Color Yourself Fabulous!

The in style right now is everything color, from reds to yellows and blues and everything in between.
Colorful clothing

Bing! Bang! Pow! Primary colors are saturating closets, and we can’t seem to get enough of them. The yen for strong colors has been building for some years in the fashionverse, which is not a word, so don’t bother looking it up.

Perhaps it’s our escape from Covid, so long keeping us masked and imprisoned in our homes, or the dark mood of the times that wants us to set fire to the rain.

Maybe it’s Mrs. Maisel and her fabulous wardrobe, or everything Wes Anderson, supersaturated and technicolor.

Last weekend the New York Times rehashed an episode of And Just Like That, the latest reboot of Sex and the City, cooing that “The trifecta of Miranda’s sage green pantsuit, Charlotte’s floral Oscar de la Renta dress with gigantic sleeves and Carrie’s paint-splattered, vintage Wrangler coat was a sartorial fever dream.”

Fever dreams. If the color of the summer was Barbie Pink, Fall amps up the voltage to a blast of red, which Harper’s Bazaar calls the “ soon-to-be-everywhere shade of 2023.”

Red is it at Glamour Magazine, too. It’s already showing up, they say, in stores from Target to designers like Alexander McQueen and Gucci to Prada and Zadig & Voltaire. Illustrating its allure in an online spread were shots of beanpole model Emily Ratazkowski walking what looks like a coyote down a New York City street in an ankle-length column of slinky stuff that’s cut out here and there and then slit up to where to expose bits and pieces and lengths of naked skin.

I have a lot of body positivity, and I’m positive I wouldn’t leave my bedroom in such an item. However. They certainly made the point. Red is in.

But that most startling primary hue is just the tip of the color wheel, as fashionistas are embracing the boldest, most jewel-like shades of yellow, blue, green, and purple as well.

You might call the ladies of a favorite fashion Facebook page, Iris Apfel: Who Says Old Broad Can’t Look Fabulous, the rainbow coalition. Post a quick question about color preferences and reap 36 comments. Among them: Jacqui Lee veers toward red, royal blue, lime green, hot pink, and orange; Roberta Dewees shines in jewel tones. Tamara Taylor-vandergriff loves green, mustard, orange, plum, and turquoise. “ I mix the colors and patterns,” she said, “and have fun with my clothing, “and Helena Heraldova, who said: “Bright colors bring me optimism, freshness, and freedom!”

Helena hit it smack on the head. Vivid color is about a desire for “freedom and joy,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. She recently told fashion bible, Women’s Wear Daily, that this year’s colors “reach out beyond what we think is possible to catapult us into this new era, taking us to a place where boundaries of time, place, and identity are no longer fixed.”

Pantone, which has been recognized as the global authority on color since 1963, informs the color selections of manufacturers for everything from paint to home furnishings to fashion. Which is why you can match your blender to your stilettos without a misstep.

This year, Viva Magenta is their “Color of the Year.” A pulsating mélange of rose, fuchsia, purple, and red that they call brave and fearless, electrifying, rebellious, audacious, and witty.  Think Barbie on steroids. Upping the wattage is a secondary collection of ten blisteringly bright colors to mix and match, including power shots of tangerine, acid yellow, kelly green, and hot pink.

Colorful clothes, color of the year, magenta coat

These are shades, they say, that encourage “exploration and experimentation… opening space for free, fun, and inclusive color imaginings.”

Now. If you’re like me, you’ve got a helluva lot of black in your closet, and the thought of all that color might be sending you screaming for the valium.

Well, you might say, with black:

Everything goes with everything else.

It’s a great backdrop for jewelry — simply beautiful or fabulously fanciful.

You look thinner.

You look chic.

You can dump a glass of red wine in your lap and not look like you were in a knife fight.

There are negatives, though.

Like shopping for makeup at Nordstroms or Saks and being mistaken for a Chanel rep.

Dining out anywhere upscale and being hailed for more water or salt. Oh, Miss!

And then, at some point, you start looking like an Italian widow. No offense to Italian widows.

Adding a dose of primary heat to that black wardrobe could be your solution and mine.

Add Some Color!

With a black coat, break out The Mini Jodie Hobo Bag, a braided confection from Bottega Veneta that comes in 25 sizzling colors and costs a whopping $2650 at Saks Fifth Avenue.  Consider the bag in wisteria, a pale purple, and off-set the cost with a pair of stunning, deep purple, wool-lined, Trisens leather gloves from Walmart, of all places, for $13.99.

A brilliant red bag is an easy segue into color.  The Kora Crossbody from Lucky Brand is a beauty for $168 at Macy’s. Pair it with Italian leather fingerless driving gloves, $59, from Fratelli Orsini, which are for chic texting as well as tootling about in your blazing red Maserati. The Gran Tourismo Trofeo starts at $205,000 and has a maximum speed of 199 mph. They don’t mention the gas mileage.

Shoes are always an easy jumping-off point.

If you’re torn between colors, Charlotte Stone’s Lenu Slides come in three brilliant colorways that will, honestly, go with everything you own. The Kortman, for example, combines pink, orange, turquoise, yellow, royal blue, and key lime green. The low heel and woven leather top look super comfy. The company warns that you’ll be stopped a lot. Made in California. $252. 

Yellow is a notoriously difficult color to wear – except on your feet, where it’s reliably happy. Try these Silent D suede boots from Anthropology, knee-high with a 2” kitten heel. Smashing. $260.

Besotted I am with these Jessica Simpson Elyzza Sandals also in brilliant yellow – I’ll take them in turquoise too. With a little platform to give the height-challenged a boost, they’re a steal at Dillard’s for $27.65 (reduced from $79).

For driving or lounging, there’s the Jillian Loafer from Patricia Green at Nordstrom’s in 14 smashing colors, including a knock-your-socks-off magenta for $288.95.

Manolo says they’re pink; I say they’re magenta. Whichever, these bedazzled Lurum mules with their 90 mm heel (that’s 3.54330709”) are perfectly divine for — sitting down. $1395.

Now toss on a heathered rose cashmere scarf, like this super-sized number from Bloomingdale’s. $198.

And that’s a wrap.

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