Colour me bold
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By: Sonia Leung
“Five colours to wear this fall!” “Biggest trend of the season!” These headlines (and their variations) make their way around the fashion magazine circuit year-round. Magazines and similar media are quick to prescribe a trend to track, a culture to associate yourself with, and rules to abide by.
There is nothing wrong with these trends or adhering to a culture of following fashion guidelines. After all, they only become widespread as more and more people appreciate the proposed aesthetic. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with pushing boundaries, testing the waters and seeing what works for you even if this may means you’re the only one swimming against the current. As much as I love seeing the analogous colours of autumn as fall trends make their way into the fashion zeitgeist, other colours need some love too.
If you are a utilitarian, kudos to your practicality! But if you are like me, clothing possesses a dual purpose — it is an outward expression of your inner reality. For me, attire is a mood ring of sorts, an in-a-nutshell approximation of the uniquely intricate properties that make you, you (or of the thoughts and emotions that morning when you got dressed up.)
If I wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy, I’m likely to be sporting a vibrant colour or bold print. On a dull uneventful day of hiding under readings and paperwork, I may be spotted with a more demure ensemble to reflect my state of hiding. When a day rolls around where I don’t feel as conversational as I usually do, I may wear a purple or black lipstick. If I find myself hankering to wear a colder-coloured lip gloss but still come off as inviting and approachable, I consciously smile more and adjust my body language to appear more open to counter the bold choice of makeup.
In a world where advertising is ubiquitous and there are constantly messages competing for your attention, we are conditioned to make split second judgments on what we see. Like it or not, this is the paradigm in which we live. We are required to form impressions quickly; we judge books by their covers. Of course, there are intellectually stimulating books with uninviting covers and vice versa. Covers aren’t always a fair preamble to the content lying thereafter, but in an ideal world, they would be.
Every action is a message. The absence of actions is also a message. Your attire and the way you carry yourself is a message and first impressions matter. Whether the messages you send are intentional or not, they are undeniably received by your peers. The way you present yourself may affect how others are primed to expect, think of, and interact with you.
Your appearance is not a testament of your character or personality just as covers are not a good measure of how fascinating a book is, but a book with a cover composed with care and intention would definitely invite more readers to read it.
Be bold, try a new colour, and redesign your cover.