Friday, August 08, 2014

The Vivienne Files Color Planner



wardrobe color choices, wardrobe color plan
This is page 116 of the 182 pages of color combinations included in this file

It's finished!  My self-reference for color combinations, completed and formatted for you, is finally completed.

Add to Cart

The file is $5.99 - I promise you'll find enough colors here to keep you occupied for weeks!

Each of these combinations, no matter how unusual or difficult to "swallow", was drawn from a painting, a photograph of nature, an Hermes scarf, or some other place where the colors seemed to be happy and compatible together. 

The thing I learned from this, more than anything else, is that if you really WANT to put specific colors together, you can.  There seem to be no limits in the world to what colors appear together; you just have to get out there and look for the examples.

There are, in fact, two pages of color schemes for each pair of neutral colors.  For example, if you're interested in black and denim, the first page would be under the main heading Black, and the subheading Denim.  Conversely, there's also a page that has the main heading Denim, with the subheading of Black.  On these "pairs" of pages, you'll probably see a duplicate or two (since I just worked through the pages in order!), but there should be a wide variety of combinations to stimulate thought and consideration.

Each page is numbered, and each combination on the page has an associated letter label.  This way, using the combination of page and letter, we'll be able to more easily reference specific combinations when we want to talk about them.

I've also included a masking tool (better known as a sheet in which you can cut a hole!) that you can print onto opaque, sturdy paper, and then cut. If you cover all of the other color schemes on a page, you can get a better feel for the one at which you're looking - you don't get any "peripheral vision pollution". (yes, I made that up)

If you're viewing this on the PDF, you can always enlarge it so that you can only see one scheme at a time.  This way, you can also see that the little shapes that make up each grouping do not fit together tightly - this was definitely a hand-crafted project!

Please, when you've chosen a favorite combination, send me a note or leave a comment here, and I'll use the combination as the basis for a travel wardrobe.

While I think it makes sense to focus on two or three accent colors, I think it's possible to put together a very functional wardrobe that includes a LOT of accents. For example, don't forget that every shade from very lightest to very darkest of your neutral colors should have a place in your wardrobe.  And if you introduce accents into your wardrobe in the way that I have done recently in the Common Colors series (i.e. a garments with one or two accessories), you can have as much variety as you find comfortable.  Just be sure not to neglect your core neutral wardrobe in your passion for color!

You will probably notice, as I have, that certain accent combinations show up frequently.  When you introduce a shade of green into a color scheme, the whole picture suddenly begs for the color wheel opposite of red or orange.  Similarly, pink and soft blue are always drawn to each other (not quite opposites, but you get the idea).  In PowerPoint, the application I used, there are over 16.7 million possible individual colors; I think I've seen them all.

I've made a point in some color schemes to include black and white as the accent colors.  While that seems contrary to the spirit of accent, I think we need to bear in mind that there are a LOT of neutral combinations that can work well with black and white, and which will gain a lot of versatility from these most basic of basics.

Let me know what you think.  And thank you so much, as always, for supporting The Vivienne Files, and me.  It's my labor of love.

Hugs all around,
Janice


28 comments:

  1. Janice--This is spectacular and such a service to all of us who love clothes and cold and (me) fantasizing about clothes and color. Now I can see and be reminded that my taupe bassis can live a full and most colorful life.

    Thank you for all of this work

    DianeC--Albany New York

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  3. I have always thought that this combination in claret and teal has been extraordinary beautiful, but very difficult to acheive (hard to find the pieces)
    http://www.theviviennefiles.com/2012/03/packing-for-claudia-and-russian.html

    Now I wonder if this is similar to combination f of medium grey with petrol. I'd love to see a travel wardrobe in those colors.

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    1. Wow! I just re-looked at that post. Amazingly beautiful. Thank you for reminding us all of it. Janice really is an artist isn't she?

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  4. Hi Janice, I found your blog just a few days ago and it's very fascinating, thank you very much. It gave me useful hints about how to get add structure to my wardrobe. I absolutely prefer olive green and a greenish khaki or camel as neutrals, marroon/bordeaux red and turquoise/ teal/ emerald green together with a creamy white as the lighter neutral.

    Kind regards,
    Anette - Darmstadt/ Germany

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  5. Wow! Thanks so much, Janice, for the time, patience, and indefatigable energy that went into this encyclopedia of color. Too amazing.

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  6. I purchased the color encyclopedia and am having fun exploring it. Here is my question: How can I know the names of the accent colors? I'm suspicious of what I see on my computer screen -- that the colors are not accurately displayed. For example, few of the colors had a cool undertone, but I expect you do have them well-represented amongst the warm bases. As a person who looks decidedly ill in warm colors, it's important to me to steer away from those. Thank you very much for your hard work on this!

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    1. These accent colors don't have names - a lot of them were colors that I created manually through the "RGB" mixer, which just means that I kept tweaking the color until it matched the vision I was trying to create! Don't let these colors be a dictate to you -- use them to stimulate your own imagination and observation skills, and to help you refine your preferences. If you see the colors slightly differently than what I created, work with those.

      And some of these combinations are quite unexpected juxtapositions of warm and cool, intense and subtle, strong and muted. They might look just exactly as what I saw, but just seem really foreign to you because they're not in the mainstream.

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  7. 2 questions - 1) Do you have the Pantone names/numbers for colors, 2) I thought you had offered something else for sale but cannot remember what or when. Is there a shopping tab/icon that we can use to make sure we aren't missing out?

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    1. I do NOT have Pantone names for these colors - many of them I sort of created through the RGB tool (red, green, blue) for creating colors in PowerPoint, and thus they may not even have Pantone equivalents.

      And I have offered a number of my smaller work files for sale. If you're on a regular computer, you can see the bar on the right side of the screen, near the top, that lists them all. I don't think that bar is visible on a smaller formatted or mobile screen - sorry!
      warmest regards,
      Janice

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  8. I just purchased your colour guide. It is a timely purchase as I was wondering how to integrate some of my coloured favourites with my new grey/navy look. My questions are answered. Hurrah! I don't have to completely purge my fall/winter closet. You must be a very patient woman to have compiled such a work!
    Merci.

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  9. Thank you for your hard work. This colour guide is very useful for planning wardrobe and ideas. It is such a pleasure to analyse it.

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  10. Excuse me, I would also like to ask one question about the rank of colours in each combination: the four colours are aligned occasionally, or it means the first accent colour goes better with the first neutral than with the second accent colour (the forth colour in row). Thank you!

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    1. There's no deep significance in the placement of the 2 accent colors - I was trying to create an ensemble of four colors that was pleasing, and sometimes an accent just looked better next to neutral A rather than neutral B. But this is intended much more to stimulate your thoughts and imagination, rather than to be a dictate about how to choose colors. Let me know what combination or combinations you like most!

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  11. Dear Janice: I'm really looking forward to perusing this book! And I 'm going to buy some of your other creations. Thanks for putting all this together! Have a wonderful day!

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  12. Janice--My mind is spinning at your magic! Many thanks.

    Also--I am no longer on your blog roll--neither are a few others (Recovering Shopaholic) which I found through your site.

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    1. Thanks so much - I have no idea what happened to that list, but I'm glad to put you back on it!
      big hug,
      Janice

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  13. Thank you, Janice, for your hard work! Am I missing the combos where white is one of the neutrals? My summer combo is navy/white/coral/emerald; I am working on my winter combo. It may end up being navy/grey/burgundy/teal, but I love purple and red and hunter green. ::sigh::

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    1. I haven't used white as a neutral - the closest I came was natural, which I envision as sort of an unbleached linen, Aran sweater sort of creamy off white.
      You can absolutely use more than 2 accent colors - just incorporate the accents carefully without neglecting your "workhorse" core colors. The Common Colors posts from the last couple of weeks show how you can get one garments with an accessory or two and have a lot of options for wearing an accent colors with neutrals, without making a massive investment.

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  14. Middle son is coming in next weekend, and I hope he can guide me through my sordid state of affairs with pan pal...
    Have a happy weekend!

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  15. Many wonderful combinations that I would like to try for my wardrobe... Thank you very much, it will be easier to combine clothes for all my family. In autumn maybe I will think about the following colours for my wardrobe (I prefer navy, miss brown in autumn, work in office and choose something from jade, spruce, ruby or dusty purple, or dusty darker yellow as a soft summer): b from page "Navy and milk chocolate brown", f from page "Dark chocolate brown and navy". I would also wished to try f from page "Milk chocolate brown and navy" or g from page "Navy and Milk chocolate brown" but I am a bit afraid yellow or purple will be too brigth for office.

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  16. Thank you for many wonderful combinations. I am planning on making a wardrobe with camel and olive and I like 100a and 185h (very sophisticated). Would love to see your ideas on these options.

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  17. Thank you SO much, Janice, for this wonderful 'tool'- purchased within minutes of reading your post!! (That's how much I trust your work!) I sew most of my clothes, and this will be invaluable to me, as well as providing much needed inspiration.

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  18. Thanks for this color planner Janice! My absolute favorite is denim & med grey 102F which has purple and teal. This is pretty much my current wardrobe color along with soft white. I'd love to see you do a very casual fall capsule with this combo. Also love 42C, 42F, 102A, 104G, and 29B.

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  19. Oh my this is so amazing and the time and effort you have taken to make this available to all for a very small amount is so generous. I can't wait to get some quite time and see what I can find in this wonderful tool that I have already purchased. I will be in touch when I get my head around my "Starting from Scratch".

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  20. Hi Janice, I have been devouring your blog now most of this year and just love it. Have introduced a number of people to it, including my daughter (22) and it is her question I"m asking. She is currently losing weight and will be traveling to Europe next year for 2 years, working holiday (casual, not corporate). She has picked her colour scheme, black, grey, white, with red & cobalt as accents. The problem is she is a big dress wearer, very rarely wearing pants so we wondered what you would do with that. Thanks so much,
    Cathie & Scarlett

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  21. Your blog has changed the way I view my closet, colors in the wardrobe, my shopping, and how I dress. I love it. Thank you so much for this exquisite path to a more elegant and functional wardrobe. A SPECIAL thanks for your recent building a wardrobe from scratch series. So, glad you added the "universal colors" and black and white as "accents." Just fabulous, and so actually helpful!

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  22. Great work. Thanks for all your effort. You make our morning and planning much easier. Je partage vos valeurs et ce besoin de ne pas surconsommer. It's a real pleasure to read you. Keep up the good work. 3cstyle.com

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