When I was a little girl, my mother used to work full time, so I would stay at my aunt’s house on weekdays. Heather, my cousin, was five years my senior, and we were constantly together, the only two little girl counterparts in what I used to believe was a hefty size family (Years later, in Paris, upon accepting the marriage proposal of a rather unexpected Italian, I would learn that my assumptions about what constituted a big family were actually wildly inaccurate, but that’s a story for another post). In what was a juvenile attempt at asserting my own “individuality” (bare in mind here that I was five), I remember finding it supremely important to establish a mental compendium of what my most beloved “things” consisted of, an anthology of sorts that I could hold closely to my heart and rattle off on command if probed.
No one ever actually asked, of course, but I was always ready and willing to offer the fact that I was obsessed with Mariah Carey music, loved to write and that my favorite color was electric blue. I’d aggregate these tid-bits and wear them like a badge of honor that I felt was tantamount to a sense of personal identity. My cousin, for her part, indulged my inquiries about who and what her respective favorites were. To the best of my recollection, she liked Paula Abdul music. I also know that she was a phenomenal artist whose favorite color was pink. These tiny distinctions, I felt, branded us with indelible ideas of who we were both separately and together.
I took a special sense of pride in the fact that my favorite color was electric blue, believing that it lent an eclectic edge to my persona and set me apart from the other little girls who coveted their satin ballet slippers and cotton candy color bedroom walls. Perhaps it was because it was my first walk on the wild side (and, let’s face it, for anyone who’s reading this and knows me at all), it was my only walk on the wild side to date, but something about being the only girl around who loved this bold hue rendered me just a bit of an interloper, and I liked that.
As the years progressed, brighter colors slowly and subconsciously faded out of my wardrobe, substituted with more subdued, pragmatic options, like blacks, olives and navies. These were shades that could be worn repeatedly and would help to ensure a streamline, slim silhouette. I guess you don’t worry about the way that a color makes you look when you’re five; your only concern is with how it makes you feel. In fact, I guess you don’t really give much thought at all to what you look like when you’re five. There’s no intensive skin care regime, grueling fitness routine, or cosmetic application nous necessary.
While in Boston a few weeks ago, I found myself shopping away a Sunday afternoon at a swanky boutique on the seaport. There, I spotted the blouse pictured above hanging on a semi sequestered clothing rack, and for a moment, I was instantly snapped back to those moments with my cousin, when I would rattle off, for the eleven hundredth consecutive time, my special list of favorites. Mesmerized by the allure of a fire that I, myself, had stifled somewhere along the way, I made a beeline to the piece, eyeing it more closely and deciding that it would be my only purchase that day. It seemed so fresh and special, different from anything I’d seen in a long time. Without second guessing the infrequency with which I might wear it, or how it might look against my pale skin, I thought about the concept of buying something that you truly love, something that stands out and simply makes you happy upon seeing it in the closet. And, thus, I present to you, “The World Through Rose Colored Glasses,” a post about foregoing impracticalities and remembering that style should be a call to who you really are, a visual representation of your own list of favorites.