Crosspost: The Archaeology of Invisible Colors

It was Ms. Plum, on the veranda, with the cute shoes.

Join Interrobang Katie on a purple fashion adventure after the cut, in a post which originally appeared on that Apex of Awesome, Interrobangs Anonymous.

  • T-shirt ““ thrifted
  • Jacket ““ thrifted
  • Jeans ““ Dish
  • Scarf ““ thrifted
  • Shoes ““ Soft Walk

Once I was on an archaeological survey and, in the middle of the digging, sifting, and sweating, the lead archaeologist suddenly stopped, looked over at our pile of backpacks, water bottles and extra tools and bellowed:

What self-respecting archaeologist would bring a bright purple backpack on a dig?

Without missing a beat or even looking up, several of the other surveyors simultaneously pointed to me, sitting in the middle of the prairie looking sheepish in my purple bandanna, purple socks, and grey and purple T-shirt.

That story is the roundabout way to tell you that I like purple. A lot. Which is why this T-shirt, jacket, and scarf combination makes me a happy girl.

I find it funny that one of my favorite colors is technically one that doesn’t exist. There’s no single frequency of light on the visible spectrum that reads as “purple.” Rather, the shades of purple that our eyes see are illusions created from mixture of other frequencies, usually reds and blues. See the graph below? No purple.

So the human eye sees too much green, and never really any purple. What does that mean for Barney?

Apparently he doesn't know, either...

Oh well, this outfit still makes me happy.

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