Realistically, it’s quite easy to work with three neutral colors as a solid wardrobe core. And starting with the fourteen rather arbitrary neutrals that I isolated yesterday, combinations of three start to pile up QUICKLY. Note that these THIRTEEN pages of color combinations are only those that include black as one of the colors…
For reference purposes, these were my fourteen neutral colors…
Interestingly, one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written was one which I built a wardrobe around six neutral colors (see it here). And I’ve finally realized that my wardrobe is pretty closely confined to four colors, as shown below. It works well, for me, right now. I think that’s all I can ask, right?
Love the balance of light and dark in your 4-neutral wardrobe.
I couldn't get to the previous post, as Google demands I sign up(?!)
fiona mcmurdo says
Same here! I would really like to see the previous post.
I love the idea of four neutrals; easier for me to envision my wardrobe with four instead of two. In fact, right now I can see a pattern emerging with light and dark grey, beige and black. The black I reserve for my LBD, a pencil skirt, trousers and a couple of tee's. The other three colors show up in almost everything else I wear. And my scarves are often a mélange of those colors with a brighter color thrown in. Dressing is getting easier and traveling is no longer a sartorial nightmare.
I agree. I think a four colour palette works well for planning a wardrobe overall, while a two- or three-colour palette is good for planning an outfit…
Interesting! Unfortunately, I couldn't get to the previous post either, even after signing into a Google account. Looking forward to more, thanks!
Found it! http://theviviennefiles.blogspot.com/2011/08/wardrobe-for-dee.html?q=neutral
And this is why we love librarians! Thank you!
How did I miss this the first time? These are my go-to neutrals and I love all these outfits. Thank you for finding this gem!
#36 is for me! (But the caramel is only in the form of cognac leather.) Yesterday's post was really intriguing. I was able to quickly eliminate anything with grey or brown in it, and as I looked, I was more and more drawn to black/navy. I have been diligently moving from black TO navy as my core neutral, but maybe now, where I'm half and half (I don't shop much) is EXACTLY where I should be! I would love to see you do a post on black/navy – I think it's quite stylish when it looks on purpose – otherwise, it just looks like you got dressed in a dark closet and couldn't tell the difference.
But back to #36, lately I've been gravitating to cognac leather with my blacks and navies. Add in a couple of accents – white, pale pink, hot pink, red, cobalt, softer blues – and I'm feeling it!
My three-color plan would be milk chocolate/camel/ivory, since I have a closet of those, but I'm intrigued by what the fourth neutral could be. Not a big fan of denim, the fabric. Don't look good in black, cordovan or navy (too dark). Medium gray? Olive? Petrol? (Is this teal?) Must think some more.
Where I live teal is called petrol. You definitely don't HAVE to have a fourth neutral… If you are comfy with three, then why not? Remember, this base palette doesn't include the accent colours (yet?).
I've recently been drawn to navy, gray and black (#27). I even created a pinterest board to collect ideas. The possibilities are endless, and the combinations to my eye look very elegant and sophisticated. Add in some red as an accent, and I'm done! Easy dressing.
Do you think black and white prints can work as a neutral in a wardrobe?
After this blog's emphasis on basic colour coordination, I'm on holiday travelling around wintry Ireland with hubby and with fewer clothes than I've every brought before. I'm relying on denim, black and chocolate brown (with patterned scarves/jewellry to bring the colours together) and it has worked really well. Before I would have gone all-black or all-navy and it just does not look as good as a choice of dark neutrals. Please keep up the fantastic work! Very original and useful approach showing we need disciplined choices rather than more and more clothes.
Wow I am so noob with colors, and I always find myself gravitating to the 4 colors you showed at the end. I am a "cool summer" featured guy but I can never figure out pastels, except for powder blue. Also I tend to wear solid red well for some reason, and some of the browns (at least for pants and shoes but not for shirts unless they are muted).
I wear black t-shirts well but not black pants.
Anyway this has been a helpful post, appreciate it ! (just picked up my solid gray twill suit with chestnut shoes and belt for a wedding lol).