Year for the Planet Year 2 Week 15: The Liberating Benefits of a Color Palette

Year for the Planet is a campaign to make better choices for the planet. 2017 was when I fixed my eating habits. This year, 2018, is where I deal with my clothing choices.

Here’s one strategy I’ve used to whittle down my wardrobe into a manageable size: choosing a color palette. So in the rare occasions when I shop for clothing, I tend to do it by color to match the rest of my wardrobe. It has made shopping a lot faster; looking at a clothing rack, my field of vision automatically picks out the ones that match, reducing decision fatigue. A color palette gives one the gift of limitations. While I wear a lot of black, it’s great to put on some accent pieces or else I look at myself in the mirror and feel grumpy at all the dark fabrics.

So which parts of the rainbow end up in my clothing? A lot of reds, blues, and purples have been great for a very pale skin tone, while I usually stay away from orange and brown. I also like Asian and tropical patterns because of my heritage and my environmental work, and I often reject plaids and stripes because I just don’t think they work for me—I don’t want to be mistaken for a hipster and stripes give me an urge to fuss with the fabric a lot because I want them to be straight. Flowers are now in full bloom here in the castle in Vienna, so I feel like I match many of the blossoms that are finally out of hibernation.

Thinking in color has also made me look at clothing as a form of self-expression instead of a status symbol, as I don’t care much about brands and often reject clothes with logos. It’s also a form of therapy; if I’m feeling down, I’ll wear a bright red. If I want to blend in the forest, I’ll wear green. In this way, I own my decisions instead of regretting them later, or dreading the process again the next day. Like using food as medicine, color can be used for functional reasons, and it makes for a more efficient way to live!

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