Wearing color – loads of it, in big pile-on style outfits – is one of my greatest joys in life. And whenever the Trend Dictators declare that this season it’s gonna be JEWEL TONES! Or NEONS! Or, as is the case this season, SATURATED 70′s SHADES! I’m always thrilled.
And never surprised when very, very few folks actually indulge in these color gluts. We style bloggers may hop on the Technicolor train quite cheerfully, but the rest of the clothed world typically remains standing on the platform.
Because black? Black is eternally cool. Neutrals are perpetually chic. And most women want to as look cool and chic as possible as many days as possible. Neutrals are also a palette unto themselves and generally look fabulous worn in virtually any combination. They’re not only cool and chic, they’re relatively easy to work with.
I mean look at these women swathed in their carefully-crafted all-neutral ensembles. They’re so cool that your eyes are getting frostbitten just looking at ‘em, am I right?
If I – or even someone with more money and better taste than I – were to re-create these outfits using similar shapes and fabrics, but swapping in rich reds and bold blues, or warm yellows and majestic purples for all the black, tan, and gray, the result might look interesting or fun or quirky. But it wouldn’t look cool.
A “pop of color” here or there is definitely permissible. In fact, some of the best neutral ensembles throw in a dash of color for contrast and interest. But the foundation must remain neutral to maintain that classic, eternal, enviable vibe of coolness.
Bold, energetic, fun, and even on-trend nearly always take a back seat to cool and chic. And most days, I’m fine with that. I’ve been 15 flavors of dorky my entire life, so why attempt to achieve coolness this late in the game? Especially when wearing color lifts my spirits AND the spirits of those around me.
Yet sometimes I look at my tights-encased, Muppet-colored legs or catch a glimpse of my bright-on-bright-with-a-side-order-of-bright outfit in a reflective surface and think, “Whoa, Momma.” Bright is bold, color is attention-grabbing, and wearing tone-on-tone takes more chutzpah than wearing neutral-on-neutral. Or even tone-on-neutral. Which means that color pairing is relatively tricky, as dressing practices go, and therefore more likely to fail. Some of my most peacock-reminiscent outfits have been my least favorite in retrospect, and I occasionally wonder if I should tone it down a bit.
But inevitably, as I’m standing there considering a stylistic shift from brights to neutrals, a dozen black and gray-clad humans hustle by me and I remember who I am. Colorful, bold, and quite contentedly uncool.
Do you feel like it is easier to look cool while wearing neutrals? Not good, beautiful, sexy … chic and cool? Can you think of a style icon who is known for wearing loads of color, especially mixed colors, who also exudes cool? If you were told to go to your closet and assemble your coolest outfit, would it be colorful?
All images via Facehunter.