A Touch of Yellow

I read somewhere that January of this year was a pretty depressing month for everyone. I couldn’t tell you the source of this, but I can tell you that upon reading it I thought, yeah that sounds about right.

It was something about the lack of sunshine, the cloudy days and early sunsets. While the month was unusually warm, towards the end of it the biting cold of Canadian winter reared its head. I knew, without a doubt, February was going to be just as hard to trudge through, maybe even more so.

I don’t necessarily dislike February (shortest month of the year, one of the last few full winter months before the early signs of Spring appear) but I also don’t really like it (snow squalls, frostbite, people insisting on going to outdoor festivals for some unknown reason). I usually wind up feeling so ambivalent about the month that I can’t decide how I feel about it before it ends.

Also, there’s Valentine’s Day. Bad because of couples, good because of excuses to buy chocolate.

Back when I lived in Ottawa, February was a really difficult month. I was still in school so there were midterms and it was Ottawa, so there was a metric ton of snow and temperatures dipping to -35 degrees. Now that I’m in Toronto, there’s definitely less snow but I would still classify this month as solidly “dreary.”

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It’s a very small thing, but something I’ve done that helps me with my winter mood is wearing bright colours. I’m not saying a red tee is going to cure seasonal depression, but when I do wear a nice, bright colour on a particularly nasty day, I feel a little brighter, too. Maybe it’s the comments I get from others on what I’m wearing, or maybe it’s just the way my brightness on the outside is being reflected internally. Either way, it’s worked for me.

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I’ve been really feeling pink lately, some kind of colour renaissance, but when I saw this yellow sweater at Topshop, I thought, oh golly how perfect. How bright yet cozy, how appropriate for my sticking-it-to-winter-with-clothing battle.

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Now, I could probably also pair this top with a colourful pant or boot, but naturally I went with an entirely black ensemble save for the yellow sweater in question. Why? Because the  honest truth is I have a lot of black clothing. Also, I liked how it made the yellow pop.

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If you’re like me and are feeling a little down about the winter months, maybe try throwing on a brightly-hued piece and strutting around town like it’s a sunny day in May. Bonus points for brightly coloured outerwear, which I’m still on the hunt for. Maybe it’ll help you feel a little lighter and brighter too, even if everything else is a little grey and cold.

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DETAILS

Sweater – Topshop

Skirt – American Apparel

Boots – Shoe the Bear

Coat – Topshop

Bag – Urban Outfitters

Watch – Daniel Wellington

Rings are all from Urban Outfitters

 

Wearing Colour (an autobiography)

My hair used to be white. Straight up white. It had nothing to do with genes or premature aging. Oh no. I bleached the crap out of my head for two whole years. I fucking loved that hair. I thought I looked like some kind of alien queen visiting from a far off galaxy. Fear me, humans.

 

 

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December, 2015. Very sassy.

Two years, however, is a long time to bleach your hair. Anyone who’s done that before will know. You will get breakage, your scalp will be sensitive and you won’t want to do ANYTHING involving heat for fear it will start to fall out. Combine those factors with the expenses. Frankly, I’m pretty crap at doing hair. There was no way I would ever attempt to bleach my head by myself when I can’t even do a decent braid. I went to a professional, and had to pay out of my ass for that.

So, one day, I said fuck it and went back to brown.

While I was still a blonde, I wore black all the time. I still do now, but when I had my platinum hair I thought the contrast with black was so badass. (Sidebar: I stand by that to this day, regardless of that girl in my film class who asked me, “Who’s funeral are you going to?” I’m like, bitch, probably yours.)

I didn’t want to wear white very often because then looking at me would be like staring into the sun. Yellow was out because I would resemble a lightbulb. Generally, all other colours would be totally acceptable, but I was constantly rocking the black. Sometimes variations of grey. Every St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day it was the same deal. I still don’t own any green. I still don’t own any red or pink.

Now, of course, I have gone through immense growth as a person and own one red dress. And two pink t-shirts. I’m not even being sarcastic, I just went into my wardrobe to confirm those facts.

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T-shirt: Ginger G; Shorts: Aritzia

I know, people are going to read this and go, “What’s the big deal? So many people don’t like wearing colour simply because they don’t like it.” Fair enough. Some people might also see this and think, “Why the hell are you so opposed to wearing colour? Give me all the colour.” That’s also very fair.

For a while, I just thought my style thing for a while was going to be monochrome. Even when I went back to brunette, I thought I would keep it white, grey and black always, sometimes with a bit of navy or brown.

I had a weird hangup about it. For me, wearing colour, especially bright primary colours or *gasp* combining colours wouldn’t work in my favour. I didn’t want to look childish, and for some reason, I thought colours would do that. This is the reality of it: my face is hardly mature-looking. I have round cheeks that bulge out when I smile, big eyes and about a million freckles. I thought, I can’t pull off wearing colours without looking like a tall pre-schooler. Obviously, that’s a ridiculous thing to think, but I didn’t know how ridiculous it was until I started wearing colour again.

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Top: Aritzia; Denim skirt: Topshop

Now, I actually got out of my way to find colour, especially since it’s summertime. Lord knows I have enough white and black in my wardrobe to pair with it. And the truth is the colours I wear are still pretty conservative in terms of brightness or boldness (probably not a word), but it’s how I style colour. It’s how I wear it. I wouldn’t call this a personal breakthrough or anything, but it’s a small change, a small thing that has expanded my personal style, which is a process I hope never ends.

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Top: Urban Outfitters; Skirt: American Apparel