How I shop for color and style

How I shop for color and style

Happy Monday… and MLK Day in America…and welcome to a post describing how I shop for color and style!

I am hoping it will be beneficial to some of you to climb into my head and see what I am thinking when I shop for color and style.

First things first, I begin with what I will wear for my shopping venture. 

Clothes and shoes that are easy on and off. I try to wear a shirt in my autumn colors in case I try on jackets or toppers. 

Today, I am wearing my Talbot’s Cotton Twill Field Jacket (wear it often, it is a great jacket and on sale) and Talbot’s Pull-on jeggings.

The tee shirt is a past purchase for Gap, and I love the color and how nice it always looks…polished, if you will.  The Gap Sale still has some good affordable pieces.

Most of you know that I am enjoying my Rockport Cobb Hill Laci Twin Slip On in Metallic Leather slip-on and Patricia Nash Cross-body bag in perfect autumn colors.

How I shop for color and style

Next, before I leave the house, I make sure that I have my Foundational Five Style Building Blocks in my phone.  I keep them there always, on a page in my NOTE APP.


This shopping trip happened at Kohl’s.

Since last year when my color palette changed to Vibrant Autumn, the first thing I do when I go In a store is look for my colors.

If I don’t see the colors on the racks, then it is time to move on, but as you can see here, there were warm colors which popped up.  So, I thought to myself…let’s dive into these racks.

How I shop for color and style

Before, I got to the clothing, I spied a nice selection of Nine West Camis and tanks on sale In great colors.

I am always on the look for good cami tops to wear…especially in a warmer climate where I need something to go under a topper.


How I shop for color and style

As I explained in this post last week,  my goal is to send these messages with every outfit: Joyful, approachable, creative, polished and current.

My next step then, is to go to the racks where I see my colors and pull garments which may speak those messages….such as this Lauren Conrad Ruffle Shoulder Sweater in Gingersnap Sparkle.

A cute sweater but they did not have it in the store in my size to try on.

The following garments are ones I believed had potential, so they went to the dressing room.  I will tell you my thought process with each.

How I shop for color and style

This is the Nine West Shine Sweater in Cocoa Shine Chevron.

One of the ways I interpret the word POLISHED is to have a flattering fit for my curves. This is where I am looking at fit.

Though a creative design, this sweater did not flatter my curves.  Also, I am not crazy about a big arrow on my chest that points down to the curves and middle and beyond!

Even with a touch of fun creativity, this sweater for me was a NO.

How I shop for color and style

I pulled this Women’s Simply Vera Vera Wang Ruffle Neck Tank in Watermelon Soda.

Again, this is a sleeveless top which would go well under toppers.  I liked it, but on the floor of the store it looked more of a light orange…in the dressing room it was more of a salmon.

It might be a consideration for spring this year, but I wanted to think about it longer.

How I shop for color and style

I also took into the dressing room the Women’s Simply Vera Vera Wang V Neck Dolman Tee in Mauve Foliage…which looks more like gray and burnt orange to me.

I was excited about this top and tried it on first…but the material is so super thin that I did not like it for my polished message.  Even in the heat I want the fabric to have more structure to it than this did.

How I shop for color and style

This is the LC Lauren Conrad Ruffle Shoulder Sweatshirt.  The color cinnamon rust is beautiful and perfect for me.

On the right shape woman who likes a touch of creativity on the shoulder, this would be a nice causal garment. It feels great…warm and soft.

However, on my curves…it does not flatter.  But was worth trying on to see.



How I shop for color and style

The good news was I found a piece that I really loved and I believe met all criteria for color and my style.

This Women’s Cara Santana Nine West Faux Fur Jacket is so much fun and I love the emerald color…which has more blue than green in it.

It is so soft and cozy and warm….and I think says all five of my adjectives.   I realize many of you would not like this coat, but for me it was one that made me smile and I could envision fun ways to style it.

The bad news is that even at reduced prices, it is difficult to justify the cost when we are experiencing a warmer than normal winter season.  I might wear it twice.  I have only worn a heavy coat so far three times.

So, I walked away, because when you are shopping “in my head” cost and cost per wear is going to be a major part of the decision….after checking off the color and speaking my Foundational Five.

I purchased some cold weather clothing before Christmas in my autumn colors while they were available but some of those garments I have yet to wear. 

This means I walked out with nothing on this trip and that is perfectly fine.  Since discovering my colors and sharpening my style messages, shopping is actually easier.

Sometimes successful shopping is not making a purchase at all!

Walking away without potential mistakes, is just fine by me.

I hope this helps you to understand my process when I use the Foundational Five and stick to my color palette.  Please feel free to ask any questions.

There are some great sales today with every retailer.  If you are shopping online, please consider going to the sites with my SHOPPING LINKS in order to support this blog.  I am so appreciative.


By Pamela Lutrell

Remember, savings on the immunity building products from GOLI.  Use savings code over50feeling40 and these links:




GOLI products have helped my metabolism so much.  I use the Superfruits and the Apple Cider Vinegar chewies.

Over 50 Feeling 40 in 2022


  1. Your last comment about walking out with nothing is something I can really relate to! So often I leave with nothing and actually feel good about it because it means I didn’t just grab the wrong things in order to buy SOMETHING. We should never shop under pressure as though we have to find at least something. Those are often the purchases we would regret. I like your utility jacket and am searching for a replacement for my Talbot’s olive one because it’s now faded. The one you linked to isn’t in my size, but Talbot’s always seems to have these jackets each spring, so I’ll keep watching. I like the quality and the color you have would not show the fading so quickly. The search continues!

      1. I found the jacket at Talbot’s and purchased through your Talbot’s link. I hope it worked! The jacket is just like my faded one that I loved, and I got the big discount!!

  2. Hi Pam,
    This was an interesting post. Following your way of thinking was helpful and informative. Studying the photos on site gives one so much information. (that arrow!) I am happy with all your decisions. I need to choose my foundational five and note them in my notes where I also post looks that I strive for. Don’t you just love the hunt?

  3. Yes, walking out with nothing works for me too. That is the reason why I need open dressing rooms so I don’t buy stuff to return.

    1. I understand…I actually remember when our dressing rooms opened again…it was party time! And I am glad they have remained open.

  4. Since I know what colors I can and cannot wear, it’s so much easier to shop. I can quickly go through a rack of items, eliminating those that are not a good color or style for me. I’m more of a plain top, no frills, no openings (keyhole, bare shoulders, skin-showing through straps) person, but do like the variety of sleeves that show up in current fashion. The blue “ furry” coat would certainly be an eye-catcher, and probably very warm and cuddly, but it seems that this style is more of a trend so like you I don’t think I’d wear it enough to justify its cost…unless they were “giving it away”. That’s been my struggle of late. I have many clothes that I no longer wear due to staying home during the pandemic, yet when there are sales, I want to buy! I’m making a concerted effort to restrict my purchases, but when I see a color I love ( purple, or the Pantone Very Peri), I tend to buy for fear it will not be available again anytime soon.

    1. Colors are the immediate checkpoint for me. If I don’t see them then there is no reason to spend my time looking there.

  5. This post was very helpful. Thanks! I put similar notes in my phone too. I really appreciate your ability to put words on why a style “works” or “doesn’t work” for you. I’m learning too 🙂

  6. I have one of those teddy jackets in ivory from Chicos, and while it’s fun, it makes me verrrry hot. Even in Ohio I can hardly wear it, so I think you were right to leave it on the rack, though you looked great in it. I too start with the color, try to go through my adjectives and look hard at fit. Too often in the past, I’ve bought something because it was on sale, I liked it (notice didn’t say loved it) and it fit … sort of. I’m working hard to make sure the “sort ofs” do not enter my life. I wondered if you have looked for that jasper/teal/ocean color at JJill. They had it on their sale pages, and some in the store. I love it so much that it and eggplant could easily become my signature colors.

  7. Really liked your reasoning and great justification for not purchasing the jacket. I wanted to post a review on the camis you mentioned above in hopes it may help someone else. I initially loved all the different colors for the camis but for me they didn’t work at all, I’m usually a S or M in camis and bought these in a Medium. a big fail for me. I think I would need to go up to a XL and even then dont know if they would work as the bottom would not lay flat and overall they were too tight. They may work for someone who is straight up and down with minimal curves but for me they were a big fail. I was so disappointed as they looked so promising

  8. I really appreciate this post. I am a “winter” and have found most clothes this past year were better for autumn or spring coloring. I quickly scan the racks and don’t bother trying things that aren’t in my best colors. I love how you explained what worked/didn’t work about a garment. I find when I really evaluate clothing, rather than purchasing because it is on sale, I have less that sits unworn in my closet.

    1. That is the case for me, Kate. If I use my guidelines and colors, I can eliminate many mistakes. Thanks for joining in.

  9. My days of buying things just because they were on sale are done. I can’t tell you how many times I have donated something with the price tag still attached. Such a waste! Sometimes coming home with nothing is the wisest course of action. I have noticed a trend of very light weight fabrics in some tops. Like you, I prefer a bit more substance in my tops. Thanks for taking us along on your shopping trip.

    1. And thank you for joining in, Becky. I because of our heat, I like lighter fabrics, but sometimes I find one like I did here that is just too light and feels wrong.

  10. What a wonderful post today, Pam!

    I am not a woman who likes to shop, but I adore clothes and fashion!! I’ve gotten better over the years, but occasionally have gone astray in purchasing something that I liked but was not right for me. Your approach to shopping will definitely help me and keep me focused.

    Many thanks!

  11. I admire the way you shop, Pamela. As for myself; it is a seek and find mission and if a store hasn’t got the item, I’m out of there! I use to drive my eldest sister crazy as she was more of a browser but would appreciate my opinion so tolerated my approach on our shopping excursions …. lol! -Brenda-
    P.S. : Our weather has finally warmed up (high of 23°F) but since early morning we have had a total of 14″ snowfall and its still coming down. Needless to say I’m envying you in Texas.

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