The Curated Closet and Color Me Beautiful
I took a strong cue from my friend Renee of the Miss Celie’s Pants blog to read The Curated Closet, a lovely little book about how to cull your personal style and create a closet that works best for your tastes and lifestyle (full disclosure: I haven’t finished it yet because it was due back at the e-library before I was done with it, lol- consider this blog post part 1). Although I heard lots of good things about the book since it’s publication, I avoided reading it for a long time and I haven’t yet pinpointed exactly why. It might have something to do with protecting “freedom” in my making life, freedom to just make whatever I want to make when inspiration hits, freedom to create without boundaries, without plans, without expectations.
I also tend to connect the terms “curated” and “minimalist” together, and the word “minimalist” is not one I am usually very comfortable with. Again, not exactly sure why, but if me and my therapist had to guess (HA!), it would have something to do with growing up poor and hating not having access to all the things that my peers did. When you’re poor, you’re often living a minimalist life out of necessity, and while I made it through intact, the important thing that was absent from my life was choice. It’s possible that I wouldn’t have changed much about my material life at all if I had the power, but I still would have loved the opportunity to choose; choice is a privilege. And now, all these years later, as a working adult with financial freedom, I still carry this strange burden with me.
Anyways, I’m deciding to try something new, even if it feels a little weird at first. What is drawing me to this idea, after so long, of curating my closet with my makes? Well, I started asking myself how pleased I was with my closet in its’ current state, and although I anticipated being perfectly happy with it, after really marinating on it for a while I realized that I wasn’t. My dissatisfaction had little to do with the specific items I had made over the years, but rather the lack of cohesiveness. There were some items I had sewn that only paired with one other garment in my closet, but I seemed to have sewn even more items that went with nothing in my closet! A button down in a funky print that matched no bottoms, pants I never wore because I had no blouses or shirts to match them with, and so on and so on. The most successful “outfits” I had in my closet were just jumpsuits and dresses, things I could wear on their own. I did have a couple of ensembles comprised of more than one item that looked really cute, but because they were so few and far between I ended up getting sick of those outfits because I wore them (and wore them out) to death.
So what was I doing wrong? Besides, you know, making every new sewing pattern I thought was cute in every inspiring fabric I fell in love with? Well, turns out…that’s pretty much it. I wasn’t putting any thought into how my clothing worked together, I was only waiting for inspiration to hit, and then sewing impulsively from there. Guess what. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method of making! You do what works for you and what feels right! For some reason, this stopped working for me so I am excited about exploring a different approach- I’ve seen all kinds of sewing wizards on IG and in the blogosphere who dazzle on either end of the spectrum, and I’m sure I will continue to be inspired by them all!
I hadn’t gotten very far into the book before having a couple of big revelations: 1. curating my closet was going to require me to start paying attention to color, an area in which I am mediocre at best, and 2. I did not actually dress at all like my preferred style! Shocker!!! Because I love pretty much all the things I have been wearing! But when I took an honest look at my wardrobe and tried to define my style, I couldn’t do it no matter how hard I tried. And that is because my “style”, as disappointing as it is to admit, is all over the place.
I had always prided myself on not caving to fads and being thoughtful about the styles of clothes I wore when I shopped RTW, but I think that when I transitioned into sewing my own clothes, that intention got lost. As I moved out of sewing strictly vintage-inspired garments and started wearing more modern silhouettes, my focus broadened- suddenly I was excited to make the shiniest, newest patterns, no matter if it fit in with a certain “look”. It was great in terms of learning new techniques and discovering new silhouettes that I never knew I liked on myself, but unfortunately it also led to lots of garments made over the years that weren’t sewn with much intention, and therefore didn’t get a lot of wear. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with following trends and fads of course, but this method of making made no sense for my closet because not all of the newest, coolest patterns actually worked for my tastes.
I figured all of this out after starting a Pinterest board (as recommended in the book) to gather all the outfit images and visual inspiration for the style that I envisioned for myself. Again, I was shocked to see how far off I was! My closet had several individual items from my board of inspo, but hardly ANY of the outfits, so my closet and my pinterest board were practically unrecognizable to each other. One big reason for this was because the color palette of my closet and the color palette of my dream style were waaaaaay off. I mean, I had never even thought about a color palette in my life til I read about it in the Curated Closet! But sitting down and looking at the dozens of images I had compiled onto this board, my color choices were pretty clear. I liked earth tones, oranges, peaches, tans and really soft pinks, with bursts of interesting colors. It was surprising how consistent the styles and colors were on my board (because that’s not what my closet looked like), and I started getting excited because this meant there was an actual direction that my curating could take.
Here are the main takeaways I got after examining the themes in my style board:
- I preferred simple, graphic prints over florals, so there were lots of polka dots, plaids, stripes and grids. The florals that showed up were in medium to large prints and in a subdued palette.
- I was drawn to a playful look that still felt sophisticated. Instead of relying solely on novelty prints or bold color combinations to get across my quirky tastes, I want to experiment with pairing different kinds of textures together and mixing and matching prints. This seems like a fun way for me to mix up simple silhouettes and classic garments while not looking boring (which is how my entire closet has started to feel the more I have honed in on my personal tastes!)
- I LOVE MONOCHROMATIC LOOKS! But I don’t have one true monochromatic outfit comprised of separates in my entire closet! What gives?!? When Katie of What Katie Sews started the #dresslikeacrayon hashtag earlier this year, I would drool over every single photo she shared and make a weak promise to myself that I would try it out myself one day, but of course I never could because nothing in my closet matched! My board also had many versions of matching print top + bottom separates, or pieces paired together with fabrics within the same color family but with slight variations in texture or shade.
- I love dresses in two silhouettes: a simple, fitted shape with delicate but interesting details in luminous fabrics…
…and I like midi and maxi dresses that are well proportioned to my body with a close fitting bodice.
- The other trends I noticed were ensembles with thoughtfully layered pieces,
big blousey sweaters and tops paired with fitted trousers and jeans,
playfully preppy looks,
and pattern clashing.
Seeing all this together might seem like way too many variations in style to be cohesive at all, but trust me when I tell you that it absolutely is more focused than whatever is currently going on in my closet, lol.
In her book, Rees mentions color a few times and refers to a person’s specific palette and how some people have found a lot of power from only wearing “their” colors. I of course had heard the theory of people having “seasons” before but I didn’t know much about it, so I googled to learn more…and then I went down a whole color rabbithole! It just so happened that my mother in law heard me and Renee, who was over for a visit at my in-laws house over the holidays, discussing the theory of seasons of color. She then went on a hunt to find her copy of the original book that started this trend in the early 1970’s, Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson. It eventually fell out of fashion but at it’s height it was considered the “bible” for fashionable women.
I read the thing cover to cover within a couple days. It was jam packed with both a wealth of thoughtful and helpful information and some of the most antiquated, racist, sexist and fatphobic tropes that you could imagine. In short, the book shares a simplified theory about how skin tones can be categorized into 2 main groups, warms and cools, and 4 sub-groups, a.k.a. seasons: Winter and Summer (the cool side of the spectrum) and Autumn and Spring (the warm side). Cools have a blue undertone and therefore benefit from wearing cooler colors that make their skin and face brighten and look alive, while Warms have yellow undertones and look best in their own specific palette of colors. In addition to understanding how color works with hair and skin and eye color, there is a section about the kinds of styles women in the strictest binary sense of the word “should” wear and how certain clothes and shapes can “make you look fat” and how that should be avoided if at all possible. Sigh. It was appealing and appalling in the same breath, and I marveled at the mess of it! I’ve been told that the book has been updated for modern times and is less problematic now, which, if true, is great, but I can only comment on what I read in the version I recieved.
The biggest issue that I noticed right off the bat was that there were only 2 models of color out of maybe 19 or 20 images throughout the book, so determining the seasons for anybody not white or light skinned has proven to be pretty much impossible for me. There are several factors used in determining what your own undertone is, but the most common way seems to be looking at the veins on the inside of your wrist/hand/arm to see if they look greenish or bluish. If you have more pigment in your skin, the color of your veins might not show up that well or at all, and there are essentially no ways listed in (my version of) the book to apply any of the other the rules to brunettes with dark eyes and brown or black skin to figure out their season, a fact that the author essentially refuses to even recognize- I guess she doesn’t understand that black and brown people can be brunettes, too.
I knew what my color was before I even read the book because I found information online to figure it out (I’m a deep autumn!), but the book goes into detail about WHY your color palette exists, how it’s helpful and how to apply the use of your specific colors in your wardrobe, so that stuff was helpful to me. For folks interested in reading the book who have skin color that might not be accurately reflected in the pages, try figuring out your palette with some of the quizes available online first and then using the book to supplement that knowledge.
The most helpful part of the book for me was seeing “right” and “wrong” color photos with some of the models. Although not many of them looked downright bad in the “wrong” color (and obviously there should be a different descriptive word than “wrong”, but I digress), seeing them in a hue from their specific color palette really did have a positive effect on them, which could be hard to describe in words. Sometimes it was obvious that a color washed a model out or made her look sallow, but other times I couldn’t articulate why the other color looked better on her, she just suddenly seemed to pop and look alive in the “right” color.
Seeing my Color Me Beautiful color chart for the first time made me audibly gasp- although the variety of colors seemed limited in comparison to the other seasons, it was hands down my favorite group of colors. And again, big shocker, but I hardly have any of these colors in my wardrobe. Autumns don’t have pink in their chart, nor is there much gray, two colors that show up a LOT in my closet, but there are lots of oranges, golds and browns, and more shades of green that I could even imagine! I hardly ever make things in green! There was also a lot of red, but it was orange-red, not blue -ed, and now I realize that I don’t actually despise the color red at all, I’ve just always been envisioning the wrong shade of it. Cherry red is no good on me, but brick and rust and sunset reds, all reds with a yellow undertone, are terrific. These little epiphanies were so exciting once they were revealed! I was getting direction on how to hone in on my ideal style, and instead of feeling overwhelmed about how to tackle the next steps, I was feeling focused. I mentioned this years ago in a blog post here, but earth tones, which my mom always said looked so good on me, just made me feel boring when I was a teenager- I always gravitated towards sparkly turquoises and purples and fuschias (colors not in my palette). But today when I wear those jewel toned shades, I feel like the color is what pops, not me. Well, guess what- I’m officially ready to pop!
While on the east coast visiting family for the holidays, I took a trip down to Alexandria, VA to go to Fibre Space and Stitch Sew Shop, both well reviewed yarn and fabric stores, respectively. Neither one disappointed; the moment I stepped into Fibre Space I felt overloaded with all the beauty! I wanted to touch every single skein, brush every fibre against my neck to test it’s softness, shroud myself in each sample on display. The store was cozy, beautiful, and well-designed, but the yarn selection was outstanding. The colors were exceptionally vibrant in the well-lit space and I got dizzy whipping my head around to behold everything, but then I remembered that I’d brought my color palette chart with me.
I pulled out the book and started comparing the squares of pigment on the page to what I was most drawn to in the shop, within the parameters of my palette. The bright golden yellow on the page (surprisingly the only yellow listed for my season) matched perfectly with the chunky, soft yarn I was eyeing to make a hat for myself, but the pinkish-purple-y red I liked didn’t make the cut because it had blue undertones, not yellow. Instead, I opted for a variegated mossy green with flecks of gray and forrest throughout. Easy peasy! I still brushed my fingers over all the pale pinks and powdery blues and grays because I adore those colors, but I didn’t waste my time with them- I’ve made so many sweaters in these hues that never got much wear, and now I know why!
One line in The Curated Closet book stuck out for me a lot- the author says that she has always been drawn to dramatic floral prints, but that they don’t really suit her personal style so much. So instead of forcing herself into a print that didn’t make her feel her best, she started incorporating florals into her home decor, which means she still gets to see and experience the beautiful prints she loves. I love this simple twist of perspective so much. I am always, always going to love pale pastel pinks and heather grays and aquas and lemon yellows, but not having them in my color palette doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy them; if it’s in a color that it is too cool for me, I can simply try scooting them over to other places in my life, through accessories or garment linings or jewelry or home decor, and see how that feels.
My trip to Stitch Sew Shop, a curated fabric and patterns store with a space for sewing classes, was just as successful as my yarn store visit. Stitch Sew Shop store was so beautiful and upscale that it felt like an atelier! The selection was considered and alluring- instead of being bombarded with a giant selection of textiles of varying quality, I got to revel in each carefully selected bolt, which of course made me want to buy everything I saw. But I showed restraint because I had my color chart with me, and I already knew what holes from my closet needed to be filled! I bought a grayed green medium-weight corduroy (which will probably become a pair of Landers), a pumpkin colored ribbed knit that I will most likely turn into a fitted turtleneck, and one yard of an expensive and incredibly lux 3-ply silk in the deepest, most vibrant shade of rust I’ve ever seen. I plan to make a simple blouse with this one, possibly a cami or tank. Looking at my stack of yarn and fabric together was the first time I can remember making a purchase where everything actually looked like it belonged together, which I think can only bode well for getting my wardrobe into better shape.
Thanks for joining me on this very verbose journey about style and color and clothing- I have been sharing stories about the Color Me Beautiful book on my IG all week and so many people have been writing to ask for more details about it that it seemed smart to write a blog post- after all, this new method is changing the way I make and dress, and that’s what this blog is about! Once I am back home in LA, I plan to go through all my fabric and keep only the pieces that I know are in my color palette and the pieces that I am most fond of (if I don’t want to use it on myself it might still work for Claire or someone else I know).
In part 2 of this subject, I plan on actually finishing The Curated Closet and sharing some of the things I’ve learned about my style goals and what I need to do to my closet to implement them. I’m also starting a list of the key, basic, and complimentary wardrobe items that are missing from my closet that I want to make, plus any accessories I can buy to round things out and help complete certain outfits so that more of my items can work well together. Stay tuned if you want to know more about the next part of curating my closet with my color palette!
Oh wow! What a roundup and triple whammy of reviews. Ok, I’m going to go look for the more updated version of the book I think. Thank you for posting photos of yourself in various colors too, it was so helpful. Your issues sound like mine! I have clothes that don’t “go” and shopped like a magpie. I like the idea of the palette structure to guide my shopping, and so that my garment colors coordinate. I’m still in a bit of struggle about what specific pieces I want. But, even knowing my personal palette has helped guide my next few garments while I figure the rest out. And now, checking the library for an updated Color Me Beautiful. I read the one for the early 80s and had a lot of guesswork. I haven’t really tried since then. Like you noted, I can’t really see my veins either.
GIRL YOU READ THIS WHOLE THING lolololol you are such a good friend! I am excited to see what you end up discovering about your own style and colorizing through whatever important information you glean from this book! I hope you share everything with us on your blog too! hahaha
The link below has helped me to learn which blues are cool/warm. Hope it will help you too:)
I really enjoy Imogen’s blog and had my colors done within her system (more types so potentially more accurate?).
Good luck and have fun on your color journey. 🙂
So much to love in this post! I’m trying to figure out my own “how do I even want to dress” deal right now, and I loved reading about your process. The photos and commentary on what you like/didn’t about each style and color are so helpful. I don’t think I’d heard of The Curated Closet, but I am off to order a copy!
So glad this was even a little bit helpful- thanks so much for reading!
Take a look at the blog “The Vivienne Files”. She goes through putting wardrobes together so that the items work together. Even though the styles may not be ones wears there are a number of good concepts.
I now have a group of neutral colors, mostly for bottoms, and when i coordinate new accent colors that go back to those colors I don’t wind up with orphans in my wardrobe.
I don’t have an issue with styling outfits out of individual pieces, I have an issue with making separates in colors and fabrics that work together.
Thank you for writing about this! I was one of the curious people asking about the palette. A few months ago I went to a hardware store and took a bunch of paint chips to try to figure out my wardrobe palette (I was buying paint for my apartment) but after I amassed that collection of chips I didn’t really know what to do with them or how to check what colors went well with my skin! I might need to read this book and also The Curated Closet, before I embark in my me made journey. I have a feeling my palette will look very similar to yours, but greens make my skin look weird, so I know those are out. And blues, including pale blues, and white, make my skintone pop, specially when I am tanned. But I don’t see how the blues will match the autumn palette for me. Let’s see. I loved this blog! Also love the images you showed from your pinterest board, so many pretty outfits!
I remember reading a copy of this when my mother had her “colours done” in what would have been the late 1980s. I have also been going back to “my” palette in my sewing makes and it has been an interesting experience. I look forward to seeing your results! I think I am also a deep autumn (with maybe a foray into deep winter) as far as I can tell so I am loving your palette!
Scarves are a big help. If you love the pale pink but feel it doesn’t do you any favors, get a scarf in your best colors, wrap it around your neck and call it done! Your face will glow happily and you’ll be able to get some wear out of a few less-than-flattering items before passing them on. And you can always wear cool colors away from your face, with warm colors where it counts. (And yes, you look great in those warm colors!)
Looks like you’re telling me information I already included in my post! As I wrote, I know I can use colors outside of my palette as accessories and pops of color in my outfits, but for the record, I wont be wearing pale pink scarves around my neck- if a pale pink cardigan does me no favors at all- there is no point in putting that color even closer to my face. I feel confident in my understanding of my palette and how to incorporate colors I love into my life.
My apologies! My late-night writing was muddled and offensive in the light of day. Obviously you know what you’re doing–and are generous enough to share it! And I appreciate your speaking your mind.
I absolutely loved this deep dive into your style journey! The terms “right” and “wrong” are so binary and narrow. I took a sweater making class with Amy Herzog and her preferred term was “harmonious” for things that made us look and feel good.
Oh I like that a lot, “harmonious”- thanks for sharing!
thank you for your thoughtful post. I love the curated closet and it was such a great guide, having said that – I should re read it as I am trying to plan some new sews and I am currently trying to make more separates but not quite getting the skirts right – I should add here that I am 52 and find subtle body changes have me rethinking hemlines and necklines etc, and certain shapes that worked no longer do so! so glad to be able to sew, as at least alterations are a breeze!
Thanks so much for reading!
Thank you so much for this post! I feel like I have a direction to go in now to find my pallette and determine my style.
Wonderful! Good luck!
Thank you for sharing all of this! I’m interested to know if the people who make your wardrobe for your job use a similar technique. Are there specific costume/wardrobe professionals whose looks really work for your complexion?
It really depends on the production, but I would say that for the most part, costumers in tv and film pay more attention to specific colors on actors because there are so many close ups and intimate shots in that medium and they want the actors (unless noted in the script) to look their best, and costumers for stage pay more attention to the overall color story and palette cohesiveness of the ensemble as a whole, not the individual performers. I have never worked with a tv/film costumer who was intentionally working with our color palette, but I do think good costumers generally have an innate sense of what colors look good on an individual they and wouldn’t put us in anything that was super unflattering. I imagine that the wardrobe departments of smaller productions with fewer main cast members and no huge turnover of extras and guest stars are able to play around more with color and story.
Thank you, Jasika for the excellent primer! I am already looking forward to part 2. I learned so much from your post. I am trying to be more intentional and thoughtful about my sewing and this post pointed me in the right direction!
Oh thanks so much for reading, glad it was helpful! I have toyed with the idea for so long about having a more thoughtful making life, but all the random, impulsive ways I have tried to make it happen have proven to be inconsistent and primarily ineffective. This has narrowed my focus so much already and I feel super excited to see how it translates into my real time.
I really enjoyed the Curated Closet too! I think I’m also an autumn (only knowing that by looking at your palette). I’m 65 so I’ve had MANY years to wear all the wrong colours so I’m pretty confident about what does look right and doesn’t. I was disappointed to not see navy in that list but I know that’s right. Although I love navy, whenever I determinedly buy something in that colour (determined not be led by some colour nazi) I end up not wearing it because it just doesn’t do anything for me. I too wear a lot of scarves – they can really bump an outfit that isn’t quite in your palette. I look forward to your future posts on this topic. Christie Ressel in Toronto (stylist and no she has no idea who I am 🙂 ) does personal styling including colours which I’ve been toying with for 2020 🙂 Happy New Year Jasika! I always love your posts and I appreciate how much work you put into making them!
Thanks so much for reading, Kathleen!
Thank you Jasika ! I found that post really interesting. I had already made some researches a few months ago about this theory, but it didn’t stick. The color palette seemed too restrictive to me.
Explaining your journey makes it so much more interesting ! And I see now that some colors that are in my color palette I never wear. I should give them a try ! That for making this theory alive.
I’m curious now to see how you will stick to it, as your sewing mojo is making you so productive.
I would also be interested to have a reply to Marguerite’s question, if you can ask the dressers (not sure this is the right word for it) how they choose, as they also have to make everybody in the screen “match” (meaning be cohesive or not, depending on what’s going on in the scene and in the characters life).
I’ve answered Marguerite’s question already, perhaps you just need to refresh the page for it show up on your browser. In short, it all depends on the costume designer, the production, the story and the medium. Stylized productions and period pieces in film and tv tend to rely most heavily on color symbolism and storytelling but it’s mostly contingent on all the variables I listed above. I personally have never worked with a costume designer who worked specifically with my color palette, but I also haven’t worked with one who knowingly put me in a color that looked awful on me. Whether they subscribe to color theory or not, a good costumer will still have a sense of what colors look good on an actor and which look colors aren’t as interesting (and again, if it’s written that a character is supposed to be unappealing or nasty or unlikeable, one of the easiest ways to get that across is with wardrobe, and of course color).
So interesting! I like seeing your photos of outfits you made previously, to illustrate these concepts.Ooh before you get rid of your items, I just wanted to say you could dye them, I’ve done thus a lot. it’s easier than you might imagine, especially for cottons and linens (use some Procion dye) and silks and wools (you can use an acid dye). Synthetics are a little trickier, in terms of getting the exact colour you want. Dharma dyes has great info and supplies.
This was such an interesting post! I completely agree with you about how simultaneously appealing and appalling the color palette book was! I read it when I was much younger and it was a MESS! I tried to figure out my color palette several times over the years, and finally settled on “deep winter”. I remember initially being directed towards autumn colors and they just didn’t suit me at all, even though I love that chartreuse. I think because I have black hair and tanned olive skin, they lumped me in the category. Isn’t it awful how overlooked people of color are in every instance? I’m glad it is steadily changing.
I had to return the Curated Closet to the library too. Maybe I’ll just buy it.
Thanks for this detailed post! It’s so interesting to see so many photo comparisons of how different colors look on you.
Thanks so much for reading!
So interesting, thank you for writing this. And the colors in your Autumn chart are so sumptuous!
I’ve really enjoyed following your thought process on all of this. I picked up a copy of Color Me Beautiful at my local library (I plan to pick up the other one too), and yikes – you are totally right about the language being so antiquated. I fundamentally disagree with the notion that our style choices can be “right” or “wrong” – but I am fascinated by the use of color palettes as a tool to frame our choices.
Looking forward to the rest, and thank you for sharing!
Loved reading this post, it was a treat! To be honest even though you might not see or feel it I do already see a cohesion and definite style in the things you wear – the ones you share in photos at least – and I definitely see a cohesion with those and the reference pictures here. But it’s also great you’ve found some tools and structure to make it even sharper and work across your whole wardrobe. I went through a really similar thing with colour a while ago when I was really trying to make terracotta, mustard and red work for me and learning the hard way that they just don’t haha. I guess i’m cool toned? But on the plus side gimme all the baby blues and pinks, i think they do work on me. Look forward to seeing your results – and PLEASE more crayoning, you would look amazing in those head to toe caramels just sayin’.
Here’s your comment and here is my reply that never posted! lol! Thanks so much for reading all this, and for inspiring so much of it! I always enjoy seeing the beautiful things you make and the complimentary palette that you seem to naturally work with! You’re such a trend-setter. And oh my god THANK YOU for your compliment about my wardrobe. It’s hard to see my closet through a non-critical lens but I will trust you that I haven’t been walking around looking TOO much like a random fashion plate, hahaha.
Great post, Jasika! Really informative. My mother, who has given me very few intentional gifts, was really hot-to-trot to get my colors done in the ’80s. I never bit back then, but now I’m regretting it! Off to order a used copy of CMB and take some online quizzes!
Thank you Jasika for the long and interesting post. I am thinking a lot about these things, and The Curated closet is on my list as well. Waiting for the part 2.
How did you get your color palette? Have you ordered it somewhere or printed maybe? I guess I need one for me.
A quick google search will give you all the answers you need 🙂
Aww, how helpful of you thanks!
It’s really interesting, and it’s great to see how it works as a tool alongside your own intuition and preferences. Your rich greens (like the trench and velvet jacket) are absolutely amazing – I think those photos are where it finally clicked for me, that the harmonious colours draw one’s eyes to your features instead of just to the colours themselves.
I remember kind of scorning this when I was younger because it was telling me I’m an autumn and I wanted to keep dressing all in black, but I was dabbling with a coworker last year, and you’ve spurred me back to finding my match (unexpectedly, also Deep Autumn) and working it into wardrobe planning. Thanks so much for documenting your process, as always!
Aw thanks so much for this comment, Lisa- and thanks for saying you can actually see how some colors look like they just “fit”. You know how sometimes you take such a deep dive into something that after a while you can’t tell what is real and what is you just drinking the kool aid? When I first read Color Me Beautiful, I understood all the concepts but was having so much trouble instinctually recognizing “my” palette. But then after a while it just started clicking, and through no extra effort other than obsessing about it, I just started noticing color in a new way. It’s funny, I’ve always been a visual artist but I am generally horrible at figuring out color concepts. I know when colors look good together, but I am terrible at putting them together from scratch. So this has been a learning curve for me, but I think I’ve gotten to a place where it just feels fun instead of overwhelming. Ten years ago if you told me I looked better in oranges than blues and should consider styling my wardrobe in such a way, I would have rolled my eyes and ignored you, but I’m at a place now where this is about the most exciting shake up that has happened to my making in a long while. So maybe we just weren’t ready to look at clothing in this lens when we were younger, which is okay, cause I dare you to find me someone who doesn’t look great in all black, hahaha.
What a great post! I recently watched a Blueprint class about selecting the right color palette for sewing, but found it confusing. There were lots of scarves & prints & loud colors, none of which I wear much of. Your examples are so much more relatable — while I can’t wear mustard and brick red, yow does that outfit sing on you! And you inspired me to take a couple of those on-line “figure out your colors” quizzes and look at my own wardrobe. Thanks! Looking forward to following your color journey.
Yay! Good luck, I hope you find lots of helpful information and, if nothing else, more ideas to be inspired by!
UGH I LOVE THIS JOURNEY! I totally have my mom’s copy of CMB from the 70s/80s and have known I’m a winter for DECADES (pale skin and dark hair make it an easy guess). She also trained me from childhood to hold clothes/fabrics up to my skin and figure out if a color makes my skin look flush.
Perhaps that is a more helpful guide than the vein trick? (I used to work retail and definitely advised people to look at their veins.) Do you find that holding different colors up near your face makes you look more vibrant? Almost like you’ve just worked out, or just come in from the cold? (Though, as someone who gets RED FACED in both of those scenarios, I guess there’s some moderation required in the judgment.) I appreciate that you called attention to how racist, and limited, the examples are in CMB, and the ways checking veins isn’t as obvious for those with darker skin.
And let me say, as a winter who never wears camel or yellow or vibrant greens (because, as you mention for yourself, I can buy those colors but rarely choose to wear them), I’m going to live vicariously through your monochromatic earth tones!
First, thank you for spending the time to document all of this for the public, you could of kept this journey to yourself and just redone your wardrobe without sharing it with the world.
Second, thank you for describing your perspective as a POC and for letting me know there are options for not-white people to figure out their palettes. I remember taking this book out of the library in highschool in the 80s and being… “whelp… this goes in the white people box”, not for biracial teens!
I’ve been working to learn how to make garments and curate my closet for a couple of years halfheartedly, but watching your IG stories on colour have made me realize that this aspect of closet curation may be another piece in the puzzle for me.
Finally, unrelated yet important: thank you for sharing your life as a working actor via social media. I didn’t know you were an actress when I started following you! One of my kids is interested in acting and singing, and I’ve used you as an example of what I hope lies ahead for her future (at least the parts of your career that you share): a working actor who doesn’t have to hustle multiple non-acting gigs, you get to do the acting work you love. It’s going to be a steep climb for her, but I point her to your journey with hope and a dose of reality. They also love pointing and screaming at the TV when they see your commercial “There’s your crafty friend, Mama!”. To which I have to remind them that following you on IG doesn’t mean I know you AT ALL – lol! All the best in 2020 from Toronto, Canada!