The ‘screenshots’ in this post are just styled code blocks. There are likely some weird visual artifacts (like background colors not extending the whole width of the block), but the point is to show off the colors.

I’ve been using a hastily-thrown-together color scheme for vim, cleverly named ‘bcustom.vim’ for years now. It’s a dark scheme, peppered heavily with syntax highlighting. While slightly softer than most, it’s still a pretty typical, masculine scheme. I recently realized two things – I would like to use a more feminine, light scheme based on my general sense of pinkness1, and I actually find myself a lot more distracted by extensive syntax highlighting than I find myself aided by it. So I decided to start from the ground up, and build a minimalist, light pink colorscheme, ‘decolletage.vim’.

Again, part of the design decision was to keep the total number of colors used to a minimum. So, to start, here’s the basic scheme. You can see the line numbers, the basic scheme, a comment, an uncapitalized word (‘colors’), a misspelled word (‘matchTypo’), a fold, a search result (‘cterm’), an error (‘#123456’), a visual selection (‘Decolletage’), and matched parentheses:

193 194 195 “Adjust things re: markdown. colors only matchTypo if decolletage loads 196 if g:colors_name==“decolletage” 197 +— 5 lines: hi! link markdownBlockQuote CursorColumn―――――――――――――――――――――― 198 199 hi markdownBlockQuote ctermfg=none ctermbg=#123456 200 call DecolletageDiff(1)

It… looks a lot like this blog, I know. That truly wasn’t how I set out to do things, it’s just my aesthetic. Let’s examine a little -- More --, like that right there, which is how the more/mode message lines appear. Or these status lines:

2:~/.vim/colors/decolletage.vim [RO] [vim][utf-8] 74,1 71%

2:~/.vim/colors/decolletage.vim [RO] [vim][utf-8] 74,1 71%

2:~/.vim/colors/decolletage.vim [RO] [vim][utf-8] 74,1 71%

…Active, inactive, and insert, in that order. Yes, it may be weird, but I like having a blunt, obvious indication of which mode I’m in. And I associate blue with insertion, so that’s my choice for insert. This was a feature of my hacked-together ‘bcustom.vim’ as well – it’s pretty nice to have.

There are two variants for diffs in decolletage.vim. One is more traditional, very obvious with highlighted backgrounds and the like; and the other is fittingly minimal. Here’s the standard version (you also get to see a split line here; it’s predictable) (oh, and non-printing characters):

1 if this { │ 1 if this { 2 that │ 2 that 3 → the other↲ ---------------------------------- 4 print “goodbye” │ 3 print “goodbye” 5 → return true↲ │ 4 → return false↲ 6 } │ 5 }

…and here’s the more jarring, less obviously-a-diff minimal version:

1 if this { │ 1 if this { 2 that │ 2 that 3 → the other↲ --------------------------------- 4 print “goodbye” │ 3 print “goodbye” 5 → return true↲ │ 4 → return false↲ 6 } │ 5 }

I’m fully on board with the minimal version, but it doesn’t seem right to have as a default, so it isn’t. Add call DecolletageDiff(1) to your .vimrc to use it. Alternatively, you can choose it as a default, and call DecolletageDiff(0) for filetypes that seem to desire a more blatant diff.

:set cursorline in decolletage.vim looks like this:

254 255 this is the line that the cursor is on _   256

I’m not a huge fan of cursorline, but I do see value in being able to quickly find the current line, so for a more subtle cursorline, we can call DecolletageNecklace(0):

254 255 this is the line that the cursor is on _ 256

Finally, there is an option to actually add some syntax highlighting, via call DecolletageFreckles(1). It’s rudimentary so far, and based on the default colors that vim would use in a 16-color terminal.

317 Constant 318 Identifier 319 Statement 320 PreProc 321 Type 322 Special 323 Number 324 Boolean

…this probably needs tweaking, but it is there if you want it. And again, implementing it as a function call means you can pop it on and off at will as you’re flipping through a file. So, that should be adjusted, I’d like to add some color for netrw, and I need to implement it as GUI colors as well2. But, for the time being (and particularly for my own specific needs), decolletage.vim looks pretty good, and is available for preliminary testing here.

  1. This is my meatspace aesthetic as well, my work desk has several pink tablets and pens with deep purple ink. ↩︎
  2. With the prevalence of termguicolors, not sure why I didn’t just start with GUI colors scraped from the 256-color list, but here we are. ↩︎