Hot Summery Red

Red is one of my favourite colours, and this particular colour tends to elicit strong responses in everyone. It's a powerful colour one just can't ignore (hence red "STOP" signs, red stoplights, red male cardinals, fabulous red lipstick...).

Initially, the wearing of red was limited strictly to the nobility because the cost of creating such a bright hue was tedious and expensive (much like purple and other pure colours). When a king, queen, cardinal, or judge wore red, it symbolized not just their power in general, but indeed, their power over life and eath. Eventually, of course, it became easier to make red apparel, so much so that military uniforms were often red. Interestingly, during the Middle Ages, it was thought that red bedclothes protected one against "red illnesses" like rashes, fevers, and even miscarriages!

It's interesting that while red is the colour of love, romance, and redemption, it's also considered a colour of death, murder, war, fire, and competition. It can definitely be seen as aggressive - in fact, a poll of drivers a couple years ago found that drivers saw those in red cars as being aggressive drivers purely based on the colour of the vehicle, regardless of the kind of vehicle (I've had not just one but 2 red cars...) Personally, I feel more confident and cheerful when wearing red, and I believe it was Psychology Today that found wearing shades of red and green together markedly improved people's moods (so if you're having a bad day, pair up!).

Many cultures see red as having protective powers - maybe because of the inherent "caution!" it seems to transmit to people and even animals. Wear a red ruby and you become invincible; in battle, cover your weapons and even yourself in blood, red paint or clay. (Yeah, that bit about the blood is a little over the top, and I'm not certain I want to know from whence the blood came, thanks.)

No matter what, though, red is nearly always in fashion. I tend to think it's because it is such a lively, vibrant, cheerful colour. The eye is just naturally attracted to it (some think red is the first colour we are able to recognize - familiarity definitely didn't breed contempt in this case!). Red also happens to be the colour of my favourite sports team (the only sport I truly follow other than horse racing), the Red Wings. So it's no surprise that I really like this Dita top from Papaya - it's red! And it's cute!

The neckline is square, so that is another point in this adorable top's favour. The short cap sleeves have a slight puff to them for added femininity - as well as visually broaden your shoulders just a touch, not a bad thing. The cut is very flattering - it can go formal or casual. For the cherry on this sartorial sundae, you even get the red and white polka-dotted belt with the top!

This $32 top isn't crazily flashy but it's clearly not sloppy, either: wear it to the office (maybe with a red or black belt if you don't want to frighten the dot-impaired), to church, to dinner, to a party or the pizza parlor...anywhere. Truly. Under a jacket, over a skirt or pants, with pearls or chunky turquoise beads, I don't think you can go wrong. This top is a size medium (36-31-37), but as Melissa handsews and designs everything herself, if you email her you might be able to get it in a different size (there is another Dita top in black available).

I see Melissa's work on Flickr pretty frequently, and it's always really cute and pretty clothing. She has several other tops in her shop and frequently updates the store, so checking on a regular basis is a great idea if you want something unique and fresh for your closet.

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Anonymous Felicia said...

Interesting history on the color red. Your top is quite adorable :)

Anonymous MInTheGap said...

I remember seeing a play where the colors were bright until the king and queen were in trouble.

Interesting stuff colors and history. Thanks for sharing.

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