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4th October 2016

Kaleidoscope Dreaming

As the grey drizzle of Manchester’s winter approaches, Deputy Fashion editor Sophie Soar looks for a compromise in amongst the long running conflict between monochrome and colour

Ah, Manchester. True to form, it has stuck to its reputation and predictable ways. It’s grey, it’s dreary and it’s the kind of weather that makes you question the absolute necessity to leave your bed, let alone walk out the front door. It is also the kind of weather that has us reaching for our black and white staple pieces to blend in with the surroundings.

When this weather hits, paired with the encroaching shorter days, it’s very easy to fall into the habit of dressing in pure monochrome. Colour is often a celebration of our mood, informing a dress code in which we indulge with greater ease when the sun invokes a happier temperament. How do we, then, invoke a more cheerful wardrobe when our mood, sometimes so dependent on weather, is compromised?

As is recommended by interior designers when choosing paints, colour subliminally affects our disposition and is therefore essential in lifting our spirits. For example, monochromatic tones with a warmer undertone can give your winter blues that lift it needs. Camel, khaki and blue for one provide a twist on the monochrome palette, imbuing shades with warmth rather than wearing outfits that continually suggest you’re aesthetically recreating an E. L. James novel.

Alternatively, one or two vibrant pops of colour can give your ensemble the cheerful edge it needs despite your despair for the drizzle and plummeting temperature. Setting off an outfit with a vibrant shoe or a vivaciously printed top can be enough to stand out from the mass hoard of oversized coats and winter woollies that grace the library this time of year.

There is a uniform distinguishable amongst the Manchester university goer: a khaki coat with a fur trimmed hood, paired with black jeans and a black boot or Nike trainer. Once you spot one, you spot a hundred in one day. Should you wish to stick to the comforts of a monochromatic wardrobe, an alternative change may come in a much smaller box. A slash of colour could be a red lip or a popping eye shadow to give the subtle lift necessary in these overcast days.

It’s often easy to forget the power of a little colour to add some cheer to the long months ahead, whilst we are more often than not found burrowing in the library or hibernating at home. Warmer days may be fast disappearing and only found in the memories of summer, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. As designer Isaac Mizrahi once said, “colour is like food for the spirit—plus it’s not addictive or fattening”.


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