It’s time to lighten up. Beige is anything but boring.
Photographed by Cody M. Turner
Mosebacke raincoat in ‘Light Sand’ c/o Stutterheim | Helmut Lang sweatshirt (similar one here, here, and here) | Uniqlo chinos (similar here) | Earrings from Holt Renfrew (similar here) | Eyebuydirect.com NANTES prescription eyeglasses | Kurt Geiger sneakers (similar here) | Monica Vinader rings
Uniforms are funny things. Growing up in suburban Canada, they were decidedly beige, or some variation on that theme, both literally or figuratively. Picture Roots polo shirts, denim jackets, and chinos, topped and tailed by a baseball cap and Converse sneakers as far as the eye could see. Well, I may be exaggerating a wee bit, but that’s how it felt. It’s probably why I ran a mile from the banality of beige the moment I started my life in Europe. There were more style tribes to try out, print combinations to experiment with – a new sartorial life to lead.
And yet, here we are. As predictable as florals prints are for spring, the trend doctors tell us that yes, khakis and chinos are on our collective prescription list for all things style this season. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a chino as much as the next North American suburbanite, but that’s not the point. It’s what beige represents. Embracing the colour means admitting a part of me has never really left despite living in three European countries over the years. The part of me that loves the comfortable safety of a uniform, uniformity, and a uniform life.
I suppose, instead, I can find solace in the impractical and minimal aesthetic of beige. It feels calm and fresh, yes, but there’s a certain throwing of caution to the wind in daring to wear the pale hue on the riskiest of risk-of-rain days. Or near freshly-watered foliage and damp dirt, for that matter. I met up with Cody to shoot this handmade Stutterheim raincoat that the Swedish brand sent my way, and we discovered this lush escape in the middle of Toronto that I never knew existed. After some wary steps around the botanical gardens, I found myself eventually feeling relaxed enough to not care about the marks and stains collecting on my sleeves from soil-covered stones and outstretched palm leaves. Especially since the rubberized cotton was easily made as new with a few wipes from tissue.
There’s a familiar ease that come with the change of season (so long wooly layers), and the A-line silhouette of the Mosebacke channels this comfort. The cut is more feminine and less strict than their unisex Stockholm style, and it feels right to wear it over less casual looks in the future. Crafted with double welded seams for durability, I fully anticipate this coat sticking around for a long, long time.
So, I’ve said all of that to say this: Embrace the beige, at least once in a while, and see what little adventures are possible without more noisy shades of life drowning them out.