Saturday, July 18, 2009

How to wear black and not look like someone died

This is a post script of sorts to my Sony Vaio story. Vince and I were invited to the Sony Vaio launch last Tuesday and I was excited to go since Vince very rarely attends events. I was pretty keyed up to dress pretty for him and go on a "date." (I know I'm silly!)

Anyway, as party invitations are wont to do these days, Sony's invite said to come in elegant black. Everyone complied with the black part. As for the elegant bit? That's another story. I was a bit disconcerted--it looked like a funeral. Having just watched Michael Jackson's memorial the week before, it gave me the chills.I do want to say that my husband--in a crisp black long-sleeved Zara button-down shirt, slim black Levi's and sleek leather boots--looked quite yummy (sorry for the terrible photo!). Lesson here then is if you must wear a dour hue, make sure it's perfectly tailored and made of quality cloth.

The general opinion is black is a safe color (or non-color) and fashion magazines always tell you to have a little black dress in your closet. While this is true, black can also make its wearer look miserable and common so the lesson here is to choose a style that brings out your best qualities--the shape of your body, for example. One of my favorite LBDs is this H&M number, which I debuted on the colorful set of Juicy. It hugs me in all the right places so even though I'm stick thin, the dress makes me look like I have boobies and an ass!Black can also enhance the color of your skin. Yes, a deep rich black looks marvelous on most skin types--depending on the cloth, my skin looks very white or creamy with a deep black. Some blacks are grayish (makes me look sallow), bluish (makes me look deathly pale) or brownish (makes my skin look dirty). Put the cloth against your face to find out which black suits you. Also, since black is very somber, embellishments like beads, sequins, embroidery or prints can cheer it up.

Oh, and as you can see from above and below pics, another way to make black less serious is to expose skin. Lots of it! The seriousness of the color balances whatever you'd want to show off--be it cleavage, arms, back or legs.
At the Sony event, I wore my Jill Stuart dress with a full skirt and a delicate print of pale pink flowers. Here's a better photo (taken when Nikki and I were guests at Lucy Torres's show The Sweet Life):
It does not look funereal at all. Nikki also makes black festive with a spangly collar and a short hem. Wilma meanwhile chose a dress in silk chiffon making her look soft and feminine.

Wearing black isn't as basic as the fashion mags would have you believe. But there's no need to despair. Just keep in mind the following: cut and tailoring, cloth quality, style. And if this just frustrates you, well, I always believe a bright smile makes black less grave.

Want to learn more about wearing black? Look to Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. Both women have elevated wearing black to an art. Now if only their taste in men could improve...


  1. you are definitely rocking the black outfit...Have never worn black, I have my doubts, but after reading your post, I might just try it one of these days...

  2. Well, you don't have to wear black! I only started wearing it when I turned 30. Black hides a multitude of sins--from a big tummy to food stains!

  3. You definitely look shapely in that dress!

  4. Hehe, thanks WendyB! I envy your Parisian rendezvous!

    D-C, I thought you would =D


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