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We just put Black Friday behind us. It had me thinking about the colour black, and does it have to be so ubiquitous in our wardrobes? Suggested playlist while reading: Rolling Stones: Paint it Black, Johnny Cash: The Man in Black, ACDC: Back in Black
Black is simple, everyone says But who is i simplest for? It is the clothes industry, who have black as the kind of ”one colour fits all” strategy, so they can churn out large quantities of garments n the same colour, without differenciating for individuality. The notion that black suits everyone is a big, fat lie. There is far too much black in the stores, compared to how few people actually look great in black. Black gets way too much space. Black is too simple, too easy, like a uniform everyone wears. Black requires not hinking, no imagination. Black is dramatic and self centered (much like the fashion industry itself, come to think of it). It is about time we shake this tyranny off our shoulders.
Even for the five colour tones that can actually wear black (the three winter varieties plus Dark Autumn and Bright Spring, who have enough winter influence to be able to sneak in a little black in small portions into their wardrobe), they look better in a number of other colour choices.
Agreed, so far?
But why is it smart to swap the standard black base colour with another one, or at least to try and use another colour on your top or up against your face?
You do not get a second chance at making a first impression. And what happens when you meed another person wearing all black? Chances are, unless you are a striking True Winter or Johnny Cash reincarnated, others will see the colour black before they see you. Oops, lost your chance. And their eyes will keep darting back to the colour throughout the conversation, away from your face. Perhaps is this happening on a subconscious level. And quite likely, the colour black takes center stage, sacrificing your precious time in the limelight.
The shadows along the sides of the nose look darker in winter colours (black having the most dramatic effect in this respect). These shadows will crawl all the way into the inner corners of you eyes. Dark makes things recede. Consequently, this will make your eyes recede and look deeper set. This will be more and more pronounced the older w eget, so why aggravate it by wearing black? Nothing should get in the way of other people reacjing your eyes. Eye contact is the most important facilitator for communication.
To be you is a gift to the world. By being the most authentic version of yourself, you give your surroundings the opportunity to relax and feel comfortable. Do you really want the colour black stand between you and the possibility to express this uniqueness?
This does not mean that we should abandon neutral colours and start dressing like we are going to the Mardi Gras. All colour tones have darker alternatives that are good alternatives to black. The main challenge is to actually find these nuances in the stores, in the quality and style that we would like to use.
If you ask the sales assistants of your favourite clothes store why they are mostly selling black clothes, they will answer that it is because that is what everybody wants. Ask your friends and acquaintainces why they are buying so much black, and they will answer that it is because there is simply not much else to choose from. So where to start changing this? In my opinion, the place to start is with the consumer, and where she chooses to spend her money. Money talks. If we yield to the pressure and buy the fourth black top in four months, we are giving the clothes industry permission to keep piling more black clothes into the stores. If we ask for other colours, and in addition wait with our purchase until we find something in a colour other than black, we are sending a powerful signal. Our consumer pattern is our most powerful weapon.
For my own part, I have started a private campaign to reduce the proportion of black in my wardrobe. Yes, I can use black, it is a colour that is in my colour tone, but I can see that my appearance is lifted and energized when I wear ther colours up against my face. It is not easy. I gravitate towards the black garments in the store. But I have hope that it might have a long term effect if we become more discerning consumers, and I am going to start with myself.
For some alternatives to the LBD, look here