Tuesday, 27 September 2016

I've Always Got The Blues

Blue has always been a safe colour for me.  It's a deep breath and long, slow exhale.  There are so many blues and it's difficult to find a shade of blue I don't like, but I do have my favourites.

No surprise, I like blue a bit muted.  Blue is a colour that is inherently cool, but it can be warmed up with additions of yellow until the point it reaches green.  That's why all teal colours are just a little bit warmer than pure blue, they have that element of yellow/green in the mix.

This grey-blue is a top favourite.  It's almost a blue teal but not quite.  It still reads as a grey-blue  and looks cool in isolation but next to purer blues it starts to look teal and that shows it's bit of warmth.


Navy blue has always been the go to for me, the way black is for some.  Of course, navy is difficult to find in boots, shoes and handbags, so when I was wearing predominantly darker colours I defaulted to black for those.  Now that I am wearing softer and lighter colours, I like navy in small doses for it's grounding feel.  The best navy for me is not too dark and definitely reads as blue unlike those very dark navies that can look black.


If I wanted a really stunning dress for a special event I would go for a cobalt or indigo blue.  I would try this ink blue instead of black for a formal event.


Still, a dress in this softer blue really appeals to me.  I find this colour takes my breath away.


Clearly my tastes lean towards muted, grey-blues.

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 If I were a princes, I might wear this blue gown.


Blue is relaxing, but yet to me it has more of a get through the day energy than a relaxing one.  I feel most competent and confident in blues and teal.  But I don't turn to those colours when I want a warm and cosy feel.  I don't curl up with a blue blanket in front of a fireplace and with a mug of tea.  Blue is not the colour for that.  I love the blue wall here but a room like this would not relax me.  Calm but guarded is what this colour is to me, the emotion I feel behind the colour I so often choose to present myself in.  I could sleep alone in a room this colour but not have sex in one.


  After I just said what I did about sleeping and sex, I realise my bedroom curtains are blue, but I have chosen a warm blue.

Ahhh French Blue.

                                                     Source unknown to me

A pinterest page full of images from the search 'French Blue' leaves me swooning.  I love it, but I feel a great deal of aloofness in it.  When warmed up with cream and old goSomeld and it feels less so.  Browns and wood tones really warm up blue as well and then they begin to feel relaxed an cosy.  I find this collage very appealing.

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  My feet hurt looking at these shoes, but the colour is beautiful so I'd just put them on a shelf to admire.


This dress is offered in two blues and I love them both.


And oh how I love a deep teal-blue.  If I have a power colour, it's teal blue.  Many people think of red as a power colour, but the colour that boosts my energy and confidence is this teal.

Dishes from Walmart?  In this, colour I'd hang them on my wall!

Speaking of blues called teal, if there is a blue I dislike it will be in a turquoise, aqua, teal range.  Colour names mean different things to different people and colours I normally dislike can look fantastic in the right context, so I say it cautiously;  The blues I dislike are usually aqua and have an opaque brightness.

Such as this knife and scissors set.  It is perhaps midway between blue and green, and it's quite saturated.  It really doesn't belong with the set of blues I've collected here and this colour would never harmonise with my person or my home, so perhaps that's why it makes me cringe.


The product description calls this teal but I'd call it turquoise or aqua.  It literally changes my mood and not for the better, though as I said, that can be different given the right context.

Here's an example of what I mean.  For me, something bright and opaque rarely appeals. But as soon as aqua or turquoise is translucent or softly blended with other colours I love it.  I still wouldn't wear it, but I do find it beautiful.



                                                          Now I'm swooning!

Denim blue is always a favourite, though having said that denim blues do vary.  It's tricky enough to get flattering jeans that fit well so also getting them in my preferred, slightly greyed and faded but mid-toned blue is a challenge.  Dark denim is considered classy and work appropriate but I don't want or need that.  Lately the options that aren't dark have been bleached, stained and ripped.  Some denim blue is lighter and brighter but faded indigo is my preference.


Blue is such a safe and comfortable colour for me it could be among the last of the colours where I noticed which blues I wear better and which don't really do anything for me.  I used to assume all blues were good, but am lately getting better at discerning which to wear.  I instinctively stay away from brights and allow my liking for cobalt, ultramarine and royal blues to show up in my art instead of on my person.

Some time ago I wrote about my love of brown.  I particularly love brown and blue together.  I also recently wrote about yellow.  Blue and yellow is a classic complementary pairing, which I've always loved but not tried wearing.  It's easy to forget that any top worn with a pair of jeans is a pairing of one colour with blue.  The blue of the denim above would pair nicely with cream but I would love to try it with a soft golden wheat sort of yellow. 

I recall a tee shirt I once bought for my ex-husband that was a baseball style tee with a blue-grey body and soft dusty mustard sleeves.  I am forever searching so as to replicate this colour pairing for myself. 

Something like this but in adult size. 


The soft gold and blue-grey in this image are perfect.


Design Seeds images get a bit addictive.  Here's another.

Even in a seemingly benign colour as blue, there are shades that flatter my skin tone better than others, and I am learning to see that better.  Defaulting to navy or teal-blue is really easy for me and denim is a big part of my wardrobe, but in figuring out which blues are the most flattering to me in tops, I am currently playing with medium tones, a bit greyed or faded, and learning to see when blue is warmed up every so slightly by comparing it with other colours.

I could keep adding blue images but all good things must come to an end so here is my last favourite for now.  This soft, medium blue is very appealing.  I hope the next blue top I purchase is similar to this colour.




  1. This to me is why you are almost definitely cool! Sorry if I gave you pause to ruminate with my comment(I read your other posts just haven't commented yet!). Anyone who can wear this much blue must be cool?! It's what made me seriously re-think Summer, a lot of the mid tone blues are just neutral/blah on me. Navy and the teal of the plates, I like those more (for me). I also like that muted gray blue on the model with the jazzy ethnic necklace but I think that's just me liking soft colours. Like you I am always drawn more to muted tones. Blue has such a rainbow of shades, I think you suit most of them. So sorry if I made you question the warm thing more than is necessary, I would hate for my own colour muted mutt-ness to impact you directly!

    1. Steff, you are sounding Canadian with all of this apolgising. You didn't make anything difficult by questioning anything at all. You opened a door to a place I wanted to go. The soft autumn palette is my favourite. I want to convince myself I am one. I do look cooler in photos than I really am though. I am very neutral -my best foundation is the neutral ivory L'Oreal True Match N1 and I suit browned pinks. I am not warm enough to be an autumn but the soft autumn palette is cooler. I favour soft autumn makeup too. If I am soft autumn I'm on the cool end of it, but it's fun to explore those colours too. The blues in this post are soft autumn blues. That has been a big learning curve for me-the idea of warm blues and cool yellows. The warmest seasons-true spring and true autumn have limited blues that work for them but I know I am not a purely warm season and there are blues that don't work for me too.

  2. I also love blue ... and add in a burnt orange to that pair of denimns and I am in colour heaven!!!! Awesome post dear Shawna!


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