Friday, 6 January 2012

{Beginners Guide} Vintage Colour

 Image via DressingVintage

... or breaking away from neutrals.

Remember when you were a child and wore clothes because you liked them, not because they went together or coordinated? You wore things that made you feel happy, and somehow, sometimes, you just looked amazing

My daughter is great at this, at only 9 she can pull random colours from her wardrobe and have a fantastic outfit in 2 minutes, smiles beaming all over her face!! Somewhere between childhood and grown up we can loose the joy of wearing colours and find ourselves sticking to safe neutrals!

My mother would take great pleasure in telling you that when I was 16 most of my wardrobe consisted of  black, by the time I left home and started work in an office, I had matured to a mostly navy wardrobe!! Now I am guilty of being drawn to buying grey , grey or grey grrr!!

The world of Vintage can be a wonderful journey into colour!!!

|Browsing the photos of vintage clothing on Etsy can be like dipping into a big bowl of sweets, so many lovely colours! Who wouldn't want to wear all that happiness!

Ok, we're entering a slightly scary area for some of you, so once again I'm here to hold your hand....

Start Small

There are some colors that scream vintage to even mainsteam  viewers, by mixing these with your neutral wardrobe as an accent colour, it can ease you in gently. Try mustard, cherry red or jade

Take inspiration from homes

Every decade has its palette of colour, peruse the palettes and take inspiration for your wardrobe

Go to the site and slide along to timeline for your desired decade!!!

Go with the seasons

Its a lot easier to feel relaxed in colour if you are in harmony with your surroundings. Remember being drawn to wearing red at Christmas? You looked fab and didn't feel too self concious did you? Try pastels in spring, Candy brights  in Summer, or Russets in Autumn

dethrose's sand and sea look

Use a Colour Wheel

Want to know what colour accessories to wear with your new dress? Use a colourwheel.

An easy guide to using a colourway
1. Choose the colour you want to wear
2. Decide if you want toning, harmonising or contrasting colours.
- For Toning colours choose from within that slice of the wheel (lighter or darker tones of that 1st colour)
- For complimentary colours choose from the slices either side of your original colour.
- For contrasting colours chose from the slice directly opposite your original colour.
3. Don't be afraid to mix all three across your clothes and accessories,eg. lighter and darker shades of green for an outfit with red accent accessories.

Take Inspiration from Something you love

Do you have a favourite painting or vintage china pattern? Pull your outfit colour from that. Choose the most dominant colour, or your favourite as your main item of clothing, dress, suits etc, the next as your accessories hat, gloves, shoes etc, then the third most dominant as your highlight bracelets, earrings, shoe clips, brooch etc

You can make it easy to find the pallete of a picture by entering it into this online palette generator from

So basically, be brave and give it a try, even if its only a little colour, and cheer up this yucky winter weather!!
If you already have this sussed and have some great colour combos to inspire us, please share them in the comments below!


  1. Oh, did you change your blog design? I love it!! This is a wonderful post. I wish I would have been brave enough to jump into the world of color in the beginning of my vintage obsession. After my first year of collecting, I had about 10 blue dresses, neutral skirts and only a few interesting colored blouses. I love that color palette generator! Have you seen the color palette challenges on colette patterns? Some of them are odd combos but quite beautiful.
    have a wonderful weekend, doll!

  2. Omg this post hit the spot as always!!! Its just what I needed to hear bc I am stuck on black and grey and I need more color in my life-bigtime! Its like you rd my mind-but then again we are bday twins hehehe xox

  3. Um OH MY GOSH heck yes! Finally!

    You inspire me!

  4. As a major colour lover, this post really speaks to me. I'm all for neutrals, but there is so much to be said about adding the spice of interesting colour combos to one's wardrobe and constantly seeking new source of inspiration to fuel those choices.

    Oodles of hugs & joyful wishes for the coming week,


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