I’ve been shopping a lot more than usual lately — mainly because I’m heading to New Orleans (today, actually!) for my high school reunion, so I’ve been shopping for the perfect outfit. Normally I know exactly what I want and thanks to my dear friend Lauren Battistini, I know exactly what colors work in my personal palette so I tend to be a fast shopper compared to most women. But this particular outfit has had me spending a lot more time, putting in a lot more thought, and hitting a lot more stores than usual.
And I’m seeing a pattern, and I don’t particularly like it.
Now, typically, when I’m shopping for myself, I’m laser focused. I have something very specific in mind, usually in a specific color (or 2-3 possible colors), and so my focus is very narrow. I rarely notice other people in the store, until I’m heading to the register to check out and pay.
But because I wasn’t able to find exactly what I had in mind for this particular occasion, I’ve had to widen my focus a bit, consider more options, and look around. No more tunnel vision this go-round.
And you know what I noticed?
Most of the other women who were shopping in my vicinity (and I literally mean close proximity to me in the stores….not geographic proximity, because lately I’ve been ALL OVER this great state of Colorado, hitting all my favorite stores) are choosing neutrals. Dark neutrals, to be specific. Black, brown, and gray.
Tsk tsk tsk. Lauren would not be amused.
Especially since she’s taken it upon herself to launch a Color Revolution (which you can read all about HERE.)
And I for one applaud her crusade. We need more color and less “dark neutrals” in this world.
Now, estimating by the style of clothing being selected by most of the women I saw while shopping, they were choosing outfits for work. Career separates, I believe they’re called.
Zzzzzzzzzzz. Gray, brown and neutral? Come on. Are you heading to work, or to a funeral? Why not introduce some color?
What I also find interesting is that most women tend to buy things they already have in their closet. Don’t believe me? Look in your closet (or your wife’s, if you happen to be of the male persuasion, and yet still reading because you’re positively riveted by my fashion writing today) and see how many pair of black pants do you own? Black shoes? Brown shoes? Black skirts? Black or brown handbags? Black blazers?
Sure, everyone needs a few staples (or everything off the Tim Gunn list of essentials). But we also need color — otherwise, we wind up looking like everyone (and everything) else.
Even if your job is as boring as the day is long, there’s no reason not to liven things up with a splash of color every day. Lauren’s got plenty of great tips on her blog.
It might sound like a little thing, but I know that when I’m dressed in something that makes me feel amazing…I feel amazing. Funny how that works, no?
When I first hired Lauren as my image consultant, she asked me what I wanted to accomplish during our time together. I told her “make my outsides match my insides” and that’s exactly what she did.
And that’s what a lot of folks walking around today could use. A little guidance to make their exterior match their interior.
Or maybe it already does? Maybe folks choose to wear black, brown and gray because they feel neutral about life. Perhaps they’ve lost their passions, or set their dreams aside in lieu of “taking care of business.” They’re longing for more colorful days and a brighter future. Maybe their outer appearance does in fact match their inner feelings.
Some say beauty is only skin deep, but I say nothing — and I mean nothing — beats feeling like a million bucks. And you could be the most caring, compassionate, generous, giving person in the world, with the most fulfilling, satisfying employment, but if you mentally sigh every time you look in the mirror, then you can’t feel like a million bucks the way you truly deserve to.
Isn’t it time you took a little extra care to explore total congruency? To allow your exterior appearance match the beauty and happiness and peace that lies deep within you?
I know you deserve at least that much.
Go for it. Now I gotta run — I’ll seeya in New Orleans.