This post has been brewing a long time. I’m still trying to work this one out. For heaven’s sake, I’m nearly 50, you’d have thought I’d have got this sussed by now…
This is the easy bit. I have always and will always wear a lot of black. This is my default neutral. Luckily I’ve got the skin tone that will allow me to wear such a harsh colour* without looking like I’d died three weeks earlier.
I usually temper the black with two colour ranges- pinks/purples or green/teal/turquoise. I’ve even been known to cross these two over, and match teal with purple, for example (hey, it’s good enough for peacocks).
I also include a bit of navy as another “neutral” or base colour. But I was brought up to believe that navy and black don’t belong together, and it’s hard to shake off that sort of conditioning. But the other colour ranges work as well with navy as they do black, so that’s all very co-ordinating.
There’s a splash of red in my wardrobe, but it’s a bit of an aberration, and I find it hard to match with other things, except for the blacks & navys (navies?).
I’m reasonably confident in this palette. Like I said, that was the easy bit.
Patterns & Plains?**
I’ve got a gazillion plain tops and plain cardigans (I do love me a waterfall cardigan!). I’ve got very little patterned toppage. Come to think of it, very little patterned bottomage, too, just a couple of patterned skirts. So it makes quite a lot of sense that I have veered towards patterns when acquiring fabric for dressmaking. It’s a gap that needs filling. But I’m thinking I needn’t go overboard with the patterns. The reason being that I would almost always go floral. I’m not big into polka dots, or gingham. If I go patterned, I’ll go flowery. And if I’m doing that, then I do need to have some plains to temper the flowers, because otherwise it could look totally over the top.
The only other sort of pattern I’ve got in my wardrobe is animal print. In the world of bellydance, leopard print is considered a neutral! But my favourite animal print, beyond all doubt is zebra stripe. I don’t have very much of it in my clothing, but plenty of zebra-stripe accessories. Well it’s black and white, which fits into my palette like a very well-fitting thing.
Separates & dresses
If you asked me, I would say I wear separates most of all because they’re “easier”. But really, when I think about it logically, they’re not. It’s much easier to throw a dress on, rather than having to think about putting a top together with a bottom. And since my wardrobe has very few dresses in it, my dressmaking plans have to include a load of actual dress making.
* I know black isn’t TECHNICALLY a colour.
** Are we counting stripes as a pattern or a “colour”? I’m minded towards stripey being a colour in itself, not really a pattern.