The new black

It’s a pretty well-established fact that if anyone in this house is going to be well-dressed, it’s not going to be me.

The kids, on the other hand, are veritable assiettes de la mode, thanks to my mom and sister, who provide them with about 99% of their wardrobe at any given time.  And the amazing bit?  Not only do the clothes fit, they are presciently on-trend. 

Exempli gratia, Juno’s mittens:


You’re thinking: “Um, not only are those thumbless, they’re also purple, and don’t go with her jacket.”

And I’m thinking: “Clearly you haven’t heard about Pantone’s colour of 2014, radiant orchid.”

radiant_orchidPantone, the global authority on colour, has declared Radiant Orchid its hue for 2014.

… the shade is exactly 18-3224 on Pantone’s colour to chart, but to everyone else it’s an “enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones,” according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute.

Also worth noting: until my mother corrects me on the origin of the yarn — check comments below — I’m going to assume she just pulled it from her stash, which includes everything from high-end-she-met-the-farmer-and-the-sheep’s-name-was-Theodora wool to remaindered balls picked up when the local Zellers was Targeted.  And the thing about yarn stashes is … they’re possibly/probably older than both my kids.  That is how fashion-forward Grandma is.  And/or how ridiculous things like colour trends are.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of radiant orchid.  It reminds me of being in a high school production of Anne of Green Gables, where I was cast as Mrs. Barry, Diana’s mom, a bummer of a role if ever there was one.  It was reasonable casting — I stood a full head taller than my “daughter,” who was actually two grades ahead of me — but it was a chorus part and blah blah blah turns out there are small roles after all, Stanislavski.

Anyway.  I needed to wear a long, period-ish dress, in a pre-approved colour, and the drama teacher, Mrs. MacAuley, determined that I should be in mauve.  So my mom and I went to Fabricland (Fab-ric-land … FABRICLAND!) and picked out a suitable match, and then my mom, you know, made the whole damn thing, and when I wore it to a dress rehearsal, Mrs. MacAuley undiplomatically declared the hem too short and the colour all wrong.  Well, the hem we — by which I mean my mom — could fix, but the colour was what it was.  Too pale under stage lights.  And too damn bad.

So when I see that colour it doesn’t evoke “expanded creativity and originality” so much as it reminds me of being stuck the middle of two energetically very powerful women.  My mother was irked by my teacher’s ingratitude and my teacher myopically fixated on her vision.  I was, in both directions, the vector of unfortunate information (also: 15 years old, six feet tall, acne-prone and unrequitedly crushing on the kid playing Matthew Cuthbert).

I like to imagine that someday, when I’m 85 years old, five-foot-eight, denture-sporting and unrequitedly crushing on the male nurse that turns down my bed every night, I’ll think back on this time of my life and recast it “character-building.”

I’ll still think “radiant orchid” is a horrid colour, though.


  1. I can easily see the color being trendy…on a twenty-year-old, size-zero model. The rest of us agree! (Also? Tall girl pain is shared! *hugs*)

    • True enough. I actually do buy the argument that it would look good on many skin colours (though I’m less convinced that I’d ever get P to wear it). And yeah …. while being tall is without question my favourite thing about my body, finding clothes for it? Easily my least favourite.

  2. So we should get used to seeing that color for awhile, huh? Thumbless? I don’t know if I’d like that, but maybe the thumbs would like a chance to join the rest of the fingers.

    • I’m wearing that colour right now (more on that tomorrow)! :-)

      Thumbless mitts are actually great for tiny hands, because a) the thumbs never stay in the thumb holes anyway, and b) the whole hand stays a bit warmer when it’s all together. Juno is definitely old enough and active enough to find it annoying that her grab-potential is limited, though. Last winter of thumbless mitts, for sure.

  3. The mitts go with the boots very nicely.

  4. So of course, I thought of you when I saw Bon Appetit’s compilation of recipes/foods honoring Radiant Orchid. No, not making it up.

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I think we can all agree that life is but one ceaseless test and that I am single-handedly responsible for pulling down the average.

I think we can all agree that life is but one ceaseless test and that I am single-handedly responsible for pulling down the average.


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