Can a wardrobe colour palette change over time?

Of course!

Your colour palette can change for a lot of reasons:

  • you might prefer cooler colours as your hair greys
  • changing seasons or moving to a different climate can make your best colours get darker, lighter, warmer or cooler
  • dyeing your hair, changing your preferred makeup or getting new glasses can change the amount of contrast in your face, or adjust your undertone
  • your tastes change! Maybe you go from goth to preppy, or vice versa.
  • fashion trends – right now fabric stores are full of dusty warm colours, and that can impact your purchases

I’m sure there are many more reasons your wardrobe colours might change – let me know in the comments what I missed!

Let’s look at my own colours palette for example:

Here is the first palette I ever made, just a few months after I started sewing in 2012. Looking back, the essence was there but the colours are too pale!

By the next year, I’d figured out what is my classic wardrobe colour palette. This has been the basis of my wardrobe and fabric purchases for 7 years, and I think it is what I’ll return to again and again over time.

The doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy experimenting! In 2017 At one point I tried adding in some purple, royal blue and black. I like those colours, but they never really “stuck” in my wardrobe.

In 2017, I tried using the Pantone colours of the year to make a capsule wardrobe. Some of the pieces were existing, and some were made with my Cali Fabrics budget for the season in return for writing a blog post. I still have the jeans, teal shirt, dusty rose floral tank, and grey cardigan, and everything else was passed on because it wasn’t right for me.

And now, finally, the colour palette I’ve made for Spring/Summer 2020! I started dyeing my hair auburn in October last year, and over the winter I realised that I definitely suit warmer colours better than I used to. Some of the really cool magentas and mint greens don’t suit me as well any more – they look good with my face but jarring against my hair, and I want to look harmonious! (I’m not saying YOU need to look harmonious, it’s just what I like for myself.)

It’s easier to see the difference between my classic colour palatte and my new warm one by seeing them both together. Handily enough, the header of my blog matches my classic colour scheme!

Similar but different, right? The red, coral, grey and white have stayed the same, but the other colours are a bit darker and more “fall”. Denim blue instead of navy, pine instead of mint, peacock blue instead of periwinkle. In truth, buying warm coloured fabric is a lot easier than buying my classic cool tones these days, and a new palette gave me a great excuse to buy fun new fabrics for spring! That’s as good a reason as any to change a wardrobe palette, right?

I hope that’s been useful to explain that the colours your love wearing can change over time. You aren’t “stuck” with what you chose now! Just pick colours you can’t wait to wear every day, and you are on the right path.


4 thoughts on “Can a wardrobe colour palette change over time?

  1. It’s interesting to see the first palette – I remember your early FOs fitting into that colour scheme (and it was very natural on you!) I have so many issues with green – which looks so great on so many people (including you). I’m starting to work it into my wardrobe because, I’ve discovered, when I wear a very jewel-y, super-saturated emerald colour, everyone loves it. And I do love it in the abstract. I also wonder to what extent palettes are just popular – like, pink has a moment or greige etc. So I may work something into my general palette not cuz it suits me but because it’s lovely and it’s out there, being worn well by others.

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  2. Change of climate definitely has influenced my palette a lot. But also changes in cultural climate 😁 – my early days in black-heavy cities have turned into more colorful smaller places, and I have lightened up accordingly. Some colors like a soft orange are favorites and always present.

    My use of pantone colors is more limited than your experiment, I pick out what in the season’s batch l like best and merely emphasize that. Vivienne files has taught me to get at least 3 pieces of an accent color, including accessories, a useful lesson in wearability. But anyways this refreshes things a bit for me without being too fashion-tyrannical.

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