Wine colored jeans. An eggplant hued henley. Chocolate brown leather ankle boots. The elements of my favorite fall outfit are best described through the language of food: wine, eggplant, and coco. In these last few weeks, with the weather turning cooler and the days darker, I had expected to find myself retreating to the warmth and comfort of the kitchen.
What I didn’t expect, however, was that my wardrobe would also do the same. That cheerful looking orange pumpkin I roasted in the oven last night? It made me long for a bright soft scarf of the same color. Or what about that deep, blue-green kale? Perfect for a cozy v-neck. I find myself wanting to eat as I dress and dress as I eat: In a spectrum of colors and flavors. In different styles, but with a similar taste. My dinner plate is my fashion muse, apparently.
It seems I’m not the only one to have noticed this appealing connection between food and clothes. In flipping through a Lands End catalogue recently I came across a slew of vegetable and fruit named garb. There was a “spinach leaf” sweatshirt and an “aubergine plum” turtleneck. A “boysenberry” pea coat and a “brown spice” t-shirt. My favorite descriptions might have been of the boozy variety: punch, claret, merlot, mulled wine, wine berry, bordeux. So many different names for so many similar colors.
I wondered what these names are meant to convey about these products? A turtleneck that is both the color of plum and eggplant must be very purple, yes. Superficially this naming system tells us what a product looks like. But I think the food language is meant to add something. It adds truth and authenticity, maybe, by connecting the wise earth to the piece of clothing. A turtleneck is just a turtleneck. But food is different, it is memory and nourishment, it is flavor and experience. And food is also, apparently, selling us some clothes.