An antidote to grey

…Is sometimes colour, and sometimes, more grey.

First, the grey. I’ve shown the fabrics for the latest shirt previously, but here they are assembled into the latest of three comfortable Hawaiian shirts. Grey, because that’s the background colour, even if they’re pretty colourful otherwise. Oh, and the hair, of course!

I’m showing the back first, because to be honest, it’s the more interesting side. At the top, the collar is a green batik on top. The underside is the same grey floral Kaffe Fassett fabric as on the yoke. I didn’t have quite enough length of the grey background lotus fabric for the back, so I added a strip of the front fabric to the top before cutting the back out. I think it works. The sleeves are also the lotus fabric, but cut a little shorter than the pattern dictates, as again, I didn’t quite have enough.

On the front, it’s the same scallop pattern as the strip on the back. The patch pocket on the front is the same fabric as the yoke, cut so that the flowers are nicely framed. All the fabrics are quite different, but they tie into each other in some way. The scallop fabric has lilac, blue and green, and touches of pink. The lotus fabric has grey, blue, lilac, pink and green, but in different proportions. The yoke fabric has grey, blue and pink, with some very small touches of a matching green.

It shouldn’t work, but it does.

And now for the colourful antidote: my new dupatta! I have always loved the combination of orange and pink, and while I was browsing Etsy recently, I discovered the most gorgeously juicy hot pink and burnt orange dupatta decorated with gold embroidery and a more complex decorative gold border.

It’s made of Banarasi (Benares) silk and is both light and cosy. it’s beautifully decorative and striking, whilst also being functional: sometimes I find air-conditioning a bit chilly for me while it suits other people. Plus it’s lavish enough to dress up a plain black or white tunic/t-shirt and pants combination. I just love having grey hair, it lets you wear stuff like this where my original mouse colouring would have receded and been overwhelmed.

So, despite the grey, overcast skies, the pouring sheets of rain and the misty veils of humidity, I have a radiant sun of lavish colour from Jaipur to light up my life!

Oh, and it’s getting really green outside!



57 thoughts on “An antidote to grey

  1. Glorious 🥰
    Love the shirt & the Chunni OMG …. Those colours ‼️I’m totally at a loss for words … all I can say is LOVE LOVE LOVE 💕
    Oh & THANK U for my parcel… the green shirt is lovely and I can shape it up …. The dress is perfect 😍 & the blouse is pretty big …. Not sure how I’m going to make it smaller as it’s swimming on me …. I’m sure I will figure it out…
    I went to do the second trial for the mother of the bride dress & it’s coming along beautifully…. Next appointment will be mid January & will need to take my shoes as well…

    • katechiconi says:

      With the blouse, try taking a dart/tuck down either side of front and back panels. There’s plenty of space in the sleeve to allow you to do that. Or you could take a tapered dart down the centre back, so the pattern balances even if you are taking a chunk out.
      The orange in the silk is so gorgeous, a real burnt orange colour, so deep and rich. I LOVE it!

  2. I am so in love with that pink and orange combination.

  3. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    They are absolutely stunning and unique !

  4. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Those shirts are brilliant! And I love the orange/pink combination on the dupatta.

    • katechiconi says:

      Isn’t it sensational? There’s a disused house up the street that has a massive hedge of different coloured bougainvillaea bushes, and one of them has flowers in these two exact colours. Any colour combination we can think of, Nature gets there first…

  5. claire93 says:

    ooooh love the lime green collar!

  6. Such cheerful colors and, of course, one-of-a-kind. And oooh, that dupatta!

    • katechiconi says:

      Plus, it lets me actually use and enjoy the fabrics in the light of day, instead of keeping them hidden in my fabric cupboard. And the dupatta, yes! It’s so alive, and even in the dark, you catch gleams and twinkles from the metallic embroidery.

  7. Your shirt is fabzoid! I particularly like the front pocket 😉
    I have many dupattas, couldn’t live without them. Your new one is just heavenly. And I love your grey hair, too. I keep having my hair cut shorter so that more of the grey shows – I’m really starting to enjoy it.

    • katechiconi says:

      I have a mental image of a dupatta I saw once in London. It was a silvery lavender blue with deep borders of silver embroidery in Kashmiri style paisley motifs, and it made such an impression I have never forgotten it. One day, I will find one… I think women who are able to grow a full head of proper silver hair should do it – the effect is really flattering and can be dramatic, plus it lets you wear any colour you like.

  8. kymlucas says:

    Love both! ❤️ 💕 💗

  9. Dayphoto says:

    I like my grey hair also. And I adore your whole outfit…even those amazingly wonderful glasses.

  10. magpiesue says:

    I have some catching up to do! Love those glasses! You must have the most fun, colorful wardrobe; I love the shirts you’ve made. I’m a fan of orange and pink too, in case you’d forgotten. 😉 (Not that I wear it very often… hmm, might have to change that!)

    • katechiconi says:

      I really do have a fun, colourful wardrobe of tops. My pants tend to be white, grey or tan/khaki. I find it motivating to reach in and grab something bright and fun each morning. I ordered the glasses online from Zenni Optical; you choose a frame, fill out your prescription and some other information, and away you go. It’s really very, very inexpensive, and I believe they are covered by US medical insurance too (although not ours, because they’re overseas). The downside is that you can’t get them adjusted afterwards, but there’s a lot of tutorial information available online to help you do a lot of that stuff yourself, and you can send them back if they just don’t work for you.

  11. Marty K says:

    The new shirt is lovely and your new dupatta is beyond gorgeous! I also love being part of “team grey” and am eagerly awaiting the familial white that is to come!

    • katechiconi says:

      Grey is so low maintenance, too! A bit of purple shampoo every so often to keep it nice and bright, and you’re done. Looks good with a tan, too 😊 My mother’s hair was totally white by my age, but I started going grey at a later age and only went totally grey after chemo, so I may have a wait for that.

  12. anne54 says:

    I am on Team Grey (hair!) too. i love that photo of you modelling your gorgeous dupatta. You are looking fabulous! Love the glasses, love the dupatta, love the svelte you, but mostly i love the Kate that is shining through!

  13. Just goes to show… I thought the shirt was barely grey and very colourful until I saw the dupatta!

  14. Kirsten says:

    Love the dupatta and you look beautiful in it 😁

  15. tialys says:

    I never thought about how grey hair could change what colours you can wear. It all looks good anyway.

    • katechiconi says:

      It sort of makes you neutral. Before, I would never have worn red, or orange, or even bright pink. Your complexion also bleaches somewhat. I’m glad I live in a sunny climate, though, as the tiny bit of sun I do allow on my face does help to make me look a bit healthier!

  16. I can’t tell you how many women I talked into going natural when they started to gray. In the end, everyone of them embraced it will fervor. It can make a woman or man more approachable. My mother started finally to make friends when she let go of the dark brown tint. Funny things about color. I love the color of yours. It’s very much like my own. The shirts are both wonderful and express very different aspects of your personality. The pink and orange has more zip and the gray with soft colors is more gentle. It’s very much showing your mood in color. How fun. I hope to make more big shirts soon. Must adapt them to 3/4 length sleeve though, somehow. It will be several months though. The big glasses make a statement too. Too cute.

    • katechiconi says:

      My own mother started to go grey at 21, and I have photos of her in her 30s with a broad white stripe at the front. She told me she got lots of people asking where she’d ‘had it done’! I think a lot of wearing grey successfully is attitude. I happen to LOVE mine, and while I might add temporary bright colours sometimes for a special occasion, I wouldn’t dream of dyeing it. Glad you like the glasses too, I’m going to miss them when my prescription changes in January. Maybe I’ll find something even better, though…

  17. Isn’t it amazing how a colour can be alive or sometimes even too alive, then again maybe not. the dupatta is fab but can I say I just love your spectacles from the shape to the colours. Fantastic.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m lucky to live in sunshine where most colour except the very pale and chalky comes to life. The glasses are from Zenni Optical and can be ordered online, they have dozens of really fab and unusual styles and are incredibly cheap!

  18. Kate, I really like the pattern combinations. You’re right, it works! And your dupatta is stunning. That would cheer up anyone. Is your hair newly grey? I’ve perhaps missed a post.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you!
      No, my hair has been grey for 10 years, since chemotherapy: It fell out brown and grew back grey, and i was thrilled! But it IS longer than it’s been for a few years. The dupatta is my early Christmas present from the Husband!

      • The longer length and the weight loss suits you. Three cheers for early Christmas gifts.

      • katechiconi says:

        Thank you! It’s lovely to get back into old clothes I’ve missed, it really helps to show me how much I’ve lost. The longer hair looks fine, but I do miss how easy the short hair was to care for!

      • I’ve tried short hair a few times over the years, but with my height (I’m 5’10”) and my face structure, I feel almost boyish. I’m well past the long-hair stage so I’m settling for middle-ground. I’m greying slowly like my Mum. She was well into her seventies before greying. My hairdresser tells me that the way you grey is based on your natural color: black hair grey differently then brown or red or blonde. Interesting! There is always something new to learn.

      • katechiconi says:

        I like the length in your avatar photo. I sometimes wonder how grey I’d be now if it hadn’t been for the chemo. I went from brown to bald to very grey in the space of 6 months, and in the 8 years since, my hair is now steel instead of iron grey. Looking forward to white, I must say!

      • I’m really sorry for all your health issues, Kate. You have an amazing attitude about all of it.

      • katechiconi says:

        Nah, it’s all good! I’m pretty fit and well, and getting more so the more weight I lose. When I consider the health burdens other people have to carry, I count myself blessed.

      • Good for you, Kate. I know weight loss can make a huge difference in quality of life on so many levels: it’s easier on the heart and lungs when you carry less weight, and better for the joints, too.

  19. Lynda says:

    The shirts are very nice, but it has to be said that *you* look wonderful! Love the easy hair cut (But I would 😉 ) and you look like you’ve slimmed down. What a great new photo too.
    Q: Won’t your optometry shop put new lenses into your old frames? I hate buying new frames every time, because they are so expensive.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! The optometrists have new frames every year, and unless it’s one of their very popular perennial styles, they won’t re-lens as they don’t keep the templates. I tend to go for the quirky styles and therefore I need new frames pretty much every year. Luckily I have discovered Zenni Optical, who make very, very cheap but gorgeous glasses. The only downside is because you buy them online, you can’t get them adjusted easily.

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