Colour Me Philosophical

Autumn Leaves

Autumn glows with colour right now. I squint into the low sun on Ella’s walks, hands jammed into pockets, feet kicking up leaves. As well as these lovely autumnal russets, I am currently obsessed – obsessed! – with grey. It’s a good neutral, less stark than black.

Simplicity skirt

I love purple and red. Can’t get enough of them! I have a hard time with navy – my school uniform was navy. Pastels and white do me no favours. I’ve knitted a jumper in lavender, but now can’t stand the colour. I’m thinking of dying the jumper black.

Colours prompt such emotional responses, for reasons we either can or can’t fathom. (I’m hoping Handmade Jane can forgive my love of purple. I know she despises it.) Do you have strong likes and dislikes? Do they change with the seasons? And did school put you off a certain colour for life?

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46 Responses to Colour Me Philosophical

  1. Funnygrrl says:

    I love teal. I have to force myself not to buy it every time I see it.
    I hate most greens. Though I love olive green. One of my fave neutrals.
    Then I have momentary obsessions. Right now orange for accessories. Shoes and bags.
    Colour evokes strong feelings/emotions. Great topic!

    • Ooh, I have a huge soft spot for screaming orange. I have an orange silk dress that I loved wearing over the summer. You’re right – it’s a great colour for accessories. I agree on teal, also.

      • Anna says:

        I love grey *with* orange. Doesn’t feel quite so much like Halloween cosplay, especially in the autumn! Bright appley green is another fave, luckily that one does go with black, although I have a jacket in that shade which gets me funny looks if I wear it outside of summer. I don’t really get the whole “certain colours are only allowed in certain seasons” thing.

        I read somewhere (possibly on StephC’s blog?) that teal is one of those few colours which goes with practically every skin tone, which is why no matter what the seasons “in” colours are, you can always find something teal (I’ve just realised I’m actually wearing teal as I type — definitely one of my faves!)

        Also, hi, been reading for a while and am delurking. But I’m going away now because that’s a long comment already :)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Anna!

    • Renate Kwant says:

      I hate HATE white. I love black, purples, and the intense, darkish shades of blue, green, red, etc you see right now.

      • Renate Kwant says:

        Oh, the school thing… We don’t do uniforms in Holland, so no school induced dislikes. And not much seasonal changes. I always prefer the darker, intenser shades of colors. :-)

  2. lauriesannie says:

    You’d think school would have put me off navy. And it did for a long while. But it is classy like black and flattering on me, as black is not. I have actually come to like it.

  3. Miriana says:

    No to pastels. Love navy though – my favourite neutral. Maybe that’s because I went to a uniform free school.

  4. My uniform was navy too but I actually love the colour, and like lauriesannie, it looks much more flattering on me than black. I forgive you your love of purple Karen! Even though I can’t stand it, I can appreciate how good it looks on others, yourself included. I’m also another fan of grey, lots of people can’t get their heads round this one (so boring, so drab!) but I luuuurve it! x

    • With the right print, grey absolutely doesn’t have to be boring. I have a grey leather bag for work, and you wouldn’t believe the number of compliments I’ve received on it. Phew – purple absolution from Jane!

  5. I love navy, but then again, I’ve only worn a uniform for two years… Blues in general are nice, but I tend to stay away from lighter shades or turquoise. Pastels have never worked for me, so I tend to dismiss them in favour of stronger colours. I’ve always disliked pink and don’t really bother with purple either, even though it looks good on me. These days I’m drawn to burgundy, darker greens, dark blue and even black! Red is a favourite colour but I find it hard to find a red fabric I like… It’s tricky to buy online since the colour really doesn’t photograph well and a lot of red fabrics just have a shade that’s a bit off, making them look cheap.

    • There’s red, and there’s red, and there’s red… It’s fascinating! You’re right, you need to have just the right shade – and only you can decide what that is.

      • lauriesannie says:

        My husband and I have extensive conversations about red. He is an artist. He absolutely loves color. But he tends toward orange/red and I toward blue/red. It took a very long time before he saw the difference. So now he too would say there are reds and there are reds!

  6. Jeanette says:

    Another teal lover here. Also mustard, orange, greens, a bit of brown and a touch of navy! I’m an autumn palatte kind of woman it seems. I really don’t like pastels, though weirdly pink suits me, I just feel so so wrong in it.

  7. Janet Friel says:

    My favourite combination at the moment is grey and mustard, although I never seem to wear these colours.

  8. Sewingjen says:

    My school uniform was navy and green so left those colours behind for many years. Then had my colours “done” and found why I really never liked the white blouse which i trimmed with fabric that i had used to make a matching skirt – as an “Autumn” black and white is a no no for me but grey is fine. My colour pallet is what I refer to as sludge! Lots of dull greys greens browns etc, but I can stand the odd focus colour of rusty reds and oranges and lime greens. I would recommend anyone to have their colours done stops you buying expensive disasters!

  9. Sarah says:

    This post has made me think, I’m not a huge fan of wearing black and I used to put it down to my love of colours but to be true my school uniform was black, trousers and sweatshirt so that’s probably why I don’t wear it much!
    I do consider myself seasonal, bright colours and pastels for summer and darker hues and jewel tones for winter! But orange is my absolute favorite.

  10. Lesley says:

    My winter wardrobe tends to be mainly black and grey and my summer wardrobe has a lot of navy – even though it was my school uniform too. Am trying to get more colour into clothes and I like quite a lot of greens. Struggle with purple though – and I think its because of the poem ‘When I am old I shall wear purple’ – it’s really out me off the colour.

  11. Shar says:

    I never wore a uniform, but when I was growing up someone told me I should never wear blue since it didn’t suit me. I didn’t wear any shade of blue for years. I recently realized I must be making up for lost time since so many things I’ve sewn lately are blue! I really love all colors and can’t even say I have a favorite color. I do tend to gravitate to brighter colors rather than pastels. I think gray is a great neutral – it can be so many things depending on the hue (modern and edgy or soft and warm).

  12. I love all things orange, I’m not sure if it does me any favours but if not so be it. I love colours in general, haha and can’t keep away from bright ones.

  13. Becky says:

    Gray is my favorite neutral, and I have a closet full of it, probably too much. But there are so many shades of gray, no pun intended. I love light heathered gray and charcoal heathered gray. I cannot think of a color that doesn’t look good with it.

  14. sewbusylizzy says:

    I struggle with plaids – remind me if school uniforms – and coloured gingham for the same reason. Although black & white gingham is ok as I’ve never seen it as a uniform.
    I love blues however I struggle to wear light blue as, again, it reminds of school & nurses uniforms. I’m sad about that as it’s one of those colours that people always tell me I look fabulous in!
    I love most colours but cannot wear anything with yellow tones due to my skin tone… that’s quite limiting. I also like grey & lilacs but they don’t like me :-( I look tired & washed out in them.
    I guess I would say that I favour bright clear colours of any hue… and struggle with checks.
    I’m addicted to teal but it’s not that common!

  15. gingermakes says:

    Ooh, that scarf is beautiful! I love it! I’m in the midst of my seasonal color shift right now– when the weather gets cool, I wear almost nothing but grey and navy. I like to accent both colors with mustard. I was laughing as I put away the laundry the other day– my summer clothes are really bright colors (chartreuse, bright sky blue, orange) and anything with long sleeves is grey or navy! I don’t know why that is. I’ve not worn black much in the last ten years– I wore it to stand out a bit in southern California, but here in NYC, it’s par for the course, so not very exciting.

    I have to confess– I’m a purple hater! My mom’s entire closet is some shade of purple, and I’m not really into her style, so I sort of hate it by extension!

  16. Anne-Marie says:

    My clothes are mainly in red, black, white or blue solids. I like yellow as a colour, but will never wear it as it does me no favours. I’ve recently taken a liking for prints and bought two fabrics yesterday, one of which I’ll make into jeans (it’s spring here) and the other into the Anna dress. It will be a total change of style for me!

  17. Purple and red for me too – but not fire engine red and blue purple – I love my reds berry or tomato based and my purples on the red side of the spectrum. With black. And brown, which is my other neutral. Navy and grey are zombie colours on me. I was VERY lucky that my school uniform was a white shirt and grey skirt with a black and white tie. No colour to learn to detest. Although as I did art to senior level, my so called white whirts were generally pretty multi coloured rom dye splashes and paint!

  18. CGCouture says:

    I didn’t have a school uniform put me off of any particular colors, but when my hubby and I were first married we lived in a house that we called the “beige palace” and I hated it. Beige walls, beige with brown accents linoleum, tan carpets…..YUCK!! I’ll pick any other neutral over beige…or any shade of brown for that matter.

    As for personal color choices, I’m a sucker for pretty much any shade of teal, turquoise, blue, and green (except yellow-y greens) and I’m not above buying certain shades of red (not that rusty red though) or even rich purples. I’m not a pastel color person (they “blend in” to my skin tone too much), and I can’t wear anything yellow, yellow-y, or brown/ish. Those make me look like an overripe corpse, which is fine for Halloween, not for any other time. ;-)

  19. Fiona M says:

    It’s taken 40 years from leaving school for me to come around to Navy again, but eventually I found I really do like it, and (bonus!) it goes with loads of other colours I love.
    Green is my favourite, and has been for as long as I can remember, any shade, but yellowy greens like Chartreuse are particularly flattering on me. I love to mix blues and greens together.
    If you ever get the chance, I do recommend ‘getting your colours done’. I’ve had mine done twice, 20 years apart, and it is really helpful for making wise wardrobe choices.

  20. Chris says:

    I am a big fan of grey too! So much more sophisticated than black, I think. And teal and green and turquoise. And purple. And red. Oh, and navy (never had a school uniform…) and and and.
    Yes, you are right, colours are great. And my likes definitely change with the seasons. I even made an orange skirt recently – I would not be seen dead in one in bright summer sunshine!!

  21. I like all the drab colours: brown, grey, olive, navy… very rarely wear anything bright and – controversially, after reading the other comments – can’t bear teal and other ‘jewel’ tones. Funnily the only brighter colours I like – peach, pink and mustard – look horrible on me. So I’ll stick to neutrals!

  22. My school uniform was bottle green – a colour that I still have not become reconciled with, although I can finally (30 years later) bring myself to wear some shades of green, but only in combination with other colours. I do, however, love purple… probably because I have a quite pink complexion and so oranges and reds, which I also like, can be more of a challenge.

  23. oonaballoona says:

    good point with school colors–mine were red & black, maybe that’s why i’m fond of technicolor!

  24. susew says:

    Love midtone and deeper colours- red, green of any deeper hue, teal, orange, teal and caramel camel hues. Hate pale pink colour. I have a very large clothing wardrobe, because it’s so hard to part with things I have made – only have one fuschia pink item (linen dress). White and black near my face make me look ill. Though I didn’t have to wear a uniform in school, I spent many years wearing a uniform for work, so had enough of wash and wear cotton/poly blends. It was hard to find sturdy cotton poly blends in a colour I liked that was suitable for a uniform- again I made my uniforms.

  25. I do love purple and red as well and when we were living in the UK autumn was my favourite season. Autumn is still my favourite season, although in Queensland a beautiful autumn day resembles a beautiful summers day in the UK. Alas though moving here meant that both purple and red make my face look blotchy as the heat, so I try to stay away from those colours now. I now seem to favour the blues much more :-)

  26. stgilbert says:

    I love jewel tones and cannot abide pastels! Hunter green is a colour I really don’t like as it was everywhere when I was growing up – ick! I also try to avoid wearing black and have recently been experimenting with grey paired with bright colours.

  27. Dixie says:

    Purple is *absolute* bliss for me. I love it in all shades, from eggplant to grape to berry to plum. It’s one of my most flattering colors. Black is a little harsh on me, but dark grey is super. So I love the colors you’re wearing in the photo above!

    • Sheree says:

      How I agree – I love it!! One of the things that is great with sewing is that it opens up a whole new world of COLOUR. There is not that restriction that we have with RTW with a range of colours that have been deemed to be “this seasons” colours.

  28. Sam says:

    I’m a grey lover too. I fing it much more flattering than black these days. I still can’t wear it with red though, those were my school uniform colour 30 years ago.

    Oh and add me to the kust of those who love purple and teal.

  29. My school uniform was an unpleasant mix of brown and beige. If I had some photographic evidence to upload I’d probably break the internet. I cannot stand these two colours (and they don’t look particularly good on me either). I am definitely feeling grey this autumn, it’s become a nice neutral for me too.

  30. Alice Keen says:

    Grey is my favourite colour to wear. But my absolute favourite is green. All shades. I hadn’t realised it until I saw one day that a huge proportion of my fabric and yarn stash is green. Now I try to make sure I buy other colourways. My house is full of green, too.

    Like yourself I never wear pastels and definitely never white. I like my colours to be vibrant.

    My son (nine yrs) always chooses purple clothes. Purple wellies. I knitted him a purple aran sweater. And this week he chose a purple top from Boden. I say he should wear whatever colour makes him happy but his dad is horrified by all the purple.

  31. LinB says:

    My brother-in-law gifted me with a few yards of Scottish woolens in woven checks, decades ago, as a souvenir from his business trip. The slate blue-cream-black-deep raspberry colorway served me as a wardrobe palette for many years. I ought to dig out the old skirt I made from that piece and re-work it for my current body … the cinnamon- cocoa-deep chocolate colorway perfectly suited the brown-eyed blond I married. He wore the shirt I made him until it fell apart. I find that colors that occur on your body become your favorite colors: in my youth, I could have been Snow White (“black hair, white skin, lips as red as a rose,” and my eyes were slate blue with a brown patch in one iris). DH had warm coloring, eyes of a deep reddish-brown, warm golden hair, a ginger beard. Now he is a greybeard, and my eyes are faded to a greyish blue, and neither one of us has much color on our head hair except grey.

    I’d wear more grey if I could find an acceptable middling hue in a cool tone, in a natural fiber. There’s plenty of taupe and yellow beige and khaki brown on fabric store shelves here, but not much charcoal or slate. I don’t trust mail-order fabric purchasing: I want to touch and smell fabric as well as see it.

  32. Ally says:

    I love grey and purple looks so regal with it! I absolutely love grey blues and just blues in particular. When I was little my mom thought I was nuts because I loved navy blue. I also love brownish oranges and shell pinks!

  33. Karina says:

    I like pastel colors most-mints, pale pinks…love love. But I also love deep purple (the color and the band…) and I use grey and navy as my neutrals, since I don’t really like black. I also don’t like orange, but I shy away from most bright colors (most of the bright things I have in my wardrobe are from years ago, though I have a recent liking for deep golden yellows…)

  34. Denise says:

    Girl! Do not dye the jumper black. Wait until your mood (or hormones) change before committing to such a drastic change. Knitting is holy! I remember watching a quilting show where they talked about one ladies own quilt collection that she dyed all black during her ‘menopause’. Boo Hoo, such tragedy!
    Cheers :)

  35. Pingback: It’s A Blue That Reminds Me Of Nairobi | Did You Make That?

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