Saturday, November 10, 2012

What hue are you? - Kandy Shepherd

While sorting my clothes at change of season, I couldn’t help but be struck by the consistency of the colors in my closet. First up, black and more black—slimming (I hope!) and easy to coordinate. Dark charcoal. Then shades of navy, blue, lavender, purple and aqua, relieved by splashes of cream and pale caramel.

A selection from my clothes closet

All my colors come from the blue-indigo-violet end of the color spectrum. That’s what I wear. I long ago gave up experimenting with the red-orange-yellow end—pinks and oranges are just not me. Brown? So dull with my blue eyes, fair skin and auburn hair.

I found the colors so pleasing in this window box in Salem,  MA

Truth is, I just don’t feel comfortable outside my color comfort zone. And others seem to feel the same. One of my friends, a dark-eyed brunette, laughs when she sees the hues hanging in my closet—her collection of clothes is basically red, white and black. She wouldn’t be caught dead in my beloved purple.

This day lily is about as bright as I go--and it's in a blue pot!
I’m the same in the garden—I love pinks and purples and all shades in-between highlighted with splashes of white, orange and yellow. The exception? The deep glory of scarlet and crimson roses, judiciously placed. Not for me, riots of unrelieved red and yellow, though I truly appreciate their beauty.

Bright, breathtaking bouganvillea 

While I stick to my own colors for myself, I’m good at helping others choose the right shades for them—usually nothing like what I wear. (I had lots of practice organizing makeovers in my days as a magazine fashion editor). Colors I most liked dressing my daughter in when she was little? Red and hot pink—and she still looks fabulous in them.

A favorite corner of my garden

I love dressing the characters in my novels—it’s kind of like the fun I used to have dressing my dolls when I was a kid. Part of choosing my characters’ clothes (and accessories, mustn’t forget the accessories!) is making sure the colors suit both their hair, eyes and skin tone but also their personalities. One of my favorite heroines to dress, Serena in Home Is Where the Bark Is, starts the book hiding out in shapeless, colorless clothes and Birkenstocks, she ends it in sassy, sexy black and sky high stilettos with a slash of scarlet lipstick.

I’m giving the last word on color to this visitor to my garden this morning—an Australian lorikeet feasting on the nectar of flowers of a flame tree. What a color clash! And yet so beautiful.

The glorious plumage of a lorikeet feasting in a flame tree

What about you? Do you have a color comfort zone and stick with a family of colors in the clothes you wear, your house, your garden? Does it annoy you when a character in a book or movie dresses in the wrong color?

Please leave a comment to be in the draw to win a Love is a Four-Legged Word T-shirt. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment if you want to be in the draw.

Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction. Her books include The Castaway Bride, Something About Joe, Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is—and you can enjoy reading them no matter what color you happen to be wearing at the time!

Visit Kandy at her website


Scarlet Wilson said...

Red, red and red. Picking my pseudonym was the easiest thing in the world. I have a red car, red bedroom, red living room and most of my wardrobe is predominantly red. Scarlet was the obvious choice!

Kandy Shepherd said...

How fabulous Scarlet, to have such a strong affinity to a color. And I see red hair, too!

Thanks for being my first visitor to comment!

Eli Yanti said...

purple but now i think i love green :D

it will be annoying when the color is not matching

traveler said...

Purple. Eggplant, Lavender. All my hues.

petite said...

Navy, Royal Blue, and rich colors that are dramatic.

Fiona Lowe said...

Oh, Kandy, can you come over and organise my closet for me too! I recently had to change my wardrobe due to not really thinking about things when I fell in love with my current glasses frames.. a bright, metallic purple. They do not go with rust . I have lots of green at the moment!
New glasses coming so hmm, might change again!
ps I have your fun and witty book so please leave me out of your draw.Ta

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, what a fun post. And I've so got cupboard envy seeing how beautifully yours are organised. And speaking of beautiful, I love the photo of the lorikeet! We get them here. They're as noisy as all get-out but very beautiful. I'm a beigey ex-blonde. I literally fade into the background when the fashionistas decide neutrals are the colours du jour. Every so often there's a year where it's brown and khaki and beige and nothing suits me. I need something with strong colour - surprisingly whites and creams are OK on me, but add that hint of mud and I'm a goner.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Purple is one of my very favorite colors, Eli, and that might be good for a writer as it is supposed to be the color of creativity! Green is wonderful too, and of course the greens in nature cannot be surpassed...

Kandy Shepherd said...

We are obviously kindred souls when it comes to color, Traveler!

Kandy Shepherd said...

I'm with you on those choices, petite!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Gorgeous photos, Kandy. The lorikeet pic is so striking! A quick scan of my wardrobe shows a lot of black, navy, and purple clothes, with a few vivid reds and greens. I tend to go for jewel-coloured outfits, I guess, but I'm still really trying to work out what suits my Eurasian complexion.

Annie West said...

Kandy, what a great post! Hm, can I hire you for fashion advice? Thanks for sharing so many lovely pics too.

Like Vanessa I tend to go for jewel colours where I can. Red is my have and always has been. I also love deep greens, electric blue and I've discovered burnt orange lately. Put me in pastels and I'd scare the horses. Those years when it's pastels only I tend not to buy and wait till change of season.

Pat Cochran said...

For years I was severely overweight and for
a height-challenged me, it was not good. I
dressed in dark colors, mostly black, at all
times. Supposedly it is slimming. Five or six
years ago I found out I was a diabetic and I
began a new life style. This all resulted in
a loss of 60 pounds. I still wear a lot of
black, but added navy blue, brown, white,and

Pat C.

Lory Lee said...

Yellow! I'm a sunny and happy girl, always positive. :D

Kandy Shepherd said...

Is that an invitation to go shopping with you, Fiona? If so, I would love to help you shop for a new wardrobe to go with your purple glasses!
I had a beautiful pair of purple reading glasses and lost them. I couldn't get them again so have stuck with tortoiseshell variations which seem to go with everything.
From my memory of when I saw you last, you look lovely in green!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Anna, when I showed my dear husband my photo of my neatly folded clothes he burst out laughing and said, hah hah, you wouldn't dare put online what your shelves really look like. Thanks a lot, supportive hubby! Sadly it's true--though I do try hard to keep tidy, stuff just seems to have a life of its own!
I know what you mean about seasons where nothing in the shops seem to suit. When purples and blues are in, I stock up while the goings good! There seem to be some nice colors around right now so hope it's a good year for the hue that's good for you!

Kandy Shepherd said...

That lorikeet is gorgeous isn' he Vanessa? That flame true is full of 'em at the moment, like beautiful jewels.

Jewel tones would look beautiful on you Vanessa, and red with your coloring--wow!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Annie, red is such a wonderful, classic color for clothes, isn't it? I love red shoes, red jackets, simple red shift dresses. Sadly, it's a color that just doesn't work on me. (So I have fun dressing fictional characters in the red clothes I'd like to wear myself!)

I love burnt orange too, and I'm sure you'd look marvelous in it with your dark hair. Again, not for me--washes me right out. But imagine how boring it would be if we all went around wearing the same color. Choice of color is such a wonderful expression of individuality!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Pat, how wonderful that you found both good health and a new shape! And fabulous that you are able to add color to your wardrobe. Thanks for sharing your story.

Kandy Shepherd said...

The color of sunsine and warmth and energy--how wonderful to embrace yellow as your special color, Lory!