ColourRIOT: Did she get it right? Or: Welcome to my closet!

My sister Gillian challenged me to write  a follow-up to her post about choosing colour palettes, to tell you all whether she was in the right ballpark with the palette she picked out for me. So, if you haven’t read her post already, do go back and have a peek, then come back here and we’ll see how she did! (Also, take a moment to check out her follow-up post on her own blog, about how she has put her colour palette into action.)

Here’s what Gillian created for me.

Annie Bee's Colour Palette

Annie Bee’s Colour Palette by GillianCrafts, on Flickr

No surprise to people who know me in real life — it’s pretty much spot on!

Want to see HOW spot on? This feels a little weird to post on the interwebs, but… come step into my closet for a moment:

anne's closet collage 6

Welcome to my closet!

Okay, yup, I do actually organize my closet by colour. What, don’t you? On the left are tees and blouses, sweaters are in the middle, and pants (and skirts, but you can’t really see them) are on the right.

Let’s take a look at Gillian’s colour swatches alongside that closet:

anne's palette closet collage3

My closet, plus colour swatches.

When I look at that palette, I can picture multiple tops in every single one of those colours (though it’s hard to see some of them in the photos). A few things stand out to me:

  • The deep blue is a relatively new addition to my wardrobe. I’ve had navy things for ever, but not that electric-y royal-y blue. I love wearing it! I recently bought a bit of yarn in that colour, too, so I’m looking forward to knitting something accessory-ish with it.
  • I have a few tees and a blouse in variations on that bright green, and I love wearing them. Oddly, I don’t have any sweaters in that shade — but I do have a shawl that I love and wear frequently.
  • My closet is full of turquoise/teal and plum/purple! I wear these colours, and knit with them, frequently. In fact, the two sweaters I’ve knit for myself are both plummy: my FLS is a heathered plum shade of Cascade 220, and my Geodesic cardigan is a burgundy shade of Malabrigo Lace that was overdyed with plum. Half my shawls seem to have teal in them! I seem to gravitate towards these colours because they’re easy to wear, and also because they are great throughout the seasons — they can be summery or wintery as required.
  • That orange-y red is a colour I aspire to more than one I actually wear a lot of — but I do have a favourite sweater in just that shade and it gets a lot of compliments. (You can see it in the photos my friend Meredith took, when she asked me to model some mittens she had knit.) I do have other things in shades of orange (which I love) and red (which I mostly only want to wear around Christmas, for some reason), but this hybrid colour is a new fave, for sure.
  • My pants (trousers, for those across the pond — I’m not discussing my underwear here, thankyouverymuch!) are all very dull and neutral. But hey, they sure make all the deep, vibrant colours pop, right?

When Gillian first showed me her colour palette for me, I was really stunned that she’d been able to glean so much from the images I’ve pinned on Pinterest. Apparently I really am consistent with my tastes! Of course, she knows me in person too, which helped her identify what was most “me”.

The process wasn’t foolproof, even so. (Not that I’m calling my sister a fool, mind you!)

Where the plum is in the final palette, Gillian originally had a shade of mustard yellow, which is something I never ever ever wear. I went back and looked at my pins, and lo and behold, I do pin a lot of that colour:


One colour I pin CONSTANTLY but never ever wear: mustard (and yellow in general)

The thing is, I pin images for different reasons: sometimes I love the entire finished garment and wish I could completely reproduce it for myself, but more often, I’m pinning it to remember a certain aspect of it. Maybe it’s the colour — but maybe it’s the stitch pattern, or a technique, or maybe it’s the styling or the photography that I’m ooh-ing and aah-ing over. In the case of all of the knits in the collage above (straight from my Pinterest board), the golden colours show off the stitch patterns beautifully, and they look stunning on the models, but they are not shades I enjoy on my own body. Mustard-y yellow has been a big trend in fashion and perhaps especially in knitting for the last few years, so there’s no surprise that it shows up in a lot of the pieces I love, even though I don’t love the colour itself.

The other thing that really struck me was how similar — and yet consistently different — my palette and Gillian’s own were. A lot of the colours were similar, but hers are generally slightly lighter, less saturated shades, and mine are generally a bit deeper and more intense. Plus, she uses navy as a neutral, whereas black is my go-to backdrop shade. (She also has a lot more florals and other patterns in her wardrobe, but you can’t tell that from the palettes alone. I tend to go for solids or tonal textures, which I think has a lot to do with knitting versus sewing and what’s available to each of us.)

Colour Palette - Updated

Here’s Gillian’s palette, for reference.

It’s interesting to see how both of our palettes sort of dance around the Pantone colour forecasts. Here’s their Spring 2013 Fashion Colours for women:

Pantone Spring 2013 Colour Forecast for women’s fashion

It’s so totally Gillian!

Me, I’m closer to the fall forecast, with my deeper hues:

Pantone Fall 2013 Women’s Fashion colours

Neither of us is exactly totally on trend, nor are we completely off the radar, but it’s really interesting to get a glimpse of what colours might be available to further our wardrobe palette development. I’ll be keeping my eye out for Koi, and I think Gillian will be stocking up on Emerald (which, notably, is the colour of the year, and in both palettes).

So, now… I’m kind of tempted to carry a printout of “my” palette in my wallet, for matching purposes. I do this with paint chips of colours in our house, in case I need to match (or avoid clashing with) them — so maybe it makes sense to do this with my clothes, too?



Filed under ColourRIOT, Knitting for Me

4 responses to “ColourRIOT: Did she get it right? Or: Welcome to my closet!

  1. great ideas. as soon as I have my closet back, I’m going to have to evaluate my colours.

    • Annie Bee

      I predict lots of earth tones in your palette. Maybe some blues, too, but I always think of you in oranges. I’m interested to see what YOU see yourself in, though!

  2. So. Much. Fun. I really, loved reading your reflections… the whole process has been so fun! it’s like those silly personality tests which are somehow enthralling. Just the right about of indulgent navel-gazing!

    Your connection to fashionable colours is really interesting. The coral and bright blue are definitely colours that became fashionable this year, and I”m sure that’s how they entered my wardrobe! I wonder what colours I’d pick for a palette in a year’s time?

    • Annie Bee

      Palettes definitely aren’t permanent — we’re affected by the colours we see around us, and definitely by what’s available out there to buy. And yet, because I sure as heck can’t afford to replace my whole wardrobe every season or every year, the colours do stick around longer than the trends might…