Thursday, February 3, 2011

honeysuckle? moi?

You will not see me wearing honeysuckle, 2011's official Color of the Year.

Honeysuckle (the color, not the flower), is a pink with a lot of orange in it, and any pink that I wear must be tinged with blue. The rose and berry pinks are my pinks.

Back in the mid 80's, I had my colors "done." It was a revelation. At that time, I was a member of National Association of Homebased Businesswomen (NAHB). One of our tenets was to do business with each other whenever possible, and so I went to Estelle for a consultation based on Carole Jackson's best-selling Color Me Beautiful.*

Estelle recommended that a friend and a husband accompany each coloree, and so Steve and Sharon -- infinitely patient and good-natured -- joined me. First I was draped with silver fabric, then gold. All agreed that I looked much healthier in the silver. The next choice was between black and navy blue. I looked dead in black, lively in navy. This meant I was a 'summer,' and should stay far away from anything with orange tones. I will not attempt to enumerate the plethora of binary color choices that honed in on my diagnosis as a woman who would always look best in soft colors.

Oddly enough, I had been brought up to believe that I looked good in the bright colors my blonde mother had learned to eschew for herself. Because I didn't sunburn easily, Charlotte figured my skin was dark. I particularly remember a formal she made for me to wear to the Cotillion in 9th grade. It was a heavy silk, with large square plaids of black, gray, and two shades of bright/dark orange. How I envied the girls arrayed in frothy light pink or blue tulle, with white pumps even though it was fall. We may come back to the mother-daughter stories some time. Right now I'm fixated on color. Pun intended.

I have religiously stayed with Estelle's 'summer' palette of clothes and make-up with one exception. 'Concert' black. At first I wore it only for singing or flute-playing events, but since my hair has turned mostly white, I feel that I can get away with black just about any time, especially if I accessorize with my better colors (last night, a splashy print of softer blue, purple, blue-red, and yellow on a black background). Yes, there is such a color as blue-red.

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*This seminal book seems to have come out in 1973, but the 1981 and 1985 editions were the ones that everybody talked about. Unflattering colors were a hallmark of 1970's fashion, now being worn as a 'retro' look, but not by me.

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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License