Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Reflecting colours.

In a couple of weeks I hit twenty-one, yet again (for the third time, actually!) and I've been musing how, as one ages, the options of colours in what one wears become seriously restricted. Of course some might say "Just wear what you want!" but when I see mature, very mature (or even post-mature!) guys trying to carry off an image that is so inappropriate it looks not just glaringly conspicuous but plain silly too. The subject has come to the fore because last week I received the three 'Fruit-of-the-Loom' sweat shirts which I'd ordered over the Internet. Although they were the colours I'd asked for after seeing them on-screen, when I had them actually in front of me, those in Royal Blue and Emerald Green looked so garish, almost like neon lights, I simply wouldn't wear them outside, so they'll have to be relegated to under-the-jacket wear. Odd that that even though all my life I've eschewed wearing reds (laugh if you will, but reds clash with my 'aura' and always make me feel nervy and jumpy - blues, greens and browns are my 'comfy colours') for the third sweatshirt I thought of being a little adventurous and opted for a burgundy - and this one turns out to be the only one of the three I'd feel happy for people to see me wearing.
It's a long, long time since I gave up wearing jeans in white or light blue - they just look so wrong on older men, even moreso on those with a substantial waistline. (Why don't people tell them?). I think - and I've absolutely no expertise in fashion - men of my relatively advanced age are always safe with blacks, most browns (though avoiding light beiges which can add still further years onto one. Too near white, I suppose) and dark, maybe also medium, blues. But bright reds and yellows are two big no-nos. Even when I was as young as 30ish I once bought an orange T-shirt, but on getting it home soon realised that even then I was too old to get away with wearing such a day-glo colour so I gave it to one of my teenage nephews. (Maybe middle-aged and older men should only wear orange if it's part of high-visibility safety workwear!)
Perhaps in other societies there'd be less looking askance at men wearing flamboyant colours in everyday dress, but as it is I don't much fancy standing out in a crowd - unless I was in somewhere like Hawaii, of course, where a man wearing sober colours might be the conspicuous one.


  1. Happy Birthday early! I hope you give us the exact date, although I suspect you will not. I have an British friend who lives in London who just flat out refused to tell me his birthday. I had to work on him for weeks to get him to tell me. Geez! He said it was his English sensibilities that prevented him from telling me. Does that make any sense to you?

    I'm with you as far as wearing loud colors. I've never in my life worn pink, and never will, and I will kill anyone who tries to make me. I'm willing to do the crime and do the time. LOL!! Strangely, I have no problem whatsoever wearing yellow or bright red.

  2. Yes, your London friend's attitude to his birthday date makes perfect sense to me. Very British - though there's a bit of masochism attached to it too, at least in my case - i.e. not telling the date and then the 'satisfaction' of being disappointed when birthday wishes are not offered! Crazy, eh?
    Before your time, in the late 60s/70s there was a craze for coloured shirts, dark blues and greens, yellows and pink included, to be worn with a suit. I conformed to that fad of the time, having an office job where a suit was 'de rigueur', but I'm pretty sure I've never worn pink since, and certainly wouldn't now. But is there a whole segment of the spectrum that you wouldn't wear, Larry - blue/purple maybe?

  3. A whole segment? I don't particularly like green. I'll wear dark greens/olives, but refuse to wear medium or light greens. Yuck! Same for bright orange. I'd be happy to wear light blue and even light red as long as it was distinct from pink. I love all shades of purple, and am very, very happy that purple is an "in" color right now. It's about time!

    So Ray... when's your birthday? Come on, spit it out!

  4. Oh shit! Ever wished you could un-say something? Well, since I've dangled it in front of you and you insist on knowing, it's somewhere between 14th and 16th.
    Purple is normally as about as far into the 'reds' as I venture to go - until now. I've met others who say that greens make them look 'sickly' but I like it's vibrancy. Once in the days when I had enough hair to be able to go around sporting an Afro (this was in the 70s and 80s, you understand) I flirted with the idea of having a blue or green-coloured streak put in it. My hairdresser/stylist said that red would best suit my complexion. Needless to say I dropped the idea.