Sunday, May 19, 2013

Style Over 50: Is Orange the New Neutral?

This spring, a new purse topped my shopping list. I wasn’t locked into a particular style or color. Lately, however, I had been coveting an over 50 girlfriend’s small, very lightweight red tote bought in Paris. I love the tote's bright color, of course. But I was equally drawn to its light weight. I spend lots of time running around New York City and hate being weighed down by a heavy purse.

Much to my surprise, I fell in love with an orange B. Makowsky bag (above). In fact, orange is such an out-of-character color for me that I left the tags on the purse for a few days. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to keep it. More surprising, though, was this: During those few days of vacillating, I put the orange bag on my shoulder with each day’s outfit and found the bag looked great with every outfit. It didn’t matter what colors I wore--sapphire, grey, hot pink, white, pastel green—the purse was the perfect accessory. And it got me thinking: Is orange this spring’s new neutral color? What do you think?

When I saw that orange was going to be a "hot color" for spring 2013, I thought, "no way will I be wearing it!" I have one of those complexions (my color season is "winter") that turns jaundice anytime a citrus color--lemon yellow, lime green, orange--comes near my face. No need to worry with an orange purse.

Orange and white are a "no brainer" combination, of course. But here's how orange looks when paired with...

Light blue...

Bright pink...

Or a muted grey...

Since buying an orange purse, I’ve been rooting around my closet, looking for other things with a bit of orange. As mentioned, there are no orange tops in my wardrobe. But I dug out a floral skirt (below) with orange in it on Friday. I wore it to my library's annual book luncheon, my favorite town event. After a lovely lunch, authors Ernst J. Gaines and David Nassaw shared their thoughts about their book's subject and writing process. Really excellent!!

As you can see, I styled the floral skirt with a black 3/4 sleeve top. Personally, I'm not crazy about pairing solid black and orange--too much like Halloween. But I thought the black structured top worked with the full skirt, which has orange as well as turquoise and green.

And lastly, I wore a fun, orange beaded necklace from Coldwater Creek (below) this weekend.

Are you wearing orange this spring? How do you style the color?