Conceding Defeat

You all look great in your neutral outfits. I'm trying to study what made your outfits work because mine just didn' least in a way that made ME happy.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to photograph my outfits this week, because work and home life have just spun out of control (too much going on), so you'll have to rely on words rather than pictures.

I received some compliments at work on my outfits, which was nice, BUT, my neutral ensembles made me feel blah and unhappy. I have two observations about this.

1. Seattle is gray and dreary this time of year. Wearing gray makes me feel like I'm succumbing to the dull, depressing aspect of the season.

2. My moods are strongly affected by color. I need a pop of color somewhere on my person to make me feel happy. Browns, grays, navys, blacks, whites, etc. just don't do it for me UNLESS there is a bold, high-contrast print going on somewhere. Most of my neutral pieces are plain solids, which I use as backdrops for the more interesting parts of my outfits.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Sona replied 10 years ago

    Well said Amy. Dressing gives me pleasure and it does require that 'je ne sais quoi' to each outfit for me- either a splash of jewelery or color or something. I think I can do neutrals more as a once a week thing rather than a week long experiment.

  • MsMary replied 10 years ago

    Oh, no! I'm so sorry that the challenge mad e you feel unhappy!!

    Let's call it a victory because you learned a big lesson about your fashion self, shall we??

  • modgrl replied 10 years ago

    I am totally feeling you girl! I could not do neutrals for a week!!

    We need happy colors to counteract the winter blahs :)

  • MsMary replied 10 years ago

    Coming back to add that the thing that saved me this week was all the hectic pattern mixing with my neutrals. And, uh, can you say "wearing leopard three days out of five?" LOL

  • Jonesy replied 10 years ago

    I do know what you mean, Amy! I found myself reaching for the wildest color combos in my lounge wear this week (neon yellow sweater, bright blue patterned pj pants, striped rainbow socks :), just to counteract all the neutrals! I'm sure you looked fabulous, but it's amazing how clothes can make us *feel*.

  • rae replied 10 years ago

    This is a victory, because you learned something about yourself and your wardrobe! Amy, you love your bright colors. It's only natural that your neutral wardrobe has been tailored to be paired with *brights* - not with each other. The important thing is that your wardrobe works when used the way you intended to use it - no defeat in that!

  • Sunita replied 10 years ago

    I'm with you...I can't do neutrals several days in a row. Once in a while, sure, but not day after day. Like you, my neutrals usually ground a more interesting skirt or jacket. I'd be hard pressed to pull together several looks just with neutrals.

    Take a it as a lesson learned, eh?

  • Debbie replied 10 years ago

    I learned that I made it through the week and I have plenty of neutrals but color will be the order of the weekend!

  • replied 10 years ago

    Notice I sat out the adjacent colors challenge, lol! I don't have enough in my wardrobe to do the colorful challenges and I learned that I bat for Team Neutral throught this challenge. I had plenty of patterned neutrals to pick from and I counted navy and denim blue as neutrals (as well as animal prints!) so I wasn't wearing black and white all week. That would make me cry! I am missing a little bit of color though, and I'm glad this challenge is coming to a close.

    I think it's a good thing, what you learned about color in regard to your happiness! I feel the same way about prints. I would have to sit out a "solid challenge" or wind up in a mental health facility....

  • Laurinda replied 10 years ago

    That's hardly defeat - horses for courses ;-)

    This minimal black-based wardrobe posted on The Vivienne Files
    is a dream for many gals, but it would just make me feel color deprived.

  • MsMary replied 10 years ago

    Ooohh... solids challenge...


  • Transcona Shannon replied 10 years ago

    Good for you Amy in discovering yet another detail about your style - you love colour! I think this is why I haven't participated yet in any of the challenges. I don't want to confine myself, at least not yet. I would consider your so-called "defeat" a victory instead.

  • missvee replied 10 years ago

    I agree Amy, this was a hard one. We're mid-winter here and gray skies call for colour, and lots of it. I do have neutrals in my closet but I use them as anchor pieces for the warmer brights that I really like. It was a good learning experience though...

  • fern replied 10 years ago

    My first house in Portland was painted gray with gray trim. My friends and I joked about how we wouldn't be able to find it during winter. This climate is tough in January and February, when the light just kind of goes away.

    The house is now grass green with yellow trim. So is my wardrobe. :) I did neutrals one day this week and went back to colors.

    OTOH, the hellebores and daphne are just about to pop open, and add some bright pink to the landscape. I think I could do neutrals with a pop of fuschia.

  • CocoLion replied 10 years ago

    I felt I looked pretty blah following this challenge but I did learn something (which I'm repeating from Dianthus's thread):

    -add prints in neutral colors (MaryK)
    - play with proportions and layering (Rae)
    ... as ways to add interest.

    My strategy was to take cool looking pictures, so I had fun being a photographer, and I do feel that compensated somewhat from the boredom of the clothing.

  • Vicki replied 10 years ago

    I'm with you on this, Amy, and I felt the same way when I wore my neutral. The So. Cal. weather was even Seattle gray, which added to my mood. I want color in my life and on my body!

    You articulated this so well and I often feel that when I wear neutrals, they take me mentally into the background and I become invisible. Your observations really resonate with me. Here's to color!

  • Beth Ann replied 10 years ago

    Brave, bold Amy, thank you for your post. I chose to sit out the challenge, feeling a little wussy, because the February cold and dark winter was making me crave some color. Also, in my closet, neutral means black, black, black, blaaahhhh! That said -- shout out to Mary K! I learned so much from all my fellow YLFers who particpated! As I watched them, I noticed how helpful patterns, even subtle ones, texture, structure and shape mattered. Perhaps I'll try it one day a week in the spring!

  • mrseccentric replied 10 years ago

    Amy, just popping in to say thank you for this thread!! i've found that true personal style is as much about what you choose to NOT do as what you DO choose. Really, who pictures of Katherine Hepburn in a strapless red dress with stilettos?

    I say find out what you love and are dying to wear and stick with that. Nobody needs to wear everything....i think sometimes the style blog world gets too focussed on people being able to wear every style, every color, every shape.........just wear the stuff that makes you look and feel fantastic! steph

  • Aida replied 10 years ago

    I totally empathize Amy! It really was particularly dreary this week, right?

  • Jenava replied 10 years ago

    I cannot IMAGINE going without color at the I, too, have been sitting this challenge out!

  • MNsara replied 10 years ago

    Great insight, Amy! I totally understand too ;-)

    Even though I love neutrals and have a closet full of them (this is only challenge I've been tempted to participate in), I kept wanting to add that one bright touch that finishes the outfit and perks up everything. . .

    I guess I learned something about myself too, and I appreciate your putting it into words.

  • Joy replied 10 years ago

    It sounds like we all learned about how we relate to neutrals and color this week. I was saved by mostly sunny days, although cold. I learned that I have enough neutrals to remix them for a month but not enough color to do the adjacent color challenge last week, at least in winter.

  • Sveta replied 10 years ago

    This is exactly why I did not do this challenge, Amy: I need at least one shot of color to make me happy. Mind you I still can do the neutrals when I have strong contrast in textures or colors in the outfit but the whole week feels like to much.
    You look great in colors and feel happy in them - that's a win-win!

  • annagybe replied 10 years ago

    I don't do the pop of color. I could have sleep walked this challenge. I even had a excuse because I had to work all this week. But what am I doing tomorrow, pastels. I understand where you are coming from.

  • goldenpig replied 10 years ago

    Amy, it is a success when you can figure out what you love and what elements of style make you happy. You are such a vibrant person--you need color in your life! Nothing wrong with that!

You need to be logged in to comment