Ode to Gray


Best of 2018

We’re away until January 2, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2018. Enjoy your holiday!

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Støvkornenes dans i solstrålerne (Dust motes dancing in sunbeams), 1900.

The color gray is no one’s color. It is the color of cubicles and winter camouflage, of sullage, of inscrutable complexity, of compromise. It is the perfect intermediate, an emissary for both black and white. It lingers, incognito, in this saturated world.

It is the color of soldiers and battleships, despite its dullness. It is the color of the death of trees. The death of all life when consumed by fire. The color of industry and uniformity. It is both artless and unsettling, heralding both blandness and doom. It brings bad weather, augurs bleakness. It is the color other colors fade to once drained of themselves. It is the color of old age.

Because I have no style, I defer to gray. I find it easier to dress in gray scale than to think. I buy in bulk, on sale, in black and white and shades between—some dishwater desolate, some pleasing winter mist. I own at least five cardigans in grandpa gray.