When I looked online at the great spring collection at Artful Home, I spotted the Amalfi Linen Tunic right away, and 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 used to be that way—no, sirree! That bright, joyous color scared the bejesus out of me. Why? Because I’m comfortable wearing 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.

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 a nothing color. She looked at me hard and said, “I’ve got it!” She came back with a lip color in a hot-orange shade. 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?

Pointing to my favorite color.

The Amalfi Linen Tunic is longer in back than in front.

It took a while, but orange became my color

I’m taking an educated guess, but I think that transformational lipstick 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?

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. 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.

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.


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.

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.

This linen tunic is perfect in Sonoma.

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

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.

Accessorizing my Amalfi Tunic.

Adding layers of thin bangles.

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.

If you’ve enjoyed this study in bringing color into your wardrobe, check out more of my fashion and style posts on www.brendakinsel.com. Happy days ahead!




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