Working with a limited palette

Maeve noticed that my wardrobe is built off of a very limited palette – and she’s right!  I primarily wear the following colors (and their variants)

Pearl, palest possible petal pink, pink-white (note how each one of these colors feeds into the others)

005Ivory, buttercream (I left the pearl in the corner so you can see how the ivory/buttercream colors are really lightest-possible warm yellow, *not* the same color as the pearl whites above).


Bright navy, denim blue (either blue-dark or light-blue, blueberry, and periwinkle (which is the closest I get to wearing purple)


Aqua, seafoam, soft teal, cerulean blue…. this is a wide and safe range of colors, about half my wardrobe!


Vivid, intense blue-greens:  Jade green, turquoise


Geranium, coral, light-bright-lipstick red:
014And all together!


So, since those are “my colors” – what does that mean?  It means that my “does this match” decision has to do with fabric type, formality, line… but not color. All of these colors coordinate beautifully with one another, and that means that the items in my closet can be mixed and matched endlessly.  (NOTE!  Colors that are close but don’t flow right into one another don’t match.  I wear pearl, I wear ivory – I do not wear ivory and pearl together, because they don’t go.  This is a corollary of the classic “everything goes with navy… except navy” rule.)

Next question:  Do I feel limited?  No, not really.  With this riot of color, would you?  I occasionally wish that more neutrals looked really good on me – I’ve got bright navy and ivory that are truly flattering, and I can lean on khaki below the waist, but that’s it.  Charcoal, best away from my face, and pine green, likewise.

Hopefully this helps………..


3 thoughts on “Working with a limited palette

  1. magistratrium

    This is helpful. I tend to use my neutrals for skirts/trousers and cardigans/jackets with colors saved for blouses, sweaters, and dresses. I’ve been trying to get away from black a little more this past year and bought some navy last spring and a maroon pencil skirt this fall. I wore lighter colors when I was home full-time, but at work I really need darker colors and neutrals to get the polished professional look.

    I adore your color choices. Many of them are the ones I choose for blouses and sweaters. 🙂


    1. hearthie Post author

      You can do an amazing amount with a neutral wardrobe, because you can do a lot of play with accessories/scarves/blouses and the neutral jacket/skirt is pretty much “invisible” and thus re-wearable.



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