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Norah’s Knits: A Case for Muddy Colors

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Ever since I was a kid I’ve been stumped by this simple question – “What is your favorite color?  My favorite color for what? Do you mean my favorite color to wear, or my favorite room color, my favorite color from nature, favorite accent color, favorite car color?

I can’t even tell you my favorite color palette without a qualifier. For instance, I love shots of bright color around the house – especially orange and yellow.

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But, when it comes to dressing myself, as hard as I try to brighten things up, I really, truly love muddy colors best.

For years I struggled to figure out what colors look best on me. I learned the hard way that the colors I may be most magnetically attracted to aren’t necessarily the ones I look good in and will actually WEAR.

To find colors that will flatter, I like to use this trick when I’m in a yarn shop: put skeins of yarn next to your cheek and look in the mirror. What fades away and makes you look kinda “blah?” Which colors make your skin glow? Which colors make you look happy?

Remember the color choosing system that was so popular in the eighties? Back then, everyone knew if they were a spring, summer, fall or winter. As embarrassing as it is, I have to admit that I think there is something to it. I seem to gravitate to fall. I just don’t feel like myself if I put on floral brights or gem-like colors.  Spring folks can wear colors that are similar, but lighter.

According to the seasonal color theory, about half of us should be thrilled about the color palettes in Maya and Karma this season. I know I am.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sue Tierney #

    I’m a blue jean baby (just bought some Remix in Old Jeans) … Blue and Brown dominate my wardrobe … although I’ve thrown in some of the new peach/salmon colors that are hot this year.

    May 6, 2013
    • Peach and salmon sound great with blue jeans and brown!

      May 6, 2013
  2. Stella #

    Yeah, I’m a Muddy Fall as well. My mother used to tell me I looked like a Berkeley psychologist.

    May 6, 2013
  3. I’ve forgotten what season I am. Like my Dad, blues and periwinkles really light me up. Toni, with her white hair looks great in bright colors.

    May 6, 2013
    • Hmm, I think you might be spring Chrissy. My guess is that Toni has always been Summer.

      May 6, 2013
  4. Eileen #

    The greens are pulling me in…

    May 6, 2013
  5. -There’s a couple of purples there but most of the rest make me look pale & washed out. I’m a freckled summer who looks best in clear colors , no pastels. I need blued pinks like raspberry or watermelon, hot pinks, love those tropical hues, blued purple, turquoise, blues with no green in them, blued greys, clear cherry red, blood red, maroon, eggplant & patterns with a black background but no white. No yellow, peach, orange, greens, browns, black by itself or white in my life. I love tropical prints. This year’s colors make me sad but may be rescued as neutrals with my Tropical prints!!!

    May 7, 2013
  6. Katinka #

    I’m a fall, too! Olive green and chocolate brown are happy colors in my universe!

    May 7, 2013
  7. Susan #

    Norah, I got my colors done back in the 80′s, and I have to say that I’ve been guided by it ever since. I came home with a little package of fabric snips, and I refer to that color packet all the time. Really works. It makes shopping (for yarn and for clothing) so much easier – I can ignore whole bunches of things that may be beautiful but just don’t work for me. As for the colors I love but don’t work for me, I try to work those into other contexts – home furnishings, things I wear that won’t be near my face, that sort of thing. Heck, I bought a gray car just because gray is my absolutely worst color to wear, but a color I love. I know I’m also really attracted to what I’d call chalky colors, not muddy colors – colors that have had some white mixed in to tone them down. It took me a long time to notice that, however. I love reading your blog entries.

    May 7, 2013
    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment! I wear grey all the time and bought a screaming bright orange car :)

      May 8, 2013
  8. Teri #

    I’m glad it isn’t just me. I have never been able to say what my favorite color is either. Picking a favorite always made me feel like I had to stick with that one forever and never change. It wasn’t fair to all the other colors!

    May 17, 2013

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