autumn days

Friday, February 7, 2014

embracing the color in fashion

Fashion.  Some people take to it naturally.  I was raised with no model for fashion and it definitely doesn't come naturally.  I recall my years in all black clothing, followed by bright colors, and then tame neutrals and earth tones.  In the last few years as I step more fully into myself, I am drawn to wear the brightest clothes in my closet, going out of my way to be the spring color in the winter crowd. 

Every few weeks I attend a Buddhist lecture and find myself being the only one not wearing grey or black.  The first time I attended, I noticed I was unintentionally wearing a fuchsia jacket over a pink shirt, purple pants, and neon green socks.  I guess that's how I roll.  Something in me will not allow me to be the wallflower I was for decades.  In place of my blending-in days, I choose to bring more color into my life.  Color helps me to feel more alive, healthy, energized, creative, and curious.  Others respond to this color as well. 

In the grocery store last week, I struck up a conversation with a woman in red cowgirl boots and gold sequined pants.  How could I not, right?  I told her how gorgeous I found her fashion choices.  She explained that she is now 62, retiring next month, got her children off to college, and purchased the pants as a way to tell herself she is now ready to find more personal happiness.  I told her I was already trying to embrace my colorful inner-crone and wearing what makes me happy.  "Why wait?"  She noted that the fuchsia roses in my cart matched my pants.  Ha!  What a fun little conversation with an open-hearted woman amid the fruits and vegetables.  (She said the previous week she told a woman about a physical ailment.  The woman responded by holding her hand and praying for her right there in the exact spot where we stood in the produce department.  I will return to that spot and expect another miracle!)

I appreciate having a few friends who love to shop, love color, and send their unloved clothes my way.  This system saves my money, time, patience, and helps my friends clean out closets.  I return the favors in various ways: dates, dinner, homemade goods, creative outlets, endless appreciation.  When I have a hankering for something outside my friends' closets, these friends indulge me in a tour of Portland's incredible second-hand stores.  (Leading to the sassy fuchsia pants!)  Most of my children's clothes are also second-hand from cousins and friends.  Each new batch of clothing is like Santa's bag of gifts and inspires an instant fashion show.  Oh, the fun to be had with clothes in every phase of our journey.  How blessed we are to have these self-expressive choices and to find our own unique ways of clothing our beautiful bodies of every shape and size. 

embracing color and playful fashion at the Woodburn Tulip Festival

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