Color coded


POSTED: Thursday, February 12, 2009

I don't think any retailer expects consumers to chug the Kool-Aid this season, but they're hoping that a small sip will be enough to sell cash-strapped buyers on bright colors that coincide with that rainbow of comforting small-kid-time flavors - Cherry, Purplesaurus Rex, Sharkleberry Fin, Lemonade and Great Bluedini.

Designers sensitive to the nation's downcast mood are eager to help break out of the dreary blacks and grays of fall, sending out fields of colors to lift spirits, the No. 1 color being a pretty pink.

Color is not all that easy to sell. The mere mention of the word sent the Twitterverse into a tizzy, with many people mentioning their fear of color and their comfort with black, with its promise of instant slimming..

Those expressing fear of the new hues should proceed slowly. You can still have your black. Add a color tank top or start with accessories, such as a colorful carryall bag in grape, tangerine, pink or lime.

And, with so many cutting back on clothing purchases, the new “;It”; item is the statement shoe. If you can't afford anything else, this is the one item that will freshen your wardrobe.

Nothing beats spring's dramatic platforms and high-vamp details for transforming or adding a touch of drama to any outfit, even if it involves 5- to 10-year-old pieces you're digging out from the back of your closet. You'd be amazed to see the dowdiest dress look suddenly fashionable with the right shoe.

More important, you won't look as if you've given up, and I think we all need to see more optimism now.