Non-generic Colours and My Fashion Philosophy

This post elaborates on the second of ten elements of my fashion philosophy, which is if I were caught on security camera, there’d be no trouble describing me.

Images on security cameras are still mostly black and white at the time I am writing this, so colours wouldn’t matter much. They’d show up as black, white or some shade of grey. As long as there enough contrast among the colours, the garment would show up well. I had already mentioned how I like contrast as the first element of my fashion philosophy. In making colour choices, I rely on non-generic colours in three ways:

  • I choose tones or shades of the more “neutral” colours, increasing or decreasing their intensity, to push each closer to being classified as dark or light.
  • I use tints that combine more than one colour, such as teal, teal green and teal blue, for variation.
  • I use colours outside of the rainbow, like brown and teal, to add visual interest.

Neutral colours, like a rainbow green, makes it tough to get good contrast against some other colours. It also lacks intensity for my taste. I prefer hunter green that is darker, or fluorescent green that is radiant. With blues, I prefer ocean (navy) and sky (baby, electric) blue to the rainbow blue. The standard rainbow “fire engine” red is good, but so is blood red. Even orange can come in regular fruit orange and burnt orange leaning towards brown. Black and whites have a ton of variations on their own. Just go to a paint store and tell them you want to a room white to know what I mean. With off standard colours, even if you use a common colour combination such as red, white and blue, you could end up with a very interesting look like blood red, white and baby blue. It gets you visual colour interest so you don’t have to think about it as much, which is great if you’re not good with colours. It also makes one’s garments more intense and vibrant, which usually means more noticeable and memorable.

Tints definitely add colour variation, such as teal. Teal is its own colour, with its own interesting history as Wikipedia provides, first designated by its own name in 1917. Within, there is teal green, like that used by the Miami Dolphins, and teal blue, like the San Jose Sharks’ team colour. Too bad none are really visible in the rainbow because they are beautiful colours. There aren’t many of these tints with their own names, but indigo and a few others do exist.

Finally, for colours outside the rainbow. Some are outside the rainbow like brown and some metallics (silver). Others are just rainbow colour variations with a shine, like gold being a shiny duller yellow. The silvers and golds are rather popular, yes, but don’t forget other metallics like copper that could suddenly turn a brown into a very exciting highlight colour rather than dark base or accent. Other shiny colours may be thought of as jewellery, like ruby red. I like to combine these non-generic with other basic colours for fresh looking, rarely seen, colour combinations that add visual interest to my garments. Think brown, white and navy, for example.

Of the three ways I approach colours as listed here, only one helps clarity on security camera by pushing colours towards the dark or light end of the intensity scale. The other choices of tints and non-generic colours do the same thing, in some cases, like copper turning brown to light instead of dark for a different contrast. Where they don’t, they’re no worse than the neutrals. But as security cameras become better, more will handle colours, on which my garments and I will be more memorable and easily describable.


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