One tip I always see from those with minimalist wardrobes is the minimalist palette – whites, creams, soft greys, blacks and maybe a touch of brown. The problem is, I actually really like colour, and lots of it!
I think when people think of simplifying and minimalism, the neutral or monochrome look is what comes to mind. And if pretty much everything you own is black, white or grey then the job of matching colours is a straightforward process – perfect if that’s the way you like to dress, but not so fun if you’re more of a fan of colour. Personally I have a number of basics in black, grey and brown (white and I are simply not friends), whilst dresses, tops and a few other bits and pieces are in bold, bright colours.
At first I thought I was just picking colours at random, but now that I’ve cut things down to what I actually wear and love, they tend to fall into a few colour families: bright shades of red, orange, green and yellow; dark autumnal burgundy, burnt orange, olive and mustard; and the more traditional shades of navy, black, grey and brown. I’ve tried wearing whites, pastels and other pale colours, and generally I feel that they don’t suit me or my penchant for spilling food or drinks on myself. Purples and blues besides navy somehow don’t hold much appeal for me, and pink I only really like if it’s almost red. I’ve never had these colours analysed by so-called colour experts – they’re just what I’ve noticed I naturally gravitate towards and which I feel suit me.
In general though, it’s just following the basic concept of monochrome or neutral basics (I include navy and khaki in this), and colourful accent pieces. I’m not a fashionable person by any stretch, and I’m sure some of the colour combinations I wear might be considered a bit quirky, but I feel like ‘colourful and sometimes a bit odd’ is actually a pretty good representation of my identity.
So I’ll spare you the fashion tips, but my point is – if you really like colour and feel that minimalism is only for those who enjoy beige, fret not! You don’t have to follow anyone else’s idea of an ideal minimalist wardrobe, or home, or life. It’s a distinctly personal process in colour, in quantity, in expression, and there is no ‘right way’ of doing it. If you want to be colourful, then I say it is possible so go right ahead!
I’m curious – what colours do you wear? Are you still trying to make that ‘crisp white shirt’ work for you just because it’s on everyone else’s list? (I tried it and no).
More Wardrobe Zen posts here.