Do you find yourself wearing an awful lot of black? And do you find yourself apologizing, if only to yourself, for your choices? Does an all-black outfit, we might ask, reek of defeat? No I say, no! Like anything we do, as long as we reveal our intent, it’s an act of courage.
You just want to make sure you don’t wear black in default. As in, “Oh I have to go out, ugh, gee, do I have some black pants, oh good there they are at the back of the closet, what else, oh heck here’s that black sweater and by god I know those black pumps show their age but no one will notice, OK then I’m ready, oh wait, fine, lipstick. Let’s go.”
Choose black. Even if you do so because you can’t quite get the hang of colors, or you really wish your body weight chose a different distribution across your frame. Make the choice with intent. And my bet is that you’ll develop a reputation for incredible style, and simplify, and have some fun too.
You do have to make some choices in addition to he. The most important? Structure? Or flow?
Here’s an example of all-black structure. A tailored blazer, button front shirt, trousers, bold pumps, and a black scarf to drive home your intent. This is not accidental dressing. To give a structured outfit flair, your jewelry should be wiggly. Term of art, that. Your lipstick, playful.
Alternatively, an unstructured cardigan jacket, layered over a tunic and cropped pants. A little more edge to the shoe, and structured earrings to balance the moving fabric. Makeup focused on the eyes. I highlight eyes or lips, never both.
What you don’t want to do is wear both structured and flowing together unless you are quite confident. Une Femme today, for example. Or Jenna Lyons. She can pair a chambray shirt with harem pants brilliantly, we more intermediate fashion sorts may approach with caution. We do not want to default to stretch-waist French terry pants and a regular ol’ button-front shirt. Or belted, tailored pants and a tunic for that matter – too much fabric at the waist.
You should also work texture in all-black. You want a similar degree of sheen and tightness across all your fabrics. For example, woven silk with cotton jersey, not so hot, but velvet with denim is great.
A final note. In monochrome, our skin becomes an accessory – be strategic in what you reveal. Show the skin you like, and like the skin you show. Check the proportions on visible ankles, wrists, arms, neckline. Small things make big style statements. As you can, if you but choose.
Shopping For The All-Black Outfit
(Clothing by the Princess of Structure.)
Blazer (J. Crew 55% off at the Outnet)//Shirt (black now sold out but will be back, I’m sure)//Bootcut Jeans//Suede Pumps//Silk-Cashmere Wrap//Earrings//Necklace// NARS Multiples // NARS Lip Velvet Gloss Pencil
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