Personal Style

How to build your Color Palette

If you want to build a minimalist wardrobe that actually works in your day-to-day life and in which you feel like your best self, a color palette is going to help you a lot. It is so much easier to have some kind of guide line to navigate all the beautiful things that come your way. So in the last part for my color analysis mini series I would like to walk you through the process of building your own color palette. Please keep in mind that not every single color you have in your wardrobe has to be represented in your color palette. Also the colors you like are inevitably going to change a bit from time to time just as you yourself change and evolve.

1. Study your best Colors

So in one of my recent blog posts I explained how you can find the best colors for your skin. If you haven‘t read it yet, go check it out and come back right after that. If you did, you already know that the temperature and chroma of your skin determine which colors make you shine and which ones drag you down. Now it‘s time to study them. Search the web, use Pinterest or magazines. Do whatever is easiest for you. Which colors do you like? Which colors did you wear before and in which did you feel like yourself? Which ones would you like to experiment with? Make a list or a visual representation. I used Pinterest for inspiration and have an excel sheet now, for example. The goal is to get to know your best colors so that you don‘t have to think about them a lot later on your journey.

2. Analyze what you already wear

Now go open up your closet and look at the colors in your wardrobe. Which colors do you see the most? Is there maybe a color scheme? Make notes. And also think about the why. Why do you wear so much black? Is it because you feel safe in it? Or you got used to it and have no idea what to wear instead? Do you maybe recognize the minimalist color scheme that floats the internet? I‘m talking about white, black grey, of course. If so, why do you wear it? Do you genuenly like those colors on yourself or were they just a step on your journey to cleanse out all the style noise that overwhelmed you before? Try to understand your patterns so that you can better decide what to do in the next step.

3. How to experiment without losing yourself or a lot of Money

By this point you surely found some colors that you always liked and cannot wait to experiment with. Like that lovely blush pink or energetic fire red. But behold! First make sure you get your wardrobe ready for your experiments. Please don‘t throw everything out that is not one of your best colors. For now make notes about what you would still like to wear and what is really not a good idea for you. You can hang your clothes in sections: best colors on the right, meh colors on the left. But you don‘t have to get rid of all your clothes just because they are not optimal for you. (Unless you really hate something, then kiss it goodbye and find a new home for it.) Also don‘t go on a shopping spree to buy a bunch of new stuff in your new colors. You might find that you don‘t like all of them or that there is more nuance to understand. So no matter how excited you are right now, please take it easy.

When you experiment try one color at a time and combine it with the ones that you already like to wear. Sometimes we love a color on someone else. Or we love the idea of a color. But we just don‘t feel good when we wear it. In theory I like lavender. I like it on other people, it is one of my best colors and it looks very harmoniously in my color palette. But when I bought a lavender sweater and wore it for a few weaks, I just didn‘t feel like myself. There was something about that color that just wasn‘t me.

At this point I understand my style essence better and I know that lavender it’s too youthful for me. This process is going to take some time but it‘s worth it, I promise! You want to have a wardrobe that you love and that represents the real you? Well that takes a lot of time and effort. Even when you have the money to hire a good stylist, I think there is still something important in the process. It is beautiful to find yourself and have that moments where you recognize something inside of you that you didn’t see before.

When you try new colors, try to not experiment with new silhouettes. You can do that later. Focus solely on the color and try a style that you know you like. Also don’t spend bigger bucks just now. This is about trial and error. So to safe some money while experimenting, I encourage you to buy things second hand, you can also try nail polish in that color or an uncomplicated accessorie like a scarf. Or even PJs if you need to buy them anyway. Maybe you can also borrow something from your friends and family.

When you find a color that you look good in and you feel great in, add it to your palette. Try not to have more than 14 colors in your color palette as that could get confusing. (Unless you don‘t feel confused by a whole rainbow in your closet. Then go for that!) Also keep your contrast level in mind. Your outfits are going to look more harmonious when you repeat the level of contrast between your skin and hair color. If not sure, make a black and white selfie. I have a moderate level of contrast and so do my clothes.

It usually takes at least a few weeks or months until you have a first draft for a personal color palette. And the process continues as you get to know your style better. I personally experiment more when I find a new facet in my personal style because I want every aspect of my personality to have a dedicated space in my wardrobe.