stretch, but this post helps me see (literally) how I can pull from your approach to better my own wardrobe. Thanks!
I love this series, and the inside look you’re giving us into your fall planner! This colour palette is fantastic. I’ve been whittling down my wardrobe for a year or two, but this is the first season I’m being very intentional about purchases and making a thought-out capsule.
I’m struggling a bit because I have a very wide spectrum of outfits that I need for work vs everyday life – I have to wear suits/suit separates for work, and I live in jeans and sweaters on the weekends. Any tips for dealing with two lifestyles that don’t really overlap? Do you think two mini planners might be the way to go?
Would love to hear your thoughts,
I had this same issue! I tried to follow Caroline’s rule of three (three tanks, three skirts, etc), but since my work clothes and casual clothes are very different, I doubled up on some categories. For example, I have three work pants and three casual pants– same with skirts, dresses, and short-sleeved tops. I ended up with a slightly bigger capsule (44 clothing items, plus shoes), but it works well when your work clothes and casual clothes don’t really overlap. Good luck!
Someone commented about this on another post and Caroline responded by suggesting two separate capsules – one for every day and one for work. This is what I’ll be doing!
Amanda Bee says
This is what I just did for fall – some items overlap between my work and casual capsules, but it really helped me see how I have two slightly different wardrobe styles going on.
Thanks ladies! Very helpful!
I had this same problem too, Elizabeth. I like Caroline’s idea of having two separate capsules, but I feel like suits and suit separates are so pricey as is that I don’t really want to buy a new suit every season. Are you allowed to mix and match or do you have to wear a suit daily? I get away with slim fit pants, a nice blouse, and cute shoes – so it’s not always a strict suit and heels attire. In my case, I just make sure 75% of my items translate into work since I’m at work 75% of the week.
Good luck with your capsule!
Thanks for this! I love seeing how clear your thoughts are about your capsule. It makes me even more excited to see the final choices on October 1st! Btw, I love your new signature at the end of each blog post. Really pretty!
Thanks for all the tips, I really love how you break things down in different colors. I always have trouble picking colors, I want everything, but I know it doesn’t all match. Looking forward to your next post in this series! :D
What a gorgeous collection of colors, Caroline! I think the pop of berry adds a nice touch of brightness and whimsy. My fall/winter palette contains: black, cream, grey, indigo/cobalt, tomato red, raspberry and army green. Happy planning!
This is a beautiful palette! I love how you gave yourself a little leeway with the varying shades of each color. It definitely will give the capsule some depth. Also, can I say that it made me ridiculously happy to see you have only 1 item that is “stone” colored? I have a pair of grey jeans that I really wanted to include in my capsule, but I was afraid that it would be cheating to have only one item be that color. Now I’m realizing: it doesn’t matter what the proportions are, as long as it all works together.
Leanne Caroline says
Oh that colour palette! Cannot wait to see it in clothing / styled form. It looks incredible already xo
Steph M says
Ha, I did my colour palette and ended up with neutrals and a soft aqua. Then i looked at what I already own, and my accent colour is actually cranberry/wine/purpley whatever. I have booties, a purse, sunglasses, and a sweater all in tints and shades of it. :) Sometimes your clothes lead to where your brain wouldn’t have gone consciously.
Those colors are so beautiful! I am drooling a little.
I am stuck in summer mode too – here in Phoenix the temps dropped into the 90s for a couple days but we’re going up to the 100s now. No fall weather until late October at the earliest. So even though I desperately want to have cool weather and heavy sweaters, it’s not gonna happen anytime soon.
I’m working on my fall/winter palette though, so I can at least dream…
Beautiful color palette!
Sophia | sophiebysophia.blogspot.com
Curious where you’ll find your buttery leather jacket :) in on the hunt as well.
Lovely color palette. It looks cozy and warm. Very much like fall. Though the beery, indigo charcoal and stone are great winter colors, too. Now if you will excuse me, I need to get my wellies on and walk through the misty meadows…
I just finished my wardrobe planner a few days ago and I loved how it helped me make my new capsule wardrobe!! And it’s finally all bought and hung up waiting for those first days of cooler fall weather. I basically have one capsule wardrobe but 70% is work attire and the rest is casual. Only 33 pieces all together:) thank you Caroline!!! I really can’t believe how well this has worked for me!!
I am loving each and every one of these shades. What I want to know is how you made that pallet graphic? It would be so handy to have on my phone while shopping for my fall capsule.
You can find all the swatches here: http://ciruelointeriors.com/2011/11/09/extendedcoloursrange/
Hi Meghan! I created it in Photoshop using swatches from Ciruelo Interiors. I agree, it would be awesome to have an app that would create a color palette — anyone know of one? xo Caroline
While it isn’t a palette generator per se, I’ve found this site to be super useful for determining coordinating colors, contrasts, various shades of a single color, etc.: http://paletton.com/
I also love the Sherwin Williams paint app! Unfortunately its color options aren’t gradated quite as well, but the app lets you save palettes — super useful for reference while shopping!
Such pretty colors! I love it!
Thank you for the tips! While I’m a neutrals girl and love my staples of burgundy, hunter green, and navy, I like your suggestion that I can add these colors in my wardrobe through other means and accessorizing. Nearly done with my fall capsule myself and going to revisit it to see where I can add more aubergine in – just love that color!
Monika Faulkner says
I’m realizing as I’m catching up on your blog posts that I’m not much of a “seasonal” dresser, dear Caroline!! Of course, I don’t wear tights and faux-fur coats during the summer (!)…but other than that, most of my pieces are fair game regardless of the season!! So I’m totally loving this colour palette that you’ve put together for your fall capsule – the shades of aubergine are especially scrumptious! – but I think I’d wear it all year long!! ;)
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