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Guest AuthorPrabodh Sirur
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Overcome your closet trauma  – here’s a 540 million year old research to help you

By | Prabodh Sirur | In search of Postitive Intranets at In search of Positive Intranets

This article is for my women friends and colleagues who are not confident enough about their dress sense; and also for men who struggle when buying a gift for their loved ones.

The incident was an insight for me that we sometimes find answers from a totally different domain (just as Buckminster Fuller saw a great sturdy design in the eye of a housefly when designing Geodesic domes).

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Let me start with the problem statement.

For many of us, selecting a right colour combination of clothes is a frustrating experience.

Do I depend on my intuition? Do I take the colour wheel with me to select the combination? Should I choose complementary colours or contrast? Is this the right season to buy a Mikado and Smaragdine combination? or should I go for a Coquelicot and Falu combination?

Somehow you take the decision and buy the dress ONLY to find out that you have chosen the worst combination according to your friends. Your confidence goes down with every new purchase. On top of that your hard earned money is lost in buying clothes that impressed no one.

So how do you avoid being the Vidya Balan of your gang?

Let us look at the confusion created around us. This is Lady Gaga, the pop queen.

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And this is the Queen of England

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How do we choose from millions of colours which complement each other or are the right contrast? Should it be a bizarre Lady Gaga collection or a prim and proper dress chosen by the Queen.

There are thousands of studies conducted to tell us the best colour combinations. Instead of helping us, they confuse us more because on many occasions you find what one researcher says is the opposite of what the other writes.

How do we get out of this?

Here’s my solution.

Why not stick to the  oldest research available to us.

This  cannot be challenged at all. Let me explain in technical terms!

The plants and fishes started experimenting with colour combinations some  540 million years ago (this period is called Cambrian Explosion)

I am sure their efforts carry weight.

Once you decide to take this route, nobody can look down upon your choice of colours;

Your choice is NOW backed by millions of years of solid research.

Let me explain more by an example.

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If you choose a Tuscany colour top (RGB 252 209 42),

what should be the colour of the pants? I would say go for Barn Red(RGB 124 10 2).

Now how am I so sure? That’s because my statement is backed by a research done by a plant called Passiflora lutea.

So when you buy this combination and let people know it is a Passiflora lutea combination, would they object?

The moment you take this route, your closet trauma will vanish. People around you will start treating you their Fashion Diva.

Start a new journey in the plant world, find out some great flowers, buy great stuff using your study and be happy.

Make your friends go crazy when they hear you saying — “Oh it was a steal yesterday; I bought a Black Eyed SusanBleeding Heart and a Sneezewort Yarrow.”

Colour combinations identified by plants for you

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This is Indian Clock Vine (Thunbergia mysorensis). Take it to the mall when buying your next dress.


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This is Prickly Blue Poppy (Meconopsis horridula). Show the picture to the wide eyed guy attending you!

Surf the net; you get around 4 lakh varieties to choose from (The Guardian, 2010).

Well, even the fish world started researching the colour combinations at the same time (540 million years ago). So take help of their research too when buying your dress. This fish is called Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa(Triggerfish), for example. Great colours.

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Go girls go! Happy shopping.

Let me come back to poor Vidya Balan, veteran Bollywood actress. She is on the top of the charts for fashion disasters.

But Vidya has hope now. She can turn the tables using my formula. Have a look. This picture of Vidya portrays her as worst dressed actress.

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She just has to say, “It’s a Scarus guacamaia combination”.

The world will sit up and take notice.


The story behind this inspirational thought about fashion!

Let me give you the full story.

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While taking my morning walk, I saw a young jogger coming from the opposite side. She was wearing a magenta T shirt. It had the exact shade of the pink banana flower that was on the left of the walking track.

I was so excited by what I saw, I stopped the jogger in her next round of jogging, took her to the plant and showed her that pink banana plant.

She, Fern Ni, studying Medicine in our college, was happy to take her picture and send me.

When I reached home I found out that the plant is called Musa Velutina named after a Greek botanist and physician Antonius Musa (63 BC-16 BC). What a coincidence that the jogger too is a physician!

Republished with permission and originally published at Prabodh Sirur’s Linkedin

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