Colour schemes

Why they matter

A colour scheme is a set of colours that all work well individually and together in any combination. Ideally your colour scheme will suit your personality and looks. You can use the same colour scheme for wardrobe, house paint and interior decorating…  anything you like.

Finding a colour scheme is important because it makes life much simpler. Everything coordinates so there is no clash. And things look better and more planned with less effort. I find it so much faster to shop because I don’t give a close look to anything unless the colour works for me. You could even keep less thread for sewing repairs in just the colours you love.

The plan

You could pick any set of colours but I suggest doing it thoughtfully. It’s more fun to live with colours you love and that make you feel relaxed and comfortable, and ones you won’t get bored with. I suggest starting with about 3-5 colours in varying shades… unless your style is “multi-coloured.” Try these:

  • hire a professional (search for a local wardrobe stylist or interior decorator) or do a mail-order quiz
  • read up on colour theory
  • check out what looks good on you using a mirror
  • use colours you are consistently drawn towards. Is there a particular throw pillow or scarf you love?
  • pull out the clothes you always wear/love/feel good in/know looks good on you – use those colours
  • experiment with combinations of paint chips, polyvore items, photos, magazine cuttings

The colours you pick are your personal choice. Don’t worry if you’ve never seen them before together or if someone remarks on the unusual combination. These are the colours for your life. If they work for you, that’s enough.

The implementation

You could throw away everything that’s in the wrong colours and replace them with items in your colour scheme, but that’s wasteful. Other ways to try out your colours are to wear neutrals and accessorise with colours to try out how they feel. Slowly work away by replacing items (when needed, if needed) with things in your colour scheme. You can carry swatches while shopping if that helps you remember the precise blend you like. I prefer to buy only custom clothing because I can choose fabric in the perfect colour, as opposed to the in-fashion-at-this-moment colour. I can’t always afford a dress maker though, so I sometimes make my own clothes and get a tailor to custom-fit them for a professional finish.

Ongoing maintenance

There is one decision to make when keeping your life within your colour scheme. At the very moment you are considering buying, making or accepting something ask yourself if the colour is right.

  1. If the colour falls within your scheme, check other points to see if it fits your style and budget. If so, enjoy!
  2. If the colour is not in your scheme, consider if you want to add it. If so, grand. Is there a colour you need to edit out to keep the scheme current? Part of getting the right palette is trial and error.

If you decide not to add the colour, DO NOT BRING IT INTO YOUR LIFE. Be strong and hold fast! If something is almost the absolute right colour, or if it’s a really good price or feels comfortable but isn’t in your colour scheme, put it down and say a firm “No thank-you.” An exception here and there will bring you a collection of uncoordinates. Being picky leads to the benefits listed above.

Have fun and enjoy your new colour scheme!