23 Mar 2021

Brighten Up: Lighten Up

Brighten and Lighten on vickiarcher.com

Do you ever need a dose of colour?

I am a pretty monochrome kind of dresser – with the occasional jewel colour thrown in. I love a black and white mix, live for my all black and even wear the all-white/creme when I’m feeling particularly fit and fab. When it comes to the brights – the pinks, the yellows and violets, the cobalt blues and turquoise greens – I am shy. They have never been my go-to other than in a colourful caftan for sea holidays.

Yesterday, as I potted up a couple of planters for my daughter’s garden I decided a colourful sweater with a pair of white jeans or chinos would be a great idea. Inspiration is coming from the most random of situations now and I am happy to grab it where I can. A few hellebores, some scabiosa and multiple pansy-ish plants made for an unplanned riot of colour that really does look pretty. Why not wear my gardening on my sleeve?

Why not a vibrant pink sweater or cardigan buttoned up? Loose and floppy – even with those khaki cargo pants – could be a welcome change from my everyday. And a bright yellow? I would definitely try that too.

It is now or never to shift my game and move my comfort zone.

Here’s what I am thinking. xv

Brighten & Lighten: Comfort Zone Be Gone

fuschia cashmere  ||  medium pink cardigan  ||  stripe pink & yellow  ||  heather fairisle  ||  wild pink blouson sleeve

julianna exotic pink  ||  topstitch yellow cardigan  ||  benny fairisle  ||  cricket cardigan


mermaid cargoes or white jeans

And THESE little steals.

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Linda B

I so hear you on the “monochrome” and the brights! This has most recently come up for me in the realm of cardigans, particularly in the ones I occasionally knit myself. Two summers ago, at a wool festival up in Oregon, I could not resist some gorgeous bright yellow yarn. I wear the cardigan I made from it all the time with my neutrals. Last summer I lent my workhorse black cardigan to my daughter and ended up letting her keep it. I planned to make a new one for myself. But when it came down to it, suddenly I longed for a rich green sweater with balloon sleeves–and that is what I have on my needles now. Should be done soon, in time to wear on the remaining cool days or evenings. Now you have me wondering about bright pinks. . . Yay for pops of color!


I am thinking I need to learn to knit Linda… you have inspired me to try… I’m not sure when.. but I would love to knit! The rich green sounds fabulous :)


Hi Vicki….I am all for reinventing yourself in any area of your life. I have many times. I love to vegetable garden but the ants and bugs do not cooperate where I live now so going to the farmers market and seeing all the colors of the fruits and vegetables makes me very happy. Sounds crazy huh? As for clothing, my green eyes and fair skin seem to control the color of clothing I wear (periwinkle blue, bright pink and yellow and royal blue but I could easily have all black and white (my favorite). Love the cashmere sweater with blouson sleeves…


Love some of these colours and they definitely brighten a summer’s day. They are colours I would wear on my younger self but now I seem to be in the ‘navy blue club’!!! I love it too! But these colours have me thinking.
Linda B, please could we all come to yours and you teach us how to knit adventurously as what you describe always sounds wonderful. I think the most I’ve knitted are a pair of baby mittens and bootees! And they took me ages!!


Wouldn’t that be the best! Oh how I wish we could all get together one day :)


Good morning Vicki!

Oh yes. I am, or was, during my teaching days, a very monochrome dresser. Most of my students would comment on either how much they loved my style or questioned me why I never wear color! I have however, recently been inspired to add color as well. Like you, this new-found love for a pop of color is coming from nature, from an awakening based on this dreary past year of lockdown, “confinement” as our French pals say and just an overall overhaul of my style. I think I’ll always love my black turtlenecks and flairy skirts but a yellow scarf, a turquoise t-shirt and maybe even a pink tulle skirt will be part of my summer wardrobe.


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