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After waiting so long for a sliver of sunshine, the good people of Indianapolis swath themselves in every possible combination of black and white during May. Are you following Instagram’s month-long nod to the race, #500FashionFridays?

My black-and-white winter palette is mostly relegated to the back of the closet, so I’m not into that scene. We’re only three miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I can’t step out my front door without spotting a checkered flag.

Besides that, I’m a little tired of the idea that a minimalist wardrobe must be reduced to basic colors like black and white. It’s great for some, not for others.

Among the outliers: 50-something women like myself. Here we are, practically invisible to society on so many levels and we’re draping ourselves in the colors of anonymity?

People respond to color. And there’s no better time than summer to fly a colorful banner. Color combinations I love: Kelly green and turquoise, fuchsia and coral, red and yellow, teal and royal blue.

This fruity (gawdy?) hat is from the Bes-Ben vintage exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. A good friend texted it and said it suits me.

Gee, I wonder if it has anything to do with the outfit I wore to church last Sunday: a florescent coral blouse and fuchsia cropped trousers (both J. Crew). I know what you’re thinking. They don’t match. You know what? I don’t care. I thrifted the blouse and paid retail for the slacks—something I almost never do. The color was so amazing that I couldn’t take a chance they’d be gone in my size.

Here’s a sidebar on J. Crew blouses. I have no idea why anyone would discard one, but they do—all the time. If you’re a thrift shopper, put them on your APB list. You can buy them for a pittance. They are made of the softest silk and cotton, and they’re designed for people who wear messy rolled sleeves.

And let’s face it, a blouse is a blouse. As long as there are no stains, no missing buttons and it fits well, a blouse can be part of your wardrobe for long time without looking dated.

Vintage accessories, coats, jackets and sweaters are my pink champagne. J. Crew blouses and trousers are my morning coffee. I’ll pay retail or sale prices for a good fit in trousers or something remarkable, but my blouses are mostly second-hand buys. (This outfit is a perfect example.)

Sometimes you have to go rogue and pay retail for a blouse. This leopard print linen was my summer splurge, a practical statement piece that pairs with jeans as well as a skirt or dress trousers. I like it so well that I bought it in white, too.

This fuchsia/coral J. Crew ensemble is such a favorite that I wore it again this week to interview a student at Christel House Academy West. Next to me is a beautiful little girl featured in the August/September issue of NOTE, the magazine published by Classical Music Indy (CMI).

CMI covers Indy’s music scene, and they’ve been broadcasting classical music on the radio for 50 years. Radio has a rich history in this town, but I’ll save that for another day! If you are interested in music and you live in Indiana, you really ought to support CMI and follow their blog. (Donors get the magazine for free!)

What’s on your list of fashion splurges this summer? I know it’s not officially summer yet, but I always feel like Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning. How about you?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.