Keeping Black Interesting

Black is always the new black, but now that we’ve got an excuse to cloak ourselves in darkness and blame it on winter wear, it’s important not to use the shade as an excuse to seem bland or invisible. So to keep your wardrobe lively throughout our bleakest season, here’s how to make black interesting.


With early sunsets comes increasing darkness, so it only makes sense to brighten up black by wearing it in contrast with your (likely) now-pale skin. As seen in Michael Kors and Alexander Wang’s fall and winter collection, sheer black fabrics were paired with sharp dark pants to keep looks from seeming monochromatic or bland. And by embracing sheer pieces like lace or chiffon, you can dress up your black ensemble by flaunting what you’ve already got.


Naturally leather “ the quintessential winter fabric “ does double duty this season as it appears in everything from jacket to pant form. Adding an edge to any piece it’s accompanied with, it’s possible to adorn yourself in head-to-toe darkness, but still maintain a commanding sleekness that’s not usually found in donning only one shade. Need further proof? Look at Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Rowe: pairing crisp button-up white blouses with high-waisted ankle-length skirts, their choice to use unconventional fabric with a relatively modest style keeps their looks sharp and current.


Of course, silk can be tricky “ especially if your day-to-day wear calls for something a little less attention grabbing. So that’s why instead of embracing a typical holiday cocktail dress, opt for a silk pantsuit (as seen in Azzaro’s Fall collection) or a late 20th century-inspired slip dress. Thanks to its sheen, silk can take your look from dressy to black-tie appropriate “ provided you’re not wearing a silk button-up with ripped or faded jeans.


The art of layering is easily winter’s best friend, and by putting black on black, you can create texture and interest, thus keeping out of the fashion safe zone. Shows by J. Mendel and Alexander Wang featured several looks with the same dramatic shade, but on different pieces (like blazers, pants and blouses), or with varying fabrics (silk, leather and cotton). Just remember that winter gives you an excuse to bulk up “ and provided you don’t lose your shape or overheat.


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Tags: black, fashion 2011, keeping black interesting, wearing black, what to wear in winter, winter 2011

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