For about a decade, it seemed like I wore nothing but black. Black shoes, black dresses, black bags. Part of it was driven by desire to feel more elegant, put-together and classic.
But in truth, I think part of it was also due to sheer laziness. At the time, I had a job that was killing me—mentally and physically. I am not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. And fighting rush-hour to be at office at 8:30 every day was taking its toll. I needed looks that were simple, no-brainers and let me get out the door as quickly as possible. And black fit that bill.
Last year, after striking out to start my own business, I decided I needed more color in my life—and in more ways than just my wardrobe! I also decided I needed to get back to my fashion roots. I’ve always loved clothes and daring looks, but in recent memory had gone for outfits that, while classic, were safe and borderline-boring.
That’s when the fear set in. It had been so long since I’d worn anything but black, I really didn’t know where to start. As a 40-something woman, could I really pull off that bright color? Would I look ridiculous? Feel self-conscious? Well, there’s no way tell if you don’t give it a try.
In January’s InStyle magazine, they ran a feature called Never Wonder What to Wear Again that outlined a few key wardrobe pieces for 2012. Included among them was “bright blue skinny jeans” and a pic of Kim Kardashian looking great in hers (although when it comes to fashion, I’m usually more of a Kourtney fan).
The same week my InStyle arrived, I happened upon some cobalt jeans at Target. The price was right—if I ended up hating them, I wouldn’t be out much—so I went for it.
I haven’t gotten around to hemming them yet, so for the last month they’ve been hanging in my closet. (I’m very short, so virtually everything I buy requires alterations.) But last week, I was going to a Top Chef watching party with some younger, rather hip friends and decided it was time to pull them out.
Not quite ready to take too big of a fashion risk, I paired them with one of my favorite black tops—it has a flowy, swinginess to it that offset the tightness of the jeans nicely. Since I still hadn’t hemmed the jeans, I did a tiny roll to just above my ankles and paired them with some flirty black heels that have a bit of a platform. My leather, studded Botkier clutch and some simple gold stud earrings kept it looking effortless, but with a slight bit of edge.
So, did I pull it off? Well, I think so. I felt confident and current, and not at all self-conscious. And for me, that’s really the test. If I don’t feel comfortable in something, I know it shows. And in these cobalt jeans, I felt good. They’ve moved to the top of my “must hem” list, and I’ll definitely be wearing them again.