Jun 27, 2015


Of all the wonders of the world, colour is one of the most perplexing and amazing. All the wonders of the world are perplexing and amazing when you look at them, of course. But colour is one of those things - like music, like beauty - that sings to our senses and affects the way we feel.

Our favourite colours may be a mystery to other people. When someone says "blue" is their favourite colour, most people will nod and many will agree. When someone chooses "red" you may instantly form an opinion of that person's personality. (Or maybe that's just me?)

I remember when I was a kid asking my dad his favourite colour and he said "orange" and I was thunderstruck. Orange? Who would choose orange? Orange was the most jarring, thirsty colour there was and I hated it. I could not fathom that someone could ever have that as their favourite colour. I told my mother and she laughed - she could not understand it either.

Nowadays, I quite like orange, and have a lot of it in clothing and accessories. But I still remember the horror I had for it as a child. I equated it with Fanta: horrible, glaring, hot, thirst-inducing.

On the other hand my sister's favourite colour as a child was yellow, and that to me was a very suitable, happy colour. I also had a bright yellow transistor radio that I loved - perhaps this was before the onslaught of little-girl pink in all things?

My favourite colours have always been some shade of blue or green.  An image like this is like heaven to me:

blue green

I remember in primary school in L.A. in 1980, all the girls were into baby blue and lilac. I loved both colours but didn't feel I was worthy to share lilac with the popular girls (with their blonde hair, lipgloss, painted nails and beautiful clothes in pastel colours), so I stuck with baby blue.

I also adored - and still adore - mint and pale greens. I had a pale green gingham dress my mum made me which made me want to twirl and sing, and that mint green that was everywhere in the early eighties was one of my favourites. Just today at K-Mart I lobbied hard and unsuccessfully for one of my daughters to choose a gorgeous mint green shirt that took me right back to that time. (It should be sold with a Walkman).

Best eighties mint green

mint gingham

The late eighties didn't leave me unscarred, so for a short time my favourite colour was electric blue.

electric blue

In high school I ventured into darker colours. I was the proud collector of cool shirts in bright colours. My favourites were hot pink, teal, tourquoise, aqua and zambezi green.


Zambezi was my declared favourite colour for a few years.

zambezi green car

In the early nineties I loved lime green and spring green - and I still love them (though no longer to wear). I do love my neon green Chux Super Wipes kitchen cloths!  (I alternate between the green and the blue)

My whole life I have also loved midnight navy: the inky colour of the sky after sunset. I had a beautiful dark navy satin shirt in the eighties (with a cowl neck and massive shoulder pads, of course) that I teamed with a grey-and-navy striped yoke skirt (calf-length, of course), and navy "court shoes" when I was feeling fancy.

glorious deep midnight navy

Growing up in Auckland, there was always the bay. Often it was glittery blue in the sunshine, but just as often it was dark and overcast, and I loved it best like that. My parents briefly had a holiday house in Pauanui on the Coromandel, where most times the beach was windswept and overcast. The stormy denim of the sea and sky of those memories is etched in my head, and my favourite colour of all time is probably a version of this.

Stormy Blue

What's your favourite colour? What memories does it evoke in you?


  1. If I had to pick one, it would probably come from the myriad shades of green.
    Colours convey mood for me better than music, and nearly as well as scent.
    My mother did her best to clothe me in orange as a child and I loathed it. When I was forced to wear it I was scratchy, bad tempered and irritable.

    1. That's exactly the feeling orange gave me as a kid! I didn't warm to it until my twenties, when I suddenly found myself buying shoes, pants and shorts in shades of pumpkin or burnt orange, then a neon orange jumper.

  2. Colors and cars. I had a 58 MGA that was powder blue...a VW bug that was VW Green.

  3. My mum was a pastel person, but I always preferred the deeper shades. Forest green, midnight blue, deep raspberry rather than red. I liked orange too and loved a winter weight orange dress my mum made for me one year for my birthday and the apricot shade of pink in the flowers of my Sunday dress with a matching apricot ribbon sash. My sister had the same dress, same material but her flowers and sash were pink. I still prefer the deeper shades, but now see that some of the pastels are showing up in my wardrobe. I have a light green t-shirt...a pink one, the baby blue one wore out...
    I never liked mint green or those fluoro colours so popular in the 80s. I like those colours that are so dark they appear black until the light is on them.

    1. Oh yes, I remember loving a deep rich pinky-red shade that appeared often in my mother's painted china plates and dark reds as well. Your descriptions are very evocative. But it's funny how we let in a few unexpected colours as we get older, isn't it?

  4. I was immediately drawn to the blue green mix at the top, love those colours. Think I've sort of come full circle with colour - in my teens and twenties everything was bright, REALLY bright! Then, in my thirties I thought I should tone it down a bit, so tried all those muted natural colours which look great on other people, but just wasn't me. So I've gone back to bright colours, especially green - probably way to old to wear them, but don't care so much what people think now. Bright feels right!

    1. I think if colours make you happy when you wear them, then you probably look good in them!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...