Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Color Commentary

I love your shoes. I see you walking, and then all of a sudden it's like BAM!

Or so I was told by the rather perky salesperson in the Saks mens' shoe department as I made my way to the escalators in the back. The canvas sneakers in question are a shocking, eye-searing pink. I bought them on a whim a few months ago while browsing the sale section of Urban Outfitters, but the shoes represent more than just a fun talking point for people who run into me as I walk through Boston streets.

My closet, when opened, leads you into a world of grays and creams and navies. There are a few departures. The year when I bought what was for me an abundance of yellow. A stray orange and white striped shirt. Multiple pink dresses that I usually leave in the dark in favor of their black compatriots. The Dress. But during the past year, I've begun to change. Slowly and with much deliberation but change nonetheless. And it is that off the cuff statement from the Saks salesperson that I try to live by.

I like my colors to be accents. I find allover color to be overwhelming on me. Or, more truthfully, I am overwhelmed by allover color on me. Yet I understand that those brights look beautiful against the color of my skin. How many times in my life have I heard friends, acquaintances and strangers lament their inability to wear the colors that I could so easily pull off? Annoyance was my gut reaction to such statements. Mostly because it's not as if they would want my dark skin in any instance that didn't involve having access to a wider range of clothes.

But once I got past my discomfort with the comments of those around me, I began to realize that I should capitalize on this advantage. Not by ridding my closet of its grays and creams and navies but by learning how to combine the colors with what I already own and love. Now I seek nail polishes and tights in vibrant shades of pink. I buy friends to take up residence with The Cardigan. I bring color to my face not with makeup but with vibrant scarves carelessly wrapped around my neck. I spend most cold days in a bright red peacoat.

The light leaks in slowly as the teals and peaches and lavenders take root in what was once a dark place.

No comments: