I wear too much black. At one point I might have tried to deny it by pointing out the amount of grey and white I wear, too. After a coworker pointed out that she didn’t recognize me because I was wearing a pretty color (a coral t-shirt, for the record), I have to admit that my color palette for work shirts might be a bit too limited.
The thing is, I’m not sure how this happened. Even in my semi-punk stage in the ’80s, while I rejected pink and mint Polo shirts (and after a certain point, the preppie look all together), I embraced color enthusiastically. Yellow and blue sweaters. Purple t-shirts. Rainbow striped Oxford shirts with safety pin earrings and black lip stick borrowed from one of my friends.
I have proof: I make colorful accessories despite the fact that I don’t really wear colorful accessories. Oh, once in a while I’ll pull a scarf out and wear it, but I’ve become so used to primary black that sometimes I feel like I don’t really know how to wear color anymore.
The problem, I think, comes from finding color in plus sized women’s clothing that isn’t garish or inspired by the leisure-wear of Bozo and his brethren. I want rich colors in classic styles, or barring that, something that’s more boho/hippie chic and less center ring at the big top.
Not that there’s anything exactly wrong with
Clowns, I mean coulro-Americans, per se. Coultrophobia aside, they’re creepy. Living that far down in the Uncanny Valley obviously has to take a toll on them, which their unique sense of fashion and style is an obvious reflection on their tenuous grip on sanity and the fact that most clowns are probably one misspelled name on a Starbucks cup away from perpetrating some serious Falling Down style mayhem.
But they must be super environmentally conscious. I mean, how many people do you know who would car pool with 35 of their closest friends in a Smart Car?
The riot of clashing colors obviously makes them happy (or at least keeps them from slipping over the edge all the way. Most of the time.) It makes some people very happy who aren’t coultro-Americans. My dear, sweet Aunt Net. Knitwear designer Stephen West. The people who by and large design what passes for fashion for the zaftig set.
I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a costume. I’m desperately searching for one perfect, deep, neutral red blouse. Not too tomato or too fuschia. Neither too sheer, nor too heavy, with cuffs, collars, and sleeves all in a classic cut that will look stylish for years to come. Too often, all I find are fashions from the Center Ring and Pennywise himself standing by the three way mirror.
“We all clash down here.”
To avoid it, I end up in the fat-girl clothes ghetto, a study in black, or grey, or white, and Paul Simon was right: everything looks worse in black and white.
I’m trying to change, though, and break out of my cage of black and white and at least branch out a bit. With fall here and winter on the way, it’s easier pull out a scarf, wrap it around my neck, and go. I just wish I felt more confident about it. Maybe that will come with practice.