Seasons come and seasons go, and Summer in Los Angeles looks like it is finally making an exit. Autumn/Fall is finally here! When it comes to style and fashion, it is hands down my favorite time of the year. Styling outfits requires a little extra effort. This time of year one dresses in layers, and this requires having an eye for mixing colors, patterns, and prints in interesting ways. I am not the sort of woman who automatically defaults to black when the weather cools down. I love color, and insist on choosing color when making clothing purchases.
Recently, a friend of mine asked for advice about shopping. Specifically, she asked how do I decide on what colors to buy when picking out my clothes? Considering that my friend is not a big shopper and she is just coming into her own sense of style; this was a legitimate question.
Luckily, I already had an answer. I taught her my rules for shopping. They are not so much rules as they are guidelines. This means they can always be bent a little when necessary. I originally came up with these concepts as a way to control myself – and my spending. When I was younger I would often fall into the, “It’s cute on me, I’ll buy it,” routine. The result was a menagerie of clothing in a rainbow of colors many of which did not quite fit together. To correct this impulsive habit, I started shopping in terms of a color palette – among other rules.
Every season – which, in Los Angeles, is Warm/Hot and Cool/Slightly Chilly – I have a main color palette. Usually I try to pick a hue from each color family, that way I will have a variety to work with. For example, My green of choice is Mint during the warmer months, and Olive during the cooler months. It seems tedious, but I have done this so much over the years, that it now comes naturally to me. Another factor I consider when picking my colors is that they can be easily paired together or with my staples. Next, I have my staple color palette, which are the colors I wear throughout the year, and are usually accents to my main color schemes.
For the record, I do not go around carrying a color guide every time I go out shopping. Nevertheless, I do try to keep these colors in mind when I pick up an article of clothing that just so happens to catch my eye. When shopping the idea of a palette helps me to achieve two goals: a) It forces me to not buy impulsively. I have to stop and ask myself, “Will this work with what I already have in my closet?” Which leads to b) I can create ensembles with ease because I know the colors work well together. In other words, I have versatility.
Versatility in my wardrobe is hugely important to me! I need to know that I can get several ensembles out of a garment because then I feel as though I am really getting my money’s worth out of it. Furthermore, since I work with children, it is important to me that my clothing can be worn around children and washed with general ease; dry cleaned items are not my friend. Finally, the items I choose must be able to stand the test of time. As a result, I am very meticulous about the washing and care of my clothing, to ensure they have a long shelf life.
To give you an idea of how my mind works, I have put together three outfits based on my fall color palette. Most of the items pictured are recent purchases and are most likely still available in stores. However, a few items are “investment” pieces that have managed to serve me well throughout the years, such as the coat, capped-toe flats, and oxfords. These investment pieces work because they fit into my already prepared seasonal color scheme. It makes for economical shopping because instead of buying all new pieces, I am able to pull out old favorites and freshen them up with a few newer trends of the year!
For a better look at all these ensembles with descriptions of the clothing, please click on the pictures.
Until we meet again. May we all be sweetly inspired.
All photos and images were taken and edited by A. Renee for Darling Afflatus, 2015. These photos may not be reused without permission.