But as I found out when i was in fashion design school...dragging around a baggie of fabric swatches is not fun...
And dragging around your five favorite skirts is impossible!
So i started bringing home paint swatches. (the photo above is a bunch of purple and violet tones i picked up recently)
Once i get home i can match the paint swatch to the color of clothes or fabric, use a paper punch to cut a small bit out of a paint card, etc. It makes it MUCH easier to match a color if i just pull a small Altoids tin of paint chips out of my purse, or have them pasted into a notebook!
I also use "swatch buddies" (see photo above) which is sold for quilters to carry small swatches of fabric neatly. ( you can make your own of course!) I started with the original as shown, but because i work so much with prints i moved to the larger size Swatch Buddy so you can see more of the print
When i was accepting commissions i found out that my clients "royal blue" might not be MY "royal blue" (sometimes their "royal blue" was my "turquoise" or "navy"!)
...and explaining a match online could be difficult since computer colors look different on different monitors. ..
Most of us can't afford Pantone swatch books ( even if I had one, my clients wouldn't)
The solution was simple: DMC embroidery floss is matched to within a hair worldwide.
I would tell my client to tell me the code number for the matching DMC floss, and i bought the sample book so i had every color.
Its a lot easier to carry paint chips, bits of floss, or orderly swatches of fabric with you when you are shopping for a matching blouse, or the fabric to MAKE that matching blouse!
I hope this helps!
Swatch Buddies can be found in your local quilting shop or fabric store, but if you dont have one near you you can make your own with key tags, or punched out gift tags and double sided tape, or: http://www.swatchbuddies.com/