Some general observations: lots of pink, blue, and floral prints. I was considering going through her outfits in order, but considering how many there are (28, more or less) I decided to focus on some major recurring color combinations.
Pink and Blue:
Pink (and Red)
According to LoBrutto, “Warm colors tend to represent tenderness and humanity[…] Hot colors represent sexuality, anger, and passion, as well as physical and visceral heat” (2002, p. 81 - 82)
*In Rebel Without a Cause*, red “signaled danger, rage, torment, and courage as well.” (Bellatoni 2005, p. 13) Bellatoni also goes on to talk about how red’s association tend to be different when applied to male or female characters: “red on a woman is often perceived as sexy, sometimes even slutty. Red on a man is perceived as heroic.” (2005, p. 13,14)
Waverly doesn't really wear red (the closest she gets to it is more along the lines of deep pink or magenta), but she does frequently wear pink.
Bellatoni sees pink as an indicator of innocence (2004, 35). However, I think some of the associations with red that Bellatoni mentions (torment, courage) could also apply, as the colors Wavely wears seem to be midway between red and pink? While optomistic, upbeat, and perhaps more sheltered than Wynonna, Waverly is also very brave and determined. She also wishes she were the Earp heir (and in a position to break the curse).
According to Bellatoni “blue can be a tranquil pond or a soft blanket of sadness. It is quiet and aloof. Year after year, our color investigations show that in a blue environment, people become passive and introspective [...] it is the quintessential color for powerlessness” (2005, p. 82)
LoBrutto writes “Cool colors represent cold, lack of emotion, and distant feelings. They can also express power and force." and that “Blue shades can represent water, sky, ice, or a remote emotional state.” (2002, p. 82)
Blue seems to be a counterbalance of sorts for pink/red. It is also very apt for Waverly. While not aloof, Waverly is introspective. The combination of pink and blue also put me in mind of the bi flag
Blue and White:
White is, according to Bellatoni, “the color of innocence” and can also indicate a clean slate (2005, p. 88, 208).
I'm not sure, however if this really applies here. Considering the color on other characters (Wynonna, Willa), it seems to function more a warning or ill omen - although I'm not sure that really works with Waverly?
Blue and white seems to turn up when Waverly is having a misunderstanding with someone (Wynonna in 1x02, Nicole in 1x09 after the conversation outside the station).
Although, considering the first time Waverly wears blue and white in 1x02, I wonder if it would be more accurate to say the colors could be an indicator of changes in relationships?
Blue and Gold/Brown
Gold is associated with dreams, memories, and the past.(Bellatoni, 2005, p. 43, 203). The nature of yellow as a warning and a contrary color may also apply, since Waverly does deal with conflict/peril while wearing gold - most notably with Constance Clootie (Bellatoni, 2005, p, 41).
The combination of blue and gold reflect the the overall color scheme of the show. However, when Waverly wears the them, they tend to be muted tones rather than the vibrant hues of the background. The use of blue and blue grey could also tie in to blue's association with emotional distance.
This combination seems like an indicatior of conflict/peril being imminent.
Green occurs far less often, but it seemed so unusual for Waverly (especially considering the colors other characters wear), that I wanted to include it.
Bellatoni writes that "Green is really a dichotomous color. It’s the color of fresh vegetables and spoiled meat. [...]So green can signal health and vitality or danger and decay." (2005, p. 160)
Waverly wears green in 1x03 just before she realized 'Henry' is Doc Holliday, when she sees his talking to Bobo del Ray, and when she confronts Doc about his part/ who he is. It signals a deteriation in Waverly and his friendship (and how is knocked off his metaphorical pedestal in Waverly mind). The same outfit is also seen in 1x08, although I'm not sure how to interpret it there, considering how little screentime Waverly has in that episode...
It's use in 1x10 (second picture) might foreshadow a breakdown in Waverly and Wynonna's relationship due in part to Willa's reappearance?
Andreas, E. (2014?) Wynonna Earp Show Bible
Bellatoni, P. (2005). If It’s Purple Someone’s Gonna Die: the power of color in visual storytelling.
justanotheridijiton (2016) Silent Storytelling Color Cheat Sheet