· Constraints are oddly freeing ·
Peek inside my closet and you’ll find it’s mostly a cohesive blend of colors. My color palette is neutrals, red, turquoise, olive, pink, neon yellow, and denim. I love how this facilitates dressing, saves money, and simplifies shopping.
In 2014, I made the decision to restrict my wardrobe to a specific color palette: neutrals (black, brown, gray, white, navy), red, turquoise, olive, and denim. Previously, I embraced the entire rainbow. While I loved the variety, it began to make dressing overly complicated and expensive. (I had to have a red purse for red shoes and purple shoes for a purple purse, etc.) By restricting the colors in my closet, I have created a cohesive, mix and match wardrobe.
The transformation didn’t happen overnight. There was no purge to eliminate items that did not meet the restrictions. Instead, I simply stopped buying things that didn’t meet my specifications. During periodic closet cleanouts, those items outside my palette had to meet an extra burden of proof to stay in my wardrobe. Four years later, my closet is nearly transformed.
Along the way, I did find that I really liked the extra punch I got from pink (all shades) and yellow (neon), so I added them to my palette. (You might have noticed the big pink tassel earrings I bought on our Disney trip last October.) Those colors may not seem like they “go” with the other shades, but I make them work.
I can’t give up pink pants or this neon yellow bag!
The changes were pretty small, with a big impact. Purple is gone. True green is gone. Orange is (mostly) gone. I’m left with the colors I’ve chosen.
When I get dressed, I now only have to consider how shapes will interact and whether a particular pattern mix will be just too crazy. Occasionally, mixing black and navy still gives me fits. For the most part, I like all the colors together and have accessories in all the required shades. (I think I finally found a pair of red earrings that I like. Strangely, that has been a challenge!) I don’t worry about colors clashing and that makes it easier to get dressed.
I managed to overcome my aversion to mixing black and navy in this outfit.
I’ve saved money because I don’t need to have as many items in my wardrobe. No garment is orphaned because “nothing goes” with it. I automatically deselect items in the “wrong” color when shopping and save myself from making an unwise purchase.
In fact, shopping is overall simpler. Because I like to shop thrift and consignment stores, selecting by color is key to sorting through the melange. I’m not overwhelmed by the variety when I am only focusing on my core palette.
I find the limited palette to be liberating. It’s easy to get dressed and shop. Pattern mixes are effortless. I now have the time to spend on bigger issues, like wondering how often other people wash their hair and whether my dog is happy.