My personal color palette

Allspice Abounds color palette

On the heels of my Me Made May reflections, I stumbled upon Gillian’s tutorial for creating your own personal color palette, and I decided to give it a try.  I was a little intimidated about picking the right colors at first, but once I got going, it actually came together pretty quickly!

I used my Finished Project Gallery as inspiration, along with random outfit photos I’ve taken in the past year.  I tried to squint my eyes and look at my handmade (and some RTW) garments as a cohesive wardrobe, and I chose the colors that stand out and are most often repeated.  I also chose to leave out some colors that I’ve tried wearing and just didn’t feel like myself in (brown, I’m looking at you).

So what do you think of the finished palette?  It’s brighter and more colorful than I had anticipated, but I quite like it!

Going into this exercise, I knew I didn’t wear much black or white and tend to prefer wearing non-neutral colors, but I was surprised to see so many blue and pink shades dominating my clothing.  Surprised, but delighted.  🙂  When I gave it a little more thought, the dominant blues and pinks started to make more sense.  I do naturally gravitate toward these colors when buying fabric and RTW clothing, and even other things like decorations and office supplies.

Another surprising find was that the colors in my palette seem fairly common.  Many are similar to Gillian’s palette, and just in the last day I’ve noticed people at work and on the street frequently wearing these colors as well.  Perhaps it’s a cultural thing?  I bet the common palettes in the 1970s would be quite different – more browns, oranges, and olive greens!

Not everyone’s into bright colors though.  Sarai just wrote an interesting post about how she vastly prefers wearing neutrals, and you can see it quite clearly in her MMM photos.  I love that everyone has their own unique spin on this.

Allspice Abounds color palette - with photosAfter creating my palette (which I did in Powerpoint, by the way), I chose a few representative photos of handmade garments that incorporate the palette colors.  One thing I noticed is that the colors tend to get darker in winter and lighter in summer, which isn’t really that surprising.  Another is that I wear very little bright green and almost no bright red.  Oh the wonders of self-reflection…

Anyway, this was a fun and quick exercise that has kept my wardrobe musings chugging along in the wake of MMM.  If you haven’t already made your palette, give it a try!

What colors do you find yourself drawn to, and are they different for fabric and RTW clothing?

16 thoughts on “My personal color palette

  1. I tried this earlier in the year and I have been bearing it in mind when buying fabric which does help me avoid things that really won’t work. I had a lot of blue and purple shades and I am starting to worry that I may be overdoing it slightly as I have made a lot of navy things!



      • I didn’t post it – it was just splodges of colour in a paint app on the iPad and I wasn’t quite sure if I had finished it! It has influenced me quite a lot though and the wardrobe architect posts made me think about the kind of prints I actually wear as well. I will put it altogether in my head soon Nd maybe post then


        • Sounds great! It’s nice to have a guide when fabric shopping, even if you ignore it sometimes. 🙂 Will look forward to reading if you decide to post!


  2. I love your palette! I’m drawn to bright, happy colours too, so I find I have to force myself to add in the neutrals for balance since they’re just not as fun!


    • Thanks Chantal! I don’t do that nearly enough, but I’m getting better at not caring about mixing pieces that do go together as well as I’d like. Whatever! 🙂


  3. Nice work! I”m really glad the tutorial made sense and you worked through it. I think that sense of “Oh yeah, this palette DOES make sense!” is really important. I figure we all know our fav and flattering colours subconsciously, so it’s just a matter of pulling it all together!
    My all-time fav palette “game” is choosing any three colours and trying to picture them together in an outfit. For me, if I can do that then the palette is practical. Every combination i’ve tried with your palette looks really fun to wear, so youve done well! 🙂


    • Thanks Gillian! When I play that game with my palette, I get all sorts of BRIGHT imaginary outfits… which makes me want to get better about wearing all my bright garments at the same time! Might as well go for it. 🙂


  4. About 100 years ago (well, 30 actually) the in “thing” to do was “get your colours done”. This was usually done with a group of friends & a colour consultant. With hair scraped back & no make-up (eeeek!), the consultant would drape you in many different shades of many different colours. The whole idea was to see if your skin was a warm or cool tone. Sounds all very much like we were about to be popped into our respective boxes, I know, but it was lots of fun at the time.

    I think our environment has alot to do with which colours look “right” as well; not just the season. We live on the beach in sunny Queensland, Australia. The light is very bright & clear (it’s gorgeous!) which in turn is reflected in the colours we wear. And yet those same colours look quite garish in inner city Melbourne (1,200 miles south) even if the temperature’s the same!

    I think your chosen palette is really lovely Carolyn! You realise now we’ll all be checking your future makes to see if they match it! LOL


    • Haha, no I didn’t realize everyone will be checking now! Better make sure I stick to it, huh? 🙂

      It’s funny you mentioned getting your colors done, because I just read Emmely’s post about it a few days ago. She went with her sister and had a great time! Check it out:

      I’ll try not to be *too* jealous of your beach lifestyle. While I do love Boston for many reasons, the weather isn’t exactly one of the city’s best features!


      • Ahhh, but then I hear Boston is a beautiful, elegant city. (It’s on my bucket list to visit actually.) But yes, we are so fortunate to live where we do. The first thing I do every morning is have a peek out the window to see what the Bay looks like that day – we never tire of it!

        Thanks for the link to Emmely’s post; that looks VERY much like the colour parties that were so popular here. They sound like they had lots of fun! Yay!


        • Boston is indeed a great city – lots of interesting culture and food, and very kind and friendly people. If you don’t mind the cold, it’s wonderful. 🙂


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