29 In Shopping Tips

How to wear your favorite color all year long

Ready for warmer days in my Amalfi Tunic


When I looked online at the great spring collection at Artful Home, I spotted the Amalfi Linen Tunic right away, I knew it was meant for me. It was in orange, my most recent favorite color! The linen tunic designed by Lisa Bayne comes in mandarin or ivory. A few years ago, I would have chosen ivory, but not now.

I had to laugh at myself. Buying something in mandarin orange is as easy for me as eating peach pie. “I’ll have seconds, please!”

It didn’t use to be that way—no siree! That bright, joyous color scared the bejesus out of me. Why? Because I’m comfortable quiet, neutral shades, thank you very much. I’ve never seen a shade of taupe that I haven’t fallen in love with. Serve me up a textured charcoal gray, deep navy, or soft black and I’ve got my daily dose of color nutrients covered.


Relishing my dose of orange


Orange got my attention

You can go for a long time without noticing certain colors. That’s how it was for me with orange. I loved the color in fruits and vegetables but never thought to wear it. And then, suddenly, it landed on my face.

I remember going to my beauty guru, Elina, and asking for a new lip color. I’d been wearing MAC Twig, a nothing color. She looked at me hard and said, “I’ve got it!” She came back with a Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Hot Orange. What? “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” I said. Elina paid no attention to my protests. She took the tester tube and applied it to my scaredy-cat lips.

I was cringing. My resistance was so high that I expected to take one look in the mirror and reject it in a nanosecond. Instead, I looked in the mirror and didn’t say a word. Elina had put a spell on me. How could this be? How could Miss Neutral be wearing a bright color?


Amalfi Linen Tunic

Pointing to my favorite color.


It took a while, but orange became my color

I’m taking an educated guess, but I think that transformational lipstick color moment occurred four years ago, maybe five. At the time I followed Elina’s advice and wore it for a week to see how it felt. It felt fine. It felt more than fine. It felt good!

Soon my friend Mariam gave me a necklace. It had mostly sand and cement hues with orangey highlights. I wore it with a white shirt, gray pant, and taupe shoes. Daring, right?


orange and grayed necklace

Wearing a necklace with orange in it


My next orange spotting was a silk knit sweater in a color that still made my heart race, but I was getting a little more confident. I wore it with a dusty gray shirt.


Adding orange to my wardrobe

Wearing a silk sweater


Then came a wool skirt that my daughter Erin spotted when we were at a consignment store in San Francisco together. I loved the cut and the style, and the fabric was just awesome.



Wearing head-to-toe orange was a bold move.


Then came the coat

Now I have the lipstick, a necklace, a silk sweater, a wool skirt—all in shades of tropical orange. Then I spotted the raincoat—yes, a raincoat. It was so vibrant, and, again, lots of compliments flooded in.


Orange raincoat

Adding a coat to my orange collection


Making way for a color revolution

You can probably understand now how color progresses into a wardrobe: season by season, object by object, fabric by fabric.


Amalfi orange tunic

You grin too in your favorite color


I suspect you’ll be seeing a lot of this tunic in my Instagram posts this summer. The mandarin color packs a strong style punch. I’ll be wearing different necklaces with it and a variety of bottoms. Most likely I’ll be pairing it with white, gray, navy, or black bottoms (yes, my standby neutrals won’t be too far away). I’ll certainly team it with jeans. The Amalfi Tunic has such ease and comfort. It’s exactly how I want to feel in the coming weeks!

And I’ve already put together a couple of looks. Here I’m wearing the linen tunic with my cropped jeans, a couple of layered necklaces, my raffia vintage bag, and black platform sandals.


Artful Home Amalfi tunic

Enjoying orange in linen


Linen tunic

Strolling into warm days wearing linen


I can add a soft blush scarf if it’s a little chilly.



Mandarin orange and off-white together

Here I’m wearing my linen tunic with frayed off-white cropped jeans. I wanted to wear my gold sandals and chose to add some gold necklaces, too.


Artful Home spring pieces


Amalfi tunic

Accessories for linen

Teaming favorite jewels with a favorite color.

Style note on adding color to your wardrobe

When adding a new color into your wardrobe, see if you can find pieces in every fabrication so you can wear it all year long. The sweater, skirt, and raincoat have me covered for most of fall/winter. But now I need that must-have color in my spring/summer wardrobe!

So hello Amalfi Linen Tunic! You are here to bring me joy for the next four to five months while my skirt and raincoat are packed away. I can’t wait for the adventures that are in store for me in my new tunic.

Thanks, Artful Home, for letting me review this luscious tunic. I’ve loved the opportunity to share one of my key wardrobing tips: If you love a color and want to wear it all year long, start adding it into your wardrobe in fabrics for every season. Check out Artful Home for lots of other great spring pieces. Just a note: they have items in great neutrals as well as color

Tell me about you: Do you have a favorite color that has found its way into your wardrobe in multiple fabrics? Tell us the color and how it shows up in your life. Let’s declare this National Color Appreciation Day! Can’t wait to hear from you!



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  • Reply
    April 22, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Fabulous color on you Brenda! I love the head to toe orange it’s my fave. I have a thing for blue…all shades!!! I have blue eyes and dressed in blue I feel expansive, like an emerald… bright and shiny.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Ooh, I love that! How wonderful to feel bright and shiny and expansive. Go blue!!!

  • Reply
    Laurice Gilbert
    April 23, 2019 at 4:16 am

    Brenda, I love you in orange! I remember when that lipstick thing happened and changed your life, and I’ve really enjoyed watching it evolve. My favourite colour is hot pink. ‘Technically’ I shouldn’t wear it, as it’s a Winter colour and I’m a Summer, but it’s my go-to comfort colour and I have something for every season, including some awesome Vans high-top skate shoes which are really comfortable. The other thing I really love is leopard-print, which (along with Suzanne #airofdistinction) I consider a neutral, so I can wear it with anything. Sometimes it is everything, and that looks crazy but feels fantastic.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      I love how you follow your color muse wherever it takes you! Like you and Suzanne, I too see leopard as a neutral. It’s so fun to wear!!! I love your shares!

  • Reply
    Linda B
    April 23, 2019 at 5:47 am

    That rich orange really does suit you! And it was fun to read about how it entered your life and became a touchstone. I have had four colors that have been my favorites beginning as a youngster; they have rotated in importance to me through periods of my life, sometimes overlapping, definitely reappearing over time, in varieties of shades. They are green; terra cotta/rust; teal/aqua; and grey. I can even remember deeply loving these colors in the big box of Crayolas as a young child. I have definitely accumulated a variety of garments in various textures for all these colors over time. I especially love to knit with these colors–and have created a variety of garments and accessories with them. . . .But as soon as I think about what I have enjoyed knitting for myself, I remember phases where I was also obsessed with cranberry reds, and golden yellows, and purples. . . Maybe I just have to admit that I love all colors, bright and neutral!

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:34 pm

      That is absolutely fascinating that you had a propensity for specific colors going back to childhood! When I think about it, I remember two of my favorite dresses that mother made for me. One was a brown checked dress and another was a gold dress with an exotic pattern. I wore warm colors most of my adulthood. I guess it started there! I loved hearing all about this. And you’ve just put Crayolas in my head. I think I need to get some!!!!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2019 at 6:01 am

    I am a color lover ❤️ and always have been. I have a black and white base then color is what makes my wardrobe and me a happy girl. Over the years have noticed that blue especially cobalt seems to be at the base of my wardrobe as well and has become my neutral. I’m actually thinking about cobalt glasses this year, now that will be a BIG step outside the box for me., since I only have one pair of glasses at a time,. Maybe I need to change that as well. Brenda you wear colorful glasses, how many pairs do you have?

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Cobalt blue is another love in my life. It hasn’t taken hold much in my wardrobe. Mostly I lust after it. I saw a cashmere GORGEOUS coat in that color in a boutique in SF. It was more money than I felt I could afford but I’ve regretted it. It would be one of those staple pieces that makes everything else look great. I have a blue pair of glasses and a red pair. Both purchases required a lot of supportive statements from Nancy at Uber Optics. She insisted that I needed colored eyewear. I was scared but she was so right. I’ve been wearing the blue ones a lot lately. I think they are going to be my key frames for summer.

  • Reply
    April 23, 2019 at 7:41 am

    I love this story of you slowly falling in love with orange

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Thanks, Karen! It was an evolution!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    I especially love the orange sweater and skirt combo but I love all your orange pieces. Not everyone can wear that color. It’s a happy color and 6ou look happy wearing it. You look very confident in orange.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks for that feedback. I’d like to reflect happiness. Orange really does make me happy! Who knew?

  • Reply
    April 23, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    ITs a HARD color to find in the STATES!
    WHEN are you coming for a VISIT !!?!!

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Okay, let’s plan a visit. Honestly, I have to see that orange living room. My kitchen is persimmon colored. And I love chartreuse on you! I’ll come your way after the baby is born. Can’t wait!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Love, love, love that color! Bright orange/red is one of my favorites, too. And turquoise in all shades. Maybe it’s time I try a bolder lip color. I looked up Mac Twig and it’s really close to my old standard, Mac Modesty. LOL.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Twig and Mac Modesty. Aren’t we the safe ones? A bolder lip color is something I’d NEVER have chosen for myself. Sometimes it’s great to just let the professionals take over!

  • Reply
    Cathy D.
    April 23, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    A few years ago I fell in love with blue. I kept buying more and more blue items. Now when I open my closet doors, I see lots of blue, including navy, plus some white and a small amount of black. Recently someone I don’t know well referred to me as the lady in blue, and that made me feel really good.
    But guess what? Last winter I started to develop a passion for red. After considerable thought about this new direction, I purchased a red cashmere scarf and matching beanie from Eileen Fisher. I love them and wore them all winter. They look wonderful with blue. Then I found a cotton scarf for spring with red, white and several shades of blue.
    Wonder what color will be next?

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      The color bug has come in and stung you! I love it. I love how a color can surprise us and delight us. I can’t wait to hear what the next color will be!

  • Reply
    cindy hattersley
    April 23, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    I LOVE that tunic and it looks fabulous on you! There is a bluish red that leans toward coral (if that makes any sense) that I just love! I just don’t see it very often!

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      Makes perfect sense to me Cindy. I can see that shade-that-has-no-name on you. I know another reason you love this tunic–it’s linen! Your fave!!!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2019 at 6:21 am

    It’s a great color with your hair, skin tone, and sassy personality! I have a friend who loves orange and works it in as you are describing. I think the key though…you changed your lipstick…broke out of the comfort zone. Thank you. I am a neutral gal; working to bring color back into my wardrobe. I realize I am often disappointed because I keep my lip color the same old wonderful neutral and it does nothing against bolder colors. This is a great post. Please share info about your platform shoes and the gold ones too! Thanks

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      I’m always amused by the things I drag my feet on and then end of loving-like my orange lipstick. Which led to all those other orange things in my life that I love. Change is good even though it makes us uncomfortable sometimes. Take your lips on a field trip and see if they like color! How’s that for unsolicited advice?

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:27 pm

      Oh Marge, I forgot to share about the shoes! The platform shoes are old, old, old. I got them at a boutique on Fillmore Street years ago. That purchase was a HUGE stretch for me–way outside of my comfort zone–and only perfect because they updated all my outfits. Every year since then (I’m talking 7 years I bet) I keep my eye out for a replacement for the day they give up. The gold ones are a recent purchase. They are by AGL and miraculously they have that block heel and I can be in them pain-free. I’ve mostly had to do flats with arch support.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    I wear red cateye glasses, but no other red. I have worn every color of the rainbow, even if only in accessories. Now I am moving in the opposite direction. All those colors and patterns seem to assault my eyes. Neutrals bring peace. To everything there is a season.

    I used to wear “Twig” exclusively in my rainbow days.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 5:12 pm

      Wow, Twig! That’s funny. I wore it a lot in my neutral-only years. Boy I loved that color! I love that you’re following your color muse. I always hope that people will satisfy the changes that are stirred up in us, the desire to wear a certain something. Good for you!

  • Reply
    Sandra Sallin - Apart From My Art
    April 25, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    You look fabulous in orange! It’s such a happy color. Love tunics. Oh, my color? Lavender or white or lime green or fuchsia , or…. I guess I could go on and on.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      I can see all those colors on you, Sandra!!! You light them up! xo

  • Reply
    May 6, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    The mandarin and blush together are breathtaking!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      I feel the same way!

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