When I was in high school, I wore mostly black, so it wasn't a problem. Everything goes with black, right? In college I still had mostly black, plus a bunch of blue jeans and t-shirts. Even, I think, a pair of khakis. But just about everything casual goes with jeans and khakis, right? (Please don't tell me otherwise. It's too late anyway.)
When I entered the work force, I couldn't afford much. I had a couple of nice suits, and a bunch of mix-and-match stuff in various shades of black, gray, and white. That wasn't hard to coordinate.
When my office went to casual dress, I was back to jeans, black pants, and khakis, with whatever blouse or sweater I felt like wearing above them. I still basically believed that everything went together, more or less.
Recently though, I have been venturing into the world of color. I'm not sure why, aside from the simple fact that now I like color. This creates all kinds of challenges for me! I now own business pants in the following colors: dark green, wine-red, and dark brown (plus still black, khaki, and denim). My wardrobe is nicely broadened, and I have more interesting clothes, but I am open to all sorts of error now.
For example, I used to believe that brown was much like black and went with everything. Awhile ago I wore the new wine-colored pants with a sweater striped with various shades of brown. Apparently (at least according to my sister) these did not match. It looked okay to me though...I don't know! Aren't brown and wine sort of shades of reddish? Isn't that okay? I don't know. Now of course I am very paranoid.
I recently bought a pair of corduroys in a rich dark chocolate brown. They look so pretty...but I'm not sure what is safe to wear with them, aside from other brown things. And even that is questionable. This morning I put them on, and I pulled out a nice top that was, well, I think the color was dark burgundy? Dark reddish-purple? I stared at myself in the mirror for quite awhile. Did I match? Was I committing some fashion error? Both were dark colors, and almost similar...perhaps too similar, I decided. Especially after the wine-and-brown fiasco from before. I took off the top, and switched to a lighter reddish top. I'm still not sure if I actually match, but it looked more likely to be acceptable.
Nobody has said anything to me yet, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. For one thing, I work with a bunch of computer programmers (like me). For another thing, most people are too polite to say anything to a person's face. It's what they're whispering behind my back that I need to know! Maybe I'll ask my sister. Sisters are good for being blunt.
Like lots of people, I have been recently watching and enjoying the new tv show Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. I thought about that as I studied my colors in the mirror this morning. If only there was a Queer Eye For The Straight-But-Kinda-Clueless Girl, that would help solve my problems! Or, if there was a hotline I could call, to find out if things match and I'm dressed presentably. I suppose it'd have to be a videophone really, or a place I could email pictures. That would be helpful, at least on the mornings when I have time for coordinating my clothing.
But for now...does anybody know? What goes with brown? Is dark burgundy okay? How about light reddish? What do I do with my wine pants? My green pants? When are my purple shirts safe? All these colors are scary. After work, at least I can stick with tie-dye to fulfill my new color obsession. Everything goes with tie-dye. Right?