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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

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Could you rock this color?
Could you rock this color? (Photo: Harleys The Store For Men)

And the color of the year is ...

Fashion fans and insiders, makeup artists and enthusiasts, design professionals and amateur aficionados, along with style experts and trend watchers alike, patiently await the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year so they can gear their purchases and creations to an on-trend color scheme. 

It’s already old news that 2014’s shade is the aptly named "Radiant Orchid," a purplish-pink fuchsia oozing with floral inspiration.

Radiant Orchid is full of verve and energy and will certainly add a pop of brightly hued joy to whatever it is applied to. Expect to see it used in clothing, hair color, cosmetics, interior design and more.

My initial reaction to the announcement was two-fold and I’ve been marinating on it ever since. 

First, I was honestly kind of underwhelmed – ehhhh, hot pink-ish. But, after thawing out from the Arctic freeze we all just experienced, I found my psyche was more open to the tropical lushness that Radiant Orchid has to offer. 

After all, orchids themselves are most commonly found in those climates and who doesn’t need a reminder of tropical paradise right about now?

My second reaction was that Radiant Orchid seemed to be skewed a bit towards the ladies, as stereotypically the shade and even flowers in general are archetypal associated with the feminine.

Almost immediately, I got over that really backwards, totally dated and super silly social precept. Very interestingly, the word "orchid" is derived from an Ancient Greek word that means, "testicle." So truly, out the window is that whole preconceived notion that certain colors, especially those occurring on orchids, are gender-specific. 

I love and really notice when men rock daring colors, in either their pure tones or pastels and especially shades of pink and purple. Radiant Orchid just happens to be a fusion of the two. 

Choosing to edit bold colors into the male wardrobe makes a statement of self-confidence and utter personal style. According to Tim Ryan, President / CEO of Harleys The Store For Men in Shorewood, "This color is already being worn by fashion conscious men in Milwaukee."

It’s also shown off by the staff at Harleys as evidenced in the photo on the "about" page of their website, which is no surprise since the store is a legendary and reputable source for the finest menswear in Milwaukee since 1948. 

They offer classic options, but also the very latest in men’s apparel. Ryan forecasts that for Spring / Summer 2014, "Radiant Orchid is definitely a strong color for men! There are a variety of citrus and jewel tones appearing this season as accent colors in dress/sport shirts, ties, suits and sport coats; as well as for overall color in knit shirts, socks and swimwear."

For those a bit trepidatious about incorporating Radiant Orchid into their daily attire or who perhaps want a more subtle way to embrace the trend, Ryan suggests thinking of Radiant Orchid as the "new blue." 

"Anywhere you could wear blue it could be substituted.  An easy way to try the color would be with a dress shirt and tie combination or some fun socks," he says.

Check out Ryan’s expert styling of the Ermenegildo Zegna shirts / ties and VK Nagranni socks available at Harleys displayed in the photo accompanying this blog. Paired with jeans or an amazing suit, these pieces will inject the perfect dose of Radiant Orchid into any wardrobe. 

Feeling adventurous? Tweet or Instagram me (@lindsaygarric) pictures of you getting into the Radiant Orchid spirit.

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