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Photo Stories

How I Overcame My Fear of Wearing Colour

September 22, 2016
I created a series of brightly coloured images in an effort to face my fear of colour, acquired from the mundane repetition of uniform dressing.

Saying goodbye to my school uniform was one of the best moments of my life. The preferred option for girls — the mini skirt — was and still isn’t my thing. Wearing one made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin because I knew deep down it just wasn’t me. I braved the pants option a few times, but that just made me feel too masculine amongst a sea of girls in short skirts.

After closing this chapter of my life, you can imagine how surprised I was when I realized that my new job came with its own, more complicated dress code. Long days sitting at a desk in an office require comfortable clothes. And when said long days start at the crack of dawn, there’s really only one go-to outfit option. Enter the effortless monochrome pajama-inspired look — blacks, greys, tracksuit pants, oversized tees, and sneakers.

Six months into my job, I began to hate the act of getting dressed. While my outfit choices seemed simple enough, coming up with something new to wear everyday in the space of 15 minutes before rushing off to work started to take its toll (there’s only so many ways you can wear grey sweatpants). The only thing left to do was to come up with a well-oiled system that allowed me to never have to think of what to wear again. My system took the form of a note on my phone where a two week Monday-Friday outfit schedule was written in detail. Neutral tones had become my unofficial work uniform.

After a while, I began associating these colours with early mornings and long days at my desk, and as a result I shied away from them on the weekends. This process made me consider the effect our clothes have on us. Different outfits create different thoughts and mental processes. Clothes have the ability to change moods, alter your confidence, and determine the course our day will take. In a way, what we wear defines us and I had unintentionally restricted my freedom of expression. I sometimes feel like I’ve lost my sense of individuality and I’m bored of the two-toned woman I’ve become.

After a year of wearing non-stop monochrome, I’m not sure where to start or which colours go together, and what looks good with my skin tone. Colour is this big unknown scary world that I’ve forgotten how to deal with and I’m stumped as to how to re-introduce it into my wardrobe. In response, I created this series of colourful images in an effort to rid myself of my fear of colour, and push myself to take risks as I believe in facing my fears, both big and small.

Photos by Sabrina Scott

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Photography by: Sabrina Scott
Model: Zintle Makwabe at Wicked Talent
Clothes and Jewelry by: Vintage Lover, Mr Price, Superbalist, and photographers own.

Sabrina Scott is a graphic designer and photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She shoots on 35mm film, using cameras passed down from her dad. Follow her on Instagram or check out her website to see more of her work!