A Fresh Perspective on Seasonal Dressing

I imagine that most of us are familiar with the pain of seasonal shopping. Each new season brings with it new trends and the requisite “it” colors that absolutely everyone is encouraged to wear. Spring is traditionally a time for pastels, lights and brights – a range of colors that flatters only a portion of the general population, and one that does not appeal to everyone. Colors evoke emotions, and those of us with more somber, serious dispositions, or conservative corporate jobs, may feel ill at ease with the seemingly superficial and cheerful spring colors.

It works the other way around, of course. People of light and clear coloring have a hard time shopping during the cold seasons, which offer deeper, richer hues and heavier fabric textures. Slice it any way you like – every season, there will be a bunch of us scratching our heads, trying to figure out what to wear, while the rest, the lucky ones, will be gleefully unpacking the new season’s clothes and taking advantage of shopping discounts. That is until the following season, when we will all switch places. Seasonal dressing is the great equalizer.

In the coming months I will put together a post exploring how to navigate the challenges of dressing and shopping for our individual “difficult” seasons. I can’t promise many easy solutions, of course, since most of us are dependent on the whimsy of the fashion industry, which in turn dictates what is featured in stores every season. For now, I will offer you just what the title of this post suggests: a new perspective. To paraphrase Dale Carnegie, if you can’t change something, change your attitude towards it. Where we used to see a problem, can we perhaps find a fresh, stimulating opportunity?

Here is an example. Like my friend and the co-author of this blog, Jenny, I am flattered by deeper, richer colors. Unlike my (infinitely more lucky) friend Jenny, I am emphatically not flattered by pure white. And frankly, as much as I love deep, rich colors, like most people in the spring, I want to look and feel vibrant, fresh, and a bit romantic. Besides, wearing dark colors in increasingly warm weather is cruel and unusual punishment.

Here’s where that fresh perspective comes in. I take this new challenge as an opportunity to push boundaries and explore prints and color combinations that I wouldn’t consider during the colder months. Think of it this way: while seasons of uncomplicated dressing and shopping make it easier for us to maintain our stylistic status quo, they also make it easy to stay in a style rut. And as much as I adored fall and winter with their abundance of my personal favorites – big cat prints – I choose to welcome spring and summer, and the opportunity for a small yet exciting style transformation that they offer. What does this mean in practical terms? Well, for me, it’s a chance to wear a long-admired color combination: cream, navy, and gold. Throw in a bit of coral, too.  And why not try new prints and fun accessories, like a dramatic, sweeping floppy sun hat I’ve been coveting?

Ultimately, this is our chance to remember that nature, in its infinite wisdom, long ago created a fail-safe mechanism for transformation and renewal, one that we only need to take advantage of. So, in the spirit of fun and self-discovery, let’s take up nature’s challenge and shed the old season’s skin. Who knows what great surprises the new season holds for us?

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3 responses to “A Fresh Perspective on Seasonal Dressing

  1. Last summer our city had 33 days of 110 degrees or higher. And this year I’m embracing my Dark Autumn coloring. It is a challenge. I’m eager to follow along as you share the insight I’ve long admired in you.

  2. Pingback: An Excited Look at Fall 2012 Pantone Colors | Cultivating Style·

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