Fashion forward: Paint it black

Pairing the quintessential little black dress with patterned tights and leather boots adds variety to a black ensemble. Photo Courtesy of Ashlyn Kittrell
Pairing the quintessential little black dress with patterned tights and leather boots adds variety to a black ensemble.
Photo Courtesy of Ashlyn Kittrell

For Halloween this year, I dressed up as Wednesday Addams, surprising approximately no one. At first, I was a bit confused by everyone nodding along as I told them my costume plans. Was I really that dark? And then I realized that, like Wednesday, I have an ardent dedication to the color black (OK, and maybe a bit of a dark side).

Depending on which field of science you subscribe to, black is either the combination of all colors or the absence of any. If you think of colors as pigments, then black is the combination of all possible pigments and is, therefore, a color.

However, I, like the physicists of the world, prefer to think of black as the absence of all light and therefore all color.

Black doesn’t have to be dark in the non-literal sense, though. I don’t wear shades of black because I’m a sad person, but if a dress is offered in a cheery shade of pink or in my favorite dark neutral, I’m always going to go with the black option.

With black, the color doesn’t make as much of a statement as the fit or construction of a garment. While this might not be the boldest option for standing out in a crowd, it means that a 100% polyester little black dress will ultimately look more expensive that a dress of the same fabric in a bright color or even white.

On one hand, black is the best color for blending in, especially in urban environments. But, on the other hand, an all black ensemble will give what’s really important the chance to shine through.

Your personality and individuality will take center stage in face to face interactions because people aren’t as likely to remember, “Oh, that was the girl with the all black outfit,” but instead think, “Oh, she had a charming smile.”

With a more colorful or outlandish outfit, people will perhaps remember the clothing but not so much about the person inside.

That being said, I will rarely wear an actual head to toe black outfit. I usually use it as my base: a black skirt with a patterned button up shirt or black jeans with a printed T-shirt. Another way to add a bit of variety to a black dress is with colorful tights.

While I have an appreciation for navy or brown, black will always remain my favorite neutral because it transcends all style categories.

Navy has more of a classic, refined connotation, while black can represent anything from Goth to Chanel.
While I usually like brown leather for shoes or handbags, there are so many different shades that it can be hard to match. Going for the black version of accessories eradicates that problem.

My style relies on black as the backbone for many of my outfits that feature muted colors. Something about wearing hot pink makes me a bit queasy. I would feel like I’d have to smile all day.

Black allows a certain ease of dressing that hints at self-assuredness. I don’t see my affinity for the dark shade dwindling any time soon.

And as Wednesday Addams would say, “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color.”

3 thoughts on “Fashion forward: Paint it black

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Your photographer has done excellent work. Is that photograph the work of a Staff Photographer?

  • November 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    It was taken by the writer of the article, Ashlyn Kittrell. She is also our assistant editor of Arts/Entertainment and News.

  • November 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you for your compliment on my picture!


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