Birds are one of life's joys - we keep two large feeders within view of our kitchen windows - I am amazed at the beautiful markings and patterns of all the different birds that stop for a snack.
Winter is the time of year that I instantly notice when a bright pop of color shows up at the feeder. The colorful goldfinches and bluebirds are more muted and somber in the winter, so the male cardinal with his brilliant red feathers really stands out against the browns and grays. The bully blue jay is an instant eye-catcher with his striking blue, black and white plumage. The red-bellied woodpecker's bright red neck makes an incredible contrast with its white and black body. Even the little downy woodpecker stands out with that single red band on the back of his head.
It is this unexpected pop of color against the neutral winter landscape that catches my eye - that makes me stop in my tracks and take notice. Much like the winter landscape, my winter wardrobe tends to be darker and more neutral than the other three seasons. As someone who looks best in and loves to wear color, I look for ways to add brightness to my winter look. I use jackets, vests and scarves for colorful accents. Watching my feathered friends has taught me three things about keeping my winter look colorful.
1) Unexpected contrast is a great look.
2) Highly saturated colors catch the eye.
3) Unusual color combinations with no obvious connection can be stunning.
Unexpected contrast is a great tool to spice up your look. Color contrast is the difference in brightness between the foreground and the background. Higher contrast looks will draw more attention than low contrast looks. Think of black and white - two very neutral colors that have high contrast - a classic pairing that always looks visually interesting - it has that "pop".
Saturation is the amount of color intensity in an item - the purer the color, the higher the saturation. Think of royal blue versus navy - the royal blue has more pop and saturation. Both are great colors but they give off completely different emotions and impact.
Unusual color combinations with no obvious connection can be stunning. Think of the feathered beauties in tropical climates - they know how to combine colors for visual effect! A bold chartreuse can energize a neutral dark chocolate. A saturated brilliant green electrifies a dark charcoal - even if it has no charcoal in it. Try combining colors that seemingly have nothing in common.
Don't be afraid to brighten up your look with an unexpected pop of color. Experiment with saturation and contrast to see how they change the overall "feel" of an outfit you are wearing. Use color in the winter to brighten your look - color always makes me feel more energized and refreshed - I hope it does the same for you!