Author Topic: Any good tips or sites for picking a woman's clothing palette?  (Read 3009 times)

catalana

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Any good tips or sites for picking a woman's clothing palette?
« on: November 05, 2012, 07:47:42 AM »
I've just read a post by Mini-Mer about Project333 and am really fired up about minimising my wardrobe!

I have a tonne of clothes, and as some of you may know, we moved to a smaller house recently.  The result is that my previously organised wardrobes (one for work, one for play) have to be fitted into half the space.  It seems a great time to de-stash the clothing and learn to live with less.

So ...... can you help?  Some of the things I struggle with are:
- Virtually all of my clothing fits.  I have not changed size in 20 years, so there's only the odd thing which is borderline too tight / too short / a little uncomfortable.
- I love colour and variety, which is one area I would like to address - particularly in the work wardrobe.  How do I decide on a colour palette?  I have black, brown, navy, gray and taupe neutrals as well as some splashes of colour!  Bizarrely I don't own a pair of black trousers though.  Probably because I don't like the black/white combination which just says "waiting staff" to me.
- I don't like to wear black in summer or light coloured clothing in winter weather.
- I have a bad habit of hanging on to things too long - some of my stuff is rather worn/faded/bobbly but I don't want to splash out on replacements  **embarassed face**  Especially not all at once!
- Work is smart casual with the occasional need for a suit.  Including the separates I probably have at least 10 fitted jackets.
- I occasionally travel abroad with current job which means I have not stored out-of-season clothes like I did previously.  e.g. Last week I was in 25 degrees C heat in southern Europe and returned to 2 degrees C at home!

Actually looking at all the above, it seems clear that it is the work wardrobe I need to concentrate on.  Casual stuff is pretty easy - I have a pile of t-shirts and a couple of hoodies on the go at any point in time.  They get worn to death and then turned into cleaning cloths.  Jeans or cargo pants to finish.  If I have to dress smartly for an evening out, I put on some skinny jeans and hijack the working wardrobe for a blouse.

Can you help point me in the right direction to trim down the working wardrobe?

smalllife

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Re: Any good tips or sites for picking a woman's clothing palette?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 08:17:41 AM »
You say that all of your clothing "fits": does it merely fit or does it fit and flatter?  Now that you've asked that, does it fit flatter and look like you belong in this millennium?

I don't have a good answer about choosing a color palette, but I would try doing a modified version of Project 333 (shorter mainly) with just one color palette/neutral one after another to see if your gut tells you anything.  Judging from your post I would say that black is out.  There are some good articles out there about choosing the right palette for you, find a writer that you understand and see where it leads.  Alternatively, you could hire a wardrobe consultant for a day to go over colors with you.

"I have a bad habit of hanging on to things too long" - I bet you could de-stash a good chunk of your wardrobe by being honest with yourself about this!

I would actually counter that you should think about combining your work and casual wardrobes.  I also work in a smart casual office (no need for a suit but I keep one that I wear as separates) and really have no "only work" clothing.  It helps that my idea of casual is a little dressier than most, but I find that it keeps the number of clothes down and gets compliments more often than not.

Most people declutter their wardrobes by taking out the unwanted items.  It's more time consuming, but more effective, to take out everything and only put back your favorites.

I'd try Project 333, it's a good starting point and isn't too minimal that it would be a shock.

ashem

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Re: Any good tips or sites for picking a woman's clothing palette?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 08:56:16 AM »
Your title reminded me of the Carole Jackson Color Me Beautiful craze in the 80s. Based on skin tone and hair color, you were deemed either an Autumn, Spring, Summer, or Winter. My mom and aunts were REALLY into this and they ordered me my own wallet full of fabric swatches so I'd know which colors I should or shouldn't be wearing. Much to their dismay, I dislike clothes shopping and have a very minimal wardrobe.

If you don't love it or haven't worn it in over a year, get rid of it. If you have trouble doing that, just stick a large box of clothes in the attic and if you don't miss it, give them away next year. My goal is to only own items I really feel good in. Try adding splashes of color and variety with scarves, bags, and jewelry.
Sounds like you'd be a great person to do a clothing swap with! They're really popular around here. Every person brings 10 quality items (clothes, shoes, & accessories), and you leave with 10 new items. Give the rest to charity.


catalana

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Re: Any good tips or sites for picking a woman's clothing palette?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 10:20:27 AM »
I don't have a good answer about choosing a color palette, but I would try doing a modified version of Project 333 (shorter mainly) with just one color palette/neutral one after another to see if your gut tells you anything.  Judging from your post I would say that black is out.  There are some good articles out there about choosing the right palette for you, find a writer that you understand and see where it leads.  Alternatively, you could hire a wardrobe consultant for a day to go over colors with you.

I would actually counter that you should think about combining your work and casual wardrobes.  I also work in a smart casual office (no need for a suit but I keep one that I wear as separates) and really have no "only work" clothing.  It helps that my idea of casual is a little dressier than most, but I find that it keeps the number of clothes down and gets compliments more often than not.
I like the idea of a modified Project333.  Each time I think of giving up a neutral, I panic, so have never tried it.  A shorter period of time (say a month) to live with a more limited wardrobe sound ideal for a commitment-phobe like myself!

I honestly couldn't combine my work and casual wardrobes.  I rarely make it into jeans at work, and my casual wardrobe is mostly stuff suitable for muddy dog walking - think wellies, thermal underwear and goretex  :)  Actually, having said that, I need some new wellies - I wore mine out!

kaeldra

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Re: Any good tips or sites for picking a woman's clothing palette?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 11:26:05 PM »
My tip for variety is to hide a handful of clothes for at least 6 months - then you can swap out and feel like you have new stuff to work with even though you haven't bought anything. (I mainly do this for seasonal reasons, although my office keeps the temperature so cool I wind up wearing my winter clothes all summer anyway!)

Seconding the comments about flattering and looking contemporary (even though the eighties seem to be back). Be honest about whether clothes look good on you - I found I was hanging on to shirts because I liked the fabric or because it was expensive even though I felt frumpy every time I wore it.

If you wear something and realize it's not completely comfortable (oh yeah, every time I wear this shirt the sleeves cut into my armpits), set it aside immediately or you might forget and put it back in with your wardrobe.