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Color Palette Challenge: Curating An Earth-Toned Mini Wardrobe

Mirroring the wild and creating wardrobes that help you embody your truest self, care for the Earth, and live the good life.
February 8, 2024
By Lia Klinchik

Closets for the Future

Welcome to my 3-part blog series on how to curate a wardrobe to fit your personal style, intentional decluttering, and clothing as a part of slow living.

I will take you along with me for two wardrobe challenges and one investigation into how what you choose to wear can be the key to living more consciously.

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For this post, I put together a color palette to mold my wardrobe around the aesthetic I want to emulate and, more importantly, who I am.

I strived for my clothing to be expressive of the Earth and envisioned this being in earthy shades with flowy, modern-type garbs.

First Impressions

I never feel like I’m fully reaching the aesthetic I want with my closet. It’s like I’m always almost on the brink of it, but I rarely take the time to sit with what I have and carefully piece it all together.

Plus, when you’re the one wearing your clothes and running around all the time, it’s hard to get perspective.

I fall into these ruts of holding onto what is comfortable emotionally. “I’ve had this for such a long time. I can’t get rid of it” is a quote I have reiterated many times as I’ve torn through my bin of clothes.

I was determined to make a change in this season of my life. I had a lot of hopes for this challenge, as I’m sure most of us do as we wreck our rooms with closet collections in an attempt to organize.

There was this idea in my head that doing so would, in some way, help me make more conscious choices about what I own, feed the desired image of myself, and expedite the process of outfit planning.

Choosing the right color for the Oliver Charles All-Season Cardigan was a start. Maybe one sweater really can catapult you into an adventure of self-discovery.

Auditing My Closet

Time to take inventory! The most important part of a Color Palette Challenge is creating the color palette. Doing so acts as a sort of vision board to look back to as you look through your clothes and ensure you’re achieving your goals.

To do this, I chose photos of landscapes from Pinterest and my own photo album. The reason I went with landscapes, rather than searching for something like “earthy colors” or “neutrals,” was because this allows me to actually reflect the parts of this planet that I enjoy being around.

To mirror the Earth, we look to the Earth. The photos I chose were good examples of dreamy, Western scenery: open, wild spaces, valley grasslands in a hazy sky, the oranges and beiges of the desert, sage greens, pale blue skies on sunny days, and the red clay Earth of Utah and Nevada. All of which have a vintage-like filter over them. To me, this is the beauty of spaciousness and wilderness.

I then went on Canva, uploaded my photos, and allowed it to scan for the main tones present.

I then added 6 circles to my page and chose from the tones presented as the colors I wanted to be part of my palette: an almost periwinkle blue, a darker beige, red clay, off-white/cream, dark evergreen, and charcoal.

Creating An Earth Tone Color Palette - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:e7e35b64-12f0-4600-bc39-f470b96426b1

Excitedly digging through my closet, I began to pick out anything that didn’t fit my palette.

The Oliver Charles sweaters I own:
1. All-Season Cardigan in undyed
2. Summer Cardigan in Sand Dollar
3. All-Season Sweater in Charcoal

These 3 sweaters already checked my boxes, so I set those aside, to begin with. I then continued to ask myself these questions:

  • Does this match the color palette and the aesthetic I’m going for?
  • Do I like how I feel in them?
  • Do they fit me?
  • Do they have rips or stains?
Auditing My Closet - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:699b57af-5bb3-40a4-b4c2-7eb31a3c195b

Choosing Selected Items And My Checklist

I wanted to keep things very simple, keeping this color palette closet to just a few items.

  • My Oliver Charles Sweaters: The All-Season Crew Neck, the All-Season Cardigan, the Summer Cardigan
  • 1 Dress (print: cream/off-white and deep brown)
  • 1 Pair of Leggings (green)
  • 2 Tops to be used for outdoor adventure/activewear (charcoal, clay)
  • 3 Casual Tops (charcoal, beige)
  • 1 Pair of Jean Overalls (blue)
  • 2 Pairs of Pants: 1 Wide Leg (black/charcoal) and 1 Comfy (clay)

= 13 total pieces, not including shoes

After doing this, I was surprised to realize that most of my wardrobe did fall into my color palette with some outliers.

Even if they didn’t touch on the exact color, they were at least on the color spectrum of my goal colors. It also came to my attention that I had a lot more neutral browns and beige colors in my closet than I originally thought.

Choosing Selected Items and My Checklist - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:040a0f7f-51a1-4f4e-9214-05edae7931fa

Planning Outfits According To My Color Palette

To plan outfits, I created a board on Canva to see the items in my closet against each other. In the back of my mind, I thought about my weekly activities:

  • Do I plan on going out?
  • Will I be going to the gym?
  • Will I be going on an outdoor adventure?
  • Will I be working remotely or going to class?

Building your color palette wardrobe can either inform your lifestyle or build it around your current lifestyle.

Considering these activities helped me make choices that allowed me to repeat outfits that check multiple boxes for the day!

After creating my board and identifying the objective of each outfit, I assembled and tried them

Evening Out with the Sand Dollar Summer Cardigan - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:5b4ccebe-777f-4568-9bc9-ec6d6e27013b

Outfit 1: An Evening Out With The Sand Dollar Summer Cardigan

The Oliver Charles Sand Dollar Summer Cardigan synergizes well with my thrifted printed dress.

The silky feeling of SeaCell on my skin never gets old. The highlight here is the way it drapes over the dress, emphasizing easy-going, free-falling elegance.

Full-Time Student Casual - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:c2a70854-f436-46de-be22-e0094cced21d

Outfit 2: Full-Time Student Casual

Pairing wide-leg pants with a simple, short-sleeve shirt and the Oliver Charles Undyed All-Season Cardigan makes for a clean and relaxed look.

This sweater helps to add gentle definition while protecting me from the wavering weather of spring in Northern California. With these same pants, I could fully button the sweater to be worn as a blouse instead!

Modern Workwear For A Gym Day - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:573403ee-2d75-4dec-9cef-e391e0b9b8c5

Outfit 3: Modern Workwear For A Gym Day

Caught in the breeze, my green (one might say teal) leggings with a black active top and the Charcoal All-Season Crew Neck became the perfect pairing for all weather. This will always be one of my favorite sweaters. With past field testing, the adaptability in rain, winter cold, sunshine, and strong winds and moisture-wicking capabilities are qualities that stuck with me. They don’t call it an all-season sweater for nothin’!

Monochrome Casual for Working at Home - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:a69a404b-1141-4b8c-b282-e8431be956cd

Outfit 4: Monochrome Casual For Working At Home

Who doesn’t love a little monochrome? Here, my Undyed All-Season Cardigan provides contrast. My clay-colored activewear top and loose-fitting pants are two of my most adored pieces. It can be worn at home for comfort during study sessions, climbing, yoga, or for working nomadically.

Natural Wear for Errands + Hangouts - Oliver Charles.jpg__PID:dde4952b-c525-49c3-9d1a-e4aedf282ebb

Outfit 5: Natural Wear for Errands + Hangouts

For a laid-back fit, I paired the Oliver Charles Sand Dollar Summer Cardigan with a thrifted pair of jeans, overalls, and a lace top.

This is another great example of the intentionality behind this design, so fluid and flexible in what it’s matched with.

Effortless Confidence With Color Palettes

This challenge was so much less complicated than I anticipated. The reality of what I own and the emotions around me were immediately apparent and certainly helpful.

It took me a long time to start being comfortable with the practice of letting go. And hey, we humans are creatures of habit. It’s not entirely our fault that we fall into not branching out from what we already know to work for us.

However, instead of helplessly cradling our half-torn, falling apart, 8-year-old sweaters, maybe it’s time for something new and fresh- something that makes you feel just as good and lasts twice as long.

You might be thinking, how could one sweater check multiple boxes or even round out the colors in a closet.

I say sweaters are an essential piece of a wardrobe, and the color even more so!

Each of the Oliver Charles Cardigans worked well as casual, dressy, and active attire.

The superior ventilation, classic design, and neutral colors make for hassle-free outfit planning- a sweater that weaves it all together.

If you’re looking to get your style “on brand,” push yourself to grow by taking a good look at what you have, or allow yourself to shed anything that’s holding you back from who you want to be, let this be your sign to try the Color Palette Challenge.

And a side note: remember to choose your color palette first, adjust your closet, and pair your outfits with an Oliver Charles sweater for daily fashion mastery.

Lia Klinchik is a freelance blogger and Clinical Herbalist, focusing on our relationship to nature and sustainability. Through her writing, she hopes to help people truly enjoy life and leave a positive impact on the planet.

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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