Choosing the Perfect Colour Palette for Your Handmade Wardrobe
I love colour, all colours, and for a long time, my love of every colour permeated every aspect of my life. Some people pull this off so well, but for me, it resulted in a wardrobe that felt disjointed, and made it difficult to pull outfits together. It wasn't until my thirties that I finally learned why.
In 2017 I made a decision that changed my life. I hired Suzanne Colmer, the style consulting queen of Toronto, of Your Shop Girl. She taught me the best cuts, colours, and prints for my unique complexion and frame, and so much more. I gobbled up all the information she gave me, and now, it feels like second nature, allowing me to quickly rule in or out pieces based on what I know works best on me.
Your handmade wardrobe is a big investment, both in time, and in yarn. Choosing carefully will increase the wearability of each piece, making them worth the effort. Narrowing down your ideal colour palette is a great place to start. The colour and subtle undertones of your skin, hair, and eyes, and even how they contrast with each other, all play together to determine what colours of clothing will complement you best. They are your wow colours - the ones that show up in your life again and again, and you consistently feel your best wearing. Or maybe they'll come as a complete surprise!
I spent a year knitting myself a wool cardigan. I knew that for the cost and the amount of time I would spend on it, I'd need it to be something I could wear all the time, with everything. Guess what colour it is?
Black? Neutral? Goodness no!
It's dusty rose.
My whole wardrobe is made up of cool, muted shades of pink, burgundy, and blue, with lots of soft greys, because I know these are the colours that suit my cool complexion and the low contrast between my hair, eyes, and skin. Since I know these colours work best on me and together, I was confident that a dusty rose cardigan was exactly what I needed in my life.
The groups of colours within your colour season will play well together, making it easier to create a cohesive look. Once you see it, you won't be able to un-see it - people dress in their colour seasons all the time, because it works! Choosing a cohesive palette will help the majority of the pieces in your wardrobe work in harmony, and mix and match with ease. You won't need to rely on neutrals to avoid clashing. Although I have narrowed the colours in my wardrobe down, it has actually allowed me to wear more colour because they work together so well.
Read on to discover how to create your perfect palette.
Seasonal Colour Analysis: A Crash Course
Traditional colour analysis, in its simplest form, groups the colours into four "seasons" - although many people flow between the seasons. I'll start with the basics, and include resources for nailing down your best colours.
Note that this can be a serious rabbit hole topic - but have fun with it! You can go into your own closet and grab the pieces you feel best in, and even more educational, the pieces you want to love but always put back on the hanger. Sit in front of the mirror in good natural lighting, and "drape" these colours near your face. You might be amazed at what you find when you compare, for example, brown or grey vs true black.