It’s said that most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe while the other 80% of their clothes go untouched. By curating a capsule wardrobe - where each item of clothing is carefully selected to be mixed and matched, you’re able to get the most out of your wardrobe. Oftentimes people picture capsule wardrobes being comprise of neutral clothing colours to ease the transition between seasons and remain timeless. However, we’re here to share and show with you that incorporating bright coloured clothes into your capsule wardrobe not only adds a pop of colour to your wardrobe, but is easy to do for any occasion and can increase the opportunities for mixing and matching.
Everyone’s capsule wardrobe will be unique to them, so there’s no hard and fast rules to what one has to be comprised of. When you’re curating yours, it’s important to be cognizant of what styles and colour palettes you naturally gravitate more towards, and build it off of that! Don’t force yourself to wear colours or designs simply because you notice your closet is lacking in them (because there’s probably a reason for that: you don’t wear them). As a first step, we recommend looking through your wardrobe and picking out any bright coloured clothing items that you currently own or any colourful accessory to assess if you wear the item, if you would like to incorporate similar tones to this or if you would like to branch off and find pieces that will pair with both neutrals and your current colourful items.
We know that committing to any new colour in a capsule wardrobe can be a bit daunting to ensure it’s versatility and maximum use, so we decided to make a wardrobe colour guide to give you confidence to add the colours you love with the neutrals you already own.
Throughout this post we’ll be discussing tones and hues and where they fall on the colour wheel (see here to learn about the basics of colour wheels). Complimentary colours fall on the opposite side of one another on the colour wheel; these often pair very well together. Colours that fall on the same side of the colour wheel as one another are similar tones to one another and can be paired together for a more monochrome look.
Our Favourite Colours
Whether you’re looking to learn how to incorporate colour into your preexisting capsule wardrobe, are interested in building both a functional and colourful closet or are looking for style inspiration, we’re here to calm any wardrobe worries.
To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite colours to mix and match within capsule wardrobes for seasonless styles along with texture pairings and outfit ideas.
How To Colour Coordinate Your Wardrobe
Colours to Pair With Blue
Colours: For blues, select neighbouring tints and shades on the colour wheel to pair it with, like light blue and dark blue. Or, try pairing black and white with any shade of blue to allow the bright colour to pop and be the focal point of your outfit. We love pairing dark navy blue with black (yes, you can definitely pair black with navy blue) with various tones of khaki and beige for a more balanced look. You’ll notice shades of beige and khaki are located across blue on a colour wheel and will pair nicely because it adds warmth and balance.
Styles: Pants and shorts in khaki or denim are a great neutral to pair with shades of blue. Staples like a denim jacket or beige belted trench coat also pair effortlessly with pastel blue as they pick up on the natural lightness that’s present in all in every shade. Add a black shoe or dark brown leather for some contrast or white sandals/sneakers for a more summery look.
We love to pair our blue tops like The Everyday Boxy Tee and The Evolve Top with neutral coloured bottoms as the tops can be transitioned from summer to winter by adding layers. Starting off with a bright coloured top allows you to ease into adding bright coloured clothing to your wardrobe, maintains your ability to mix and match, and if you’re ever feeling as though the colour is too bright, layers such as cardigans can easily be added to control the level of colour within your outfit.
Textures: Denim, leather, khaki, wool
Pair your blue coloured clothing with denim for a more monochrome look or add warmth with khaki and wool for a cozier aesthetic.
Colours to Pair With Pink
Colours: For pink, try pairing it with warm, similar tones of pale pink, blush pink, and an orange shade similar to a burnt sienna (all of which fall on the same side of the colour wheel) for a harmonious look. Pinks also pair beautifully with light tones in the white and cream family, and darker, moodier tones like black or navy that balance each other because these colours sit across each other on a colour wheel.
Styles: Trousers and straight-leg pants in denim are a great pairing for pale and blush pinks. You can also pair pink with other pink tones for a monochrome look, like a tailored suede jacket or trench coat. Add white and brown leather shoes for a summery look.
When adding pink to our wardrobes, we personally love pairing pink with navy blue for a stark contrast or keeping it more traditional with black bottoms like The Dressy Sweatpant and white accents like a Fair V-Neck Tee. A pink jacket is a great way to include a bright coloured clothing item to your wardrobe as it can be worn with endless bottom colours and can be mixed and matched with shorts, pants, skirts and dresses.
Textures: Suede, denim, leather, tencel
Adding denim to your outfit allows for a subtle means of pairing pink with blue or if you’re looking for a starker contrast and dressier look, swap out your denim for a black leather accent.
Colours to Pair With Green
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Colours: For green, we like to pair it with shades on the same side of the colour wheel like light blue, olive green, and navy. Pale shades of green pair really well with khaki, which comes in various shades of beige and earthy greens. Neutral white and cream tones also pair well with it and create an airy, spring look. For those who prefer to wear black or darker shades, pairing green with grey, dark brown or navy blue allows for a cooler look.
Styles: Wide and straight-leg pants (and everything in-between!) in khaki, denim and black work really well with this colour. Try pairing olive coloured pants with a white t-shirt and grey cardigan like The Comfy Puff Sleeve Cardigan, or pair the same bright coloured pants with a black linen top for more of a summer look. Light sandals and shoes in white and brown leather add warmth to the outfits as well.
If you’re not ready to commit to green pants, pair an all black outfit with a green trench coat as a first step to incorporating colour into your outfits.
Textures: Khaki, canvas, leather, denim, cashmere
Depending on your preference for warm or cool tones, pair khaki with olive green for a softer look or combine denim with forest green for a cooler outfit.
Colours to Pair With Purple
Colours: Purples lie directly across from yellow on the colour wheel, which, unless your closet is entirely comprised of bright colours, seemed a bit too bright for us. Instead, we opted to pair purples with neutral tones like grey, white and black made with more natural fibres for a timeless look with only a slight pop of bright coloured clothing. Close colour wheel companions like light and deep purple would also pair well for a monochromatic look.
Styles: Pants, blazers and skirts with clean tailored straight lines and long, structured knit cardigans. For shoes, stick to no-fuss, timeless designs like open-toe mules and ankle or mid-ankle boots. Although we wouldn’t pair this shade with your typical blue or washed denim, it does look great with a dark wash or black denim.
We love to style our versatile 6 in 1 Chrysalis Cardi as a cardigan with a classic black and white combination, as a skirt with grey and even add a neutral coloured pattern to the mix for added texture. Luckily, with The Chrysalis Cardi, you can choose your level of comfort and colour coordination by wearing it as a layer that can easily be removed or even wearing this sustainable clothing item as a dress for a full bright coloured clothing outfit.
Textures: Wool, tweed, linen, leather, denim
With so many shades of purple ranging from warm to cold, your purple clothing and accessories can easily be dressed up with tweed and leather, or dressed down with denim.
What’s your favourite bright coloured clothing piece to add to a capsule wardrobe for easy mixing and matching? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking to build a minimalist wardrobe but you’re not sure where to begin?
Start here: How to Define Your Ideal Style
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