How to Incorporate Colour into a Wearable Handmade Wardrobe

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Have you ever noticed that the majority of the narrative around wearable handmade wardrobes, and capsule wardrobes in general, is centred around neutrals?

I tend to fall into this habit too, whether it’s on my blog or in my own wardrobe.

The truth of the matter is that neutrals feel safer. For a start, they are easier to wear together, so they make small capsules easier to work with.

You can almost guarantee that you will get plenty of wear out of a neutral item of clothing as opposed to something bolder, brighter and more noticeable. Spending considerable amounts of time and money on making a grey dress can feel more sensible than making it in lime green.

Whilst I do love colour, the reason I predominantly wear neutrals is that I have a very small clothing budget and want to get the most mileage out of my tiny wardrobe. Sticking to a relatively neutral colour palette offers me the most versatility whilst I am slowly building my clothing collection.

Having said all that, I think it’s time for us to explore colour a little more.

Embracing Colour in Our Handmade Wardrobes

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I was listening to the most recent episode of the pomcast and was really inspired hearing Juju Vail talk about her love of colour and how she incorporates it into her, primarily handmade, wardrobe.

I know that many of you also love colour and would love to wear more of it, which is why today, I am offering some tips on how to use colour in your wearable handmade wardrobe.

As a side note: has anyone else been following the #summerofbasics make-along that Karen Templer of Fringe Association has been hosting? Whilst I didn’t have the time to participate, I loved seeing the handmade clothing that her readers made this summer! Whilst a lot of people chose to use neutrals for their makes (the theme was ‘basics’, after all) there were some fabulous garments made in colour too! I shall be sharing my favourite examples throughout this blog post.

How to Use Colour Effectively in Your Handmade Wardrobe

Keeping the colour palette of your handmade wardrobe cohesive and wearable means following some simple rules. These guidelines will ensure that your handmade garments look good together and will be worn often.

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You still need neutrals

The foundation of any ‘colourful’ wardrobe is a good selection of light, mid and dark tone neutrals.

Once you have these, wearing colour is easy! If you are on a budget or have a tiny wardrobe, like me, start off by choosing 2 or 3 neutrals to tie your wardrobe together.

I currently use black, navy and white, but could probably do with adding more of a mid-tone neutral - possible grey?

Wear the colours that make you feel great

One of the biggest things I took away from Juju Vail’s interview on the Pomcast was to wear colours that make you feel amazing.

What are the two colours that you are drawn to all the time? Can you see yourself wearing them often? If you can, add them to your wardrobe’s colour palette. The key pieces in your handmade wardrobe will be made in these colours and should look great with the neutrals you chose earlier.

One of my favourite colours is blue - I think it is very flattering on my complexion and it just makes me feel good. So of course, this is in my colour palette.

I don’t really have another colour that I wear all the time currently, but I would like to wear more red in the future. I have a Carnelian red suede jacket that I picked up in a charity shop a couple of years ago and think it would be a good versatile addition to my overall colour palette.

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Add pop colours using prints or patterns

Prints or patterns are an excellent way of adding additional colours to your wardrobe, particularly when you don’t want to wear those colours en masse. To make them as versatile as possible, try to include some of your neutral or main colours in these prints/patterns to draw everything together. Consider fairisle, stripes, geometrics, florals…

Bright accessories are another fantastic way of adding a pop of colour to your outfit, particularly for those who are colour shy. A bright hat, scarf or pair of mittens will always look fantastic with a simple outfit.

I don’t have any accent colours in my wardrobe at the moment but plan to add them slowly. The colours I have chosen to add are copper and olive green. I will probably add more eventually, but this is where I am starting.

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Introduce new colours slowly

Once you have built a basic handmade wardrobe, you can slowly add additional colours. Don’t rush into adding several new colours at once or else you might have a hard time styling these pieces with your existing clothing.

Ask yourself: does this colour work with the rest of your wardrobe? If it doesn’t, are you willing to spend the time and money on adding pieces that it will work with? If the answer to that is no, it’s time to let that colour go.

How do you wear colour?

In the comments sections below, let me know: What’s your relationship with colour like? Are you a colour lover, but struggle to wear it? Or do you embrace it in all of its shades?

Feel free to share any advice you have on working with colour in your handmade wardrobe! I’m sure we could all do with some help on this topic.