Your Wardrobe of Colors: Capsule Closet Step II

You have taken the plunge to downsize your closet. You only have items that you like and that fit. You have taken at least 10 bags of clothing to goodwill (was that just me?) and you feel your arms getting stronger.

Back to the point, it’s time for step two. In this step you will take a look at your closet to identify the base and highlight colors your wardrobe will consist of. You will pick a staple, and go through your closet again. This is where the real results are going to become visible. 

My colors are olive, black, white, and grey, I highlight with light blue, dark blue, purple, and brown depending on the season, and I accent with natural stone and silver. What does that mean? in short, that means I do not have red, yellow, pink, or other similar colors in my closet. All my outfits have the same color pallet and many individual pieces go together. How do you pick out your colors? First, you will start with your closet. What do you have?

Start With What You Own

OneMadLife's Color Pallet SheetWhen you begin picking out the new colors for your closet, you may have absolutely no idea where to begin. First, go into your closet and note what you have the most of. If you have the most black, that will be one base color. If you own tons of black and green equally, then those might be the only two base colors you have. I would suggest starting with four base colors. These colors should be colors you are okay with wearing almost all the time. They should be colors you can wear all year long.

* Note: If you have the most red that could also be a base. The Base Colors section of guide on the left is made up of general colors I have found to be the most prevalent in closets. This is for you and what you wear the most of.


Once you pick out your base colors you can pick out your highlight colors. These are colors that change with the session. For example, if you only wear brown in the fall, then brown may be a highlight color for your wardrobe. I advise picking four colors to begin. This will give you a highlight for each season. My colors are light blue (Summer), brown (Fall), Dark blue (winter), and Purple (Spring). While I do wear purple in the summer sometimes, most of the purple things I have are in my spring weather clothing.


Lastly, Accent Colors. These colors are for a little pop. Think a scarf, a necklace, or even shoes. Look at what your jewelry is most made from for a good indicator of what these colors should be. My accent colors aren’t even colors they are natural stone (of any kind) and silver metal jewelry. This is also when your personal flair will come into play. If you have a signature pair of bright pink sunglasses, then your highlight color will be bright pink. You can add some matching bright pink ear rings to add some pop to your outfit. MadMan’s highlight colors are dark wood and tanned leather. Those are what his necklaces and watches are made of. That’s his signature. I advise picking out two of these. Any more and it can become overwhelming. (To much pop is no good)

What to do With the Outcasts?

MadLady's Colors
While Purple and Green might not fly. The rest match great!

So, you’ve picked your colors. You’ve checked that they go well with each other. A really great way to make sure you’re colors work is to try them on together in various ways. You can also check on Pintrest for similar color pallets, or even make your own on Canva (like I did) ->

Once you are 100% sure these are the colors you want, then you need to get rid of the others. When I first began, I had a few red shirts, I liked them, but I really didn’t have anything to wear them with. Once I decided red was not one of my colors, I realized that I would only be able to wear those tops in one or two outfits, unlike the green top I can wear 10 different ways. By the end of my purge, I had gone from an entire closet, an entire dresser, and under bed storage to a quarter a closet and half of a dresser total. I went from having over 20 pairs of shoes to having 10. Best of all, I had more outfits to choose from at the end than I did the beginning (without buying anything new… I could see more with less stuff in the way.)

On the Way to the Finish Line

You’re almost done! For today, take a break. you deserve it. Later, read the next step in your journey: Basic Buildup. There you will learn how to take everything you just did and ensure that it lasts by adding a few basic pieces and learning when to replace old ones.

A note about being frugal:

Many critiques of the capsule wardrobe have said that rather than pull away from consumerism, it makes you go towards it. My some standards, yes, this is true. However, that’s not how I look at it. To me, decomposing and rebuilding your wardrobe with things you actually like will enable you to actually shop less in the long run. Remember: spending $500 now is cheaper than small purchases of $20 every single weekend. You just have to keep yourself accountable. More on this later.

What is your color pallet?
What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own?
Are you going to do your child’s or dog’s closet next?

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