Up to 70% off Clearance items - Sweet Savings. Shop & Save Now!

What happened changed my life . . . and my color choices.

color choices
In this guest post by Phyllis Alberci, we explore why our favorite colors may change over time.

Did you ever wonder why you can’t get enough of one color and why you just don’t like another? Maybe you’re hardwired that way. When it comes to choice, the colors that dominated our childhood might still be influencing what we choose today.

When I was growing up in a rural mountain town, you never talked about color. You dressed for the climate. You didn’t stand out; you blended in with the rocks and the forest. Color was for flowers that bloomed briefly during the short summer. But not for people.

A Neutral View

My world was the subdued hues of a Norman Rockwell painting: subtle browns, greys, deep greens, faded reds, and deep blues. Nothing to shake the bedrock of my idea of hometown style. I was a girl who wore a navy school uniform for twelve years and became a woman who wore a black suit to work and drove a grey car. Color was monotone.

But last year, something happened that told me I’d better try something different before it was too late. I became ill and it wasn’t happening to someone else; it was happening to me. Time started to rush by me.

Suddenly what used to matter didn’t anymore. I needed to visit the rainbow. Internalize the power that color has to heal us. But it had to be colors gathered from memories, colors that reminded me of the big crayon box I had when I was a kid: cherry reds, sunshine yellows, grass greens and bold pinks. I turned my back on a lifetime of dark colors. It didn’t matter if what I wore made me look sleek or fashionable. I wanted people to know I was still here, down but not out.

Bringing Color Back Into My World

I sold all my yarn. Who does that? I had achieved SABLE (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) and I was proud of it. But it was all in the dark colors that reminded me of how rotten I felt. It was time to reinvent myself. It all had to go.

I replaced those skeins and balls with a fruit salad of colors. They sat in my baskets and for the first time I was head over heels with ideas for projects. This was big stuff.

I spent too much time trying to find articles and blog posts that could explain why I had made a complete about face in color preference. I had never heard of such a drastic change of heart. I didn’t dwell on color charts that told me red would energize me, make me hungry, or make me angry. Or pink would make me feel genteel and feminine. I was looking for a kindred spirit who had chucked a lifetime of color choices in favor of the polar opposite. It never happened.

But I dove in anyway. I learned to knit lace and made shawls. Lots of shawls. And a few sweaters, hats and mitts in colors I would never had imagined I’d wear. I felt like I had grown wings.

Are there any memories you associate with specific colors?

electric_ave patchwork_effect colorfully_modern
Knit Electric Avenue Pullover made with Vanna's Choice® Crochet Patchwork Effect Scarf made with Unique Crochet Colorfully Modern Cardigan made with Unique and Vanna's Choice®
sassy_slouch highlighter_vest rhapsody
Crochet Sassy Slouch Hat
made with Vanna's Tapestry
Knit Highlighter Vest made with Hometown USA® Knit Rhapsody of Color Dressmade with Amazing®
Tagged In:
  • Patty P

    I hope Phyllis is feeling better and doing well. The article kind of left me hanging and wanting to know more. And yes, color can change your outlook, your attitude, your everything!

  • Renee

    My favorite color growing up was green...I loved the brightness of trees and wheat in the spring!

  • Karen Rose

    As a child, I liked blues and greens. Still do today, almost all jeweltone colors. But the color that grabs me and makes me happy is purple. It draws me in, like a moth to a flame. I have to stop myself from buying things just because they are purple!

    My mother was sooo opposite. She love neutrals, beiges, browns, grays. She was a blonds, I was a brunette. She insisted on dressing me in browns as a kid. I thought I looked like a small bear! Now, I will occasionally wear brown, but with something brighter, like a salmon pink top. She would never understand. LOL

  • Susan Ramsay

    My husband of 32 years died at 52. He was sick for a long time. Much to my surprise instead of wearing black or dark colors, I was drawn to colorful items. I had my "black" period watching this big, virile man slip away.

  • Paige

    The same thing you did with your yarn, I did with my pens at work. I'm not sure I even have a blue or black pen in my desk. Now they're orange, green, purple, magenta. I love writing with bright colors, and that's never something I would've done when I was younger.

  • Kat McGrew

    Growing up, with very few exceptions, everything I wore was either handmade or hand-me-down. Most of the latter were from my mother's little sister who was less than 2 years older than me. Being a late in life baby with grown siblings, she was spoiled by my grandmother. She had dark brown hair with hazel eyes...I had light blond hair and green eyes. Mamaw dresses her in pastels with lots of pink and baby blue. These colors really washed me out and made my normally healthy, peachy complexion look gray and faded. Because it was Daddy's favorite color, green became my favorite color before I even started school. It was a color I never got in a hand-me-down.

    Some time in the early 80's, I hand my "colors" done. This was a popular process whereby various colors of fabric were laid near your face and judgment made as to which hues looked best, thereby naming your "season" and advising which colors and hues are best. I was judged to be a "Spring." This meant that colors with a warm undertone were best for me. My Auntie was, of course, a "Winter" who looked best in cool undertones. Now I love to wear bright saturated colors in warm shades of green, red, Aqua, orange, yellow...anything but boring!

  • Addie Moe

    Like Kat, I had my colors done years ago. I am a "winter". I look best in the jewel tone colors, especially deep rose/fuschia, and reds with blue undertones. Many years before that I remember trying on a khaki color raincoat and standing in the 3-way mirror, with the salesperson trying to tell me how nice it looked on me, while all I could see is how green it made my skin look! Not my neutral to be sure!. I'm definitely drawn to colors that look best on me.

  • grace hunter

    My mother loved gold and green. Everything in our house were those two colors. Our walls were green, the rug was green, the couch and chairs were gold. She had a lamp that was supposed to look like flower petals and, you guessed it, the colors were green and gold. Our Chevelle was green. When my sister got married, my mom insisted that the bridesmaids dresses be green and gold.

  • Susan F

    I think we grow in colors just as we grow in liking different styles or different foods. I used to prefer a sage green, rose and cream environment. Now I like vivid jewel tones. They make me happy.

  • D Elaine Wood-Lane

    I agree that as we grow, mature, and go through life, changes in color preferences comes about naturally. My first favorite color was blue, but my best friend in 2nd grade said that blue was her favorite color and we couldn't have the same favorite color. So I decided yellow was my favorite color because it was sunny and cheerful. For my wedding in 1982, I chose dusty rose for my primary color. I'm not sure why. Pinks were not in my repertoire at that time at all. Somewhere in the early 1990's, after my divorce, I became a purple person. I could NOT get enough purple in my life. Even now, as I type this, I'm wearing a purple t-shirt given to me by a friend because everyone associate me with purple. However, latey, since I became "semi-retired," I adore pinks! Every shade of pink delights me and makes me feel happy. I realized this especially when I looked at my yarn stash. Pinks, pinks, pinks! Hahaha! I guess I've moved to my "pink period" now somehow. Pink helps me feel calm and at peace. Oh and turquoise too! My husband's favorite color is royal blue. It has always been royal blue. It will always be royal blue. I don't think guys get color like women do.

  • Kit

    I had cataract surgery last year on one eye, and after the surgery I realized how intensely bright some of my yarn is. My cataracts had made everything look so much dimmer. I still like all the yarn, but boy does it look different!