Although the word paisley derives from the town of Paisley in central Scotland, the kidney shape, resembling a twisted teardrop for which the name has come to be known, has its roots in south and central Asia, where its various local appellations generally translate to "mango seed".
This cold, gray January day cried out for a warm color, so I chose mango to add some heat to the chill air as I made my long commute from Baltimore County to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and back. While most of my clothing today was basic black: a vintage black top with subtle gold medallions by Fashion Force from Kmart that my mother bought me when I was a teenager some forty years ago, over black wide-leg cotton twill pants which I had made to match a pair I bought two years ago at the Salt Lake City airport, the wool shawl I threw over them, a gift brought back to me from her world travels by my dear friend Jan, was anything but basic. Wide and soft, with delicate black and gold fringe at each end, the sumptuous orange fabric enveloped me in warmth, its cheery gold and black paisley design providing a decided boost to an otherwise dreary winter day.
I finished the look with middle-eastern inspired orange crystal drop earrings, a hand-wrought, black, gold and amber beaded cocktail ring purchased at Pier One Imports in December, a black filigree pin to hold the shawl in place on my shoulders which was a gift from Joyce, the mother of my best friend Kari, and warm flat-heeled boots by Predictions that I have also owned since I was a teenager. Together, my ensemble protected me from the elements and brightened my countenance considerably.