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One Is the Loveliest Color

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Stephin Merritt
Singer-Songwriter. Brown.

Why brown?
Years ago, I did a photo shoot with my dog, Irving, for Esquire magazine, where they had various celebs wearing fake eighties clothing. They put me in a preposterous outfit. Blondie was also part of the shoot, and they gave me advice: Just say, “Sorry, I only wear black.”

So why didn’t you start wearing black?
Unfortunately, black at this point tends to make you look like a French tourist in Soho. It also makes me look ill. I look ill enough; I really don’t need to call attention to that.

But brown is good?
I have brown hair and eyes, and I believe in matching.

It must be hard to clash when you wear all brown.
Impossible. The great thing about brown is when it fades, you can’t tell what color it originally was. There’s no sense of the “right” color saturation.

What else do you like about it?
Brown shows absolutely nothing. You’d have to spill some fuchsia paint. If you wear black, dandruff is horrific and lint is a nightmare—and dog hair, in my case, is a particular problem.

What color is your dog?
White and beige with a little brown nose. He’s incredibly cute.

Are there any downsides to wearing brown?
I’ve been invited to two events that required black tuxedoes, so I didn’t go. I always said I’d wait until I’d been asked to three tuxedo events before I accepted. So I’m in danger of needing to wear a tuxedo.

What were the events?
The first was a party at an embassy; the second was a wedding. I don’t know why tuxedos were necessary. But obviously I’ve never been to a tuxedo event. Maybe it’s glorious fun.


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