I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly averse to color. In fact, a cursory glance at my closet will reveal several ridiculously bright pieces that actually do see the light of day on occasion. And when it comes to my personal preferences in hair color (bleached, red, bubblegum pink) and eye makeup (blue, seafoam green), I actually think the more unnatural the shade, the better.

But for a genuinely shy person who would much rather disappear than stick out, the idea of announcing myself with color on a daily basis just isn’t something that I naturally gravitate towards.

Despite this, after having recently re-organized my entire wardrobe by the palette, the overwhelming swathes of black, white and gray material still managed to surprise even me. Each subdued fabric melted into one nearly indiscernible, amorphous pile of neutral cool color.

In a turn of events that will surprise no one, I actually failed my self-appointed challenge to wear color for a full week—not once but twice. To be honest, I would just run out of anything bearing any semblance of color mid-week and then call it a day by slipping into my most comfortably boring neutrals.

In an effort to not bomb a third time, I decided that the sane thing to do would be to not push it with a full-on color-blocked look (remember ‘color-blocking’?), but instead, supplement my daily work look with more colorful separates that I would normally reserve for non-office hours.

I decided to start with baby steps by subbing my usual white tee with a soft baby blue tunic top with a cascading asymmetric hem. So far so good!

I’m wearing the TM Estate Tunic Top in Blue, P945. Shop it here.

The next step was pairing a mustard dolman sleeve top with brown linen trousers. Honestly, looking in the mirror before I stepped out, it was jarring not to be greeted by my usual monochromatic self. I was strangely conscious of how warm my whole vibe was. Yellow just isn’t a color that ever makes an appearance in my mental catalog of outfit choices.

I’m wearing the Willow Sloanne Knitted Dolman Sleeved Top in Mustard, P800. Shop it here.

I worried that it wouldn’t look flattering on me, and sincerely hoped that no one would point that out.

Spoiler alert: no one did.

Typing this out now, I realize how silly and low-grade this fear was, but, honestly, that’s how anxious of a person I secretly am.

Thankfully, busting out a little color each day became incrementally easier after that first outing. The next day I threw on a bright cherry-print top that made me think of every girl in every late ‘90s teen movie I’d ever loved. I could easily imagine Drew Barrymore wearing the same top as an undercover reporter in Never Been Kissed. Which is a compliment because who doesn’t love Josie Grossy?

I’m wearing the Pink Lemon Wear Cherry Top, P550. Shop it here.

By the end of the week, I can honestly say that I thought nothing of walking out of the house in a loose lavender top, pecan-colored slacks, and hot pink sandals. In fact, I quite liked how it made me feel.

I’m wearing the Lovely Bunny PH Lavander Top, P699. Shop it here.

So, the question is, when the challenge was officially over, did I find myself subconsciously reaching for increasingly vibrant outfits?

The answer: sort of.


Weeks after that initial experiment, while my worn black trousers did make their triumphant comeback, I did catch myself doing double-takes at colorful pieces when I passed through the mall on my way home. I’d find myself peppering my summer wardrobe with bursts of little bright prints. And I actually bought not one, but two pairs of red pants! radical first in this thirty-something’s normally colorless wardrobe.

But at the same time, given the freedom of choice to either express myself more vibrantly or to sleep in an extra 15 minutes in the morning, I would be lying if I said that I would do anything other than hit snooze.

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