Saturday, January 19, 2013

How Many Shades?

No, I didn’t put together an outfit consisting of fifty variations of a single pigment, not that I couldn’t have if I’d tried. The forecast Tuesday called for a chilly, drizzly, frozen rain kind of day, not the sort of weather that brings cheer to a 90-minute commute from Baltimore County to Washington D.C. using a combination of driving, walking and subway riding.

I fortified my attire with ashen-hued pantyhose and long underwear beneath a pair of vintage gray, pinstriped Lee jeans that I’ve owned since the 1970s. Over my black thermal undershirt, I layered a coal-colored Worthington blouse from JCPenney with contrasting collar and turn-back cuffs which I’ve had almost as long, and a thick cable-knit sweater by Calvin Klein Sport that I found in a consignment shop last winter. I pulled on heavy gray ski socks and cute almond-toed black booties by Cami for, and donned a dark wool fedora to keep my head warm.

For jewelry I chose a recent Christmas gift, a set of necklace, bracelet and earrings in onyx-hued crystal and white pearls from Fire & Ice Jewelers of Baltimore (, and then wrapped a thick, textural, multi-toned muffler around my neck. I was ready to embrace the sleet.

I was fortunate that my commute both ways was fairly uneventful. Thanks to new mud and snow tires which grip the road like glue, I feel relatively secure in my little Honda when the weather turns ugly. And you know? If I count the smoke-colored undergarments and the multiple tints in my scarf, I might just have managed to fashion an ensemble containing fifty different shades of steel. My clothes certainly coordinated with the leaden sky.

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