Color is the New Black


On my last vacation day off, I decided to finish organizing the apartment I moved into months ago, an apartment that has seen unpacking, moving, cleaning, but not enough organization.

Beginning with my closet, I was prepared for “out with the old, in with the new.” Looking over my clothes, an immense sadness fell over me. I saw one color throughout my entire closet—black. I pushed through black pants, black skirts, and black blazers, pinstripe suits that were all based on black, black tights, black shoes, black coats, and my favorite “little black dress.” I saw a pink blouse and a blue t-shirt—thank God—but, overwhelmingly, my closet was black, and I felt blue about it. What’s a girl to do?

When I was younger, my bright clothes attracted attention. I wore bright yellow and people assumed I had a sunny personality. I had to wonder: what did all this black say about me?

I thought about all the people in my office, on the street, on the train in the morning, and all the black I saw every day. I realized that I smile when I see a bright orange coat on a gray winter day and how a yellow umbrella catches my attention. I grabbed my black umbrella and threw it into a Goodwill bag; it was definitely time to add some color to my life.

Style is a complicated concept. Not everyone has a fashion degree or a back life as a supermodel, but we all know that something looks good when we see it. Top brand designers may not always agree with our choices but I have come to one simple theory: if it makes you feel good and you feel confident wearing it, it is definitely in style.

Styles rotate, so that the skirt you wore twenty years ago is sure to hit the market again in twenty years; classic beauties remain works of art throughout the ages, like my little black dress. But, what did all this mean? I needed color in my life. I was not this I wear black every day sad frown face person. I was a smile at people I do not even know and say hello I wear yellow person.

Last weekend, I bought some colorful clothes and tried throwing them into my usual mix. I noticed people’s eyes on me; I felt happier and more confident and my colleagues welcomed the change. One of my co-workers shouted with glee when she saw my yellow sweater and exclaimed that I looked absolutely fabulous.

A staff assistant in my office commented that I looked so bright and then, upon seeing the apprehensive and confused expression on my face, said, “That’s a good thing.”

A splash of color adds warmth and happiness to an otherwise dreary day. A red scarf adds drama to the plain black suit and even a broach with color brings pizzazz to an all black outfit. Try red shoes with your little black dress and try a red umbrella to finish the look. Buy handbags in different colors, and celebrate your favorite color by wearing it when you feel blue…or green.

Together, we can conquer the black plague and send it on its way. Black may be slimming and it may even go with everything, but, when it is all you wear, it does not go with anything at all.

Try some color today; let’s color the world together, one sweater at a time.

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