September 25, 2015

Color Palettes for Fall

Something I have noticed about the way I style my wardrobe is that I tend to go for more traditional color pairings. I always admire the way other bloggers and fashion designers manage to pair colors together I never would have thought of. I decided as an experiment to look at some images of both modern runway and vintage fashions and pull out the color palettes to have a closer look at how I could incorporate them into my own wardrobe.

Image from Pinterest, possibly Vogue
 For example, here is a super lovely 50's image featuring a delicious plaid ensemble. I think the safe colors to pair with this plaid would be black, brown, or tan. A great way to style plaid is to pull a color from the plaid itself, but in this image the plaid has been paired with a sharp pistachio green and looks amazing! Perhaps because the plaid is made up of rather similar and neutral shades it works well when being placed with a different strong color. I could see this plaid working with any number of other colors in this same way, replacing the green with bright red or a dusty blue.

Schiaparelli Couture (
 Here is an image from the most recent Schiaparelli couture show. Though perhaps pairing black with pastels isn't an entirely new concept, I find myself often pairing black with itself, black wool with black lace, black velvet with black chiffon, rather than choosing another color. This image is a good reminder of just how great black looks with bright pink or shining gold. I definitely need to try spicing up my black ensembles with a bit more cheer and color this upcoming winter,

Flickr, click for link
 I also tend to steer clear of soft light colors in autumn and winter, but as this vintage image shows that need not be the case. The soft blue looks amazing with the dark orange-hued red! Where the more classic accessory colors of black or navy would have seemed pretty but a bit boring, the red really pops and takes the whole look up several notches! (this image was recolored by the flickr user, but my points still stand, good on them for choosing such nice colors!)

Street style, I can't find the original source though :(
Another color I would never think of for fall is this dusty lavender. This outfit layers colors so beautifully, I adore the similar tones in the different textures. Then there is the pairing of the army green with the lavender, what an interesting combination! I would never have thought of pairing the two together, but now I am thinking a dusty purple blouse would be wonderful to pair with my army green pencil skirt.

Michael Kors (
All these contrasting colors isn't to say that working within a smaller palette and varying textures isn't another great way to go. Monotone outfits have been all over the runways for the past few seasons. The key is varying the texture. The ensemble from Michael Kors above does just this by pairing a traditional smooth wool hounds-tooth with both a thicker heatherd knit and a lush fur. The result looks luxurious and expensive.

Dries Van Noten (
 Another modern designer who is a wizard with colors is Dries Van Noten. Here a modern navy wool ensemble is paired with a more zany feathered statement necklace. Firstly I think the dark navy looks awesome with the bright golden yellow and orchid purple, but also I like the texture contrast between the smooth thick wool and the naturally organic feathers.

Vogue, September 1943
 Here is another vintage ensemble with great colors, dusty mid blue and deep oxblood red. While I would have leaned towards pairing such a suit with light baby blue or even just white, the dark red looks amazing and much more striking! Choosing two main colors, even if both seem quite strong, seems to work great even with only a light pair of gloves and a gold necklace to break up the look so it doesn't begin to lean too costumey.

Dreis Van Noten (
Lastly for today we have another look from Dries, this time in deep navy, burgundy, and bright rusty orange. I think the colors in this image are just divine, so rich and perfect for fall! Being that blue and orange are complimentary colors, it makes a lot of sense that this ensemble would be striking and catch the eye. The addition of burgundy makes the pairing of the first two colors less graphic and more decadent, more almost exotic looking. I am really excited to try and make up an outfit from my closet using these colors. 

What do you guys think? Do you tend to stick to more classical or subdued color pairings or are you more daring? It is something I am definitely trying to work on to make the most of my wardrobe!


  1. Excellent point! I think that I tend to do the same - opt for classic, and certainly very seasonally centered, colour palettes, too. I also really like to look to nature. It has rarely steered in the wrong direction when it comes to creating palettes and I find that following its lead is a great way to keep your outfits looking vibrant and interesting.

    Really lovely post, sweet gal. I absolutely enjoyed it!

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica! I feel like you are so good at pairing colors, I am always inspired by how you pair things together! Nature definitely creates some beautiful palettes, a worth source of inspiration for sure :)

  2. Wow, these are all really great. I especially love the Michael Kors and Dreis Van Noten palates (the last one is very Biba-esque)... surprising as I expected to be drawn to the vintage palates first!

    1. Thanks Shauna! Michael Kors fall show was particularly great this past year, great classic pieces in very nice colors. Though modern fashion is so often in silhouettes I don't care for, the colors and textures can still provide a wealth of inspiration :)

  3. What a great idea! Thank you for this amazing and inspirational post. The best part is that your color palettes are extremely chic and wearable.

  4. I love playing with colour combinations so I really enjoyed this. It is always good to be reminded about different colour pairings, though I have favourites I will always stick too as well!

    1. Thanks Kate! I am trying to expand my eye for color, it's a fun challenge after spending many years practically only wearing black!


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