For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is over. In the U.S., Labor Day has passed, school has started, the sun is setting sooner and we're getting ready to tuck away our white clothes and shoes until spring--well, at least that's what we've been told to do.
A suggested ban on white clothing and shoes after Labor Day, the first Monday of September, has been a rule of etiquette since the early 20th century. But is it really all that important by today's standards? Fashion--and even an etiquette expert or two--doesn't think so. In recent seasons, white has become an all-year hue. And a few other formerly fatal color combinations--brown and black, black and navy--have moved from fashion don't to fashion can-do territory, too.
"For centuries, wearing white in the summer was simply a way to stay cool--like changing your dinner menu or putting slipcovers on the furniture," wrote TIME's Laura Fitzpatrick. In the early 1900s, clothing covered a lot more of the body than it does now, so summer whites, with their reflective qualities, made sense. But beyond practicality, white had a following in high society that may have led to the no-white rule.
"In the early 20th century, white was the uniform of choice for Americans well-to-do enough to decamp from their city digs to warmer climes for months at a time: light summer clothing provided a pleasing contrast to drabber urban life," Fitzpatrick wrote." Labor Day, celebrated in the U.S. on the first Monday of September, marked the traditional end of summer; the well-heeled vacationers would stow their summer duds and dust off their heavier, darker-colored fall clothing."
Of course, this theory is hotly contested by some--Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, told Fitzpatrick not every rule of etiquette has to be attributed to "snobbery." But whether the rule was meant to be snobby or not, the fashion world hasn't been ruled by it. And perhaps that's why etiquette queen Emily Post says it's OK to throw this rule out with the last of the summer barbecue leftovers.
After being considered a faux pas for so long, the black-and-brown combination--which has been given the go-ahead--is actually a fresh one. According to the Ralph Lauren Style Guide: "When properly executed, the combination of black and brown is a very modern and sophisticated look that’s instantly elegant. Start by adding touches of brown via accessories: the hint of a leather belt beneath a black cardigan or suede boots under slim-fitting pants."
For women, Ladies' Home Journal says, "Pair rich brown wool trousers with a black turtleneck, or wear black shoes and hose with your brown skirt. For evening, try a brown cocktail dress instead of a black one." And a great tip for mixing-and-matching your shoes and handbags?" Try a deep red, hunter green or soft tan bag, or go for shoes in similar shades, all of which will work with your brown and black staples."
Navy and black make for another recently edgy combination--good news for navy lovers who may have had trouble matching shades of blue, or black lovers who have the same trouble matching blacks. This combination works a lot like black and brown in execution--try pairing a navy dress with black tights and shoes or skinny black pants with a navy blazer for a runway-worthy look.
Black shoes are also a good choice with a navy suit, though some advise a deep brown pair--GQ Style Guy Glenn O'Brien says to pick a pair at least as dark as your suit. But he also said, "Not long ago, I read a little manifesto in the catalog of the talented potter Jonathan Adler that stated, among other things: 'We believe colors can't clash.' I am coming to this view more and more."
Looks like others are, too.
Fearless color combinations from the library:
I graduated from college, well, a while ago, but I still love back-to-school season. The air gets crisp, the scarves come out and I can purchase packages of fine-point Sharpies at a super-sale price. I'm also a sucker for the season's big, roomy totes and backpacks. And whether, like me, you carry your biggest bags to the grocery and for travel or you fill them up with fresh folders and notebooks for class, you don't have to feel badly about popping for a new one these days--the market is well-stocked with sustainable, eco-friendly options.
Green clothing, as a whole, encompasses both organic and sustainable fabrics. The difference? Sustainable fabrics are produced with an emphasis on reusing and recycling manufactured products. Often, companies incorporate sustainable practices in general--environmentally friendly packaging, efficient energy use, and reduced waste and pollution. And, when you look at the bags we've got lined up today, you'll see style is taken just as seriously as sustainability.
Little things can make a big difference when it comes to first impressions... your business card is not only an opportunity to let potential clients, friends, squash partners, and recipe swap mates Know what your business is all about, but it is also an opportunity to let them in on a bit of your personality.
Below you will find some links that we hope will inspire you to be a little more colorful, or at least act as a reminder that it's time to reorder more business cards.
Find Your Inspiration
When it come to business cards no one does it quite like the Japanese. Take a look at the history and tradition of Meishi, and check out a few other links to see what that long tradition has come to look like in the contemporary world today: Japanese Business Cards | Meishi The Art of Introduction | Business Card for Tamiya | Printing Museum Tokyo
Maybe look back to the first widely used business cards also known as Trade Cards.
Try out some DIY ideas.
A Few Examples from the Aforementioned links
At the end of 2009 we launched a fun app to let you the people define and share what color you saw representing 2010. Well this year isn't over and we still want you to name the color you feel best embodies this year... and to sweeten the deal, we're going to give away a huge box of color goodies to 5 random color trendsetters that name their color.
See, we at COLOURlovers think the smartest and most talented people in the world really do set the color trends... they create the next great designs that shape our creative landscape and they vote with their dollars and purchase the colors they love... So we want their option, YOUR opinion. Name your color of 2010 and win awesome COLOURloving stuff.
All you need to do is use ColoroftheYear.com - to name & describe your Color of 2010.
Your thoughtful entry will get you in the running for one of those 5 goodie boxes... and if you share your color via Facebook or Twitter, you'll double your chances and get a second entry in the drawing.
Win an Awesome Creative Goodie Box Worth $200+
We'll award 5 random trendsetters with a creative goodie box that includes:
|ColorSchemer Software ($49.99)|
The best professional color software from creative folks. The new ColorSchemer let's you browse palettes on COLOURlovers and a future update will let you start making and publishing palettes to COLOURlovers too.
|COLOURlovers Sponsorship (x2) ($40.00)|
We'll give you two sponsored memberships to COLOURlovers. Use one and give another to a friend. It lasts all year... and we're adding more and more great benefits for sponsors.
|COLOURlovers T-Shirt (x2) ($36.00)|
You share the color love all the time... Now you can wear the color love too! You'll get our logo shirt and our color love blind shirt.
|Spoonflower Gift Certificate ($50)|
Have you made some beautiful patterns with Seamless? Well, why not order that pattern on some fabric from our friends at Spoonflower?
|Action Method - Journal ($17.50)|
Take notes about all your wonderful ideas with an Action Journal.
|Moo Mini Card Pack($20)|
Moo prints mini cards with a selection of some great palettes from COLOURlovers... but you could also put something else beautiful on your cards... like your face. You decide!
Name a Color in 5 Easy Steps.
As you complete one step, the next will automatically give you suggestions to help you find your color.
1. Describe Your Color
2. Choose Your Hue
3. Set Your Mood
4. Select Your Color
5. Woohoo! You Found Your Color
Now all you need to do now is name your color. Share it with your friends and post the badge in the comments below too.
(Only 1 entry per person will count towards the drawing, but you're free to name more than 1 color of 2010. You have to name your color by September 9th... We'll announced the winners September 10th.
*And make sure you login somehow otherwise we won't know how to get your your goodie box.*)
Black is such a mysterious color that a wide variety of words can describe. For me, it's always been beautiful (even though it has been described as not a color at all) and I have accumulated many items that are black.
Now, silver is another intriguing color, it is shiny and comes off as modern. It is fun and playful, and pared with black it seems polished, a brilliant unification, don't you think?
ice cream set | candleholder | pillow | globe | kitty flashlight | lamp
When a social network like Twitter allows a user to select a theme to represent themselves in the digital world, that user is choosing to identify their digital persona with colors... And we wanted to look at who chooses what colors... If the world is made up of people and those people have a color preference... what then is the color of Texas? What color are mothers? What color are we?
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By looking at the more than 1 Million people who have used our Themeleon tool to design their Twitter Profile in the past 3 months, we were able to paint a picture of the world connecting colors to locations and profile data. Below is a visual guide to what we found: What we noticed first was that a huge majority of people don't wander that far off from Twitter's default light blue colors... and then we went digging deeper.
*A little note regarding the "World vs. U.S." - We know the map is of the United States and does not represent the world, we only focused the map part of the infographic on the U.S. so we had a manageable amount of data to work with and geolocate. The keywords, male & female and video sections below all use data from around the world*
A Colorful Tour of the Themeleon World
We took the colors from 100,000 profiles designed with Themeleon and geolocated them to the designers location. Although it is a little dark in this compressed video... Each location has a spectrum strip of colors... the more colors from a certain area, the taller the strip. (The US is well defined, Europe and East Asia... although you can see some outlines of other countries too.)
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I'm only slightly stepping out of my art/design role with this fashion-related blog post. Enter Forage, a new line of mid-century inspired bow ties. Brains behind this classy-quirky line are Shauna & Steven who run a delightful Etsy shop, somethingshidinghere. Forage draws heavy inspiration from industry greats like Louis Kahn, Charles Eames, and Le Corbusier, people whose work has definitely made an impression on my tastes too. I mean look at all these awesome patterns and colors...Beautiful, right? Forage didn't skip out on any of the other details either, the packaging, photography & styling and the craftsmanship are all obviously top-notch too. I'm wishing I was A) a dude or B) able rock one of these in some way. These ties are debuting for purchase at the Curiousity Shoppe.
Dribbble, "show and tell for designers, developers and other creatives," has been getting a lot of play around the web as of late. It seems everyone is trying to get a shot at an invite to this quickly developing design showcase and community. The chatter around the web seems to agree that while not much different than LogoPond, Coroloft, Behance, unmatchedstyle, or the plethora of other css design & logo galleries where you can find up-to-date inspiration and get feedback, where Dribble has really scored is–and not with their fun basketball references either, but with their "social functionality and active community."
Sites likes these, and like our very own community here at COLOURlovers, can be a valuable resource for those looking for feedback on their recent projects, whether it be a new logo, sign, app, business card, letterhead, etc.
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If you're a lover here looking for some feedback try starting a forum post and include samples from different aspects of your color identity to give some context to those whose help you are seeking. This will allow others to give the most useful feedback and help keep your identity consistent. There is always a lover out there willing to lend a hand to those seeking assistance and they can be found on many sites across the web.
Clean design, smooth functionality and a color sorter!