My last post on the colour purple and its prominence in this season’s collections lead to discussions among commenters about their memories of wearing purple, and whether or not it’s possible to wear too much purple in a single outfit. My answer is a resounding NO. It came to light that Alisande had by far the coolest school uniform ever (it was purple), and Fem wore head to toe purple on her first day at uni and almost got herself thrown out of a class. Ribena-berry at its finest.
This discussion, aided by an unlikely inspirational style icon, saw the birth of a fashion challenge. Wear one colour head to toe for a week and see who manages to go the distance of a whole seven days of monochromatic dressing. Inspired by a major fashion house? No. A stylish magazine editor like Anna Del Russo or Carine Roitfeld?
Erm, no. Ruth Langsford actually, presenter of Lorraine. On the day the sartorial gauntlet was thrown down she wore head to toe red and looked stunning. Who needs catwalk validation to just have plain old fun with clothes? No hardcore rules were drawn up; it was just a case of keeping going until you exhausted either the rainbow or your wardrobe- whichever came first.
Now at first this challenge sounded easy. I even put pen to paper and planned my outfits for the first few days. Yes, sometimes I have FAR too much time on my hands. I took inventory on what clothes were in the laundry basket and it started to dawn on me that this task might be a little more involved than it first appeared, needing more daily planning than my usual morning tactic of wearing whatever requires the least amount of ironing. This was going to become a very considered task.
Despite inviting others to join, the only two participants were Fem and myself but that didn’t diminish the fun, it just meant there were fewer competitors to beat. So it started. Fem wore cyborg grey…..
I wore tango orange...
Fem wore damson...
I wore hot pink...
Fem wore forest green...
I wore leprechaun...
And so it continued until I crashed and burned around day five. An unexpected trip meant I gave up and just wore jeans on that day, thus conceding defeat and making Fem the winner. I think Fem won anyhow because she absolutely slaughtered me with her Imelda Marcos-esque collection of shoes which meant that her outfits matched from head to toe. Mine generally stopped at the ankle.
So what did all this teach me?
1. Dressing by numbers puts me in a good mood. How can you fail to have a good day when you’re dressed in orange from head to ankle? I smiled from morning till night in my brighter outfits. By contrast, my head to toe brown day made me feel like rubbish. Colour really can be therapeutic.
2. Bright monochrome looks are not for the fainthearted. I turned heads. Fuchsia goes un-noticed in the summer but when you’re the only person in hot pink jeans and matching shoes on a grey overcast day you are guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows. I felt a little self conscious but was glad I didn’t have a matching coat as I’m sure I would have worn it. This would have only served to further amplify the colour and make me feel even more paranoid.
3. My wardrobe lacks enough purple. Must remedy this immediately.
4. Monochrome takes the fun out of creating interesting colour combinations. It’s too predictable. I like clashing colours and prints and creating new unexpected combinations. Dressing by numbers gives you no room to discover pleasant surprises.
Would I do this again? Certainly. I’m surprised I’ve never done it before given that I love colour so much. My next personal challenge is to see just how bright I can go before I actually manage to stop traffic. Next stop - chartreuse.
Is single colour dressing for you or is the end result too bright and crazy-looking?