Looking for answers to life's questions

I read a post last week by “To Breathe is to Write” that got my writing juices flowing. She hit on a topic of conversation that I can be quite verbose about given the opportunity. I’m taking that opportunity now. If you go back and read this post, you’ll see what got me going.

She mentioned not being a Fashionista. I could so relate. I’ve rarely had the funds for fashion. I barely had the funds for clothes and by the time high school arrived, I made three skirts in basic black, brown and navy stretch with six basic blouses.Then, in the 80’s and 90’s they were selling a lot of prepackaged color packets. I went to a seminar on personal colors. This seminar was about doing it differently and I was interested.

What I learned, after getting so hooked that I studied for a whole year, was that a lot of women dress in a way that makes them invisible. I actually had a client come back and ask me how to be invisible while traveling in parts of the world where her safety wasn’t assured. I knew the tricks and her travels went well.

During much of my life I have wanted to be invisible and as I’ve aged, found that to be quite easy. But that’s a whole other topic. Recently, I got rid of all my man shirts and have sought out a softer, more fun and feminine look. Since I can’t buy what I want, I’m trying to sew it.

My course taught me that color and style should reflect the personality and coloring of each individual. Family members often don’t wear the same colors. Age had little to do with it, personality and coloring was where the statement starts. I’m considerably more energetic than my daughter. My colors can be a tad brighter but not as bright or bold as someone who loves the spotlight. If you watch news anchors or talk show hosts like Ellen, see if you can tell when what they wear just makes their eye colors pop. That’s when they have your attention. The rest of the time you are looking at the color of their clothes. The clothes are wearing them.

If you are in business, a teacher, leader, boss, or anytime you need to get someone to pay attention to what you say, wear colors that draw attention to your eyes. It doesn’t need to be expensive or even the latest style. Your clothes should not command more attention than your face and specifically, your eyes.

I have never been a fashion slave. My style now is classic with pops of noisy, effervescence. Clothes should also tell the truth about who you are at first glance. Are you quiet, bouncy, take charge, artistic or walking on air with aloofness? The first 10 seconds tell people everything. Tell them the truth; not what some young designer wants for your truth to be. If you want to be invisible, go for it but understand you are creating that. That applies to men as well as women.

I wore a lot of monochromatic. It was my way of staying quiet. I'm really quite noisy. Now I wear more colors at a time.

I wore a lot of monochromatic. It was my way of staying quiet. I’m really quite noisy. Now I wear more colors at a time.

Also, no one is just one color harmony. We have two parents, and lots of grandparents. My daughter was a struggle for me in every way from the moment she could walk and talk. I could not even do her colors, taking her instead to my instructor. As an Autumn/Summer, her personality was strong and quiet at the same time. Talk about mixed messages. Her energy was slower than mine and her colors had to reflect that. We have been better friends since I learned her harmonies. And yes, sometimes she blows off what she knows looks best and wears what she just likes. Sometimes it’s just not so important.

I carrry these with me all the time. My couch matches my colors too.

I carrry these with me all the time. My couch matches my colors too.

Her brother has her same eye color but more energy, as his colors reflect. When talking to him about this post he reminded me that we most often pick out colors by how they make us feel or by how we want to feel. That said, I will tell you that everyone can wear every color. It’s the value and tone. Yellow is a tricky one but there is a shade of yellow for you. Yellow makes us happy. Blue, trustworthy etc.

There are colors I love, but they don’t love me. I like purple, but a warm berry doesn’t swallow me whole. I have to do purples in pens or vases. Even my quilts tend to be more my colors since I’m going to be sitting around them and I want to look nice near them. Oops, is that a bit of vanity creeping in.

Light was essential for clients sitting in front of me. Those drawers held Thousands of color swatches.

Light was essential for clients sitting in front of me. Those drawers held Thousands of color swatches.

Most of the time, it’s hard to find our colors in fashion. When I do, I snag it. I’m still in the basics but my shirts are more often in my colors

even my quilt has my colors. I'm drawn to them naturally now.

even my quilt has my colors. I’m drawn to them naturally now.

Like I said, this is a passionate subject for me and since I’m trying to make friends, it’s time to take off the cloak of invisibility. Do you ever wonder why the clerk at the store ignores you? How do you choose what to wear? Do you long to command respectful attention or be invisible?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of my Fashionista" (14)

  1. JackieP said:

    Thanks for the shout out. I have to admit when I was younger I wore things that would make me disappear. Browns, blues, blacks, gray. Now, I wear reds, purple, pink, bright jewel colors. I don’t wear yellow because it makes me look sick. ha! I do wear orange. I like standing out now. I’m short and stubby so no frills, just lots of color. Great post Marlene!


  2. Marlene, this is a wonderful post – as someone who doesn’t wear a lot of colour any more – and who would like to – I have found it quite inspiring. Thank you for sharing your wisdom 🙂


    • You are quite welcome. Color is a tricky thing. For me it’s been about opening the Pandora’s box of who I really am. It was a great adventure. I still love to help people select clothes but the vision isn’t what it was 20 years ago so I had to give up the business of it. Thanks for reading.


  3. Our colors really do make a statement about who we are, our personalities and interests. Don’t you think that somehow we are naturally drawn to what feeds our passion? Thanks for sharing.


    • The draw is like a magnet. I didn’t look at my colors when I purchased my sofa. It just felt right and it goes with everything. Now I need to find a pet that color:D. Thanks for reading.


  4. Awesome post Marlene. I have never been ‘colour draped’ (that’s what they called it here). I have NO idea what season I am. I tend to buy clothes by ‘style’ more than colour….I guess you might call it Bohemian….maybe ‘Gypsy’ if that is in fact a style. Sort of ‘Flower Child of the 60’s’. I hardly ever match anything and prefer to mix it up. I’ll wear my aqua runners with a nice feminine skirt, jean jacket and vintage jewellery. I don’t know what this says about me…maybe that I have no fashion identity…LOL. Oh, and I love hats 😀 What season is Aqua in?

    BTW, those drawers in your office are fabulous! I’m really happy you’re expanding your closet to include colour. NO ONE should be invisible no matter what their preferred style. You’re lucky you can sew so well, I rarely find the perfect thing and hate shopping for occasions. My favourite store for clothes is Anthropologie but have to wait for sales there. 😀


    • Bohemian/Gypsy is a style and I would guess it works well for you. Your energy level seems high from how you write and create. Your height would tell more and your natural hair and eye colors. My guess would be spring/autumn depending on your height. You are a giggler who is not quiet. If your hair is redish or you freckle, that would tell me more. I’ll look harder at your photo.

      Sorry to say, I had to give all the furniture away when I left my husband. I couldn’t even sell it and it had finally been moved too many times. My vision is also not the best anymore and doing colors, I was already looking at eyes with a magnifying glass. Aqua is one of those EMOTIONAL colors. Probably best worn away from the face unless your eye color is intense. I so miss doing that work, but life handed me some lemons. Luckily, I’m quite fond of the lemon meringue pies. You definitely have a perfect fashion identity. Love it. Hugs.


  5. My goodness, so much involved in the whole thing hey? So interesting. I’m not surprised Aqua is an EMOTIONAL colour. That’d be me to a T 😀

    For sharing purposes only…5’2″, Brown, no freckles but plenty of sun spots, natural hair colour LOLOLOLOL…maybe dark blonde with hints of grey 😀 Here’s a picture of Alys and I from two weeks ago. We consider ourselves separated at birth even though she has red hair and twinkly blue eyes 😀 Hugs xK


  6. Wow, Marlene! I’m way behind on my reading, but so glad to be finally catching up. I remember doing colors for a fashion merchandising class many, many, many years ago, so I’ve forgotten everything. I’m sorry you’ve had to give up something you loved and were good at, but I am happy to hear you’re softening your clothes and brightening your colors.

    Dressing to be invisible is a fascinating concept. I’ve loved clothing, fashion, costumes and theater my whole life. Great, great post.


  7. What an interesting post! I’m going to be pondering this for days now . . . thank you! 🙂


  8. Interesting post. I remember, my first summer sailing, seeing all these women wearing beautiful white dresses. I have tried to pull off white ever since, with limited success.


    • Never wear a white that’s whiter than your teeth or whites of your eyes. Very few people can pull off white next to their face. I often will buy something in white cotton, just so I can dye it a color that better suits me. Glad you found it interesting. Thanks for reading.



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