A Simple Closet Color Scheme

I wouldn’t call myself fashionable.  I still love my nineties era boot cut jeans and can’t comprehend how high-waisted jeans became fashionable. For clothes, I want functional, comfortable and clean is always good.  Last year I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and she suggests starting with clothes for decluttering.  I’ve done a bit of clothes decluttering already, but want to pare it down to really those items I want to wear, fit well and look good.  I’ve read all about capsule wardrobes and they seem lovely in theory.  My biggest dilemma is selecting a color palette to work with because if you have a rainbow of colors, it’s not going to be a small wardrobe because one top might only match one bottom and one pair of shoes.  The other snag was that I didn’t like the idea of switching out my clothes every three months.  I’m too lazy for that and the weather here likes to go from summer to winter over night.

I decided that my version of a simple wardrobe is to have a total of one hundred items, but this includes everything (well, except socks and underwear).  I could easily make a capsule wardrobe of my winter work clothes and give myself a pat on the back, but I’m not sure my closet would get any smaller.  I want to include my gardening and hiking clothes and all seasons in my wardrobe.

My 100 item wardrobe challenge:

What it includes:

  • Work clothes- all seasons
  • Outerwear
  • Casual clothes- hiking outfits, yoga pants, gardening clothes and even that mowing outfit
  • Shoes
  • Accessories: hats, scarves, belts

What it doesn’t include:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • PJ’s that I wouldn’t wear in public.  I’m looking at you polka-dotted fleece pants that I would be so comfy to wear to the grocery store, but think that might be too weird for even me.

When I’ve tried to eliminate clothes in the past, I would get hung up on the clothes that go with brown shoes versus the ones that match black shoes.  Having both in my closet meant that I had brown flats, brown ankle boots, tall brown boots and then repeat for the black versions.

That’s where my sister stepped in to save the day.  She must have gotten the family’s fashion conscious gene because she’s always been much more into all of this stuff, whereas I could care less what I wore.  Over the holidays we were hanging out and I was looking at her books and there was this one, Color Me Beautiful, that has been in our lives for decades.  Basically it tells you what season you are based on your hair color, skin complexion and eye color and then what colors look best.  I’m sure my sister has told me in the past of my category, but obviously I wasn’t paying attention.  Maybe this time I’ll remember, I’m a summer, specifically a soft summer.  The worst color list convinced me that this was true to my complexion.  I look like a ghost in black and red and when I was in first grade, I had a bright yellow shirt and every time I wore it the teacher asked if I was sick.

I do love all the soft summer colors that I should be wearing, the pale pinks and blues and greys.  This inspired my closet color palette: grey, navy and white as my neutrals and then accent colors of light pink, lavender, light blue and mint.  I like this concept because it means that these are my colors regardless of what’s in fashion at the moment.  It also ends the brown and black shoe conundrum and I can have grey shoes to match everything.  Off to my closet to see what I have in these soft summer colors.

Luckily I seem to like these colors, so after sorting through my clothes, these are the ones that fit into my color scheme:


And these are the ones that don’t:


In thinking about capsule wardrobes, I’m going to organize my clothes into four different wardrobes:

  • Cool weather work
  • Cool weather casual
  • Warm weather work
  • Warm weather casual

Now that I’ve sorted out colors, the next step will be to inventory what I have for making outfits in these different categories.

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