I’ve never been one to think about color palettes too much when building a wardrobe, it always seemed too much of a hassle for me. Too time consuming, and a little overwhelming. But lately, I have been thinking of color palettes when it comes to outfits.
As I look back on outfits that are particularly pleasing to me, I’ve come to realize how much I like outfits with tonal harmony – where the colors are the same level of darkness or lightness. Basically all lighter shades in a pleasing palette or all darker shades in a pleasing palette. You can see here the light blue, the cream and the tan create tonal harmony. Further, the blue and the cognac create complementary color harmony as they draw from opposite sides of the color wheel.
Let’s try to further break this down with the help of my trusty Pinterest boards:
The ever fabulous Alexa Chung sports a medium-dark tonal palette of black, navy, cobalt and gray.
This gal showcases tonal harmony through light blue and grays.
This German blogger has split tonal harmony working for her with the cognac and red which contrasts to the white and cream.
When you break it down to the color palette of an outfit, you’re essentially taking it down to the basic ingredients upon which it is built. On this fundamental level it’s a lot easier to see if combinations work or not.
For example, looking back on outfits I did not care for, like this one, I can see it’s because it lacks any tonal (or color) harmony. The shades range from medium to deeply saturated, and the two main colors are not complementary.
I got started on this whole line of thinking when remembering one of my favorite looks from the fall (which I’ve sort of re-created above), and trying to dissect what I loved about it. Now I can’t stop thinking about color palettes when I get dressed.
Do you consider color palettes when building your outfits? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Cheers to a great weekend,