when i introduced THE ULTIMATE CAPSULE WARDROBE PROJECT, i tried to distill a style definition for myself that would apply to my actual life. i created two moodboards, one for work situations and one for free time, but both had a lot in common, as for example travel plays a big part in both areas and life on the road dictates a certain kind of outfit. turns out it is possible to create a set of rules that you can adhere to all the time. as the next step of the program is to detoxify my wardrobe, and the one after that is to identify the items that i need to purchase to get a complete wardrobe, i figured i need such a set of principles before i can do any of that. how else am i going to judge what items to toss and what items to buy?

the first part of my personal set of rules is all about color. i can’t tell you how much i struggle with this particular aspect of my style and wardrobe. it’s so hard to walk into a store and not be too influenced by the stylings and displays. i’m a huge fan of american brand j.crew, but whenever i try to shop there, i leave with sweaters in colors i will wear maybe one season and then get tired of. you see, they do such a great job with their styling that they make me feel like i want to be their mannequin doll. and that’s never a good idea (especially not when you see this hilarious INTERPRETATION). so next time i go shopping, i want to be able to zoom right in on the hues that will compliment me and my lifestyle.

RULE N°1: forego black and white for other monochrome and minimalist color combinations. i went through hundreds of pictures again for the small moodboard above, but i feel like i ended up with a pretty good synopsis of my color palette. i used to be of the ‘black is the new black’ school, until i figured out all-black can look way too harsh on me. the same goes for white tees and shirts – the epitome of classic style, but not very flattering with my skintone. on top of that, as i am rather tall and sometimes have the tendency to dress tomboyishly, i need every kind of help in the ‘feminine’ department so as to not actually look like a boy all the time. choosing the right colors goes a long way. over the years, i’ve learned to appreciate muted greys, navy blues and variations of cream instead. they can look just as minimalist in a monochrome outfit, but they are softer and more feminine, which suits me better.

RULE N°2: identify the right accent colors. as much as i love an all-grey outfit, i will always try to mix different nuances to give it some interest. especially when you’re like me – a less is more kinda gal who’ll go for one handbag and not much else in the accessories department – sometimes you just need to mix it up a little by adding a burst of color. on my to-do list before i turn thirty is to learn how to create a perfect lip in some smashing color that brightens up an entire outfit, but until i manage to teach myself that, i rely on a few beautiful colors to break up the monotone scheme in my closet. these will probably change over the course of my life, but i do find myself always turning back to the same hues time and again. for me, there aren’t a lot of colors that equal a bright cobalt or yves klein blue. additionally, i will probably never get tired of military and forrest hues of green. both combine beautifully with cream and grey, and can even be matched with black for a classy look.

when you analyze your life and style preferences, what are your colors? do you always stick to your palette? how do you deal with seductive seasonal colors or prints? i think it’s always easy to put together a guide, but it’s another thing following your own advice…

style photos 1 // 2 // 3 // more color inspiration on my dedicated PINTEREST BOARD
color photos 1 green top by J.BRAND // 2 blue dress by magdalena via LILY AND THE LADY // 3 marled black dress by COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS // 4 cream sweater by PINKO // 5 grey t-shirt by VINCE


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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