The frozen splinter of winter’s grasp is finally breaking in Tar Heel country as spring takes its golden crown. Spring in the south is a dance of color, light, rain showers and splendid sunshine cast a glow on southern soil. Life bursts forth in a vibrant symphony of the senses. The rainbow spectrum of fuchsia, lavender, silk cream, daffodil yellow, jubilant rose, Edisto moss gray and wild orchid hues – graces the landscape – inviting passerby to uncover the secrets of hidden gardens and bask in the fire glow of color.
I moved back to Raleigh last spring, days before Easter…in Montana the snow was still two feet in the ground. Although I live for a Montana summer, Spring in southern sweet jubilation is nothing short of heaven’s breath. Walking down the the old city sidewalks in my neighborhood around Hayes Barton, I breathed in the delicate scent of magnolia and perennials. Each flower whispering a story and inspiring my soul into adventure and wonder.
Leaving church on Easter Sunday, I said a prayer under the shade of a dogwood, blooming in mystery and majesty – the red stain on the tips of the soft white a reminder of the hardship of changing scenes and God-given grace of spring in the south.
Spring, particularly in the southern climes, is a masterful living work of art – a real life Monet far more striking and poetic than any man made brush stroke.
It has been proven by many psychologists that colors can affect moods, they can fill us with somber remorse in the cool gray tears of a rain winter sky – or leave us in awe and hope with bright bursting flare colors.
Color to me is like notes in a symphony, each hue playing a different string, each drumbeat of variation popping the senses to focus on the amazing art of life in motion – Spring is life – spring is coming.
I work in retail. One of my primary jobs is to negotiate colors in pulling together outfits that stand out, but do not stick out. I like to take risks, being bold, without reckless. The art of layering clothes and mixing and matching colors gets my creative juices flowing. Each season has its own color palette – with a unspoken storyboard them. I love fall clothes because of the rich deep hues of autumn leaves embedded into tweed jackets and cowboy pants with stylish boots. Winter for me is still about color – reds, golds, greens – yes but more so brightening up the gray sky with colorful sweaters. I think I bought ten Talbots sweaters on clearance this winter – each with lots of color.
Color in fashion isn’t always about extremes, often times it demands a subtle intuition. Take a bright sweater and pair it with a muted khaki or gray or dark denim, pulling out subtle hints of the colors within the outfits focus piece.
In my department (I work in a men’s store) we always emphasize effortless layering – where you have core pieces you can mix and match to form great outfits. You tie in the layers so you don’t look bulky, but have an outfit that is classic and makes you look your best.
In the usual drudgery of folding a stack of clothes, sizing and merchandising, my creative spark flared in the popping colors of spring – bright and rich deep hues from oranges to greens, purples and blues…each garment boasting a unique and creative assort of color and geometric patterns and artistic design.
So the reason for this post – Spring is all about color – embrace it. The key is using style to put together an outfit that is cheerful but not loud.
I think Tommy Bahama, Vineyard Vines and Lily Pulitzer all do a great job of bringing together a tapestry of color to create classic fashion that can be dressed up or down.
Tommy Bahama’s camp shirts are works of art, but they also have numerous pieces of everyday wear that is ideal for the office, dinner and a movie or a beach side stroll. In TB men’s I love the Emfielder Polo – the color’s always pop and look great layered with a light sport coat and pair of their signature silk blend pants or linen shorts. Add Sperry shoes and you have spring casual dressed up.
Vineyard Vines is bright and at times is risky business in the rules of color, yet somehow their Tucker, Whale and Murray shirts pull it off – especially if you emphasize the texture by toning down the pant with a khaki and belt pulling subtle hues form the shirt to tie it all together.
In my first few posts I’ll be talking about some tips for using color in your spring wardrobe…also some of my favorite styles. I’d love to hear from readers about what colors they adore and their spring color tips.
Stay tuned to Adele Belle in March and April as we explore the spring colors that make us burst into life and also hot spring CD releases and fun travel getaways – and of course food is in order.
What I’m watching: College Hoops
What I’m listening to: Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter