Periwinkle? Seriously?

By Tobi Schwartz-Cassell

To see a larger version of this watercolor set, click on the pic.

First, let me start with an apology.

I’m sure by now that just about everyone on earth knows that my sister Molly and I are colorblind, so I truly apologize if you’ve heard this about a hundred times before. Yes, we know it’s weird because just 1 in 200 women are born that way. But that is not what this blog post is about.

It’s about something that I find completely annoying, and I would venture a guess that my sisters out there with perfect color vision are annoyed by this, too. Or, maybe not. You tell me.

Here’s the thing. Typically, I don’t go clothing shopping alone because I can’t trust myself to put together a properly color-coordinated outfit. Ignore the fact that the stores put color-coordinated outfits together on those svelte mannequins because that’s not the way I dress. I’m more of a fabulous-flowy-top-from-Aenigma girl, with a skirt from Steel Pony and a scarf from Kohl’s.

And that’s where I get into trouble. Not only can’t I tell the difference between green and brown and blue and purple, it becomes pretty much impossible to shop because I can’t seem to make sense of what stores are naming their colors!

Would somebody tell me what color Rainy River is? Or how about Surf the Web? I am not making these names up. And how about Asphalt? I don’t even know what color asphalt is, so how is that supposed to identify the color family in which it lives?

Just for kicks, I decided to check out some retail color names, and here is just a sampling of what I found: Storm Haze. Palm Waters. Otter. Hazy Night. Polar Lake. Heavy Lead. Dusty. Bridge. Quail. Pristine. Rainstorm. Casper. Space Rock. Egret. Foundation. Fresh Air. Quiet Fairy. Ocean Abyss. Light Moon. Pebble. Varsity. House Stark. Dark Pepper. Rainy Day. Sparkling.

Just let that sink in.

What I find utterly absurd (and completely annoying) is Periwinkle. Is it blue? Is it purple? In this house, my two color advisors can’t seem to agree. So where does that leave me?

And it’s not just Periwinkle! Can you tell me what color Midnight is? Is it black? Is it very dark blue? Or how about Teal? Is it blue? Is it green? I think you know where I’m going with this.

Many years ago, my very dapper cousin Len designed a sophisticated system that I can only explain as Adult Garanimals. Len’s an attorney, and always leaves the house impeccably dressed and perfectly coordinated. His system works because you won’t find men’s clothing in colors like: Limoges, Castlerock, Sailor Gulf, Bright Celadon, Valen River, Midnight Jam, Poseidon, Sawyer Stream, Crayton Cove, Waterfall Lagoon, Alaskan Night, or Bartel River.

Oh. Wait. I got those names from the men’s clothing department.



best girls night out

PS: Can you take a stab at what some of those colors really are? I would love to hear your opinions! Just comment in the section below.