Category Archives: Style

Colour, Me Happy

Colour makes me happy. I normally walk around serious streets that blend into each other with their neutral shades of stone, cement and brick. Whenever a bright colour pops out at me, I can’t help but smile. I become as happy as a child with a box of crayons except I don’t feel the urge to colour everything in my path with waxy abandon. Learning how to colour within the lines was a challenge for a girl who wanted to spread the happiness off the page, onto the floor and and as high up walls as she could reach. Over time, this childish obsession with vibrant, life-affirming colour seeped into my wardrobe, home and of course, my stationery drawer. Every time I take out my set of 10 Staedtler pens in a class, my (adult) students chuckle but they have now learnt that using colour makes anything more fun. And fun, my friends, makes things easy-to-remember.

I remember most things that are in colour but if it is text, a strong font and format are helpful too. If everything was colourful, I reckon I would have a hard time singling things out in my memory but colour makes my experiences more memorable. Sometimes, I forget the important details of the experience and only recall the colour in it. My brother’s famous example is my memory of him wearing green socks one particular day in our childhood special for some other reason. Despite the many re-tellings of the real occasion, I cannot remember what actually happened that day. Colour is just one of the ways that I group things  in my life but it is by far, the most attractive solution for the most complex problems I face. That’s right. Colour solves things.

Call me crazy but I recently started a course called ‘An Introduction to Mathematical Thinking’. As someone who had a blinding mental block to mathematics, I never believed that I could enjoy playing with numbers and funky symbols. Having a math-geek for a husband helps but what makes my re-discovery of mathematics infinitely easier are my colourful ‘problems’. It is so much fun to talk myself through proofs of theorems that affect pretty much nothing in my life when I have my colour pens at the ready. Jotting down every single step in my thought process is no longer tedious. I wish I did this at school. Colour makes things accessible because colour makes me happy.

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Fruit in my wardrobe

ImageOne of the best things about summer in Austria is the abundance of yummy fruit. Melons, kiwi-fruit, berries and my new favourite, saturn peaches. As the seasons change, I enjoy picking fruit that mirrors the weather and my mood. The bright citrus colours in summer fruit stalls inevitably make their way into my wardrobe because someone informs the fashion gods about the amazingness of neon. There has never been a colour trend I’ve enjoyed more than this. Small doses are key however, as I am not a teenager, impossibly cool or of small proportions. Like happiness, just a little goes a long way. 

To avoid looking like a bumble-bee, traffic-cone or police-car, I team my vibrant wardrobe choices with muted earthy tones or white. A pair of white jeans (I found for all of €1 in a fleamarket and then bleached) were a step up from my usual khaki shorts and helped me wear my citrus to work without shocking anyone. I am happy to report that fruity tones are now accepted in some of the most conservative working environments known to man.

Take the often misunderstood kiwi-fruit, for example. Wearable? Oh yes. This hairy fruit with a hidden brilliance was my inspiration when choosing a dress for a wedding. I skipped on the hairiness and angled for the simple sophistication of the intense clover-green. This couldn’t have been more fitting for a celebration in Ireland.  As someone who owns too many black clothes, I would never have imagined saying that done right, bright colours have a way of making anything special. Playfully chic.

Some might argue that crazy neons just don’t work with their skin-tone or personality or some other unique thing so here’s a solution, pick a different fruit! Switch red for peach and white for cream like a saturn peach does and watch the delectable outfit unfold. If you’re not sure how bright you can go, look at the humble plum. Deep blue-violet-grey on the outside and muted brown-red-yellow on the inside, what’s not to love! Keep it simple, accessorise with delicious colours to warm up and you’ll be well on your way to getting some fruit in your wardrobe.

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