Yesterday, whilst performing my civic duty to Kings County as a prospective juror, I noticed in the periphery a flash of color. When the bottom-heavy, presiding voice of the selection proceedings announced that anyone who is not a US citizen should step forward, the flash came into full view, an espresso-hued woman I believe to be Senegalese swathed in the most beautiful blue fabric. I was transfixed. And transported.

Decades ago, upon my globe-trotting uncle’s return to U.S. soil, wearing a glorious grand boubou in a majestic blue brocade, his rich brown skin deepened by the African sun, I fell in color-combo love. The blue, though not the shade commonly known as royal is nonetheless quite regal, particularly against the deepest cacao complexion. Ever since that palette has spoken to me.

My absolute favorite old-school kicks, suede Puma Clydes, are available in limited edition in a muted variation on the theme. West Elm’s Circles collection brings it into home decor. MarieBelle’s blue + brown packaging is as appealing to me as is the delicious chocolate it houses. And speaking of chocolaty yumminess, actor and host of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s AfroPoP, Idris Elba, in cornflower blue is as good as it gets.

Perhaps Wittgenstein was onto something.

Idris Elba photo: Kwaku Alston for Essence


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