Monday, 4 March 2013

Going Green

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.


  1. I think Desiree has a lot of green too. Me? not so much--I think I have a heinous green golf skirt--and that is all. And I like green.

  2. Green has been a favorite of mine for years, although like you, I put it aside in favor of other colors. Interesting how certain colors pop back into our awareness. Possibly part of that collective subconscious that our Jungian friends like to talk about? Sometimes when I'm falling asleep I'll see vivid colors that seem to have some importance, although I've never delved into that. I do know I love your sweater, as well as your colorful companions' scarves and sweaters. You also made me hungry! The food looks good.

  3. Oops, meant to say collective unconscious, not subconscious. :-)

  4. I have always loved green, my favourite shades are kelly green and a warm tone not unlike what you're wearing here!

  5. I love green too but don't own too much of it. Hmmmm, you are making me reflect. Your sweater looks rich and lovely. Thanks for linking up!

  6. Hi my dear- I agree, green is a lovely colour-all shades appeal to me from lime to khaki to olive to emerald. Love your look and your crocheted cardigan is really cute! xx

  7. I think that the city of London is just full of black and grey and it influences you subconsciously. I know that when I lived there I wore it all the time and honestly that is the only time in my life I wore black to such a degree.

    I love green and blue. They are my two favourite colours.

    When I'm trying to relax I imagine that with each breath in, I'm breathing in green and blue and when I breathe out I'm exhaling red and yellow. Breathing in clean, clear, calm and fresh, exhaling stress, worry and anxiety. I think colours influence us and those around us more than we realize.


  8. I adore green, and have quite a bit of it!
    I also love to be as "green" as I can!
    You guys will be seeing a whole lot of lovely green, what with Spring popping up and all!

  9. I love the way you write! You have such a gift... I always have to linger over each post.

    And given my struggles with how time consuming this whole blogging business has become, I want you to know I appreciate the time and effort that you put into to making us stop and think about such diverse topics!

    If you are suddenly seeing a field of greens, it is no coincidence. The colors that we are tempted with are decided a couple of years ahead of time. Those colors then permeate many aspects of our lives before we are even consciously aware of them.

    If you want to read a fascinating article about how Pantone chooses the colors by which we will be seduced, then take a look at this article. It's pretty interesting!

  10. What a wonderful meditation on green - your delving into meaning, symbolism, memory, relationship, and emotional associations is a big part of why I love your blog. Excellent writing, as always, and fabulously textured photos!

  11. I adore green!! I have bought several vintage dresses just because they are green, but am having to pass them on because they do not meet my other qualifications (mainly, being cool enough to wear in the Florida weather!). Emerald greens and forest greens are my favorite.
    Becky :)

  12. Your cardigan is absolutely gorgeous! I don't have many green in my closet at the moment, but I think that might change, too.

  13. 'Green shoots': I remember someone - which friend? - using that phrase, in such a poetic way, about her life. Green shoots, hope, rebirth.


    What a gorgeous post, V. And Cavalo Nero, I agree, is such a rich wintry food.

    I came here to find the link to your pool post, to put in mine, but also I went on the 'other' Jill's post, about green, so I was already looking for 'green' street style shots of my own, for her.. I tend to think of 'green' only in terms of the crass, cheapest green: the colour of supermarkets and signage, that bright green. But emerald - especially in silky fabric - is gorgeous. And olive (with a bit of hot pink), forest greens with blues.. and then you get into the area of my favourite colours, moving towards the paler, brighter colours. LIME. MINT. And then, aqua, which isn't green really, but the love child of green and blue.

    I can't post - I'm stuck, my photobucket thingy is down - but I"m obsessed at the moment with pale blue, aqua, lime, mint.. in honour of your beautiful, thoughtful post, I'm going to wear it today! Celebrate spring!

  14. Your post has me considering green as I have not one piece in my closet! It was so interesting to learn you studied environmental engineering

  15. One of the main reasons for dyeing my hair black was so I'd look good in emerald green! I wore olives and khakis as a blonde but they look rubbish now, it's bright all the way.
    Gorgeous pictures and inspired words, as always! x

  16. It's so interesting how much colour may affect us in so many ways. Although I love all colours, blues, greens, and yellows are my favourites! Your crochet cardigan is beautiful!

  17. You look cozy, and BoHo and sooo feminine in your green. Lovely writing on the color, and I had to go look up *cavolo nero*... of course! Kale! That's the third time in as many days as I have had a conversation about kale. Gotta make some soon.
    I have such a little bit of green in my associations with certain shades of it make me think of how tired I'm going to be after St. Paddy's weekend at our restaurant. I'd rather take a beating, but it's happening whether I like it or not. I always dress up in very lady-like attire for the day. It seems to have a calming effect on the hooligans. Slange!

  18. You are as delicious in the green cropped cardigan as are the greens in your photos. And your writing is superb!

    I have a deficit of green in my wardrobe, but based on your eloquent post, I'm going to keep my eyes open and also check out what I have. An emerald green coat with gold trim from the 40's comes to mind. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. That's gorgeously cosy and cute looking green knitwear! I bet it suits your skintone beautifully. And very interesting andthoughtful writing about all things green - like you, we try to do our bit, indeed I haven't been on a plane for over 5 years now in an effort to holiday in the UK and reduce carbon emissions. No doubt I'll crack one day and demand an exotic holiday!!
    You're right, green is so evocative as the colour of spring: of growth and of hope. How cheering. p.s. You must be a fabulous cook, that meal sounds amazingly yummy!


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