Jill of Everything Just So has invited me to participate in the "How I Wear My..." series she runs with Adrienne of The Rich Life. The theme for March is green. How topical! I usually associate March with St Patrick's and the love of all things leprechaun, and Pantene had also announced that their colour of the year is emerald. As a result I've been taking stock of everything green in my closet at the moment. I've realised that there is not a huge amount of green in my wardrobe. Apart from some pale mint garnered from last year's pastel trend, most of what I own in the richer, darker end of the green spectrum is what I've got on here.
There was a time way back in the nineties when I wore quite a lot of darker green shades as a university student studying environmental engineering. Some of my favourite items were a pair of baggy denim jeans in a rich shade of jade, a dark green denim jacket, and a forest green courdoroy shirt, a racing green mens cardigan. Coincidently I also had an Irish boyfriend at the time! Perhaps I was trying to wear not just my heart, but also my chosen profression on my sleeve.
As the years passed my interest in green seemed to trail off. Rather like the chorophyll fading from the leaves with the dwindling hours of sunlight as summer turns to autumn, the green has gradually been seeping out of my wardrobe with the passage of time. My green bits and pieces were eventually given away, swapped for olive and khaki, which in turn were also given away to make room for more black. I just recently gave a away a lace trimmed, midnight green satin slip dress as well as an emerald halterneck to my sister. What has not been given away often never sees the light of day. Languishing somewhere in the back of the closet waiting for warmer weather is a beaded teal skirt, an embrodiered camisole in pistachio silk, and a much ignored spaghetti strap babydoll top in a rich, deep green silk chiffon.
Given that my birth stone is the emerald perhaps I should reconsider green as a colour I should wear more of. An old friend of mine dressed exclusively in shades of green as it was the colour of the heart shakra and therefore also the colour of love. It was his little way of spreading some love in the world (and it certainly made an easy ice breaker for him with strangers).
I'm more prone to associate green with healthy things I should be eating more of, and as for being green, Mr V and I do try to do our bit. Part of that is trying to support local farmers' markets when we can. Every so often, on a Sunday morning, we like to get to the market in Brixton to do our vegetable shopping and meet like minded friends to compare veggie purchases over a coffee at the San Marino cafe. One thing you don't have to convince me to do is eat more greens. Winter is cavolo nero season - now there is a wonderfully dark green vegetable if there ever was one. I love cooking with the stuff and tonight's dinner was roast pork belly, served up with deep green cavolo nero leaves wilted into stewed cannellini beans and shared with friends.
Maybe it is because the Pantene endorsement of emerald has heightened my awareness of green but now I'm seeing it everywhere. Am I thinking people are wearing it more? Or am I just subconsciously on the lookout for it because I expect Pantene might have started some sort of trend going. My green turtleneck here for example, which I found on sale at Hobbs recently, I had the choice of another black one or a green one. I ended up taking the green to the till thinking of emerald as the colour of the year.
When I turned up to meet our friends at the cafe this morning, to my surprise, they too were wearing shades of green - a blue-green cyan scarf, a deep olive tweed jacket and green patches in a multicoloured patchwork scarf. There were several people in the queue for coffee also wearing green. A young woman with a bright green coat, a child with a lime coloured gilet and several khaki parkas spring to mind.
Even Mr V, completely unprompted, had also reached for a teal striped jumper this morning. Cue theme of twilight zone...
Green has so many varied connotations, being the colour of the natural world it is associated with the tranquility of the countryside, with fertile land and with the zeal of environmentalism. It is also associated with naivety. It is an interesting coincidence that when I moved to the Big Smoke of London and also away from my environmental career that green seemed to recede in my wardrobe like the shrinking area of the Brazilian rainforest on a global map. I wonder perhaps if I was trying to say something about shedding old shades of myself. I wonder also if I didn't lose a bit of love for things that should be important along the way too.
But green can also symbolise ressurection and regeneration and maybe there are the green shoots of recovery starting to sprout just in time for spring. Like the plants that struggle through cracks in the pavement, or the snowdrops and daffodils now breaking through the frozen ground, green has been creeping back almost without me noticing. As a result of buying this green wool turtleneck this winter, I would say that the colour I have worn most often after black and grey has actually been green. This cropped crocheted cardigan was one of the survivors of my green cull and of late I have been reaching for it automatically as the natural companion for a green turtleneck. And today after popping into H&M on the way home from the farmers' market, I came out with a jacket for spring, in a fresh shade of pale mint green.
Cropped Crochet Cardigan: Max Mara; Wool turtleneck: Hobbs; Jade pendant: Shu Han of London; Mr Vs striped jumper: Cos; Friend's tweed jacket: Kew
Linking up this week to Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style.