Wardrobe planning #03 – choosing colours #02

Dilemma: how to change a wardrobe that suited my working life to fit with retirement?

In 2014, I officially retired from my position as a school librarian. As I had been off work for some time with illness, this was the obvious next step. Over the subsequent weeks and months, I began to realise that I needed to make some changes in my clothing to fit with my new life.


In last week’s Wardrobe Planning post, I talked about how I began to streamline the colours that I wear. This week, I am looking at how my choices of the last two years have affected the balance of colours in my wardrobe, how I address gaps and, hopefully, make sensible purchases.

Wardrobe Colours chart version #02

Wardrobe Colours chart version #02

When I look in my wardrobe, I can see that I have a lot of clothes in Navy and a few items in other shades of blue. They are things like:

  • T-shirts and vests which can be worn throughout the year.
  • Light and heavier weight jumpers and cardigans in cashmere, wool mixes and cotton.
  • Jeans, casual and smarter trousers, and jogging pants.
  • Skirts in wool and also linen and other summer weight material.
  • Dresses – plain or patterned in shades of blue.
  • Shoes – most of these are on the smart side, plus my Hotters!
  • Handbags – three stunningly gorgeous ones – more on these at a later date.

I have far fewer Brown clothes, although this is supposed to be one of my basics – maybe I don’t like brown shades enough and should change to grey instead. However, when I look more closely I can see:

  • Many shades of brown – caramel, bronze, tan – look good with my hair.
  • I really like the colours named above, especially for accessories.
  • I have lovely tan shoes and boots and a gorgeous vintage handbag in tan lizard skin.
  • Perhaps I simply need to keep looking for the perfect jumper, cardigan, skirt, trousers or dress in a brown shade – or all of these!

Turquoise – I have plenty of variety in my favourite colours of turquoise, aqua, sea green and teal: t-shirts and vests, twin-sets, cardigans, blouses, jumpers, casual yoga pants.

Purple – fewer items in this accent colour than in the turquoise shades. Perhaps there are gaps here – a twin-set, a skirt and more t-shirts or tops.

Coral – a twin-set and some t-shirts are all I have in coral, although, as I see this as a spring/summer colour, perhaps I don’t need a wide range.

Cream/white – lots of t-shirts and a skirt – maybe more are needed here.

As you can see, I am already beginning to work out where the gaps in my wardrobe might be. At the same time, I need to plan carefully as I don’t spend a lot of money and also I have limited space. So, I have to think about replacing an item in a different colour when something wears out or no longer fits. Keeping the balance of colours clear helps me to do this.

My librarian side comes out in how I organise my wardrobe – I have two rails. One long rail holds all my “short” clothes such as shirts, cardigans, light-weight sweaters, blouses. This is organised in colour order so that it is easy to see the balance. My other rail holds “long” clothes like dresses, skirts and trousers.

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

Heavy jumpers, lingerie, socks and so on are in drawers. I read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Saving Magic of Tidying” and watched some of her videos, and these helped me to put everything into drawers so tidily that I can see everything laid out.

Her books and videos are available on her website.

OK, I will admit that I also have space in another wardrobe for out of season clothes!

What I am trying to avoid are random impulse buys of clothes in colours that might catch my eye at the time, but, when they arrive, or I get them home, they don’t go with anything I already own. This also goes in term of the actual item – i.e. do I really need another shirt or pair of jeans? I will return to this in a later post.

Next week – some final thoughts on colour choices including Colour Analysis…

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About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
This entry was posted in Clothes, Lifestyle, Wardrobe, Wardrobe planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wardrobe planning #03 – choosing colours #02

  1. Pingback: Wardrobe Planning #04 – choosing colours #03 | The Librain……retired

  2. Pingback: Wardrobe planning #22: Wardrobe colour wheel update | The Librain……retired

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