In my last post I covered the importance of understanding your staple clothing, shoes, and accessories. You have made your list and now what? Well, the next step to creating your solid wardrobe is to understand your preferred colors and patterns. This has nothing to do with knowing your personal color palette (Whether you are a summer, winter, fall or spring.). Rather, this next segment of "finding your style" deals with these three basic concepts:
- YOUR CORE COLORS
- YOUR COLOR FLEXIBILITY
- PATTERN PREFERENCES AND TRENDS
What colors do you find yourself wearing everyday? Do you find your closet dominated by one color in multiple shades? Or is your closet covering the entire spectrum?
(Photo credit: clikr.com)
Above is a basic color wheel (include secondary and tertiary colors). There are a multitude of different hues beyond these, but take a glance above and think beyond your favorite color. Do you like cooler shades (blue, green, purple) or warmer shades (red, orange, yellow)? Is any color appealing on the color wheel?
For example, I know I am not a huge fan of color. I know I do not like to wear yellow, orange or purple, no matter the shade. I do like blues (specifically navy), dark greens and dark reds. Lighter shades wash me out and, since I prefer to wear minimal color, I lean more towards colors that look almost like neutrals.
Neutral shades include browns, tans, whites, grays, and black. I live in neutrals. I tend to buy my jackets, shirts, shoes, etc. in neutral colors. I know that I will get the most wear out of neutral shades and I admittedly feel out of place when something I am wearing is not black.
Do this analysis for yourself. If a shirt comes in every color, what three colors will you buy it in? What colors do you think compliment your hair? Your eyes? There are a myriad of questions to ask but know the most important thing is to focus on what colors feel the most you.
Colors of the year, color stories, etc: color favoritism in the fashion world is always changing. Last year Pantone's Color of the Year was emerald and now everything is covered in orchid. Some people like to dabble in the newest color trends, whether that be applying the shade on their eyelids or buying full outfits. Even when a color is the newest thing on the runway, it is good to ask yourself whether or not the color suits you. Once again, I shy away from color. Typically, I am the one maybe committing to a nail polish or a keychain with the newest "it" shade. It is all about color flexibility. Some like to try it all while others like to stay in their color box.
(Photo cred: bau hype - 2006 was a good time for me. )
- BASIC SHAPES
- OBJECT PATTERNS
Those listed above are just to name a few. I feel in my experience, every person I know either loves or hates patterns. I, personally, only like stripes tartan plaid, grid and gingham. The few times in my life I have branched out (Flashbacks to bright abstract patterns in 2010.), the item of clothing always, without fail, has a short life in my closet.
Patterns fall in and out of popularity. For example, florals fell out of popularity for much of the late 90s and the 00s. 2009 rolls around and florals are the new thing as girly grunge trumps over the revival of the 80s business woman in the mid 00s. Florals are still thriving although, they are slowly being weeded out by a lean towards pinstripes and abstract patterns.
Trying patterns works incredibly well for those with eclectic style taste (something we will talk more about later). Patterns can be a risky investment and they are not for the minimalist. Knowing your pattern preferences is a good start to knowing what style category you fall into (also, more on this later). I always recommend trying on any pattern before investing in it. If it suits your personality, great. If you feel you are liking it to adhere to a trend, unless you have the money, you are better off sitting that trend out. Always know that stripes and plaid are constant staples in the fashion world. Polkadots and tribal also circulate quite frequently.
Current pattern trends include: art house (Prada), butterfly print (Valentino), brightly-colored tribal print (Valentino), and pinstripes. This is only surface level. Tropical, vintage florals, black-and-white color blocking, and a handful of other pattern trends also exist.
Now that we have our clothing staples, colors and patterns sorted out, we will then move on towards "style types".