The colours of your wardrobe and how you mix them are one of the most defining features of your own personal style. Today I have simplified choosing your palette, to help you build a cohesive wardrobe, no matter what season you’re currently in.


Last week I spoke about building a cohesive wardrobe, so today I thought I would touch on how to pick your wardrobes colour palette. I used to think wearing a set colour palette restricted what I could wear and it seemed a little boring. I now think that selecting a colour palette for our wardrobes helps refine and define our style. When it comes to fashion there are no rules, so I don’t expect everyone to agree with this concept, but it works for me, so I thought I would share!

I have slowly been moving towards changing my palette and initially it was a subconscious thing. I didn’t realise I had bought so much of the same colour, but then going back through my Instagram made me realise I had been reaching for the same colours.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but a quick glance over my Instagram account and you can probably see that I wear a lot of: nude, denim, white, black, tan, grey, navy and sometimes earthy tones like, khaki and maroon. Adopting this colour palette has allowed me to maximizing the wearability of so many of my favourite pieces and in turn, it has helped me create a cohesive style throughout. I still love blues, greens and reds and if I was to wear these colours I would wear them in a block colours and probably deeper hues, rather than their brighter counterparts, they’re just a lot more versatile and would pair well with the neutrals in my wardrobe.

So how do you determine what works for you?

When determining what colours you like, you can again use some of the advice I gave last week in this blog post. You can also ask yourself these questions while falling into the black-hole that is Pinterest.

  1. What colours are you drawn to?
  2. What do you feel most comfortable in?
  3. What set of colours express your personal style?


First things first: You will end up with your main colours, neutrals and accent shades, and you will also come up with a list which you will end up leaving out completely. At the end you will roughly have a 9-shade colour palette: 3 main colours, 2 neutrals and 4 accent shades.


The main colours are the basis of your colour palette and will convey the overall tone of a wardrobe (cool-toned or warm-toned, for example). When choosing these three, keep in mind these should be ones that you can see yourself wearing A LOT!! Think of colours that you love to wear for jackets, shoes, trousers, coats and bags.

Also: take in consideration colours that work for your skin and colouring. Yellow is definitely not for me!!!

My choice: tan, white, black, grey


The neutral shades in your colour palette are supposed to support and balance out your main and accent colours.  These colours would suit your basics, i.e. simple tops, pants, knits, etc. You can use these pieces as a base. You could also use other colours that can be used as a base: soft pastels etc.

My choice: beige, navy


Wear these alongside your neutral colours; they don’t tend to play a main role in your wardrobe. These shades are to use in moderation. They tend to be a neutralizer and . So basically these colours will be for accessories and single items, like tops or skirts, that you would pair with your key pieces or basics. Also: remember to choose light, medium and deep shades of your favourite colours for extra contrast

My choice: khaki, baby pink, white (doubles as accent colour), brown


The end goals is that every colour is mixable. The individual colours in your palette should be as mixable as possible, to maximise the number of outfits you can build. A well-chosen colour palette should give you plenty of variety, yet still express the overall theme you are going for.

*more advice below*



MONOCHROMATIC WARDROBE: This means you build a wardrobe based on the same colour in different tints and shades. Monochromatic does not just mean black and white even though that’s what Instagram tells you.

COMPLEMENTARY COLOURED WARDROBE: This means you create a wardrobe based on complementary colours. This means you dress with colours that are opposite on the colour wheel; orange and blue, yellow and purple etc. If you dress like this you could change your wardrobe colours each season – you have a lot of room to move around with.

ANALOGUS COLOURED WARDROBE: This means you love colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel and it is the easiest colour scheme to style as they look very, very great together! You tend to need to break colours up with white or colour you can trasition with. If you dress like this you could change your wardrobe colours each season – you have a lot of room to move around with. Colour blocking works really well for you too!

It can be hard at the beginning to know what colours work and how they work seamlessly together, but once you get the hang of it, it will definitely help you define your style.





JD Hayward and Ally Hayward

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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