8 Ways to Avoid a Colourful Wardrobe
I love to wear black. I have no dark Goth or Emo past, it’s not a cult or religious thing and neither am I in mourning for anyone or anything in particular (okay, maybe my lost youth… but that died a long time ago).
Nope, the reason I always wear black is because I’ve always worn black. Black is the new Black. End of.
When I lived in London and summer lasted for approximately six days in May and a few hot days in July (that you had to view out of the office window because by the time you went home again the clouds had come out) it wasn’t a problem. It’s a city, and much like New York and Milan and other fashion capitals of the world where women are busy and slick and wear heels as tall as their city’s skyscrapers, black was always in. It’s the universal colour of business and authority and it goes with everything.
The problem is I no longer live in a buzzing metropolis; I live in a small fishing village in a part of the world that is sunny and warm. Wearing over-sized sunglasses is fine when abroad but high heels and a Little Black Dress looks completely out of place.
I also hate shopping at this time of year. As soon as spring and summer arrive the shops begin to burst with rails upon rails of (excuse me while I swallow down my own bile) floral prints, happy colours and pastel shades. Urgh, pastel… the only thing that should ever come in shades of pastel are wedding cakes and baby clothes, and even that is debatable.
So how can we stylish few get away with wearing black year round without the world thinking we sleep in coffins during the day or we’re slipping into a deep depression?
Well here are my 8 top tips for going back to black whatever the season…
1: Get the right cut
As long as the style of your outfit flatters your body shape and your clothes are well cut then the colour doesn’t matter, be proud of your colourless outfit. A sharp silhouette is the best kind, no one wants to look like they’re wearing a bin bag.
Wearing black to certain events, like a wedding day, can be frowned upon… but by accessorizing with chunky jewelry or brightly coloured shoes, scarves, bags or a big wedding hat, then it won’t look so dark and drab, but you will remain comfortably secure wearing your favourite black dress.
3: Hide well
Black is slimming so think about where on your body you need to wear it. If you want your bottom to appear smaller then choose black trousers, if it’s the chest you want to minimise then swap it over. Head to toe black is fine too, but a small pop of colour or bling will make you stand out more, or at least try and show a bit of leg or your arms so you’re not a walking talking shadow.
4: Remember your skin and hair colour
Not everyone looks amazing in black. If you are pale skinned or fair haired it can wash you out, so make your makeup more prominent, don’t wear too much black close to your face, accessorize with some key colour pieces or swap black for dark grey or navy.
5: Don’t splash out
The best thing about a trusty LBD (Little Black Dress, for those of you in the know) is that you can wear it time and time again and no one will realise it’s the same outfit as long as you keep your jewelry and accessories different each time. See it as a blank canvas on which you can go formal, showy, sexy or smart depending on the height of your heels or shade of your lippy… and save yourself a fortune on fashion!
6: It hides dirt
But it doesn’t hide baby puke, so be mindful of where you are wearing your black outfits. Unlike with white and pastel outfits, you are pretty safe going out in a black pair of trousers while on your period or on a trip on public transport, plus if you spill your drink down yourself it’s not the end of the world… hence why it’s my favourite partying colour. But it does show deodorant stains, milky liquids and other dubious white substances. Just ask Monica Lewinski!
7: Choose the right fabric
Who says every summer dress has to be the colour of a flower bed? There’s no reason why you can’t keep your summer clothes black as long as your shorts, t-shirts or dresses are made from summer fabrics like cotton… and why not add a bit of white to your black, or a monochrome print? That’s more than jolly enough, no need to go too girly!
8: And lastly…
Own it. Let it define you. There’s nothing wrong with opening your wardrobe and staring into a dark abyss of black. As long as you have every type of outfit you need, who cares about the colour?
When you are a wearer of black you never have to worry about wearing the same outfit as your friend to a party as you will have styled it differently, you’ll also look slim, chic and feel more confident. And the best thing is that you won’t look stupid at that summer barbecue when everyone turns up in their pastel floral numbers and it pours with rain… because you have chosen the colour for all seasons!