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The Trouble with Colours

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, July 25, 2016

-Art by Mark Rothko, Red Orange Orange on Red, 1962

The first thing on my mind before I get out of bed in the morning is whether my base wardrobe is going to reflect white, black, and greys, or warm neutrals of tan, taupe, and cream. Five years ago, I revamped my entire wardrobe and decided to toss out all colored clothes in exchange for white, black, and all the grays in between. I decided to introduce yellow as my accent color and for three years in a row, I would only wear black, white, gray, and all the shades of yellow. Shopping was relatively easy because I would pick out the one yellow cardigan on the rack and if it fit, I would buy it. Life during my yellow period was happy-go-lucky, fun, pretty shy and reserved, and everything was at a standstill because nothing super exciting really happened.

At one point, my colors shifted to the cooler end of the spectrum. I began wanting to wear green tea green, cyan, aquamarine, turquoise, blue-green, and mint. Life became carefree, whimsical, and free. I noticed that strangers reacted differently to me around town when I wore clothes on the green-blue spectrum. A couple once offered me a free slice of pizza while I was sitting at a pub, and on that same day, a barista at my favorite cafe gave me a cookie “on the house”. I liked to think the main reason for all the generosity was because I was wearing a teal skirt and white blouse that day.

Over the last year, the colors I decide to wear are based on my work outfit than anything else. For instance, if I know that I will be working on a military base, I would mostly stick to tan, white, olive green, camel, and black. While working with young children, I would wear dresses in brighter colors and polka dot patterns because it is more fun. While at a yoga studio, I am more inclined to wear vibrant colors like mandarin orange to complement the sunset or use a matcha green mat to reach a feeling of tranquility.

Now a few weeks ago, something inside me flipped like a switch. My eyes started being drawn to the bright red, red-orange, and coral side of the color spectrum. Suddenly, I wanted to switch to a bright red yoga mat, buy a collection of red tank tops, and wear a red dress to work. Filling my life with bright reds gave me a confidence boost where I would walk around knowing that I was making a statement and that I was on Fire like a Phoenix. The only draw back from wearing so much red was that it brought out a stronger reaction from other people I encountered. I would face more terse constructive criticism at work on the days I walked in wearing red. I also noticed that customer service was a bit more harsh when I wore red and that stranger's attitudes towards me were a lot less jovial. I began to miss the peaceful days of when I only wore yellows and grays and longed for the times when times were relatively peaceful and I lived how I wanted without having to really stand out.

The trouble with colour is that I am highly sensitive to the colors. I tend to only wear the colors that reflect my mood the best, so this most recent shift to reds has me puzzled.

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Z74 at 4:36PM, July 28, 2016

Personally I find red attractive on a woman , red dress , red nails, red lips - that does it for me !

bravo1102 at 4:35PM, July 25, 2016

Why do you think the largest percentage of cars stopped by police are red? Humans are hard wired to react to certain colors for what they signify in the wild. Red is danger. It is best used as a minor accent unless you're the safety guy at a refinery or something.

Prototype at 9:45AM, July 25, 2016

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Ironscarf at 7:56AM, July 25, 2016

Interesting. Red does tend to elicit strong emotions in my experience and it may be strong emotions that are drawing you to it. Without losing the theme you could tone it down to a burnt or dark orange and combine that with some touches of a lighter orange? I think that would set off your greys really well.

Banes at 6:25AM, July 25, 2016

This is fascinating stuff! People are certainly responding to many subtle things when we encounter each other; I've given some thought to body language, resting facial expression and the fit of clothing, as well as how we phrase our words, but never considered this real-life application of color. Of course, if your state of mind is influencing your color choices, it's more than just color that folks are reacting to. If only you could excuse yourself from a critical associate for a moment, throw on a turquoise sweater, and come back to say "okay, now stop that and give me a free cookie!"

KimLuster at 6:18AM, July 25, 2016

This is thoroughly fascinating, and like all things that I discover can influence my mind subconsciously, a little troubling... haha, to think that my reaction to you is modified dependin whether you're wearing red, yellow, or gray! :!

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