Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Plea for more colorful winter wardrobes

My wife is on a campaign to get more colorful clothes worn during winter.  She writes:
A friend recently told me about a home that had black floors and white walls and furniture. It was memorable because of its starkness, I guess. I lived in Florida when I was 19, and my bedroom was black and white with a few red accents. I really liked it. But the thought of such décor here in Wisconsin wouldn't work for me at all. Winter days are very short here: the sun isn't up until after 7 and sets at about 4:30. A large proportion of our days are cloudy, and it gets dark even earlier then. We have snow on the ground from November or December until sometime in March or even April. We see enough black and white in nature! We certainly don't need it to dominate in the house, too.

Several years ago we went to Dallas for spring break, and Bill's sister took us to the Dallas botanical garden. We had been there for about a half hour when I noticed that as I walked, my feet weren't touching the ground. I was floating on happiness. It took me a few minutes to realize that the reason was the colors of the flowers—yellows, pinks, reds, purples, ranging from pale to bright. It was glorious. It was then that I realized the power of color.

Some people I know suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). They battle their winter depression by sitting in bright, full-spectrum light for a couple of hours daily.  I think (with no scientific evidence) that the problem is caused not just by the lack of natural sunlight, but is exacerbated by the drabness of the season's colors.

Have you noticed that clothes available in stores reflect the colors of the season? We wear bright colors in the spring and summer, but in the winter, when it is very drab seasonally, we are supposed to wear dark colors—dark brown or green, navy, maroon, black, gray. In fact, it seems to be expected. My winter coat is Kelly green. When I wore it the other night, someone mentioned that my coat was really bright. Wow! He could really see me coming!

I really don't understand why designers make winter clothes so dark and why people buy them, when winter needs brightening up so desperately. In my opinion, the drabness of winter is not worth replicating, and I make a special effort to wear as many brightly colored clothes as I can. Unfortunately, they aren't as easily available as dark garments, but I mention that in every store when I shop for clothes. Maybe someday everyone will see how colors can affect moods.

On the other hand, I do not suggest for one moment that summer clothes be darkened up. Imagine wearing only dark clothes when the sun is beating on you and the absorption of all that heat. Not such a pleasant thought, either. So I guess what I want is bright colors and pastels year round. Save the dark colors for accents, in clothing, or in my home.

Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
Main web site: Kirbyvariety

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby