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White After Labor Day and Other Color Myths

White After Labor Day and Other Color Myths


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.


[kiddy factory]

Whitewine Not_Quite_White

"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.


[lisazain via Etsy]

Wood_Waste_Pieces Coffee_Bean

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."


[Huzzah Vintage]

Welcome Twit_BG

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:

White_Denim White_Jeans

white_dress A_Dress_I_Wore

Blue_suit10.5 Blue_Tie_Affair

brown_jacket Suit_and_Pink_Tie

Sweater_Rebel Sweater_weather

Shoes shoes.

Header photo by timelessvintageshoes via Etsy.

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Going Green with Your Back-to-school Bag

Going Green with Your Back-to-school Bag


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.


[Gecko Traders]

temari_sushi rice_field

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Name Your Color of the Year: Win a Goodie Box

Name Your Color of the Year: Win a Goodie Box


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.


Name Your Color of 2010. Click Here.


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.
http://www.creativesoutfitter.com/Products/Action-Journal/19
   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.*)

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Wearing COLOURlovers' Favorite Colors

Wearing COLOURlovers' Favorite Colors


Here at COLOURlovers, it's easy to be spoiled by the millions of colors we have available at our fingertips. We can create colors, palettes and patterns to fit our every mood, meet every whim--you know where I'm going with this.

A well-stocked closet can further that creativity in everyday life. When you have bold colors and prints at the ready you can layer them up, mixing patterns, piling hues or opting for a single bright piece against a monochromatic look. But the basics aren't to be discounted in any scenario; a white shirt, black pants, a little black dress, a good brown belt, well-fitting denim and a pair of trim chinos are staples that form the foundation--and in some cases, the entirety--of any good wardrobe.

But members here probably already know that, which explains why COLOURlovers' top colors are all strong, solid basics. Putting them into play here are members of Flickr's wardrobe_remix street fashion community.

"Black"

ninjascience's classic black is CL's most-loved and most-followed color. It's a crisp essential the fashion world loves, too, and the reasons are many: It's stark and striking at the same time, it creates a strong line, it's a clean backdrop for accessories and detail, and, you know, it's slimming.

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Trend: Patterned Bow Ties

Trend: Patterned Bow Ties


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.

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Betsey Johnson's Colorful Career

Betsey Johnson's Colorful Career


In biography after biography of designer Betsey Johnson, a single word is oft-repeated: exuberant. And truly, one would be hard-pressed to find a designer more exuberant in style--or even life--philosophy than Johnson, who turned 68 last week.

With a continued focus on youth and femininity, playfulness and a lot of pink, Johnson can be counted on to liven up a runway. Today, we're taking a look into her colorful life, career and Fall 2010 collection.


[little lungs]

betseyville Betsey

Born in 1942, Johnson grew up in Wethersfield, Conn. She started dancing at an early age, and it led her to fashion: She fell in love with, and eventually started making, costumes. After graduating from Syracuse University in New York, Johnson served as a guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine in 1964; through the position she landed a job with Paraphernalia, a Manhattan boutique that brought the 1960s' mod London look--made famous by Mary Quant and Twiggy, among others--to the U.S.

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Technicolor Fashion: The Wizard of Oz

Technicolor Fashion: The Wizard of Oz


Once a month, we'll be taking a look at fashion in film--characters, colors and costume design. Working together to create a believable persona, in the movies, the clothes often quite literally make the man. In the case of today's characters, they make the man (or girl) who's almost who (or where) he (or she) wants to be.

In 1939, 12-year-old Kansan Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) ran away from home to protect her beloved little dog, Toto, from certain death at the hands of Almira Gulch, a neighbor Toto had bitten. In her time away from home, Dorothy encounters a fortune teller who advises her to return home--and she attempts to do so, but is swept up, along with Toto and her family's farmhouse, in a tornado. She lands in a colorful world of bizarre characters, each with a want--courage, intelligence, heart, revenge. Dorothy's own want is simple: to get back home.

Kansas_Dust_Day kansas_july

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The Colors of Fragrance

The Colors of Fragrance


Fragrance is one of the fashion world's most complex components, and for obvious reasons. Each concoction's boldness and subtlety can make or break it--a scent has a fairly even chance of becoming an instant success or ending up in the bargain bin.

What makes a fragrance a hit hinges most on the creativity and singularity of the scent itself, but a number of other elements come into play--how a wearer's body chemistry affects the scent, how the scent mellows on its own over time,  what images and moods the notes of the scent conjure in a wearer's mind.

And, according to Leffingwell & Associates, an information and service provider to flavor and fragrance industries, color can say a lot about a perfume wearer's preferences before she even spritzes it on. It makes sense, really, considering a number of fragrance families conjure colors all on their own, whether with the actual color of perfume or the colors associated with major notes.

Yellow October

Strawvery_Red Pale_green

"Color psychologists have long known that our favorite colors tell a lot about us. They’re a manifestation of our emotions and moods. Perfumers have found that the colors we prefer also allow conclusions to be drawn about our fragrance preferences," Leffingwell reports. "A woman who picks the color combination of yellow, orange, red and pale green, for example, is not only extroverted, active, optimistic and positive--she’ll also tend to prefer fresh-floral fragrance notes."

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Kenneth Cole Colors Your Cause

Kenneth Cole Colors Your Cause


Through this month, designer Kenneth Cole is making the Gulf Coast oil spill cleanup effort a little more colorful.

During July, you can log into Cole's custom T-shirt store on Facebook to design your own Gulf Coast cleanup T-shirt for $34.95; all proceeds will go to the Kenneth Cole Foundation's AWEARNESS fund, a nonprofit entity that supports, encourages and empowers acts of service, volunteerism and social change.

Cole offers a range of AWEARNESS products promoting specific causes and general social and political awareness, the sale of which contributes to the fund or particular programs. The initiative's Web site also directs visitors to a volunteer match system, highlights activists and provides information on AWEARNESS' philanthropic events.

The Facebook store lets shoppers customize men's and women's T-shirts with Gulf- or other cause-related text and graphics; they can choose the color of the T-shirt and the color of the words and images, too.

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Minx Makes Nail Art Easy

Minx Makes Nail Art Easy


Though its exact origins are debatable, the manicure isn't by any means a recent development--it actually dates to ancient Babylonia and Egypt. Natural substances such as sheep fat, flower petals, jewels, egg whites, beeswax and vegetable dyes all went into those age-old nail customs of the East.  It's true, however, the Western world was slow to pick up the practice--until the mid-20th century, clean, bare, well-trimmed nails were the preferred look.

Today, on the other hand, the totally natural nail is arguably boring. Colorful polishes, adhesive embellishments, acrylic nails and tips, extensions, stenciling, airbrushing, sculpting and even piercing transform fingertips into tiny works of eye-catching art, celebrating both manicurists' creativity and clients' personalities.

Among more complex nail treatments on the market are Minx's nail decals, a sort of all-in-one solution for those looking for sometimes elaborate nail art in a manageable amount of time. Previously available only to salon professionals or via a salon carrying the brand, Minx decals, thanks to Sephora and OPI, are now available to anyone wanting to test out the trend.


[Sephora]

skater little_flowers

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