Friday, May 27, 2011


Black is the trickiest color to pull away from most folks.  Not only is it the most basic of colors - everything goes with black - but its connotations are sunk firmly into a lot of people's psyches.  Black is the basic of basic - get yourself a black fitted dress with classic lines and you can wear it for a decade.  A wardrobe full of black = a wardrobe you don't have to think about.

Black is tough, black is cool, black is mysterious, black is goth, black is naughty, black is the color of the night and all the things that go with it.  Black is an absolute.

Unfortunately, all that absolute washes a lot of people out.  Personally I can't wear much black at all, even well away from my face.  It's just too harsh for me.  Most people notice that it's harsh, but they like black anyway, so they power on the makeup and go forward.  Or sometimes they let their clothes do all the talking.  (One never wants to let ones clothing do the talking - clothing serves to make you look great, not the other way around). 

Black contrasts with light hair impressively.  Most women with hair colors that contrast with black don't have skin that looks well in it... but they don't care. 

Almost no one who can wear black needs to hear about "why black" - so let's talk about how to replace black in your wardrobe if you're one of the majority who don't wear it well. 

First - determine what purpose black is serving in your wardrobe.  Is it just a dark-neutral that you can hang out with?  Is it the emotional connotations (tough/goth/cool)?  Why do you love black so much?

Second - determine what colors *do* look good on you that serve a similar purpose, whether it's all-purpose utility or "I'm a tough gal".

Third - accessorize.

So - if I was counselling a Summer (soft/cool) who liked wearing black because it made her look and feel tough, I'd probably put her in denim.  Summers look amazing in navy blue!  Then I'd pick out some black leather accessories, preferably slightly distressed (so they weren't shinyblack) and some "tough" jewelry, and set her loose on the population.  Still looks tough, doesn't look washed out.   If it was an Autumn who just wore black because it was so very basic, I'd turn her towards chocolate brown or charcoal grey.  A Spring who loves black because it contrasts so beautifully with her blonde hair?  Time to find some midnight blue. 

There are *always* ways to get what you want emotionally and still look glorious.

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