How to Choose a Color Palette

Dec 23, 2021

Last week I shared with you 5 reasons you should choose a color palate. If you haven’t read that blog post, you can do it here! You can also watch a YouTube live all about why you should choose a color palette here!  Whether you’ve decided to jump in wholeheartedly or are still questioning if you even want a color palette, you may be wondering how to come up with your color palette. Especially if you consider yourself to be someone who doesn’t have an eye for color, choosing a color palette can be daunting! I’m here to share my experience and give you some guidance that I hope will help!


Throw Your Preconceived Notions Out the Window

One of the reasons I most avoided having a color palate was my preconceived notions of what a color palette had to be. I think the first step in choosing your color palette is throwing out all of those preconceived notions out the window. This is YOUR color palette; it does not need to have a certain number or type of colors in it. It’s good to find a balance between all the colors and so restrictive that it feels punishing. But ultimately you get to choose how many colors you include!


Also, toss out any of those notions about what your colors should be. No matter your age, skin or hair color, you need to choose colors that bring you joy! The purpose of the color palette is to focus your choices, bring you joy and help you be more intentional.


1. Check Your Closet

If we’re really honest with ourselves, most of us already have a color palette that we are naturally drawn to. A great place to check to see if this is the case is your closet or dresser!  Take a look through your clothes. Are there certain colors that you’ve purchased again and again? If so they are definitely ones you’re going to want to include in your color palette. If you find that your wardrobe has the entire rainbow in it, pull out just the pieces you wear over and over again. Be sure to include those colors in your color palette.


One time that this technique might not be helpful is if you’ve purchased your clothing based around other people’s ideas of what you should be wearing. If you’re going to commit to a color palette, those colors should bring you joy; not be what other people think you should use.



2. Check in With Your Gut

All of the colors in your color palate should make you feel good. Flip through some pictures of yourself over the years, what outfits do you think you look best in? Is there a color theme? Stop listening to what other people or society tell you about what you should wear or love. Anyone at any age can wear black or hot pink. If you love it and it makes you feel good, forget what anyone else says! Even if you’re planning on only applying your color palette to your yarn purchases, we often use the yarn we purchase to make things that we’re going to wear. If you’re going to put the time into hand making something, you want to be sure that you feel amazing in it! If a color doesn’t bring you joy, don’t choose it!


3. Pick 6

While this doesn’t have to be your final palette, sometimes having all the options in the world can be completely overwhelming. Try to restrict yourself to a certain number of colors. Maybe pick 6, 3 neutrals and 3 accent colors.  Which neutrals are your favorite? Do you prefer white or cream, black or navy, khaki or olive green? Which accent colors are you drawn to? Do you prefer blues and greens, reds and pinks, oranges and yellows? Are you more of a bold, jewel tone person, or a soft, pastel tone kind of person?



4. Try Out Someone Else’s Color Palette

It can feel really overwhelming to create a color pallet from scratch. The good news is there are oodles and oodles of pre-made color palettes all over Pinterest! You can simply type in the search bar “color pallete” and you will be greeted with thousands of pins which suggest ideas for color palettes. You can even get more specific and search something like “color palettes including lime green, teal, hot pink”. This is a great way to see what other colors might go with a few colors you’re drawn to.


5. Have Your Colors Done

This was something I remember being very big when I was younger. I don’t know who, but someone convinced all of the adult women in my life that there were only certain colors that they could wear. I was young, so I don’t remember the specifics but I do know that there were 4 seasons of colors. You must have taken some kind of quiz or had someone guide you through finding your colors and then the women in my life swore by them.


While I’m not one to limit myself to a specific color palette that someone else has predetermined based on my eye and hair color, taking a quiz, or getting some guidance on which colors look best on you certainly can’t hurt. I found a couple quizzes, linked below, for you to check out. Just keep in mind that you absolutely do not have to agree with or stick to the results you get. But, if you’re having trouble choosing this might be a place to start.


Color Test 1

Color Test 2


Next Steps

Once you’ve chosen colors to go in your color palette that you love, I highly recommend sitting with it for a little bit before you make any drastic changes. It might be tempting to dive into your yarn stash and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit within your color palette. Or go through your closet and donate things outside your color palette, I’m definitely an all in kind of person so I totally understand. However, it might be prudent to consider your color palate for a few days or even a week or 2 before you go all in.


I went to The Home Depot paint section and picked up paint swatches in my color palette. I left them laying on my desk for a few weeks before I decided to fully commit. You could also go to the fabric store and find samples of fabric to consider. You could even get a big box of colored pencils and color some swatches for you to consider! If you find that you absolutely love your color palette, dive in! If not, mix it up and sit with it a bit longer! 


I hope you find a color palette you love and feel great about! I think you’ll find narrowing down your color palette to be freeing!


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