Today I decided to lend some vibrant color to a gray, gloomy, drizzly day, so I put together an outfit from a collection I bought in the mid-1980s while shopping with my girlfriend, Juanita, and her sister, Mary, somewhere in northern California. I don’t remember where the little storefront was, only that it wasn’t in the usual malls we patronized, but at a fancier shopping center that we stumbled onto while on an excursion one summer. The three of us stepped into a tiny dress shop called "Units", attracted by the bright colors. All the pieces in the boutique were coordinated. The young saleswoman was very enthusiastic and I was quite naïve, and having my two girlfriends there egging me on didn’t help. I ended up buying the entire coordinated ensemble: four knit tunics with interesting crossover turtleneck collars in solid black, red, yellow and royal blue, a bright red swing coat, and a gorgeous scarf, which incorporated all of those colors, to tie the pieces together. All were made in the USA by Units.
Through the years, I’ve worn the black tunic the most, so the red, yellow and blue tops are almost like new. Today I chose the yellow one, being the cheeriest color of them all, and paired it with some black leggings by HUE for Macy’s and tall black leather boots by Pleasers. I found some vintage red enameled metal hoop earrings in my jewelry box that are at least as old as the garments, and topped the whole look off with a black derby adorned with small red and yellow feathers to keep the rain at bay during my commute to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
My bright outfit made quite a sensation in the staid Library halls. One man even said it "cheered him up". All I could say was: mission accomplished.
P.S. For those of you wondering about the results of the poll to see which of the two red outfits I would wear out for Valentine’s dinner, despite receiving a majority of votes in favor of the lacy fishtail fantasy, I chickened out and demurred to the more conservative dress. Ah, well. I am 55, you know. Maybe next year I’ll be more reckless!