Signature Color of the Month Series – #sigcotm

After the success of #OWOP17, I became intrigued by the concept of restrictions as a way to force creativity. Sounds backwards, right? But sometimes the more freedom I have on a project, the more I suffer from analysis paralysis. I’ve found that if I give myself boundaries in terms of color, pattern type, fabric type, etc, then the creativity begins to flow.

That’s part of the reason SWAP 2018 is so appealing. I’ve spent a lot of the past few years in a grey mood. In an effort to move away from black as my go-to neutral, I parked instead in the grey zone. A lot of my clothing choices are in a myriad of grey tones.

I love grey, it’s a perfect neutral. But I need more color in my life. My favorite color is red, but I actually own sadly little of it (unless you count our living room furniture: red micro suede, mmm). My second favorite color is purple, but I also have very little in that color either.

So in an effort to shine a rainbow into my life, I hit upon birthstones as inspiration.


My birthday is in May, meaning my birthstone is the emerald. In fact my middle name is Esmeralda which is Spanish for emerald. However I’ve never been drawn to that color and I wonder why.

So this year, I’m going to try to make a mini collection each month of 2-3 garments inspired by that month’s gemstone. My hope is that by sticking to a narrow color scheme I’ll branch out into colors or textures I wouldn’t otherwise consider (blue, I’m looking at you).

This will also help guide color and fabric choices for projects like #sewmystyle and #2018makenine. It’s almost like one challenge feeds into the next. You might think I’ve done this on purpose…

Of course some months will be left to wider interpretation. How exactly does one translate diamonds into a fabric color? Is it white, clear, iridescent? Since that’s the birthstone for April, it’s also a transitional time of year so that will play into the planning process.

I’m actually super excited about this. I love jewel tones (and jewels!) and don’t have much if any in the way of colors like carnelian, peridot, or tanzanite in my wardrobe. I also figure this is a bit more creative method of adding color to a wardrobe.

I’ll be using the chart below as the reference guide, since there are a few variations across not just the American Gem Society depending on the year, but also different cultures. It’s fascinating! But all good plans need one solid road map and this one will be mine, based in part on the AGS and inspiration drawn from The Vivienne Files‘ “How to Wear Your Birthstone” Series.

Follow my colorful monthly makes on Instagram with the hastag #sigcotm: signature color of the month. Feel free to join in!

It’s pure coincidence that the first two colors are also my favorites.

MonthBirthstoneColor
JanuaryGarnetred
FebruaryAmethystpurple
MarchAquamarineocean blue
AprilDiamondtbd
MayEmeraldgreen
JunePearlpearl/off-white
JulyRuby/Carnelianorange red
AugustPeridotyellow green
SeptemberSapphirebright blue
OctoberOpal/Tourmalinesoft white/moss green
NovemberTopaz/Citrineshades of burnt orange/mustard
DecemberTurquoise/Tanzaniteturquoise

Funny enough, just yesterday a Facebook group I’m in created a challenge to use birthstones as color inspiration for each month. Great minds must think alike!

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Thoughts on diamond as a theme:
Shine: sparkle, glitter, iridescence, sequins, clear or sparkly buttons
Clarity: translucence, cut outs, inserts, overlays
Hardness: structure, boning, leather

Paulette Erato
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Paulette Erato

I actually have a whole mood board dedicated to April that follows some of that theme. Maybe I’ll revisit it.

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