What to Wear When: Color Isn't Your Thing

Here's a solution: ...make it your thing.

Only about two years ago, color freaked me out, even so much to the point that I didn't want to be near it. Why invest in a piece of clothing that's far too flashy if it won't match with the rest of my wardrobe? When I bought a pair of shoes, I'd immediately go for black, and when looking at the general palette of my closet, it would be a mix of neutrals, muted blues, and maybe some pastel pinks and rusty oranges. Primary colors were practically nonexistent. But, as all styles change, especially through our coming-of-age stories, bright hues soon became a staple of my sartorial life.

Was it because I was simply exhausted from making up for the lack of color in my wardrobe with bright lipstick (and frankly, pieces that just did not fit my style whatsoever)?

Or was it this new surge in obsessing over Instagram influencers who were themselves obsessing over summer and the colors that followed the trend of #lovesummerhateeverythingelse?

The second sounds convincing, as there lies a whole bunch of photographic evidence:

A post shared by Leandra (Medine) Cohen (@leandramcohen) on
You could choose to wear one color in the form of lavender pants paired with some neutrals (if you count a white button-up embellished with fruits and veggies as a neutral),

you could try TWO bright colors on top of the other, because two is better than one,

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or you could go with one color scheme (red in this case), but splay it across your entire 'fit.

No matter how I got here, I got here. The girl terrified of color has transformed into one who embraces it through and through. While I've resolved my fear, I know many haven't. Instead of introducing color into your wardrobe like a tsunami, it's best to do it in waves. One piece at a time! It's just like getting a haircut—if you have long locks and want to go full-on pixie, it feels a hell of a lot less scary to do it in phases (take me, for example). The same goes with color—if you slowly introduce the trend into your everyday wear, soon, you'll become the human version of a rainbow. Just in time for Pride month!

So! To show you all how to do this, I decided to revert back to my 18-year-old self and start from the beginning. I did exactly what I am telling you all to do now—start slowly.

More photographic evidence below:

Jacket and jeans are vintage (jeans from The Break). Bodysuit by American Apparel (rip). Mules by & Other Stories.

To put it simply, all you have to do to dive into the world of color is to wear color. Who knew!

In all seriousness, it only requires taking one piece that's bold (bright red, cobalt blue, gen Z yellow) and pairing it with neutrals. In a way, this makes the 'fit more interesting, as everyone's eyes go directly to that one piece. The rest hardly even matters, since people will be too busy staring at the singular piece of color. It's easier than you think!

In my case, I made sure to focus on the statement piece, which was this one bright red brocade jacket I discovered at my local thrift store (also handmade and stitched in Hong Kong in the 1950s, if you were curious). I crafted my outfit around this item, which is the trick to working with color—my favorite pair of vintage jeans, a simple black bodysuit, and my go-to summer shoes quickly fell into place. If the jacket were black, I'd be extremely bored and on my way to a business casual meeting. But instead, the red makes me look ready for anything. Isn't red the color of power? No wonder a red lip is the fastest way to immediately boost one's confidence. And the same goes for adding a touch of color to your look—I have a strong feeling it's scientifically linked to increasing your mood. 

Is it just me? 

Maybe it is. But what I do know is that you'll look a hell of a lot more exciting. That's all that really matters, no?

All photos shot by Tori.

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