My New Wardrobe Colour Palette: Matching My Pastel Hair!

Playing with colour is one of my favourite things. Clothes, hair, nails, makeup, accessories – any excuse to combine colours! I’ve been making wardrobe colour palettes for as long as I’ve been seriously sewing – aka, for the last decade!!!

A few weeks back, I decided that it was time for a refreshed colour palette to match my new pastel hair. For me, a new palette is an excuse to look at my fabric in a new light, to combine colours differently, explore trends, and just have fun. It doesn’t mean that I’ll exclusively wear these colours, or that I won’t wear my older clothes. Really, I just needed a motivation to get sewing and stop stressing about the return to in-person teaching. Colour is the best way to distract myself!

For reference, here are a few of my older colour palettes:

My original colour palette from 2013.
A little capsule based on the 2017 Pantone colours.
A warmer palette from 2020 to match my copper hair.

This time, I gathered my ideas in a slide show and did a voiceover explaining my thought process. I do a lot of video like this for work, so it is an easy format for me. There are three five-minute videos, so grab a cuppa and sit back and relax!

In part 1, (above) I started with the pastel colours of my hair. One of my favourite makeup looks is a pale pink shimmery eye with kelly green on the outer corner. Add in the blue of my glasses and some grey, dark green and black which I already own in pants, and my colour palette was created!

Cue the panic – did I just choose colours from the absolute wrong “season”?

If my explanation of the circle/clock of seasonal colours make no dang sense, don’t worry – I explain it better in the third video!

“…to give me the effect I want!” That last line got cut off, sorry!

There we have it – the results of three hours of excitedly playing with colour! My next post is going to be showing off some outfits in this palette, including new things I’ve sewn, older makes, and RTW. When I made this palette it was stinking hot and I was worried about being in school and so sweaty…. suddenly it is ten degrees cooler and I feel like if I don’t post about this now it will be too cold for these clothes.

My final palette for pastel hair, which I’ve mentally dubbed “Pastel Forest”!

A couple of thoughts and details:

  • All the seasonal palettes and images I used are from elementalcolour.com.au .
  • My own palette was made in Google Slides because it’s what I’m comfortable using.
  • I have at whole series of posts on colour linked in my header, under Colour Palettes! I have several tutorials on way to make your own colour palette from clothes you already love wearing, tips on figuring out your “season”, how to wear colours that aren’t in your palette, etc. I hope you find them useful if this is something you also find fascinating!

Do you enjoy thinking about the colours you wear, or do you trust your gut and buy whatever fabric you love? I’d love to hear about your process – or lack of process!


16 thoughts on “My New Wardrobe Colour Palette: Matching My Pastel Hair!

  1. Please nerd out more often! This was soooo much fun to watch. I love thinking about palettes and wardrobes, and your systematic approach is the way I like to approach things, too!

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    1. 🙂 Thanks for being an enabler! Especially when so much of the world is out of control, it’s so lovely to be able to control our own wardrobes at least!

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  2. Gillian, I always enjoy your colour palette posts. I especially like how despite your hair colour changes, you still maintain certain colours, even if you go down or up a shade of that colour too.
    You already know that I’m #teamwearallthecolour, so I just wear whatever I feel like on a daily basis. However, I’m only really specific about colour choices on vacation or travelling in an effort to not over pack.

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  3. I enjoy these nerdy posts so much! I love talking about color and style in these systematic approaches. I’m a soft summer, too, and I find it so interesting how much our personal palettes still differ: you suit the brighter end of the spectrum (especially now; as you said, all those taupes…), but also it fits with your style, as a gamine, to wear brighter colors and so many prints. I’m a classic in Kibbe’s system and have recently come to appreciate Truth is Beauty as well – I fit her classic, ethereal and natural essences, and was struck when reading her recommendations that all of those have a receding, soft approach to color. For me, this explains so much about why I love love love your style on you but go through these moments of “oh my God, everything is so bright”, which just means I’ve (finally) internalized some sense of what would look good on me!
    So that’s me rambling nerdily. Anyway, you have made a beautiful color palette that suits you (your personality as well as your coloring) very well. I’d love more videos if you enjoyed this!
    Greetings from Germany, Isi

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    1. I’ve never heard of Truth is Beauty, so excuse me while I dive down a rabbit hole!!!! I love your description of where and why our styles are similar of different. I love that being an elementary teacher gives me license to dress theatrically – I wonder what I’d wear if I worked in an office these days?
      PS. Are you on Instagram? I’d love to check out your wardrobe!

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      1. Oooh, that’s a rabbit hole for you! I find her system so interesting! I especially love the posts she has on e.g. why ethereal elements give off that vibe etc. For me, for example, the ethereal mostly comes through in colours and in a certain softness and femininity – this was what always bothered me in other style systems: I am definitely very feminine and “classic” style often leans fairly masculine (officewear), but I am neither “girly” and frilly nor sexy and womanly. Ethereal has opened my eyes for a grown-up but distant kind of soft femininity.
        PS: Sorry, no Insta – I deeply hate the user interface there. I still have the app, because so much of the sewing world revolves around it, but I will never willingly use it 😀 (Yet another reason I am so happy you (and others) keep up with your long-form musings in your blogs!)

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        1. That makes a lot of sense! Etherial is an essence I admire so much in other people – but I”m more of that whirlwhind persona myself! 😛

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  4. Very fun! I don’t pay much attention to colour systems. My mom was VERY into Colour Me Beautiful and got me draped at about the age of three—at that point I was a Spring despite my dark hair. As a kid I kinda hated that little swatch-book of colours I “should” wear, and I may have defined “my” colours as being the ones my earthtone-loving mother wouldn’t touch. 😂 That being said, there’s a fairly limited palette of colours I’m drawn to wearing and I mostly stick to them and tend to regret it when I stray beyond. This was fun to watch! And obviously a more sophisticated system than the one I grew up with.

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    1. You are a SPRING???? I’m shocked. And a little dubious? You look so good in the black, grey, white and red that you wear, so whatever that swatch book told you, please continue ignoring it!

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      1. Yeah, it’s hard to say. I do feel like I have a “warm” coloring (especially in the summer when I am tanned.) But I’m definitely not a fan of the autumn earth tones. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I made a sort of cinnamon coloured turtleneck last winter and I love the colour, but not right by my face. So I just wear the colours I like. I should do up a palette of my favourite colours to wear and see what that looks like! 😂

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  5. I loved seeing this! It’s always so interesting to dive into color, and the shifting one way or another is fascinating too. I wonder if you could jump across the wheel as well–if you are normally a soft summer, would the equivalent in winter suit you too?
    I finally figured out my season earlier this year, after not knowing it for so long…I saw myself one day in a light lime green top (had to be green) and thought, okay how can my skin look this good, and went looking for the season with light lime! Ended up in light spring, which makes a lot of sense for me. I have also been trying to make a palette and a bit of a capsule wardrobe, hoping to make getting dressed for work more fun. When I spend all day wearing a lab coat, with my hair pulled back, and multiple layers of sweaters to fight the AC, clothes feel boring.
    Also also–I don’t think I’ve ever heard your voice before, even after following you on Instagram for some time!

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    1. Do you find it hard to find your favourite shades of green? I feel like it’s not as easy to find in shops (RTW or fabric) as colours like blue or shades of red. I wish I had more green clothes!

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  6. I love when you do color deep dives! It’s so fun to play with colors and see how they work together to create totally different feelings and moods. I just finished reading “The Triumph of Individual Style” (blog post coming next week), and it takes a really interesting approach to color. It does offer color swatches in the book for you to identify colors in your own body, and has you create your own personalized color wheel. And rather than having you look for one overall colors, it wants you to use as many colors as you can identify. Once you build up a color wheel of your own, you can see if your coloring lends itself to more or less contrast, and what sort of hues and temperatures work best, and then see how these colors relate to other colors to create a wardrobe palette. It doesn’t try to put people in seasons or anything like that, and doesn’t even really try to restrict colors, but rather to give the reader the tools of how to understand how colors create an overall look or psychological feeling. It’s really interesting because I think it makes a lot of sense when I look at the color palette you’ve made here. It totally works with your current hair (which looks fabulous!) and will give you some fabulous styles, even though it is totally different than many of your previous color palettes. I look forward to seeing where you go with this!

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  7. I love when you talk about color !!
    I don’t have many words, but go on, it’s always fascinating and inspiring.
    Whish you the best to the in-person go back in school !

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