My friend Liz loves fashion and takes dressing to another level. While my style tends to be considered, black on black is my go-to, when Liz goes out, she is top to bottom vibrant and coordinated. Recently, I joined her in seeing The Donna Summer Musical. I knew she would be wearing a terrific outfit. However, I was not fully prepared.

“Wow! You look great.” I exclaimed taking in Liz’s ensemble: a structured jacket with high collar and large Georgia O’Keefe-esque red, white, and pink flowers on a black background; pearl drop earrings with bows that matched the bows at the bottom of her slightly flared black slacks; and her unique teardrop shaped tortoise shell eyeglasses with gold trim.

I had to smile. The outfit was bright and happy. Liz was bright and happy.

As we approached the theatre, several security guards started to smile.

“Don’t you look pretty!”

“I’ve never seen such unusual glasses. They’re gorgeous.”

“You are a ray of sunshine.”

Liz expertly fielded the compliments. She had clearly elicited reactions like these before. Standing to the side I realized that Liz’s fabulous outfit did much more than make her feel good, it made other people smile, as it had made me smile. I was reminded just how powerful a bright color, a little effort, a smile can be. Liz was brightening everybody’s day.

Driving home, Donna Summer’s fabulous “queen of disco” songs running through my head, I decided I should rethink how I dress; incorporating more color and a little more flair could be a good thing.

The irony is that I love color. My house is decorated with lots of color and pattern. I just haven’t had the courage to bring color and pattern into my clothes. For some reason it makes me feel too visible. However, it’s time to build a little more confidence and go forth with the sunshine I appreciate in others.

Following are five ways I am going to try to bring more color into my life.

1. I hesitated and then pressed the button and bought myself juniper-colored loafers from Rothys. You have to look down to see the color but it’s a start. They feel like slippers and the insoles are lilac colored. Just thinking about them makes me smile. As spring approaches these are going to be my footwear of choice.

2. Somewhere in the pile, on a shelf in my closet, is a beautiful pink and orange scarf. I love it but I’ve never figured out how to wear. I’m going to ask Liz to help style me/it and then wear it a lot.

3. While I’m looking for the scarf, I will Marie Kondo and weed out all the clothes that no longer bring me happiness like the striped grey and black shirt the salesperson talked me into that continues to be tight across the back and too long in the torso.

4. I’ll stop when reaching for one of the numerous black or navy or white t-shirts or sweaters I own and instead choose something in sky blue or green or pink. Periwinkle blue is the color of 2022. I own a skirt and top in that color. I’m going to watch some Carla Rockmore (Liz loves her) Insta reels to get ideas.

5. I’m traded in my nude-colored moisturizing lipstick for an Ilia tinted balmy gloss in Tahiti pink. The color is bright and I love it. It’s a step in the right color direction and who knows, maybe by the summer masks will be a thing of the past and I’ll be sporting cherry-red lips.

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