Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!

ORDering Color from your Closet


This week on Makeover Monday, I showed you how I started with my turquoise necklace, then added various fabrics to it to build a color palette for my ORD (Chicago) trip coming up next week. Now I want to quickly follow up by showing how you can do the same thing (whether you sew or not), simply by pulling things out of your closet.

Once again, here’s my new palette:

My new ORDer palette

My new ORDer palette. (I created this palette at; click the palette to see it there!)

Since my travel wardrobe color palette is determined, and I’ve already organized everything in my closet according to color, it was easy to pull out everything I have in these colors. Here’s my collection, and keep in mind that this is what I already had (you’ll recognize some pieces from my Santa Fe wardrobe, I’m sure):

ORD from the closet

ORD from my closet. Starting once again with my turquoise necklace (2), here’s what I pulled from my closet to build my color palette. (Details below.)

Here’s what I found: 1. Chartreuse cashmere 3/4-sleeved sweater. 2. Turquoise necklace (a continual source of color inspiration). 3. Emerald pumps. 4. Turquoise cotton beaded caftan (the bottom of which shows below the chartreuse sweater). 5. Ultramarine knit sheath dress. 6. Necklace and bracelet (made by me). 7. Asymmetrical printed knit draped top. 8. Sage-green vintage-inspired pumps. 9. Deep aqua mermaid-hem cotton damask skirt. 10. Sage green linen wide-leg trousers with dark taupe tuxedo stripes (made by me). 11. Flat sandal with turquoise (on the heel), dark sage green, and bright pink.

Tip: I did this exercise for a couple of reasons. First, just in case you were sitting there thinking, “But I don’t know where to start!”, I wanted to show you how you can easily create a palette by picking a single color already in your wardrobe (mine was turquoise), and then trying different colors with that first one. And second, with only a few days until I leave for Chicago, it’s helping me tremendously to see how much I already have that works with my palette! And speaking of which…

… Now it’s time to go through the items I’ve pulled out, and decide what goes, and what goes back in my closet. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Goes: 2. Turquoise necklace definitely goes. It goes with everything. 6. Aventurine and amazonite necklace and bracelet. Because I love them and their colors.

Goes (possibly): 3. Emerald pumps are a possibility, pending deciding how many outfits they can be worn with. 7. Asymmetric top may go; depends on what pants and skirts I end up taking, because its drapiness really only works well with fitted pieces. 8. Sage-green pumps may go; heels are low enough to be comfortable for all-day wear. Not tres summery, though. 9. Love the aqua skirt, but again, depends on what tops I decide to take. Silhouette is a little dressy for casual wear. 10. Linen trousers are cool and comfortable, but require ironing. 11. Colorful, flat sandals are always useful in summer, but may or may not work with the clothes I take.

Goes back in closet: 1. Cashmere sweater will be too hot (although the color is perfect). 4. Cannot think why I would want/need a caftan on this trip. 5. Sheath dress is a little too covered-up to work as a light summer dress. Great color, though.

Really? Only the jewelry is definitely going with me? Clearly, my next step needs to be making decisions about the garments I’m taking. And part of that decision-making process has to include being realistic about how many more garments I can, in fact, sew before next week; it could be that I will have to forego the beautiful print dress I really want to make (seen in my last post), but I’m going to try to get as much done as possible. It’s always nice (not to say mandatory) to have something new to take on a trip, and having new things that I’ve made myself is even better!

Tip: My palette and the group of clothes shown here do not show the deep charcoal grey I’m thinking of using as a grounding neutral in this palette (ColourLovers allows 5 colors per palette). In my next post, I’ll show you the grey skirt and emerald-and-grey top I’ve made in the last couple of days; these will definitely be in my travel wardrobe!

Even though in my case, many of the items I pulled from my closet probably won’t work for this trip, it’s still heartening to see how many things I have that relate directly to my travel wardrobe palette— it means that the pieces that are staying behind will automatically coordinate with whatever I do end up making/taking with me! This was absolutely worth the time.

Working through this process is certainly showing me the importance of taking some time to think all this over, before the inevitable last-minute packing rush. Hmm, maybe this preparation will actually prevent that rush!

A girl can dream…


Author: Colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, lingerie, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

5 thoughts on “ORDering Color from your Closet

  1. You are so good at this! I’m passing the blog on to my two daughters. I wasn’t much help to them while growing up… I should have had boys!

  2. Pingback: Packing ORDer (and a minor emergency) | Changing Your Clothes

  3. Pingback: Chicago Wardrobe Follow-up #4: My Mom’s Edition! | Changing Your Clothes

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