Early April in Montreal can be described as a mix of bright sunshine with sudden rain, light snow or cold, cold winds. Nonetheless, as you know me, there is a tremendous amount of excitement that fills my heart as we enter a new season and take off those heavy coats. Bring on the colors and pastel accessories!
I like to travel through time to find out about the origins and meaning of what we consider standard and have the societal freedom to wear.
Remember the days where it was all beige, black, white or grey clothing? You probably don’t, because it was prior to the 20th century, when only the wealthy were given the liberty to wear colorful items. “There was a practical element to the lack of color pre-1920, because colorful clothes got dirtier quicker,” says Deirdre Clemente, fashion historian and professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Therefore, royals and elites were the ones who were disguised in color as they didn’t have to worry about getting dirty. If you did dare to wear color as a regular middle-class citizen, you were sadly considered immoral, tasteless, gaudy. Only prostitutes wore brighter tones in hopes of attracting their prospects’ attention.
Fun fact: the so called “purple craze” wave began in the late 1880s when the first synthetic dye that could stick to fabric, purple, was created.
Finally, thanks to the 40-hour workweek institution and the leisure industry that began for the lower classes as of the 1930s, vibrant colors and big floral patterns were socially acceptable.
Plus, that’s also when women starting wearing shorts! However, these bright clothing items weren’t made out of great fabrics and the dyes faded quickly and unevenly until scientists corrected such details in the following decades.
I have been into neutral colors all my life until shortly before I joined this blog. For MC in New York, it’s always grey and rather dull, the corporate life seems to lack a bit of color when it comes to clothing.
Honestly, I feel like I have bloomed by daring to wear all kinds of clothes and I promise that you will get tons of compliments when you do choose to go for the light or bright pieces. Your smile does half of the job anyways! Attitude and what you project come first, clothes come second 😊
This blazer-coat is a Versace sample I received when I was in Switzerland and is unfortunately not for sale, but I found similar ones from various brands below.