Tell a FriendLeigh AnneLeigh Anne Jasheway ~ Queen of Stress

Brighten Up!

When it comes to fashion, there are two schools of thought. First, there is the "You should get attention, not your clothing" school. People who go to this school typically own five or six little black dresses. They also tend to be young, petite women with no cellulite.

I go to the other fashion school – the "Dress outrageously and people will be distracted from looking at your gray hair, your crows’ feet, and that tattoo you accidentally got in college" school. Our school colors are lime green and purple.

Personally, I’ve never understood words like "understated" or "subdued" when applied to clothing. To me "understated" is when I say "Yeah, that’ll happen!" under my breath while nodding my head and feigning agreement with someone who is obviously wrong. "Subdued," on the other hand, is what I did to that guy in the mall who tried to take my purse last year. My neon orange purse with the turquoise flowers. When it comes to fashion adjectives, I prefer "loud," "shocking," and "day-glo."

Many of you reading this know how freeing it is to dress in clothes that make a statement with or without you. You know that once you accept fuschia as a neutral color, the whole world is your palette. Unfortunately, there are many other women out there – women who have led color- deprived lives. Women who believe there’s actually a difference between cream and ivory. If you are one of these poor women, let me offer you just a few of the many benefits of reaching out to all the other colors of the rainbow:

1. Easy shopping – In order to pick out a new outfit, all you have to do it go to your favorite store and look around until you spot the brightest thing there. Even if it’s the Exit sign. Now, find it in your size. Voila! You’re done. You can take the rest of your lunch hour getting a massage or learning a new language or whatever.

2. Less strenuous – Let’s say you’ve just come out of the movies and you need to cross the street to get to your car. But the crosswalk is all the way down at the end of the block. If you’re wearing gray or tan, you have no choice but to make the hike, no matter how uncomfortable your shoes. If you’re wearing a turquoise and sunflower yellow-striped shirt with hot pink pants, on the other hand, you can safely jaywalk, sure in the knowledge that oncoming traffic will spot you from miles away.

3. Less wedding day anxiety - If you choose not to wear white at your wedding, no one will give it a second thought.

4. No more Seasonal Affective Disorder – When the weather is gray and rainy for months on end, many women come down with S.A.D. – Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is especially true for women whose clothes are the same color as the mildew growing on the side of the house. It’s almost impossible, however, to get depressed when you’re dressed like a 64-count box of crayons. So forget the Prozac or special $100 natural light bulbs. Just make sure to look at yourself in the mirror several times during the day. And, if you’re community spirited, take a ride on the bus and brighten everyone else’s day as well.

5. Less worry for your spouse and kids – How many times have you gone to a ball game, theme park, or zoo and been misplaced by your family? Now imagine how much easier it will be for your family to spot you in any crowd if you stand out like a beacon among the sea of khaki pants and white blouses. And, even if they don’t spot you right away, they can always turn to strangers and say, "Have you seen a woman wearing a kiwi pantsuit with scarlet fringe?" Believe me, more strangers will remember you than if your family has to say, "We’re not sure what she was wearing, but we know it was beige."

6. Help with memory impairment –Has this ever happened to you? You’re walking down the sidewalk and you spot a person whose face you recognize but you remember their name, or where you know them from, or whether you know them from this or a previous lifetime? Not to worry! By the time they get their eyes to refocus from your ensemble to your face, they will have forgotten your name as well. So it’s a level playing field!

What more incentive do you need to toss out the grays and creams and add a little color to your life? Who says we have to be old women before we wear purple? Or even lime green!

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 © 1998 LA Jasheway

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