If you're just starting out in vintage, or looking to streamline your wardrobe, this 1950s article (originally posted on Wasp Waists and Wiggle Skirts back in 2009) might help. It recommends starting with a basic colour for accessories and major clothing items like a coat, and building your wardrobe around that colour. It's sound advice that's just as relevant today as when the article was first published.
Maintaining a single colour as a base throughout your wardrobe ensures that you can easily mix and match ensembles. Of course, for most of us in the modern, consumerist world, just one basic colour isn't enough - but it's still wise to build up two or three "capsule" wardrobes around each of your staples, to get the most out of your purchases.
If blue is your choice, start by selecting your accessories - hat, bag, shoes, belt - in navy... gloves should be white. If you want additional color, get another hat and a pair of gloves in pink or red. Now just see how many colors you can have - and how you can mix and match - by making sure your selections "go with" blue.
Perhaps you like brown. Again, start with accessories. Your bag, shoes, belt and gloves are brown, your hat beige. For more tone value, you could have an extra belt, pair of gloves and shoes - in beige. Now any of the clothes pictured on this page - coat, suit, basic dresses, dressy dresses and blouses and skirts - will be in perfect harmony.
Or if black is your choice... All your accessories should be black. Add some additional color, if you like, by getting a red hat, belt and pair of gloves. If your coat is black or grey, it will not only look well with your accessories, but with all the clothes shown here.
Coordinated? Certainly! Monotonous? Never!