Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm No Radiant Orchid

Last year, I was ecstatic when Pantone revealed its 2013 Color of the Year as "Emerald," a deep, true green.  It's a flattering tone for a fair-skinned, green eyed redhead, but until Pantone heralded it as the "it" color, emerald hued garments were hard to come by in all but vintage shops. Pantone's blessing (or accurate forecasting?) of the revitalization of the earthy, organic color meant that, suddenly, it was everywhere, and I gleefully added a few stellar new green garments to my wardrobe.

The 2014 Color of Year, "Radiant Orchid," on the other hand, does absolutely nothing for me.  Pantone describes the color as "bloom[ing] with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination.  It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple - one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.  A captivating harmony of fuschia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health."  Wow, I want to be beguiled by a color that exudes joy, love and health!  I'd better run out and buy new clothes...not.

My personal description of Radiant Orchid goes something like this:  it is a pastel on steroids; it is not quite purple and not quite pink; it reminds me of a not so beloved childhood Easter dress, and; it washes my already pale complexion into oblivion and makes me look anything but the picture of health.  Admittedly, it is quite beautiful in living color on the delicate blooms of an exotic orchid.  I just don't want to wear it.

Fortunately, over the course of four decades, I've learned that my personal style and color preferences are far more important than what's "in fashion."  Thus, the mass market sensory overload of Radiant Orchid in my Pinterest feed and in every department store, boutique, and catalog has no peer-pressure like effect on me.  

I do like to experiment with new colors, and my style continues to evolve along with this blog.  Sometimes, I'm still startled when a color I didn't really think I could wear turns out to be a new favorite.  Case in point - periwinkle.  I stumbled across this embroidered periwinkle top on a clearance rack and scooped it up more for the style than the color.  When I photographed it for the blog, though, I realized it was actually the deep purple blue color, more than the style, that made it a good choice for me.  Who knew!

...and then there is my favorite color range.  I don't know what Pantone calls it.  When I drove a car featuring metallic paint in my beloved deep orange-red, Chrysler called it "paprika."  I've also seen it labeled as cinnamon, burnt orange, sienna, and a plethora of clever names borne by similarly hued nail polishes.  The OPI color I'm wearing below is called "Deutsch You Want Me Baby?" (I've always thought it would be fun to be the person who names nail polish colors - where do they get this stuff)  Although autumnal in nature, I've never viewed the color as only for Fall, and it has actually become such a part of my personal style that several of my friends refer to it simply as "Jody Orange."  Pantone will never pick that moniker to represent a color of the year, but it will always represent my personal style.  And that, my friends, is what matters.  

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
Cowl neck sweater in "Jody Orange" (Willi Smith, TJ Maxx); Gouchos (XCVI, - see them styled with grey here); Suede Boots (9 West, Steinmart); Bag (Michael Kors, TJ Maxx)


  1. I truly was surprised by pantones color of the year..... Years ago I had a collection of pantone color chips and on them there was a description, the formula, and a little about how the color made you feel, or the mood it brought (i.e. Red - energy) well on the orchid chip it said "promotes nausea" and I can't look at it without thinking that lol

    1. That is hilarious, Michelle. Thanks for sharing! I bet you have to pay close attention to the color "trends" as they impact wedding colors and other events that need fab floral decor. I still remember your puffy pink chintz comforter from way back when - so much prettier than radiant orchid :)

    2. it's interesting the color trends. I think it starts with fashion then it goes to home furnishings then finally weddings and such

    3. Agree, and some colors translate so much better in one area than another.