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  • The Griffin

Fashion Featuring Neutrals

By Marissa Burr, Opinion Section Editor

Take a stroll through the seasonal section of a department store this month and you’ll see products displaying colors such as magenta, green, violet, white and yellow; after all, it’s spring. Each season has a color palette that pops up in decorations, advertisements and clothes. Designers use these shades that we’ve defined as “aesthetically pleasing” during specific times of the year in order to boost sales and appeal to the idea that if you don’t have these specific colors in your wardrobe, everyone will think that you don’t know how to dress.

Obviously, this doesn’t really happen and most of the time there aren’t people such as Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada'' standing on the street critiquing the outfits of those passing by. Yet the flood of these seasonal colors in our environment has ingrained into our brain that our lives must do a total 180 every four months. Add in the consumer mentality that encourages us to purchase new clothing items each year in order to stay “with the times.”

So, when society is working against you, how can you keep your closet small and wallet large?

For myself, it started after reading an article from minimalist author Joshua Becker entitled “7 Reasons I Wear The Same Thing Every Day.” He discusses slowly cutting the amount of clothes he owned from 120 pieces to around 35 by wearing the same look of a v-neck shirt, pants and black shoes every day. Now, this change can be difficult, and it would involve actively fighting consumer culture along with any desire to purchase something deemed “in style.” Although, there is an easier way to accomplish this closet thinning.

The key word? Neutrals.

Instead of flooding your wardrobe with bright colors for warmer months and darker shades when it gets cooler, have a universal year-long collection that will never go out of fashion. Browns, tans, whites, blacks and grays can fit into any season and be applied for most occasions. They can be worn over and over again by being paired with other neutral pieces.

Why, though?

Oftentimes, pieces are bought because they aren’t similar to anything else currently owned. This helps diversify your closet, yes, yet it should be asked… Why haven’t you bought something like this before? It might be because it is hard to find multiple outfits to incorporate it into, so it is not a commonly reached-for item. By purchasing only neutral clothing, there aren’t many options for clashing colors or only being able to pair it with a few select pieces.

Add in wild patterns, and the outfit options are even more limited.

Some people rock an aesthetic of eclectic palettes and numerous patterns, and that’s what works for them. But for those like myself who have closets full of clothes yet who only seem to wear the same few outfits, limiting what’s on hangers to neutral colors and simple patterns can be life changing. Seasonal temptations will be no match for the need to own a matching and practical wardrobe.

After this shift, will your life seem colorless? No, there are so many other ways to live vibrantly. A sunny personality beams yellow, and a heart full with love burns red. Work on putting those out into the world, rather than overshining them with clothes. Most of all, wear what makes you feel most at ease with your true self.

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